Cats are well known for their abilities to self-groom, but this doesn't mean your feline friend won't need a hand from time to time. A well-groomed cat is a happy cat (not to mention a cat with less risk of bad health and illness), plus grooming can often be an opportunity to bond with your pet.

1. Start the process early
It's best to start the grooming process while your cat is still an impressionable kitten, so he or she becomes used to a good grooming routine. A cat accustomed to being groomed from kitten days will be far more accepting as an adult.

2. Brush regularly
Perhaps the most important part of cat grooming is taking care of its fur - particularly in the case of long-haired cats. Short-haired cats only need to be brushed once a week, but long-haired kitties need more regular brushing (sometimes even as much as once per day). Brushing with metal and rubber brushes and combs helps keep your cat's fur in good condition by getting rid of dirt, spreading natural oils and preventing nasty knots.

3. Don't be afraid of bath time
It's a well-known fact that most cats are averse to bathing. Though most don't need to have regular big baths, sometimes it is necessary. Make the experience more enjoyable by making sure the water is warm (not too hot or cold), using a recommended cat shampoo and by avoiding your cat's eyes and ears as you carefully bathe them in a sink or tub.


4. Cats can have mani-pedis too
Most domestic cats need their claws trimmed at some stage and, if you can get them used to it from an early age, the process hopefully won't cause too much trouble. Try to touch your cat's paws regularly, so they become used to you handling the area. When you get around to trimming their claws, use a quality, sharp clipper (or nail scissors) designed specifically for cats - no human tools! - and be careful to avoid the skin.

5. Know when it's time to bring in the professionals
Some cats are more difficult than others when it comes to grooming. If your cat is being particularly resistant, you may have to bring him or her to a vet to seek advice. Cats with particularly matted coats may also require sedation to fix all the tangles and knots.