Everyone who has a pet should be aware that, for safety as well as hygiene reasons, their pets need to be groomed periodically. Of course, some animals need grooming more than others, as they shed more or are messier in general. If you are a cat person’, that is, you choose to have cats as your pets, know that you are lucky, as most cats, especially grown ones, are obsessed with their hygiene, and spend most of their waking hours cleaning themselves. That doesn’t mean, however, that grooming your cat isn’t still your responsibility, especially when they are kittens. So if you are new to owning a cat, this article will teach you all about grooming your cat. Let’s start at the beginning – it is important to start grooming your kitten as soon as possible to create the habit, and ease it into the routine, as cats can be quite temperamental, and if you start too late, they may never allow you to groom them at all. As they grow, cats will do much of the work themselves through licking, which is preferable, because it lubricates and protects the skin, as well as clean it and dispose off excessive hair. However, kittens do need you to do this, as they haven’t learned to do it themselves yet. Brushing your cat is essential to prevent it from getting hairballs. How often you do this depends on the season and the hair length of your cat. Cats can’t sweat to cool themselves off, so you’ll need to brush them more frequently in warm weather. Otherwise brush your cat once a week if has shorter hair or every other day if it’s longer. When brushing your cat, take the extra time and care to ease it into the routine by starting slowly and softly, going deeper into its hair progressively. Also, be especially careful so as not to hurt them by brushing sensitive areas too vigorously and take this time to look for hair mats, bumps or other possible problems as well. If you find a mat – a thick clump of hair – this means grooming isn’t being done properly, as hair was able to gather in a clump. This may mean your cat is sick or too old to groom themselves properly, or that you need to brush it more often. When it comes to removing mats, you need to be extra careful. It is far more advisable to use clippers to get rid of them while someone else holds the cat still. If this does not work, you should take the cat to a specialist before trying other methods. Cats are also notoriously hard to bathe, so you should know bathing will be a struggle. Before bathing your cat, make sure the nails have been clipped recently - this should be done monthly – and then take it to a sink, where it will much easier to work with, taking care to use a gentle shampoo, and a rubber mat to ensure at least some comfort to the cat. Also, take this opportunity to clean their ears from wax and dirt, first using a soaked cotton ball, and then a cotton swab if any dirt remains. As it’s been mentioned, most adult cats will take care of the bulk of their grooming, so aside from nail clipping, all other tasks may only be needed very sporadically. You should however, pay close attention to your cat’s grooming habits, as both neglecting or excessive grooming are usually signs of illness, and should be taken seriously.