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Pet Health: Why Bathing and Brushing Are Important

Regular grooming is good for your pet's coat, skin, and bond with you.

Cat Grooming

Cats and cat owners alike detest hairballs, and for good reason. It's great that felines love to lick themselves clean, but they can swallow a lot of hair that collects in the stomach. 

To cut down on hairballs: 

Brush your cat regularly. Your cat won't take in as much hair, especially if you wipe her with a clean cloth after brushing to pick up any loose hairs. If your cat has long hair, try to brush every day. Limit brushing sessions to 10 to 15 minutes. Longer sessions might upset your cat.

Skip the baths. Cats don't really need baths as long as they're able to groom themselves, he says. But if your cat's coat feels oily, greasy, or sticky, a bath is in order. First, give a thorough brushing to remove loose hair and mats. Then bathe your cat in lukewarm water with mild cat shampoo and dry her with a towel.

Check ears weekly. If your cat's ears are dirty, clean them with a piece of cotton or gauze. Or ask your veterinarian about an ear-cleaning solution.

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Reviewed on September 12, 2012

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