Most cats are more than capable of grooming themselves, but others may need some help. Long haired cats require more help from their owners on grooming than short haired cats. You can buy a few useful items from your local pet store or an online retailer such as MediVet. Here are five basics of grooming a cat:

1. Brushing

Short haired cats will require little to no brushing, although they will enjoy it. The longer your cat's hair, the more often you will need to brush or comb it. Once a month is normally enough for most cats, but if your cat has long flowing hair, you might want to brush it once a week to avoid madding. You can find cat brushes and combs just about anywhere pet products are sold. Specialty combs, such as flea combs, are great if your cat spends anytime outside or is exposed to other animals that do.

2. Bathing

Yes, it is true, most cats hate the water, but you can train yours to enjoy a nice bath. If you start from the time they are kittens, cats will be much less stressed at bath time You should use a medicated baby shampoo or pet shampoo when bathing and ensure to avoid getting any soap in their eyes. Adding a small amount of ointment to the eyes will help to keep soap out.

Be sure that you have rinsed the cat thoroughly of all soap to avoid any skin irritations and allow the cat to remain in the warm bathroom until completely dried. In most cases, your cat will not require a bath, as they bathe themselves just fine. In the event the cat is extremely greasy or dirty, it helps if they have been introduced to it at an earlier age.

3. Eyes

In most cases, a simply wipe with a warm cloth will remove any dirt or build up around the cats eyes. If the eyes seem to be a problem area, then you might want to take your cat to the vet right away.

4. Nails

Your cats nails are sharp and can cause damage to your furnishings as well as to you. Clipping your cat's nails does not have to be done by a professional; you can do it yourself. Specialty cat clippers are available from many pet stores, but you can use regular human ones as well. Hold your cat like you would a football and use your thumb and forefinger to push on the paw and cause the nails to extend. Make note of where your cats "quick" is; this is a reddish area in the nail. Be sure to clip the nail below the quick area and never into it or above it. This can cause excessive bleeding and discomfort for your cat.

5. Teeth

Your cats teeth are an important part of their overall health. You can clean your cats teeth using a cotton ball or child's toothbrush. You simply rub the teeth with warm water and remove any stains or plaque that is built up. You can also buy treats that are designed to protect the teeth.