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Grooming and care of your Cornish Rex cat or kitten

The Cornish rex is a robust, low maintenance breed of cat. They require very little care to stay looking their best.

Care of Fur and coat

The Cornish Rex cat's coat is short to very short and almost never sheds off. It is still a good idea to brush their fur from time to time to remove dead hair, dirt, dust and make the coat shine. Brushing helps to maintain healthy skin by stimulating the production of sebum, an oily secretion produced by the sebaceous glands at the base of each hair. Brushing spreads the sebum along the length of the hair and is used to lubricate and waterproof the fur and make it shine and encourage the formation of beautiful waves.

We recommend using a soft rubber curry comb, more commonly used for horses and other farm animals. A soft bristled brush can do the trick too.

In addition to giving your Rex’s coat a beautiful shine, brushing strengthens your bond with your cat. Grooming is a ritual that cats recognize as a gesture of affection and protection. It is also a good opportunity to examine your cat to make sure there are no bumps, hidden wounds, changes, dandruff, pain or other abnormalities.

Cornish Rex Cat brush

There is no need to bathe your Cornish Rex, they are self-cleaning! These are cats that are usually fastidious about their hygiene and their smell is very subtle or nonexistent. If it does become necessary to wash your Cornish Rex due to any accident, you can use a gentle shampoo formulated specifically for cats. Do not use human shampoo or soap as the pH is not balanced for cat’s skins. Make sure you dry your cat or kitten well with a large towel and protect it from the cold while until he/she is dry.

Cleaning Ears

The Cornish Rex's hallmark ears are one of the places he cannot reach to clean by himself. We have to give them a hand to make sure they stay clean and healthy. Two cats together will usually cleans each other's ears, but this is not always the case. To clean your cat's ears, start by folding the ear flap back and inspect the ear visually. Make sure there is no buildup of wax or dark substance in the bottom of the ear, there should not be a strong smell either. Both signs may indicate an ear infection and require a visit to the veterinarian. Continue by wiping a warm, damp cloth over the inner surface of the ear to remove any dirt that may have been lodged there. Do not use a Q-tip or any other object. Do not go further than the beginning of the inner canal of the ear as you could hurt the cat or drive the dirt even further down the canal. It is not necessary to use a special product unless prescribed by your veterinarian. A good cleaning frequency would be once every two weeks, at the same time as trimming his claws, or as needed according to the cat.

Trimming your cat's claws

Claw maintenance is done about every two weeks, depending on the cat. A kitten from a conscientious breeder will have been accustomed to being manipulated and having his nails trimmed since his birth. The majority of cats submit themselves without too much opposition if they have been well socialized and if you manipulate him on a regular basis.

The technique is simple. Sit the cat on you and start by taking one of his paws firmly but not too tightly. Use the minimum degree of strength to hold him. You can ask someone to give your cat treats while you trim his nails. Take the first toe of the paw and gently push on the pad to flex the claw out of its sheath. With a specifically designed cat nail trimmer, cut the white tip of each nail just before the spot where it begins to curve.

Be careful to avoid the quick, the living part of the claw that contains a blood vessels and nerves. This pink area can be seen through the nail. If you have accidentally cut into this pink area (the quick) and the claw is bleeding, you can apply a styptic powder or cornstarch to stop the bleeding.

If your cat is struggling a lot, you can start by making only a few nails at a time, and by rewarding him with treats and stopping before he has time to find it too unpleasant. Repeat when he is calm and do another two or three toes. Thus, your Cornish Rex should quickly associate nail trimming with treats and therefore become easier to handle. Make sure to use the treats before meals to get the most efficiency.

cutting your cat's nails
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