Skin can become damaged for a variety of reasons: aging, disease, parasites, malnutrition, mat removal and even psychological disorders that result in hair pulling and excessive licking. Damaged skin leads to painful inflammation, which can eventually result in serious infections.
Cats obviously prefer self-grooming and a cat’s tongue is uniquely designed to maintain a sleek coat. Due to their efficient nature, cats will generally do one thing to accomplish several ends. For example, they will roll against things to remove dirt and slough off dead skin, while simultaneously scent-marking their environment and stimulating oil-producing glands in the skin.
“Up to two-thirds of the hair that a cat sheds is ingested during grooming, resulting in hairballs that are messy and stressful to the cat,” said Amanda Hilton, director of marketing and consumer awareness at United Pet Group. “FURminator is the original and leading deshedding tool that helps to prevent hairballs and reduce shedding up to 90 percent when used regularly.” The design of the edge allows the tool to push through the topcoat to easily and gently remove the undercoat and loose hair without cutting or damaging delicate skin.
Educating consumers is an important part of any grooming program and will help ensure they select the proper tools. Pet grooming gloves have become increasingly popular throughout the industry. Not only are they simple to use on all types of coats, they are efficiently sized for ease of stocking in stores. These one-size-fits-all gloves are perfect for finicky felines who enjoy being petted but prefer to avoid being brushed. The soft glove lifts dirt, dust and hair from fur with a minimum of fuss.
A leader in grooming for many years, Coastal Pet’s Safari line offers professional quality with consumer accessibility. Each package contains a QR code that links to videos showing proper use of each tool, making it simple for consumers.
“Coastal Pet offers POP signage and an online grooming guide that helps consumers find and use the right size tools for their pet,” said Diane Thomas, marketing manager for Coastal Pet Products, Inc. “Packages are also clearly marked for specific coat types and images of representative cats are shown on each tool.”
Bathing can also be an important part of keeping the skin and coat healthy. When selecting a shampoo or conditioner, it’s important to focus on natural, non-paraben, soap-free options to accommodate a cat’s more sensitive skin.
“Our Feline Rosemary Shampoo Bar, combined with our Feline Skin Rescue Lotion, composes a complete system for the most effective results in treating your cat’s problem skin condition or for maintenance of healthy skin and fur,” said Dr. Adelia Ritchie, founder of DERMagic Skin Care for Animals, Inc. “We use all-natural, organic ingredients that work gently and effectively.”
“Shed-X Shed Control Shampoo for Cats gently cleans, helps release excess hair and exfoliates,” said Christina Twomey, training director/regional sales manager for Shed-X. “The ingredient-rich shampoo infuses the skin and coat with essential amino acids, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamins A, D and E and antioxidants, while also reducing shedding, dander and allergens. For maximum shed control, use with Shed-X Dermaplex nutritional supplement daily.”
Groomer’s Blend, from SynergyLabs, now offers nine reformulated grooming products for dogs and cats. The new formulas include natural ingredients without the use of parabens. The spot-on safe and soap-free options are a plus for savvy pet owners. Newly designed bottles feature an eye-catching design.
Wipes and Waterless Shampoo
For cats who prefer to avoid water, there are a number of natural wipes and waterless baths available.
Burt’s Bees Waterless Cat Spray Shampoo is made with some of nature’s finest ingredients for your peace of mind and a happy feline. For quick cleanups, earthbath also offers a waterless, hypoallergenic grooming foam designed specifically for cats. The foam allows you to groom without the hassle of water.
“Our earthbath Cat Wipes are safe for daily use and utilize the healing properties of aloe vera and awapuhi extract to keep cats clean,” said Yvonne Roth, director of marketing for earthbath.
Clippers for Cats
Whether you have a cat who needs mats removed frequently or a long-haired cat in need of a lion cut during summer, there are a number of clippers and trimmers to help accomplish this task. As the market expands, clippers are becoming quieter and quicker. Built-in LED lights can help illuminate tough-to-see areas when dealing with a fussy feline who prefers to be elsewhere. Technology has helped companies like Oster to reduce the noise so often associated with grooming tool problems.
“We offer the world’s only silent clipper, creating an alternative to grooming anxious or sensitive pets with electric clippers,” said Matthew Michael, founder of Scaredy Cut. “Our stress-free grooming solution offers a unique method of grooming cats who are sensitive to the sounds of clippers. The unique cutting shear is easily attached to one of seven different guide combs (included in the kit). The patented safety mechanism ensures you won’t accidentally cut your cat, while the combs makes cats feel as if they are being brushed. We can’t always eliminate stress but we can usually do something to alleviate it. Your relationship with your cat is more important than how your cat looks.”