How To Groom A Cat & Kitten - Cat Grooming 101


Cats are natural self-groomers, but sometimes they need a little help. Older cats might not always be able to manage their self care, particularly if they have lost some of their mobility. Cats with long hair, too, may be prone to tangles and knots. Aside from the benefits of grooming and caring for your cat’s fur, grooming your cat also allows you the chance to notice and note any issues with his or her health or hygiene, including the presence of fleas or skin sores.

As any cat owner will attest to, however, cats are notoriously stubborn and difficult to coax. Unlike dogs, cats will not simply do whatever it is their owner wants them to do with a command or even a treat. Anyone who has tried to do anything with a cat that the cat wanted no part of knows that most attempts will end unsuccessfully. Grooming may be particularly difficult because some of it requires compliance, a characteristic usually absent in cats. How, then, should this task be approached?



The first consideration in figuring out how to groom a cat is deciding how, exactly, the cat needs to be groomed. For most cats this is as simple as a quick nail trim and a brushing of their fur. Some cats may need additional grooming, including removal of tangles or baths. The good news is that most cats like having their fur brushed, so long as the brushing is on their terms. The bad news is that nail clipping, the task more difficult and potentially harmful to cats, is not an activity cats typically enjoy.



Yes, clipping a cat’s nails is hard and chances are your cat won’t like it, but it isn’t impossible and it is sometimes necessary. If you notice your cat getting its claws caught in carpeting, rugs, or blankets, it might be time for a nail trim. Some cat owners recommend simply allowing your cat to roam around outside a few times a week; the friction on the concrete of a sidewalk is often enough to keep a cat’s nails short. If this is not an option, however, you may need to trim your cat’s nails with nail clippers designed specifically for cats. With their paw in your hand, press down to unsheathe the nail and trim only the transparent part of the nail. It is important to know how to properly cut a cat’s nails because doing so incorrectly can hurt your cat. A veterinarian or professional groomer can help demonstrate how best to go about doing this, or they can trim your cats’ nails for you if you are not comfortable doing so. This holds especially true if your cat fights having his or her nails trimmed. Trimming nails is pretty straightforward with a still cat but, as most cat owners know, this can be a lot to ask of a cat.



how to groom a shorthaired cat

There is a big difference to grooming a shorthaired and a longhaired cat, which is important to take note of. Using the wrong method of grooming your cat can mean you effort is ineffective, or even hurt or distress your cat. Shorthaired cats should be brushed with a fine-toothed metal comb once a week. A rubber brush can be used, too, to remove dead hairs. Most cats will enjoy being brushed so this is a fairly simple task. It is easiest to sit down with the brush and allow your cat to come to you; most cats will stick around when they figure out that strange thing in your hand actually feels good against their fur and skin. If they’re reluctant to approach, try luring them in with treats.



how to trim a longhaired cat

Longhaired cats should be groomed with a steel comb, preferably on a daily basis. Longer hair is prone to knots, especially on older cats or those unable to reach all of their parts. Knots should be untangled with the help of a comb or, if necessary and if possible, snipped out with blunt scissors. This requires a great deal of caution, however; if your cat isn’t happy having its hair combed, it is not a good idea to take a pair of scissors to them. If this is the case, the best option might be to bring your cat to a professional groomer for knots and tangles while maintaining regular brushing yourself.




There are an abundance of cat grooming tools out there beyond brushes and combs. Most of these tools are intended to make grooming easier for both cat and cat owner. A cat grooming glove, for example, allows you to brush and groom your cat while simply petting them. A self groomer, or cat corner groomer, is another tool intended to simplify the grooming process.



A cat brush glove is exactly as it sounds: a glove a cat owner wears to brush and groom their cat while petting them. The glove, also called a cat deshedding glove, is made with a soft rubber surface that combs and conditions both long and short hair while grabbing and removing dead hairs, too. The teeth on a cat brush glove are spaced further than the teeth of a typical comb or brush. This ensures more comfortable stroking and less pulling on tangles or knots. Some grooming gloves have a softer fabric side to help in picking up loose hairs.



  • It’s easy to use
    Simply put on the glove and give your cat a pet! Once your cat has been thoroughly groomed simply remove the fur from the rubber surface of the glove. You can also give the glove a quick rinse to remove any dirt or debris
  • It’s enjoyable for both cat and owner
    Most cats like being stroked by their owners, and the grooming glove makes the experience even more enjoyable. Most owners, too, enjoy spending time with and grooming their cats in this easy, pleasant way
  • It’s effective
    A good quality cat deshedding glove is highly effective keeping your cat’s fur groomed and conditioned. It also removes loose and dead hairs, making for less clean up of shedded fur. 
  • It’s versatile
    As a grooming tool that is effective for both long hair and short hair cats, it is versatile and can be used by owners with multiple cats. Normally, someone with a longhair cat and a shorthair cat would need two different sets of grooming tools, but this grooming glove can be used for any cat.
  • It’s fast
    While most grooming tools can take a lot of time, not only for the actual care of the fur but for getting your cat to calm down and comply, the grooming glove can be done in mere minutes



A corner groomer is another tool allowing for simplified grooming of your cat. Unlike the glove, this tool requires very little action on the part of the owner, relying, instead, on a cat’s natural behavior. A corner groomer, also called a self groomer, is similar to a deshedding glove with its rubber surface and teeth; the self groomer, however, affixes to the corner of the wall. Cat owners are well aware of their cat’s tendency to gently bump their heads and bodies against things, or people. Cats have scent glands all over their body, and this behavior is actually a cat scent marking something they consider to be important, like some part of their home territory. Even if this behavior goes unseen, most cat owners can attest to the marks on the corners in their homes that are just the right height of their cat. The self groomer takes advantage of this behavior, giving cats an extra special surface to stroke their heads and bodies and grooming them all the while.


  • It’s even easier to use
    The corner groomer is even easier to use than the grooming glove as it allows a cat to groom itself in the absence of the owner. It is simple to attach to the wall and the rubber grooming piece detaches for cleaning
  • It utilizes cat’s natural behavior
    Cats enjoy scent marking their home by rubbing the glands on their face, backs, and tails on surfaces like corners. The corner groomer provides a textured surface at just the right height for your cat to groom and brush him- or herself
  • It removes loose hairs
    The corner groomer is not as effective as the grooming glove. The parts of the cat that will be groomed with the corner groomer are limited and though it is designed to utilize your cat’s natural behavior, your cat will only reap the benefits if he or she chooses to use it. Some corner groomers combat possible hesitation or reluctance by including catnip to sprinkle onto the groomer and attract the cat. Regardless, it is a great tool for light grooming and loose hair removal
  • It puts the cat back in control
    Cats generally don’t enjoy enjoy being handled, especially when they have to be held somewhat firmly like they do to be groomed. With the corner groomer though, they can do it without you having to lay a finger on them. They’ll do it without any need for you intervention, which will put your cat right back to where it wants to be: in control


These are just a few of the many cat grooming tools available to cat owners and a short summary on how to groom a longhaired cat and a shorthaired cat, as well. The grooming glove and grooming corner are both fantastic options in that they’re both effective, easy to use, and rely on a cat’s enjoyment and natural behavior. Though most cats are perfectly capable of tending to themselves, older cats and longhaired cats prone to tangles and knots sometimes need a little help. Grooming also allows the owner the opportunity to check for fleas and other skin or fur maladies. Most cats will enjoy being stroked with the grooming glove, and it offers a chance for cat and owner to spend time with one another. Most cats, too, will also enjoy the feel of the grooming corner against their skin and fur while they scent-mark. Grooming should be a pleasant experience for both cat and owner and with these tools and suggestions, it definitely can be.