Grooming an old cat

How to Groom an Old Cat – What You Need to Know

As our cats age, many often find that their coats begin to look a bit more disheveled, dirty, and matted. This is because it becomes tougher for a senior cat to properly groom themselves. Therefore, it’s important to know how to groom an old cat.

Grooming an older cat comes with some special considerations, so we’re going to take you through everything you need to know so that your cat can have a comfortable and healthy coat.

So, let’s take a look!

Why Has My Senior Cat Stopped Grooming?

If you’ve noticed that your older cats have stopped grooming themselves as often as they once did, leading to their coats becoming a bit of a mess, there’s likely a reason behind it.

Many of these reasons are linked with age. For example, arthritis is a major reason our cats may stop grooming in certain areas, as they are simply too painful to reach.

Another problem that may result in your cat refusing to groom is dental pain. A painful mouth with inflamed gums can easily be enough to stop your cat from grooming altogether.

Other potential reasons could be:

  • Increased oil production in the skin due to aging
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

It can be worth taking your older cat for a check-up if you do notice they are grooming less, to see if there is any pain or health conditions present that may be treatable.

Tips for Grooming an Old Cat

Regardless of the cause, it’s important that you help your cat take care of their coat.

Leaving it in a poor state can lead to various skin conditions and infections. If tangles and knots get tight enough, it can even prevent proper blood circulation!

Therefore, you should try to give you cat a brush once a day. Keep in mind, you should be gentle; especially if your cat has a painful condition that is preventing it from self-grooming.

You can use a brush with soft bristles for this purpose. Give your cat plenty of pets and encouragement throughout the process and generally attempt to make it an enjoyable time for the cat.

Make sure to cover each area thoroughly! If your cat isn’t a fan of grooming, you can split the daily groom into multiple smaller sessions.

What to Do When You Encounter Matting

Sadly, it is quite common to run into mats in senior cats, especially those with long and fine coats. These tangles can be a real source of discomfort for your poor kitty, so it’s advised to take care of them as soon as possible.

If the mat is small and not too tight, you can use a specialized matting brush or detangling spray to help remove it. Hold the fur close to the skin while you brush to help prevent any painful pulling.

However, if the mat is severe, we’d highly recommend you contact us and have one of our expert groomers take a look. The mat will likely need to be shaved or trimmed off.

Senior cats have incredibly thin skin that is susceptible to injury. Therefore, cutting away mats should be left to our professionals at Groomit to avoid any potential accidents!

How to Groom an Old Cat – Keeping Them Healthy and Happy!

As your cats age, it can be a good idea to pay close attention to their grooming habits. A reduction in the amount of grooming could be a sign that your cat is in pain or suffering from an undiagnosed medical condition.

Keeping an eye on their grooming behavior can ensure they get the help they need sooner rather than later, helping them continue to lead happy and fun-filled lives.

Remember, the absolute best thing you can do for your senior cats in terms of hygiene and coat health is to have them seen by our professional pet groomers!

Our expert groomers have been working with senior cats for years and can provide everything your cat will need to feel and look amazing. Make an appointment now!

We hope this article has provided some help and we wish you and your cats all the best!


Q: How do I groom an old cat?
Grooming an old cat requires special care and attention. Here are some tips to help you groom an old cat:

Choose a quiet and comfortable environment: Find a quiet and calm space in your home where you can groom your cat without distractions or loud noises. This helps reduce stress and anxiety for your older cat.

Use gentle handling techniques: Older cats may be more sensitive and delicate, so it’s important to handle them gently during the grooming process. Approach them slowly and avoid any sudden movements that could startle them.

Start with short grooming sessions: Begin with shorter grooming sessions to allow your cat to acclimate to the process. Gradually increase the duration as your cat becomes more comfortable.

Brush their coat regularly: Older cats may have difficulty grooming themselves, leading to matting and tangles in their fur. Regular brushing helps remove loose hair, prevents matting, and keeps their coat clean and healthy. Use a soft brush or a comb specifically designed for cats to avoid causing discomfort.

Check for skin issues: Older cats may be more prone to skin issues such as dryness, flakiness, or lumps. During grooming, carefully inspect their skin for any abnormalities. If you notice anything concerning, consult with your veterinarian.

Trim nails carefully: Overgrown nails can be uncomfortable for older cats. Use cat-specific nail clippers to trim their nails, being cautious not to cut into the quick. If you’re unsure about trimming the nails, seek assistance from a professional groomer or veterinarian.

Monitor dental health: Dental problems are common in older cats. Regularly check your cat’s teeth and gums for signs of inflammation, tartar buildup, or tooth decay. Consult with your veterinarian for guidance on maintaining your cat’s dental health.

Be aware of their comfort and limitations: Older cats may have mobility issues or arthritis, so be mindful of their comfort during grooming. Provide soft surfaces or towels to support their joints and make them feel more secure.

If you’re unsure about grooming an older cat or if your cat has specific grooming needs, it’s recommended to consult with a professional groomer or veterinarian for guidance and assistance.

Q: Are there any grooming techniques to avoid with older cats?
When grooming older cats, it’s important to be mindful of their limitations and avoid techniques that may cause discomfort or stress. Here are some grooming techniques to avoid with older cats:

Rough handling: Older cats may be more sensitive to rough handling, so it’s crucial to handle them with care and gentleness. Avoid pulling or tugging on their fur, ears, or tail.

Excessive restraint: While some level of restraint may be necessary during grooming, excessive restraint can cause anxiety and distress. Allow your older cat to have some freedom of movement and use gentle restraint techniques when necessary.

Overly frequent bathing: Older cats may have more sensitive skin and a reduced ability to regulate body temperature. Excessive bathing can dry out their skin and lead to discomfort. Unless medically necessary, limit baths to when they are truly needed.

Forceful brushing or combing: Be gentle when brushing or combing an older cat’s fur. Use soft brushes or combs designed for cats to avoid causing discomfort or skin irritation. If your cat has mats or tangles, consider seeking professional assistance to avoid causing stress or pain.

Neglecting dental care: Dental issues are common in older cats. Neglecting dental care can lead to pain, tooth loss, and other health problems. Regularly monitor their dental health and consult with your veterinarian for appropriate dental care strategies.


Ryan Jones

Ryan is a freelance writer for hire specializing in Pets and Animals. He works closely with various pet sites with the aim to educate people on everything there is to know about our cute furry companions. When he isn’t writing professionally he is usually keeping his cat Snow out of trouble!

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