Cats are basically very tidy creatures. They are in the habit of grooming
themselves by licking every part of their body clean with their tongue. However,
all cats, regardless of coat type or length, require some maintenance grooming -
the  process of brushing, combing, nail trimming, eye and ear care, and bathing.

Brushing & Combing

Brushing  your cats' fur on a regular basis will  keep the coat shiny and healthy.
Daily grooming will also reduce the amount of hairballs. Start a brushing routine
when a cat is young. Use a soft baby brush the first few times.  Use soft, gentle
strokes while brushing. This should make your cat  purr in pleasure  If a cat
doesn't seem to like it, work up slowly, gently brushing the spots where your cat
likes to be touched. Then, work your way around its body. Most cats quickly learn
to really enjoy brushing. How frequently you brush your cat and which tools you
should use depends on the breed.

Using a soft slicker brush, go over the entire cat from the top of the head to the
tip of the tail, following the lay of the coat. Holding the front of the cat up by the
chest, brush down from the chest to the groin area. Lift the tail and brush the
hindquarters thoroughly. Don't  forget to brush the hair around the face with a
smaller comb or a toothbrush. Avoid the eye and whisker area when brushing.

Comb the entire cat with a metal-tooth comb to remove loose fur and tangles. The
combs normally are available in fine, medium or wide teeth. Use fine or medium on
short coats; wide on long coats, the teeth should be round and smooth. Carefully
comb out small mats by slowly separating the outer tangled hairs from the center
of the mat.  You can use blunt-tipped scissors to trim small mats out of the coat.
Leave large mats to a professional groomer or a veterinarian.  Use a pin brush for
longhairs to remove loose fur.

Nail Trimming

Cats have five toes on the forefeet and four on the hindset. These need to be
kept clipped or eventually you will find it using your furniture to wear down his/her
claws. Scratching is a natural behavior for cats.  (
Cat Scratching.com)  You can't
keep your cat from scratching. What you can do is stop her from scratching those
items you value.  Buy or make a scratching post. Cats love to play with these and
it will keep the claws at a good length.

Don't declaw. Declawing is not an acceptable option. Declawing is literally
maiming a cat. Declawing is an irreversible surgical procedure that involves
amputating the last joint of the cat's "toes." It is a very painful procedure with
strong potential to secondary complications. (Imagine having the last joint of your
own fingers amputated). Please read
Declawing.com

If you have a strictly indoor cat, consider Soft Paws®. These are lightweight vinyl
caps that you apply over your cat's own claws. They have rounded edges, so your
cat's scratching doesn't damage your home and furnishings.

Though you should never declaw, you may defray some of your cat's potential for
destruction by carefully trimming the razor-sharp tips of her claws. Nail trimming
should only be used on indoor cats who will not be vulnerable to the dangers of
the outdoors.

Some cats don't much mind having their nails trimmed as long as they are being
held and cuddled. Others may need to be wrapped securely in a towel. The
procedure only takes a few minutes.  However, you may want to have a partner
the first few times.

Gently press your thumb on the pad of a front paw. The nail should extend. If it
doesn't, put your cat's paw on the first finger of your hand. Place your thumb on
the cat's first knuckle. Squeeze gently. The nail should slide forward. Clip the
clear, hooked portion of each claw. Do it quickly and cleanly. Don't cut off more
than the tip. Cutting the thick, pink quick, the vein that runs the length of the nail,
will cause bleeding. If that happens, apply styptic powder to or rub a bar of soap
across the nail.

Repeat the process for each paw. Rear nails usually grow shorter than front nails,
so trim conservatively. If you try to take off as much nail in the rear as in the front,
you could clip into the quick and cause bleeding. Make sure that you don't cut the
vein in the claw. If you do snip the vein don't expect your cat to let you clip them
again.

Eye and Ear Care

The eyes and ears are the most sensitive areas in your cat’s body. Gently remove
any stains from your cat's eyes with a soft cotton swab. There are solutions
specifically designed for cats. Cats can also collect a considerable amount or wax
in their ears. Removing this will maintain your cat’s health and help prevent
infections. There are  cat wipes that you can use for the ears, eyes and teeth.
ALL ABOUT DOGS and CATS   Resource Center for Canine & Feline Lovers
WHAT DECLAWING IS

Declawing, or onychectomy, is an
amputation of the toe at the last
joint. This removes the claw and the
bone from which it originates. On a
human hand this would be an
amputation at the knuckle just above
the nail. It is not just removal of the
claw as many people think.

The cat's claw is not a toenail at
the end of the toe as in other
animals. It is movable digit
attached to muscle as a finger
might be
.

Cats keep their claws sharp and
clean (and remove the outer sheath
of the nail) by scratching.  Equipping
your cat with the proper scratching
post and taking the time to train him
to use it will help preserve your
furniture and carpets.

Educate! Don't Amputate!
The Declaw Menu
ALL ABOUT CATS
Feline Grooming
Cat Bath
Cat Grooming
Angry Wet cat
Bathing

Cats do not  require regular bathing because they basically
take good care of themselves when it comes to grooming.
Fortunately, while show cats need baths before competition,
most indoor cats rarely require a visit to the tub
.  Baths can
save lives in those rare instances when cats step in antifreeze
or poison, or if an outdoor longhair's coat becomes infested
with maggots.
Bathing also plays a role in treating some dermatologic conditions and removing
external parasites such as fleas. Otherwise, gauge when your cat needs a bath
by asking yourself if it smells bad or if it has a greasy or discolored coat.

Under normal circumstances bathing your cat is a no-no. If you frighten or make it
nervous by trying to bathe it he/she can severely hurt your  face, hands, or eyes.

See Article:
Cat Bathing as a Martial Art  by Howard "Bud" Herron
Cat Grooming Aids
Unique shape  enticies
cats to rub and play
with brush for hours.
Durable polypropylene
brush. Part for adding
catnip. High quality
carpet for scratching.
Soft Paws for Cats
Soft plastic nail caps glue over your cat's
nails. They're easy to apply at home,
comfortable for your cat, and won't
interfere with the normal extension and
retraction of his claws.
When applied to front paws, they reduce
the potential for damage due to your
cat's natural clawing and sharpening
behavior. Soft Claws can also be
applied to hind paws.
Available in pink, red, or blue.
De-shedding solution for all
shedding breeds of  cats
Enriched with oatmeal,
vitamins, and aloe vera; helps
release the undercoat .
Non-irritating, non-drying,
hypoallergenic
Used and recommended by
veterinarians and professional
pet groomers. 16-ounce bottle
FURMinator de Shedding Solution