If you have a senior or geriatric cat, you may have to groom him every day. As cats age, they lose flexibility in their muscle and joints and may not be able to bend, stretch and reach to wash themselves like they used to.
This is why they often look unkempt or scraggly. Older cats also may lose interest in their appearance and will not wash as often as they once did.
You can help to keep your older cat looking great by gently brushing or combing him each day. Brushing helps to spread natural oils on the fur and prevents it from becoming dry and frazzled looking. It also increases blood circulation and stimulates the nervous system, which makes the cat feel good.
Seniors also may need to have their nails clipped. Some older cats do not use the scratching post as often as they used to, and their nails may become overgrown especially on the hard to scratch with back feet. If your cat has overgrown nails, he could get them snagged on furniture or carpets and harm himself while trying to pull free, or he could accidentally scratch himself too hard and draw blood.
If you need to give your older cat a bath, remember that seniors are more sensitive to heat and cold than younger cats. Keep the bathwater lukewarm or what is most comfortable for your cat, and be sure to keep him warm until his fur dries completely.
Be gentle and do not rush when you are grooming your older cat. Take things slow and easy, and stop if he becomes upset, anxious or scared. With the right amount of patience and love, you can keep your senior looking great for the rest of his life.