I know some of these things are simple, but sometimes our furry friends need a helping hand. To clean my cats eyes I use a cotton ball dipped in warm water and swipe the complete eye including the tear duct. They can get "sleepy seeds" in this area just like we do, and although they wet their paw and rub the eye, it is still good to maintain this practise on a regular basis. The nails are another area (unless your cat is de-clawed) that should be checked.
Most cats have scratching posts at home and this is how they keep their nails short. It is similar to us using nail clippers when our nails get to long. There are tools on the market that are similar to our nail clippers and work the same way ours do. You need to be extremely careful doing this because a cats nails has a "quick" just like ours. If you cut the nail to short, not only will you get scratched, it may also bleed a bit. Good luck trying to cut the nails the next time! You can also get their nails clipped at a vets if you so choose to but generally a good scratching post will do the trick. Just take a look every now and then to make sure they're not to long. Combing is essential to keeping you cat hair ball free.
Cats are constantly bathing themselves; however, there are places they can't reach easily. Under the chin, and along the spine are two places that come to mind. There are all kinds of fancy cat combs and brushes out there, but I find a fine tooth "human" comb works just fine. When combing your cat always go "with" the flow of the coat and not "against" it as this causes undo stress for the cat, plus it hurts!
My cat "Misty" and I enjoy this time together when I comb her. It is relaxing for both of us and it gets all the hair balls out of the fur. If you do this on a regular basis you won't have as many to deal with. If your cat is and outdoor one, then sometimes they pick up brambles, twigs, etc. in their fur. Rather than struggle with the comb, I usually just cut these out with a pair of scissors. My cat freaked the first few times I did this, but continuing to do it a couple of times a week, she quickly got used to it. I treat her with something special to eat afterwards so she's not stressed. I comb Misty two or three times a week and she knows she's getting a treat afterwards, so as soon as she sees me coming with her comb she jumps up to her grooming spot and is eager to go. This is also an excellent way to see if your cat has ticks or fleas.
There are a wide variety of flea collars, drops, pills out there and are available at Pet stores, grocery stores, vets, etc. This time of year is very important to check you pet for fleas. Fleas are warm blooded and are looking for a free ride into a nice warm place-(like your home). Fleas can be found in your lawn from neighbors dogs, cats, etc. so and can hop onto your pet. They can also hitch a ride on us!!! These are nasty little critters for your pets, and us, so early detection is best for everyone.
The simplest way to eliminate them is to put a plate on the floor with a touch of dish liquid in it. Turn on a small lamp and place it directly over the plate when you go to bed at night. When you wake up in the morning you should find the remains of a few of them. Make sure if you have small children, kittens, puppies, you remove this as soon as you get up. Believe me it really does work! Hope you enjoyed these little tips on maintaining your cat.
Karen Mckee - proud pet owner of Misty