Vomiting up hairballs once in a long while is okay. Vomiting them up once a week, or even once a month, is too much. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy throwing up. My guess is that your cat doesn’t either. If your cat lived outdoors, shed fur would be pulled off or blown off by wind, branches, sand, rain and so on. Living inside, your cat winds up eating much more fur than is healthy or comfortable.
Cat grooming really isn’t about show cats and superficial good looks. It’s about health and comfort. If the cat looks more beautiful afterwards, that’s a bonus, but it’s not important, unless you think looks are the most important thing in life. I know you don’t think that:)
“These bits of skin contain a protein called FelD1 that is responsible for the allergic reaction. FelD1 is found in a cat’s urine, sebaceous glands, and saliva. When a cat licks their body, the protein attaches itself and dries, and when the dander flakes off, the allergen becomes airborne.”
So a protein called FelD1 (Felis domesticus allergen I) is the problem for people who are allergic to cats. Some cats have less of this protein, but that’s a whole other topic.
What can you do? Avoid or minimize contact with FelD1.
Don’t let your cat on the bed.
Don’t rub your face and hands against your cat’s body, unless you’re going to wash afterwards.
Keep a clean house.
Don’t keep the litter box in an area where you spend a lot of time. Don’t use a dusty litter. Keep the litter box scooped.
Bare floors are better than carpeting. Don’t choose upholstered furniture.
Bathing and brushing at least once a week. If you can’t bathe your cat, wipe your cat down with a hypo-allergenic pet wipe or a wet washcloth as often as you can. You have to do it at least once a week. For real. See below for study.
My opinion is that shampooing is going to be more effective at decreasing dander than just soaking a cat in water. Why? Shampooing makes cats less oily. Allergens stick to oil. How do I come to that conclusion? Everything sticks to oil. I don’t need a study to prove this:)
I’m better at shampooing than most owners, so what makes sense is to schedule a bath once a month or as often as you can, while wiping the cat down as often as you can.
“How to hold a cat who is wiggly” is a hot topic among readers of my blog. People come to this site in search of answers.
The image below will help you to understand the logic behind safe and comfortable cat restraint. I often review this book. Since I spend my work hours handling cats, knowing their anatomy definitely helps.
First, notice that cats walk on their fingers and toes, both of which are called phalanges.
Walking on their toes gives cats grace and lightness.
Second, notice that cats crouch when they walk. The front legs (humerus, radius and ulna) are in a wide V shape, as are the rear legs (femur, tibia and fibula).
The crouching walk is part of what enables cats to perform an explosive jump, propelling them from the floor to the top of a cabinet. They are perpetually in a pre-jump position. There is power in those bent legs, particularly the rear legs. Cats use rabbit-kicks to pummel opponents during battles and play time.
If you look at photos of runners at a starting line, you will notice that they are in a similar position to the cat below. They are poised for explosive movement forward or upward.
Keep feline anatomy in mind so that you won’t be surprised if your cat suddenly leaps up and out of your arms. If they are positioned to be able to successfully kick at you, you’ve probably already lost your chance to restrain them.
I know that holding on to a wiggling cat seems like it shouldn’t be that hard. All you do is grab their scruff, right?
Not so fast there, little buddy.
Cats use their ENTIRE body. Not only that, they easily move three-dimensionally.
Humans use our hands mostly, and occasionally our feet. We usually move forward, backwards and sideways. We usually don’t spin and flip, unless our name is Jackie Chan. So we don’t really understand cats, because they truly live in another dimension.
Holding on to the scruff stabilizes one small portion of the cat’s body. The rest of the body is free to flip, flop and spin, with claws out! That gets messy.
Quietly and quickly pick up your cat. Don’t talk or hesitate. Just pick up your cat, one hand under the belly, one hand on the scruff.
Hold your cat close against your body at your waist height.
Don’t squeeze the scruff or twist it. You’re holding, not punishing.
So many people hold their cat at arm’s length. Understandably, the cat doesn’t like being suspended in the air with nothing to hold on to. Close is better.
If you can’t do it, don’t feel bad. Just call a groomer.