How to Groom Your Cat's Eyes, Nose & Ears

Learn how to groom your cat's eyes, nose and ears from board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. E'Lise Christensen, DVM in this Howcast video.

Transcript

If you're thinking about grooming your cat, you're going to need to know how to do it. First of all, make sure your cat really needs to be groomed; cats are generally self-cleaning, so unless you have a cat that's sick or just hasn't groomed efficiently for himself, you aren't going to need to give them a bath or really clean much of their ears or their eyes. However, if you have a cat that's a little under the weather, sometimes they don't groom very well and you can also see this runny discharge from their eyes. Essex has a little bit of that going on right now.

But, if one wanted to clean that area you can take a little moist cotton ball with some saline solution (make sure it's optic grade) and you can just wipe the cotton ball right here along her eyes. Make sure as soon as you do that you give her a treat because we want Essex to find this to be as comfortable and fun as possible. It's not something that's very normal for cats to tolerate so you have to tell her that 'hang in there kiddo because you're going to get paid at the end of this'. Now, if you're thinking about doing your cat's ears you've got to think twice about that unless you have a veterinarian's instruction.

Most cat's ears don't need to be cleaned at all; if they do, speak with your veterinarian about the specific type of medication that you're supposed to use because depending on the type of medication, that's going to depend on how you actually administer it to the cat's ears. Now, if you just need to groom your cat overall, there are variety of different brushes and gloves that can be handy for them. Try to pick one that you think your cat will like the best and keep your sessions really short. So, in the case of Essex, if she weren't feeling very well, or just wasn't doing a very great job of grooming, I might take a brush and rub it right along her spine like this.

I'm scratching her at the tail region because I know she likes that so I'm giving her a little bit of a reward. Brush, brush, treat, and then come back a little bit later to do other parts of her body. Don't get settled in and feel like you have to do the entire session at one time because you can see even when I pet Essex like this, which she kind of likes, she also gets a little bit agitated so we want to make sure that she stays nice and calm the entire time. That's how to teach your cat to be comfortable with grooming and other medical procedures.

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