Grooming your Ragdoll

You may well have seen information elsewhere telling you that a ragdoll needs very little grooming, this is not true as the fur on some ragdolls tends to tangle quite easily and unless you groom regularly unsightly clumps will form that are difficult to untangle and can twist so tight that they pull on the cats skin causing discomfort.


Some ragdolls do indeed have fur that does not tangle but they still require grooming to remove loose fur that they may digest causing fur balls.


It is advisable to groom twice a week and by doing so you will help your cats circulation, remove loose fur and help maintain a clean, shiny, healthy coat, you will also find it a good bonding experience.


Start grooming when your pet is still a kitten and they will quickly become used to the routine. Talk soothingly to your pet whilst grooming as this will help comfort him.


A slicker brush and metal comb are all you require though it is better to use a softer brush on young kittens.


Brush the fur up, paying particular attention to the pants area, the under belly and under the arms as these are areas where knots will appear almost overnight. Should knots develop gently ease them apart with the comb and your fingers, if the knot has become matted rub a little cornflour into the knot and this will make it a little easier to de tangle. DO NOT try to pull the comb through the knot as this will pull the fur from the skin and cause your cat unnecessary pain.


To keep your cat smelling pleasant sprinkle a little baby talc onto the fur (about once a fortnight) rub into the fur and then brush out. Use a baby wipe or soft damp cloth to wipe around your cats face to ensure that no loose powder gets into their eyes.


If you maintain this regime you should find it unnecessary to bath your cat. If however you do bath your cat (perhaps for a show when it should be done at least 3 days prior to the show) use a shampoo that is specifically for cats as human shampoo can cause damage to the fur and skin.


Bathe your cat when it is in a docile mood, clip its claws first to lessen the risk of being scratched (pet shops will sell specific tools for this purpose, or use small nail clippers)


Clipping the claws


If someone will hold your cat whilst you clip its claws it will help immensely, alternatively try holding the cat in the crook of one arm.


Taking a paw in your hand use your thumb and pointer finger to gently press down on the top and bottom of the paw on the joint just behind the claw. This causes the claw to extend so you can quickly but carefully snip off the sharp tip.


Don't get too close to the pink part of the nail called "the quick," where blood vessels and nerve endings lie. Just like the pink part of a human fingernail, the quick is very sensitive; cutting into this area will likely cause bleeding and pain.


If you do catch the quick and cause bleeding apply a little pressure to the very tip of the claw, dip the claw in a bit of styptic powder or cornflour, or rub the nail across a dry bar of soap. Don't continue if he's too upset , but keep an eye on him to be sure the bleeding stops.


Bathing your cat


Ensure that you have all necessary tools to hand prior to commencing. Bath your cat in the bath (or the sink for a kitten) ensuring that there is a non slip mat inserted for your cats safety. Have warm water 3 to 4 inches deep in the bath/sink.


Ensure doors are shut to prevent a great escape. Gently place your pet in the tub or sink while talking to him in soothing, encouraging tones. Because cats can overheat easily, keep the water lukewarm or slightly cooler but never hot.

While you stroke your cat with one hand, begin wetting his neck and head with water. Try to keep water and soap out of his eyes through the whole process. Continue wetting over the back, legs and hind end until he's completely wet.

Work the shampoo into his back, sides, neck, chest, belly, tail, legs and paws . You can use a damp wash-cloth to clean his face.


Now it's time to rinse. Keep rinsing until the soap is completely gone. Any leftover residue will irritate your cat's skin. Be especially thorough when rinsing if your cat has a long, thick coat.


Towel-dry your cat from head to toe. Use the towel to absorb as much water as possible. The more water you soak up, the less wet you and your surroundings will get when he gets the urge to shake. Use a hair dryer only if it has a warm setting and if it doesn't scare him otherwise keep him in a warm room to dry naturally. Last but not least, shower your freshly bathed cat with praise and give him a treat. You want to give him fond memories to tap into when the next bath time rolls around.