Safe and Easy at home care for your Cats
Sometimes your little kitty will get into some sort of mess, or something will injure them slightly. I must however stress that any injury should be carefully considered and monitored so to ensure that you get your beloved cat to the vet asap, when necessary. But, there are cases where you don’t need a third party to get involved. You can simply do it yourself at home in the comfort of their domain. Here are some ways to make yours and your kitty’s life less stressful, and can help you maintain a good quality of life for your cat.
Cats are very clean animals, and they have quite a good routine when it comes to keeping themselves clean. But sometimes, us humans have to get involved. From my experience, there are times where my boys will go to the toilet, and they come out smelling quite bad. I inspect them and see that they have not left everything in the litter box. The best way to clean your cat without having to dip them in the dreaded bath is simply take some toilet paper and wipe ever so gently in the messy areas. If the dry toilet paper does not work, wet a little piece of cotton wool, with warm water, and give them a good wipe down. Keep your strokes gentle, and “lick” like. Cats love to feel the sensation of being licked down, as it is what comforted them as kittens. The same applies should your cat have dirt in his eyes, take drenched with warm water a cotton wool piece and wipe their eyes down with the same stroke as if their mom were to be licking them. My cats always purr when I do this, and I’m not sticking the unfamiliar human fingers into their eyes. This just stresses them out. Cotton wool is a must have around the house!
Another great way to groom your cat is to wipe them down with a face cloth, wet or dry, this tends to just get rid of excess hair, especially during moulting season. It will help with the odd fur ball throw up as well. Another great way to get rid of the excess fur is to take rubber dish gloves, put it on your hand and wipe your cat down. It is amazing how much hair you get off your kitty with this. It is equally disturbing to see how much they could potentially digest.
Should you need to give your cat a bath, and soak their whole bodies in water, for whatever reason, I would suggest that you first get them used to the idea as kittens. Cats who have not been bathed and all of a sudden get dipped have a very stressful situation when this takes place. But sometimes, it is necessary, even for your cats who are not used to a bath, to give them one. The easiest way is to let the water in the bath, make sure it is not too hot or too cold, then with a very calm voice and demeanour, get them into the closed bathroom. Let them walk around a little before you attempt the great leap. When you are ready, go ahead and pick your cat up, holding the scruff of his neck cradling his hind legs (never pick him up by the scruff of his neck only, as his weight is too heavy as an adult cat), this calms him down, then slowly dip him in the bath. Ensure you have a jug handy so that you can rinse him easily. I have read a few articles about which is the best shampoo to use for cats, and I have read some rather disturbing articles about cats being poisoned by kitty shampoo. My philosophy is this, if it works on an infant, it will work for your cat. After all, you are not entering him into a beauty competition, you just need him clean. So I always go for baby shampoo and it works. You know that it is safe for sensitive skins, it is no tear soap so if it gets into their eyes it won’t cause too much damage, or no damage at all. And, after the bath they smell just as you picture them, like a baby!
Trimming the Claws
My cats are indoor cats, so they don’t have the natural sharpening or filing options that they would outdoors. It is up to me to keep them blunt. I generally trim their nails once a month, because if I don’t, they get way too long and they just hook on everything. I can see that they get very annoyed and very frustrated when this happens. All you do is take normal nail clippers, and by pushing out each claw trimming the very tip of the claw. Basically, just cutting off the very sharp end. My cats are used to this as I have been doing it with them since they were kittens. It is important to get them used to any grooming that you will be providing to them. When they are kittens, you start by regularly touching their feet. Pushing out their claws, touching their little pads etc. Eventually it won’t be so invading to them when you try to cut their nails. I am still in the process of getting Scotch used to the idea, but we are getting there. If your cat is not used to this, then you simply wrap him in a towel with his little paw out and trim away. Please always make sure you don’t cut too far. The little membranes in the nails, should they get cut, will bleed tremendously and it is not a very nice feeling for your cat. It hurts quite a bit, or so I’m told. I have never gone too far, as I learned my lesson years ago on one of my birds who had to get rushed to the vet for fear of loss of blood. That is how much it bleeds. So take care when trimming your cat’s nails, but please do get them used to it, as it is necessary, indoor or outdoor.
That being said, I have recently experienced Travis has Feline Acne. This is similar to what us humans get, but it is based around their chin. They have scent glands in their chin which can sometimes over produce oils, which is potentially the cause, but the real cause is not yet known, and some causes are more likely than others, such as lack of grooming and/or plastic food bowls. But it is not 100% confirmed. He has had it now for about a month, and I have been monitoring and cleaning them, ensuring that none of his little sores become swollen or infected in any way. Another way to recognise infection is your cat will be slightly docile, and there will be a stench to the wounded area if infected. Luckily all of his have been fine, and I’ve managed to clean them myself, and they are looking much better and almost gone. So here is how I do it. First option is to take boiling water, never tap water, with a teaspoon of salt in about a quarter cup of water, dip your cotton wool into this water, then, same as I mentioned before, stroke the wound very gently in a licking type motion. Do this twice a day until you see the wound is not red, and generally just looking better. The salt dries out the wound which helps it scab and get better. Another option, because I ran out of salt, is to use a tea bag. I found that this worked wonders. Travis developed quite a nasty acne attack on the side of his lip, just close to his chin, and I took the tea bag, dipped it in boiled water (cooled of course), and stroked it on the wounded area, sometimes holding in in place for a few seconds. This particular wound has healed completely in 4 days. Like I said, you cannot do this with every wound. Please consult your vet should your cat have any wounds at all. But, the odd scratch, to prevent infection, can definitely benefit from these simple ways.
To conclude, your cats rely on you for food, care, warmth and love of course. It is so rewarding when you care for your cat in such a way that you see results. They live a much happier life knowing that you are there for them no matter what. Please also always do your research, or ask your local vet if you are unsure of anything. All of the above is based on my experience, and mine alone. Your cat is different, but there are ways that work, and work well if you do it properly and consistently. Also ensure you know your cat and you do thorough checks on his little body often enough to determine what is okay for you to do at home, versus what needs some extra care.