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Contrary to Popular Opinion, Cats Benefit from Regular Grooming


December 4, 2018

Cats have a universal reputation for being great self-groomers. But it’s also becoming widely acknowledged that a little grooming help on a regular basis can go a long way in preventing hairballs, hair matts and other issues that felines experience, especially as they age and are not as efficient with their own grooming routines.

Home Grooming Help

“Pet parents should groom their cats at least once a week, and more frequently during times of heavy shedding, such as the spring and fall,” said Dr. Jen Kasten, the technical services veterinarian for Tomlyn, manufacturers of pet supplements and grooming products.

Kasten added that a few treats can go a long way to distract reluctant felines during the process.

“Little pieces of Tomlyn’s Pill Masker make great treats,” she added. “And, if a cat has issues with hairballs, Tomlyn’s Hairball Remedy Chews can be broken into pieces and given as a beneficial distraction during grooming.”

The company also makes a product called Relax & Calm, a chicken-flavored chew that helps pets cope with stressful situations. It contains L-tryptophan and chamomile, which promote a sense of calm and relaxation.

According to Rose Rodarte, manager of the Woodbury Pet Supply store in Irvine, California, her customers don’t focus much on feline grooming beyond nail trimmers and de-shedding tools.

“However, we do stock a variety of products, including waterless shampoos,” she said. “For most cats, gentle grooming with a soft brush will accomplish the task. If there is heavy matting present, a pet parent may want to consult a professional groomer.”

Home grooming tools for cats are definitely becoming more sophisticated and hence more efficient in getting basic tasks done.

Tools of the Trade

Matthew Michel, creator and founder of the Scaredy Cut Silent Pet Grooming Kit designed his stress-free grooming system inspired by his own Maine Coon named Atticus.

“Atticus suffered with his thick coat in the Los Angeles summer weather and I only really understood that when I first groomed him with a short lion cut and his dandruff and horrible itchiness went away,” Michel explained.

Over the years, Michel has re-designed the grooming system and it currently consists of a 14-piece kit: blunt-nosed scissors, ideal for trimming fur between paw-pads; seven combs in various sizes that attached to the main grooming scissors tool; two comb organizers and two different-sized pairs of finger inserts. The kit is sold with a two-year refund and comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee.

Swees America also has feline-friendly tools in their grooming arsenal, such as the Eazee de-shedding tool and Click & Brush grooming system. According to Eddy Cathaud, CEO of Swees America, the Eazee PRO38 Medium Dematting Tool, the Bristle Brush PRO Medium and the Soft Massage Brush PRO are the most popular tools marketed for cats. The various heads are designed to easily clip on and off the curved, ergonomically designed handle.

Pushing Innovation Forward

HandsOn Gloves, manufacturers of grooming gloves originally designed for horses, have subsequently won accolades at both Global Pet Expo and Superzoo for their gloves as grooming products for cats and dogs. The gloves have different-sized nodules on the palm and finger surfaces. Hair doesn’t stick, is easy to remove and makes grooming a stress-free, massage-styled experience. They are available in five sizes.

The Zen Clipper, the pet nail clipper designed to clip just the tip of the nail, has won numerous awards including a Fear-Free certification from the Fear-Free movement spear-headed by Dr. Marty Becker.

The patent-pending conical blade is designed so that only the tip of the pet’s nail can be trimmed, preventing inadvertent clipping into the quick area of each claw. Originally designed for cats, the clippers are now available for all pets, including dogs and reptiles, and come with a size chart for customers to select the correct tool.

According to Julie Creed, vice president of sales and marketing at Pura Naturals Pet, the brand’s Feline Ear Cleansing Kit’s double-sided swab, made with medical-grade foam tips, allows for cleaning in tight crevices and the sturdy handles won’t break or splinter. The USDA-certified serum contains organic mullein oil that acts as a natural disinfectant with witch hazel that has deodorizing properties.

Pura Naturals Pet also make waterless shampoo products for both adult cats and kittens.

“They are top sellers,” Creed confirmed. “They are ideal for colder weather, or for cats that don’t particularly like traditional baths.”

The shampoo formulas are free of parabens, fragrances, sulfates and formaldehyde. They also don’t contain any synthetic dyes or perfumes or foaming chemical agents.

Be on the Lookout

Wipes also make bath time hassle-free for felines.

Quick Bath Cat Wipes from International Veterinary Sciences (IVS) are thick, absorbent, pre-moistened 5 by 10-inch sheets formulated to remove dirt, bacteria and odors from feline skin and fur. The formulation is alcohol-free and pH-neutral with soothing aloe vera and vitamins A and E to nourish skin and coat, making them safe for everyday use.

“They are perfect for cats that are difficult to bathe, elderly kitties, or in between baths or trips to the groomer,” explained Ara Bohchalian, president of IVS.

Bohchalian also confirmed that his company is currently preparing to launch a new feline product early next year.

“For over 20 years, Lipiderm has been a top-selling USA-made skin and coat supplement for dogs, and, next year, Lipiderm for cats, with a proprietary blend and formulation designed for the unique skin and coat needs of felines will be available nationwide. It’s scheduled to come to market in March,” he said.

Retailers can also expect new feline products in 2019 from 21st Century Animal HealthCare, Inc. According to Colin Brodie, vice president of Marketing, the company’s Essential Pet Hair Soft Chew is currently the company’s bestseller.

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