Q: I just adopted a one-year-old Domestic Shorthair cat. I would like to give her a bath and trim her nails. How should I go about it?
Domestic Shorthairs are of mixed ancestry, so their temperaments can be hard to predict because of the cross breeding. Some cats are quiet and docile, while others are more active and vocal. Some are affectionate, while others are independent. Most are playful when young, and some enjoy the company of children and other pets. Most cats spend up to 50 percent of their waking hours indulging in some form of cat grooming, and the Domestic Shorthair is no exception. In fact, this short-haired feline is so diligent with grooming, you only need to brush her coat once a week to get rid of loose hairs. Here are a few tips for grooming kitty:
Make it fun
Most cats love being stroked and enjoy the sensation of light grooming. When it's time to brush your kitty’s coat, approach your cat in a friendly way, and intersperse the grooming strokes with some regular petting. It’s okay to restrain your cat gently as long as she doesn’t start to panic, but be sure to restrain yourself too. Don’t try to force your cat to sit still or stay in an awkward or uncomfortable position for too long. And be careful not to get overzealous in your grooming strokes as your cat won’t appreciate getting her hair pulled.
Know when to quit
You may not be able to groom your cat completely in one session but that’s fine. If you get her back and tail, and then she starts to fight you, give up and try finishing in a day or two. It’s better to have a half-dozen five-minute grooming sessions spread out over a week and a happy cat, than one 25-minute battle and a cat that runs and hides at the sight of a brush.
Claw clipping made easy
No cat enjoys having her claws trimmed, but if you start them when they’re little, it will be easier when they become adults. Also, be sure to randomly play with your cat’s paws and toes every now and then. Otherwise, she’ll always associate holding her paw with unpleasant nail-clipping and struggle the minute you handle her paw. Gently squeeze the cat’s toe between your thumb and forefinger to extend the nail. Gently clip off the sharp tip, taking care to stay in the clear portion toward the end of the nail. You should be able to see the reddish quick through the nail, so don’t cut through the quick or you'll cause discomfort or bleeding.