Cat Care

The Best Cat Supplements for Kidney Disease

A gray with small patches of white and stripes of black is lying down, not looking well. There is a yellow band around one of its legs.

Unfortunately, cats and kidney disease often go hand in hand. Kidney disease is devastating, and cat owners are often confused and feel like they can’t do anything to help. There’s no magic potion or medication that will cure kidney disease in cats, and managing it can be challenging. However, with the use of the proper diet, fluids, and supplements, cats with kidney disease can be kept comfortable for as long as possible.

1. Best Overall Supplement: Kidney Restore

Healthy Kidney Kidney Resort for Cats and Dogs
All natural and 100% safe kidney health supplement, developed to support normal kidney function and urinary health.
Probiotic microorganisms helps kidneys by supporting natural elimination of poisonous toxins in the gut, while the sodium bicarb neutralizes kidney acids & toxins, and balances minerals.
Recommended by veterinarians for supporting normal kidney function in senior pets without harmful drugs.

Here’s an all-natural kidney disease supplement to help with nearly every sign of kidney disease. This powder formula can be mixed with food or water and given to your cat every day to help clear up some of the side effects of kidney disease. It does this with a five-fold approach:

First, it contains probiotics that help the gut eliminate those waste products that the kidneys can’t. Second, it helps to neutralize acids in the blood to keep pH levels in check. It also blocks phosphorus and provides potassium. Vitamin C is in there as well for its antioxidative effects. This supplement may help your cat regain weight, decrease their nausea, give them some energy back, and decrease the amount they urinate. It’s also backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee.

As with any supplement and cats with a finicky appetite, not every cat will want to eat this. It can be mixed with water and syringe-fed to your cat if that works better for them.

Pros:

  • Can be mixed with food
  • Provides necessary nutrients
  • Antioxidants to help prevent further damage

Cons:

  • Cats might not want to eat it
  • No guidelines for dosage

2. Best Runner Up Supplement: Pet Wellbeing Kidney Support Gold

Pet Wellbeing Herbal Kidney Problem Support for Cats
Formula is prepared entirely from organically grown and selectively wild-harvested herbs.
Created by veterinarians & clinical herbalists along with the latest scientific research.
Designed to support renal function and overall health for kidney issues in cats.

Using a combination of natural herbal ingredients, Pet Wellbeing Kidney Support Gold helps kidney function. While it isn’t a magic wand, it can help to support normal fluid and electrolyte balance and boost the immune system to prevent other secondary diseases. This product also helps increase the excretion of waste products and toxins that make your cat nauseous and lethargic.

Pet Wellbeing Kidney Support Gold may also help boost kidney function to increase blood filtration and decrease the loss of vital nutrients. And it contains antioxidants to help prevent further cellular damage. In addition, this supplement has shown an improvement in a cat’s energy level, appetite, and hair coat quality.

As with any supplement, some cats are not going to eat it. Even though it is bacon flavored, a poor or finicky appetite is often part of kidney disease. However, this product has a dropper should you need to give it to your cat directly. Also, since this is an herbal supplement, always check with your vet first to make sure the ingredients are suitable for your cat. 

Pros:

  • Bacon flavored
  • Natural ingredients

Cons:

  • Some cats won’t like it
  • Not to be used as the sole treatment

3. Best Potassium Supplement: Rx Vitamins Amino B+K Supplement for Cats

Rx Vitamins Amino B+K Supplement for Cats
Provides B-complex vitamins, aqueous liver fractions and essential amino acids.
Hypo-allergenic.
Highly palatable liver and bacon flavoring.

For a more customized kidney disease supplement, look at Rx Vitamins Amino B+K Supplement. This product provides amino acids to help protect protein loss, potassium, and B vitamins to help replace those that are lost. It is a liquid supplement that is bacon flavored to entice even picky kitties to take it. The liquid can also be easily mixed with food if your cat isn’t into it. 

B vitamins are essential for nearly every cell in the body, including the production of red blood cells, brain and skin cells, and metabolism. Potassium is needed for muscle contraction and nerve conduction. Both essential nutrients are lost more in kidney disease as the volume of urine increases. Supplementing both will help a cat with kidney disease stay healthy for longer.

This supplement for kidney disease does contain fructose (a type of sugar). While this isn’t as big of a deal for many cats, it can cause problems in cats with diabetes. Also, there is no guarantee that your cat will like it. While bacon flavoring may seem like exactly what your cat is looking for, appetites go down with kidney disease, so you may have to get creative to get your kitty to eat it.

Pros:

  • Provides potassium and B vitamins that your cat needs
  • Bacon flavored

Cons:

  • Not every cat will like it
  • Contains fructose

4. Best Phosphate Binder Supplement: Rx Vitamins for Pets Phos-Bind

Rx Vitamins for Pets Phos-Bind for Pets
Supports normal function and health of the kidneys.
Professional veterinary formulas.

For some cats with kidney disease, a reduced phosphate diet might not be enough. They may require additional phosphate binding medication to help prevent phosphorus levels from getting too high. This phosphate binder from Rx Vitamins is a powder form that can be mixed into food or water and fed with a syringe.

High levels of phosphorus can weaken bones and cause calcium deposits on other organs in the body. Phosphorus levels increase during kidney failure due to the kidneys reduced function and them not getting filtered out. Phosphate binders help gather up that excess phosphate and get it out of the body before it can cause trouble.

This is a powdered formula, but the consistency can be more granular, like sugar. This makes it more challenging to mix with food or dissolve in water. If your cat is especially picky about textures, this supplement may not be the best.

Pros:

  • Helps remove excess phosphorus from the body
  • Decreases nausea and lethargy

Cons:

  • Granular texture makes it difficult to mix
  • Some cats might not like it

5. Best Omega Fatty Acid Supplement: VetriScience Laboratories Omega 3,6,9

VetriScience Laboratories Omega 3,6,9 for Cats and Dogs
A blend of non-GMO natural oils from borage seed, flaxseed, and fish.
Fatty acid formula is rich in ALA, GLA, EPH and DHA to provide a wide range of health benefits for pets.
Supports total body health in pets.

Omega fatty acids have many benefits in a healthy cat’s body, and they have even more benefits for a cat with kidney disease. Omega fatty acids are naturally anti-inflammatory to help decrease inflammation associated with chronic issues like kidney disease. Omega fatty acids also help support the immune system so that your cat won’t have to worry about fighting off a secondary disease.

This supplement from VetriScience Laboratories contains three types of omega fatty acids to help decrease inflammation and help improve skin and haircoat health. This can make your cat feel and look better. This product comes in a gel-cap form that can be given directly to your cat. If your cat does not eat it this way, you could cut it open and squeeze the liquid onto their food.

Most cats aren’t going to take the pill form of this, so that means you’ll have to cut it open and squeeze out the liquid, which can have an odor. Also, this product is an oil, so it can become rancid after prolonged storage.

Pros:

  • Provides three types of omega fatty acids
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves skin and haircoat

Cons:

  • May have an odor
  • Can go rancid

Best Cat Supplements for Kidney Disease Buying Guide

The hand of a female is seen putting some liquid from a bottle into a metal bowl filled with wet pet food. A fork is resting on the edge of that bowl.

Kidney disease is a complicated process that involves many components. This makes finding suitable supplements for kidney disease complicated. Hopefully, this guide can help clear up some of those complications so that you can find the best product for your feline friend.

Supplements for kidney disease aren’t meant to be the only treatment for your cat. Kidney disease should be managed through a variety of methods to address your cat’s specific needs.

Normal Kidney Function vs. Kidney Disease

The kidneys are a sort of the jacks of all trades. They do a lot for a cat’s body, the main jobs being filtering the blood and urine production. Kidneys remove waste products and excess fluid from the body, mix it, and get it out into the bladder to be excreted. During this process, they also conserve essential electrolytes and control acid/base balances.

There’s more to the kidneys than just urine. They also produce hormones that help regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells.

In the course of kidney disease, the function of the kidneys is reduced, causing waste products to build up in the blood and more water to be excreted. This makes a kitty feel sick, lose weight and not be able to concentrate their urine. Instead, they urinate large amounts, which can lead to dehydration and loss of important vitamins and minerals.

Cats with kidney disease will also become unable to regulate their blood pH, which can damage other organs and become anemic due to a lack of red blood cell production. 

What to Look for in Kidney Supplements for Cats

Supplements that may help cats with kidney disease are:

  • Omega Fatty Acids:  There’s a reason fish oil is often touted as a supplement-it contains omega fatty acids that help to naturally decrease the chronic inflammation associated with kidney disease in cats.
  • Antioxidants:  Free radicals are created over time by the breakdown of food and from exposure to pollution, and they can cause harm to the body. Antioxidants help to protect the body’s cells from free radicals. Vitamin C, E, and rosemary are often used as antioxidant supplements. 
  • Phosphate Binders: A normal functioning kidney filters excess phosphate from the blood and gets rid of it. In kidney disease, that excess phosphate isn’t filtered out and can cause damage to the bones and other organs. Phosphate binders may help grab that excess phosphate from the blood and get it out of the body before it can cause problems.
  • B-vitamins:  When the kidneys aren’t up to par, a lot of water is lost through urine. Along with that water, water-soluble B-vitamins are also lost. B-vitamins are essential for metabolism, new blood cell formation, and brain and skin cell maintenance. B-vitamins will need to be provided by the diet or by supplementation.
  • Potassium:  Potassium is also taken out of the body through urine. With kidney disease, urine volume, and therefore, the potassium within it, is increased. Many cats with kidney disease will need potassium supplementation to prevent muscle stiffness and cramps. Potassium supplements may also help to keep the kidney disease from getting worse.
  • Diet: Although it’s not technically a supplement, getting your cat on the proper diet is important for managing kidney disease. Diets for cats with kidney disease contain less protein so that the kidneys don’t have to work as hard to get rid of the protein waste and decrease phosphorus. Cats with kidney disease should also drink more water to help keep them from getting dehydrated.

How to Choose a Kidney Supplement for Cats

First thing’s first, talk with your veterinarian. They can help you customize your supplemental needs for exactly what your kitty requires. They can also point you in the right direction. After that, look at other options.

Most cats with kidney disease don’t want to eat, so trying to sneak something into their food might not work out. Other cats won’t take a pill. You know your cat, so choose a supplement form that will work best. Whether it’s a pill, powder, or liquid, choose something that can be given regularly.

You’ll also want to look at availability and affordability. The best supplements in the world are no good to you if you can’t get your hands on them. Choose something available from your vet or in your area so that your cat never has to go without it.

Final Thoughts

Kidney disease in cats often makes cat owners feel like their hands are tied like there’s nothing that they can do to help. While it’s true that kidney disease is progressive and can’t be cured, providing a cat with one of these kidney disease supplements can help to keep them comfortable so that you can enjoy them for as long as possible.

The 5 Best Kitten Teething Toys

A white cat curled up on its back holding and biting a grey toy.

Kittens love to bite, chew and kick as part of their play. It’s a natural process. But when a kitten starts teething, that biting and chewing gets turned up to 11. Help them through this growth stage, and save your fingers and toes by getting them one or some of the best kitten teething toys. Not only will these toys help keep them entertained, but they can also help soothe sore, painful gums for a happier, more playful kitten.

1. Best Overall: Petstages Dental Health Cat Toys Chew Wheel

Petstages Catnip and Dental Health Cat Toys
Ring shape helps to clean teeth and exercise jaw muscles.
Infused with catnip to attract and keep your kitty energetically engaged during play.
As with any cat toy, it is not indestructible. Must supervise pets while in use.

The Petstages Dental Health Toy is made with a cat’s dental needs in mind. While they’re usually considered dental cleaning toys, they can still help reduce teething pain as well. This toy features a couple of different textures to satisfy your kitten’s chewing cravings. It has fabric streamers with knotted ends for a softer feel and a durable rubber ring for a firmer bite. The ring also features small rubber knobs that can massage sore gums while your kitten chews.

The rubber ring is made of a durable, food-grade rubber that is also infused with catnip as an extra incentive to get your kitten to use it if the variety of textures isn’t enough. This is a very affordable kitten teething toy, allowing you to give it a try without much of an investment.

As with all chew toys, no toy is indestructible. Even though the rubber ring is highly durable, it may not stand up to the tougher chewers, especially adult cats. Always supervise your kitten while using this teething toy and throw it away if it starts to break apart.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Variety of textures for teething
  • Catnip infused

Cons:

  • Fabric streamers can come untied
  • Can be chewed apart

2. Close Runner Up: Petstages Mint Stick

Petstages Catnip and Dental Health Cat Toys
Helps freshens your pet's breath and helps remove soft tartar from teeth.
Filled with 100% sweet smelling mint with no fillers.
As with any cat toy, it is not indestructible. Must supervise pets while in use.

Why not freshen your kitten’s breath while they chew and massage their sore teething gums? These mint sticks from Petstages are filled with real, dried mint that not only works to attract your kitten to the toy but also helps to freshen their breath as they chew. The mint can be reactivated by rolling the toy between your hands or on the floor.

The main part of the toy is a mint-filled tube that is covered with a netting wrap. This unique wrap works to massage gums and provides a textured surface for your cat to chew. Along with the mint-filled tube part, this teething toy also has crinkly leaves at each end as an added feature to entertain your kitten. This toy is also the perfect size to toss, chase, kick, and pack around.

As with any kitten toy, some kittens aren’t going to like it. Fortunately, this is a very affordable toy allowing you to give it a try and without being out much if your kitten doesn’t love it. Also, no kitten toys are indestructible, this one included, so always make sure to supervise your kitten when using it.

Pros:

  • Dried mint helps freshen breath
  • Soft and comfortable for teething
  • Has crinkle leaves for extra entertainment

Cons:

  • Kittens might not like it
  • Not indestructible, especially for older cats

3. Toy With The Most Variety: Leaps and Bounds Little Paws Teething Mouse Toy

Leaps & Bounds Little Paws Teething Mouse Kitten Toy with Catnip
Expertly designed for kittens seeking a safe surface to chew.
Textured mouse ears provide a safe surface to chew.
Oversized plush head doubles as a cuddle buddy or kicker toy.

If you’re looking to limit the number of toys your kitten has and want a few multitasking ones, the Leaps and Bounds Little Paws Teething Mouse toy is for you. This mouse has a variety of textures-bumpy, firm ears and a netting wrapped body for teething gums, a soft head for cuddling, and a perfect size for packing around or kicking.

A kitten is likely to play with many different toys throughout the day. This toy may meet all of your kitten’s playful needs without the need to purchase or keep track of multiple toys. It can work as a great teether by providing your kitten with a firm, bumpy surface to massage their gums and a uniquely textured net-wrapped surface that will provide a slightly different type of chewing surface.

While this toy is very versatile, it is on the larger side, making it less desirable for some smaller kittens. It may be a better choice if you have multiple little ones at the same time. The plastic ears may be a little too hard for some kittens, again smaller ones, to chew.

Pros:

  • Variety of uses
  • Two different teething textures
  • Good for multiple kittens

Cons:

  • May be too large for some kittens
  • Ears may be too hard

4. Best Soft Teething Toy: Ainolway Interactive Kitten Kicker Teething Toy

AINOLWAY Interactive Catnip Teething Chew Toys
Made of quality plush fabric, filled with PP cotton, non-toxic, safe to use.
Fine suture of this pet toy makes it durable for biting.
Helps reduce your pets' boredom and separation anxiety by killing time with the chew toy.

If you’d rather not worry about your kitten chewing and swallowing hard plastic or rubber, or if they seem to prefer something softer, the Ainolway Interactive Kitten Kicker Teething Toy set makes a great option. 

These teething toys come in a set of three different colored toys with a plush surface mixed with a cotton filling. They are soft enough for your kitten to sink their teeth into, yet durable enough to withstand teething and kicking. On top of that, they are non-toxic and infused with catnip to give them a little extra enticement. They are big enough to hug, cuddle, and kick, yet small enough for your little one to carry around.

Even though these are sewed with a heavy-duty thread, they can still come apart, especially when used by hard chewers. This means that they should not be given to your kitten except under supervision. These toys may not work for more aggressive adult cats as well.

Pros:

  • Plush and softly chewable
  • Good size for carrying and cuddling
  • No firm plastic or rubber to chew and swallow

Cons:

  • Can come unsewn
  • Some kittens aren’t attracted to them

5. Best Natural Teething Toy: WoLoverSilvervine Sticks

WoLover Cat Catnip Sticks Natural Matatabi Silvervine Sticks
100% natural wood from the silver vine (Matatabi) plant without additives or preservatives.
Teeth cleaning effect to improve dental health.

Silvervine plants contain cat attractants similar to catnip. Silvervine sticks are a natural plant that can also clean teeth and massage sore, teething gums while a kitten chews them. They are non-toxic and durable as well. These silvervine sticks are unprocessed and without preservatives, making them the ultimate natural teething toy.

Silvervine is a high potency cat attractant that can be increased by removing layers of the stick as your kitten uses it. This makes these teething toys long-lasting and durable. This product is also five-star guaranteed, meaning that if your kitten doesn’t love every stick, you can return them for a full refund or replacement.

This is a different sort of teething toy than most kitties are used to, so it may take a little convincing for them to try it. Even though silvervine is a natural cat attractant, it may not work for every kitten. You may need to encourage your kitten to play with it.

Pros:

  • All-natural
  • Contains cat attractant to encourage use
  • Durable to stand up to teething

Cons:

  • Some kittens might not like them
  • Kittens may need encouragement to use it

Best Kitten Teething Toy Buying Guide

A grey cat with black stripes in a brown basket biting at a colorful toy being held by someone.

Kittens indeed need a lot of stuff, and some of those things are more important than others. While you understand the importance of the necessities, like kitten food, a litter box, and a bed, it may be harder to understand why teething toys can be important.

Why Do Kittens Need Teething Toys?

A cute black and white kitten on top on a desk biting at a pen that is being held by a woman who is trying to write something on a piece of yellow paper.

Kittens start to lose their deciduous, or baby teeth, around 10-12 weeks of age, about the time you’re getting them settled into your home. The teething process starts with the tiny incisor teeth upfront and finishes with the molars back by around six months of age. Every kitten’s mouth is different, so this process may take nine months in some kitties. 

During teething, the tooth buds from the adult teeth start to move through the jaw’s bone and towards the gums, forcing the baby teeth out. As those baby teeth are lost and the adult teeth start to break the gum line, a kitten’s gums can be very sore, swollen, and irritated, sometimes causing them to not want to eat. 

The act of chewing on something can help to ease that pain and massage their sore and swollen gums, helping to get those adult teeth to poke through the gums a little bit sooner. 

Teething toys can help with this teething transition by providing your kitten with either a soft or firmer surface on which to encourage the adult teeth’ eruption. Teething toys with a knobby texture can also offer pain-relieving massage that kittens are looking for. If a kitten doesn’t have any teething toys, they’re more likely to use other things as a means to relieve their discomfort, mainly your fingers, toes, or furniture.

How to Choose Teething Toys for Your Kitten

A cute grey kitten staring at a pink stuffed animal (mouse) toy.

If you’re looking to give your teething kitty a little something new to chew on, you’re more than likely going to be overwhelmed by the number of teething toys available for kittens. While the numbers are nowhere near as high as chew toys for their canine counterparts, there are still plenty of options. With this in mind, it’s important to know what to look for in a teething toy for kittens.

  1. Material: Teething toys for kittens can be made of a variety of materials. Some may be plush and soft; some may be rubber or firm plastic. Some are even made of natural silvervine or catnip plants. What’s right for your kitten will depend on their preference. Pay attention to what textures your kitten seems like better. If they are trying to chew your couch or pillows, a softer texture may be best. If they’re working on the legs of your table, a silvervine chew or firmer rubber material may be better.
  2. Safety: Of course, you’ll want to make sure any teething toy that you get for your kitten is safe for them to use (non-toxic materials and as indestructible as possible). Rubber or plastic teething toys may be chewed into chunks, swallowed, and soft, fabric toys can be ripped open the stuffing comes out and can be eaten. Choosing a higher quality toy can help to decrease these risks, but no toy is completely indestructible. You’ll always want to supervise your kitten while they’re playing with their teething toys to avoid any mishaps.
  3. Size: When choosing a teething toy for your little one, you’ll want one that they can fit in their mouth. Since 10-week old kittens are still pretty tiny, a smaller teething toy may be best for beginners, while a larger toy may be necessary once your kitten reaches the 5 to the 6-month-old mark. You also want to choose a size that isn’t too small and could be swallowed, especially as your kitten ages. You may also consider whether your kitty likes to pack their toys or kick and cuddle them and get an appropriate size.
  4. Bells and whistles: The teething toy choices don’t end here. You’ll be able to choose from many different features, including various textures on the same toy, toys that double as teething toys, kicker or chase toys, and cuddle toys. You can find all different colors, products with bells, or different shapes to satisfy your kitten’s teething desires. You may also find interactive teething toys in which you can partake in your kitten’s gum-soothing play.

Final Thoughts

Of the many supplies that a kitten requires, don’t forget to stock up on some kitten teething toys. Not only can they help entertain your kitten with seemingly boundless energy, but they can also help to decrease their discomfort when it’s time for them to get their adult teeth. As a bonus, the right teething toys may spare your fingers and toes from being nibbled and your furniture from a little destruction.

The Best Cat Nail Clippers

A close-up of a cat's paw with someone clipping one of its nails with a nail clipper.

Whether they mean to or not, there may be times when your cat’s nails snag your skin, furniture, or blankets. Most of the time, your kitty will have precise control over their nails, but if those nails are allowed to grow too long, you could have some trouble. 

Not only can long nails snag, but they can also be painful for your cat and can even grow into the pads of the toe if you’re not careful. Rather than risk any of these issues, be sure to trim their nails with a reliable clipper. Here is a list of the best nail clippers for your cat and an informational buying guide to help you find the perfect product.  

Overall Best Product:  Boshel Cat Nail Clippers

Boshel Cat Nail Clippers
Recommended by professionals.
Ergonomically designed and easy-to-use.
Top grade stainless steel will last for years.

Clipping cat nails is all about comfort for you and your cat. The Boshel Cat Nail Clippers are one of the best products for comfort. They have an ergonomically shaped, non-slip handle to make it easier to avoid accidental cuts, and they feature angled blades so that you can better see what and where you’re cutting. 

On top of that, these clipper blades are super sharp, making a clean-cut, and are made of stainless steel to ensure years of high-quality use. They are also small in size and not cumbersome so that you won’t be fumbling around with the nail clippers while trying to hold your cat’s feet still. These clippers also have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can get your money back if you don’t care for them.

However, if you happen to have bigger hands or prefer a clipper with a little more bulk, these are not the clippers for you. Some people don’t care for the angled blade, opting for a straight blade cutter instead.

Pros

  • Ergonomically shaped
  • Non-slip
  • Angled blades for better visualization

Cons

  • Too small for some hands
  • Won’t work for larger or tough-to-cut nails

Best Electric Nail Trimmer: Casfuy Professional Electric Pet Nail Trimmer

Casfuy Professional 2-Speed Electric Rechargeable Pet Nail Trimmer
Recommended by veterinarians and pet grooming professionals.
Super low noise & vibration.
Lightweight and ergonomic body design.
Built-in battery lasts 2 hours after a 3-hour charge.

If clipping nails terrifies you or your kitty, an electric nail trimmer like the one from Casfuy, might be the way to go. This electric nail trimmer can quickly and easily grind nails down to a manageable length. It’s also quiet and produces a low vibration to reduce stress in anxious kitties. 

This electric nail trimmer is also very versatile, making it an excellent choice for multiple pets of various sizes. The adjustable two speeds allow you to work at a slow speed for smaller nails and a faster speed for larger nails. 

There are also three different ports to accommodate different sizes of nails. Another great benefit is that this nail trimmer features a rechargeable battery that lasts up to two hours per charge and an indicator light to let you know how much battery life is left. The unit is also small enough that it is easy to hold without being cumbersome.

However, electric nail trimmers can cause increased anxiety in some cats. This is usually because it is noisier than regular nail trimmers and does create some vibration that can be upsetting for kitties that aren’t used to it. Also, they can trim nails too short very quickly, so care needs to be taken to prevent that.

Pros

  • Quiet motor, low vibration
  • Quickly and easily trims nails
  • Rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Can trim nails too short
  • Can be upset some cats
  • More expensive than regular nail clippers

Best Guillotine Style Nail Clippers: Pettom Cat Nail Clippers

Pettom Cat Nail Clippers
Safe and comfortable ergonomic design.
Durable stainless steel construction doesn't rust.
Safety stop blade greatly reduces the risk of cutting nails too deep.

Some cat parents and professionals swear by guillotine-style nail clippers for cats. These nail clippers have one blade that slides across a hole where you put your cat’s nail through. They provide greater visualization and only one cutting surface to decrease the chance of trimming nails too short. These clippers from Pettom are a great choice if you prefer the guillotine style of nail trimmers.

Not only are they safer to use, but these clippers are also made from high-quality stainless steel to increase durability and sharpness. They are ergonomically shaped for greater comfort and efficiency when using them. The blade is also replaceable so that you never have to deal with or worry about a dull blade that won’t cut.

This is important because if guillotine clipper blades aren’t sharp, they can crush the nail instead of cutting it. 

This may make some cats and cat parents hesitant to use it. It’s also essential to ensure that all parts are in working order and replace any that are not. These clippers need to work in one smooth motion for the best results. Any hang-ups or chopping can hurt the nail.

Pros

  • Only one blade to worry about
  • Safer due to better visualization of the nail
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Dull blades may crush rather than cut the nail
  • May lock up if not working properly
  • Not for larger pets (like dogs)

Best Value: Pet Republique Cat Nail Clippers

Pet Republique Cat Nail Clippers
Comes with a 90-Day money back guarantee, and 4-year warranty.
Thick stainless steel blades are strong and stay sharp for years.
15% of the profits are donated to the American Animal Rescue Society.

Pet Republique makes a scissor style nail trimmer that is small and convenient for clipping the nails of cats or even small dogs. It is made of durable stainless steel to stand up to multiple trims while retaining its sharpness for a clean cut every time. The size of these clippers allows them to easily fit into your hand without being overly large and hard to manage. They are also very affordable, making them a great choice if you’re trying to figure out what nail clippers will be the best for you and your cat.

Also, for every purchase made from the Pet Republique, a donation of 15% will be made to the American Animal Rescue Society to help rehome rescued and abandoned animals. So, if you’re looking for an easy to use and reliable nail trimmer from a company with a positive cause, these may be the trimmers for you.

These nail trimmers are for cats and small animals only. They won’t work well on larger dogs. So, if you have multiple pets of varying sizes and are looking for an all-around nail trimmer, these won’t do it for you. It’s also a must to check and retain the sharpness of these blades as dull blades can crush the nail or create a jagged cut that is rough and will catch on things.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not for larger dogs
  • Some blades may show some machining defects

Best Human-Style Nail Clippers: Jackson Galaxy Soft Grip Cat Nail Clippers

Jackson Galaxy Soft Grip Cat Nail Clippers
Made specifically for the nails of cats.
Non-slip comfortable rubber handle makes it easier to hold the clipper, providing a safer grooming experience for your pet.

If you’re more comfortable with human-style nail clippers for your cat’s nails, look into these from Jackson Galaxy. Even though these clippers may look like those in your bathroom cabinet, they are specifically designed for cats. They are the right size and shape to efficiently and comfortably trim any cat’s nails.

The handles feature a rubber pad for your comfort so that your fingers won’t slip or be pinched when using them. Like human nail clippers, the top handle swivels for more convenient storage and is mechanically designed to cut with less force than most other nail clippers. It is also inexpensive if you are questioning and want to give it a try.

These clippers look and work like human nail clippers. While the action and use of these nail clippers will be reminiscent of your own nail clipping, they provide less visualization of cat’s nails, so be sure to use them with caution to prevent cutting nails too short.

Pros

  • Familiar design and action to human nail clippers
  • Comfortable and easy to use

Cons

  • Can easily clip nails too short
  • Top handle swivel may be confusing if you’re not used to this style of clipper

Best Cat Nail Clippers Buying Guide

A woman holding a grey and white cat in her arms while she is cutting one of the cat's nails with a clipper.

Whether you’re a new cat parent or seasoned owner, having a good set of nail clippers is a must for any cat-occupied household. Even though cats usually take care of grooming and nail care themselves, trimming their nails does carry many benefits. Having the right nail clipper is vital if you want to cut your cat’s nails and with less stress easily.

Why Do Cats Need Their Nails Trimmed?

A close-up of the face and paws of a grey and white cat with black stripes. The cat has its front paws on a ledge and looks to be hanging from that ledge while peering over it.

You’ve no doubt experienced your cat clawing at furniture, the carpet, or even your leg. This is a cat’s natural way of sharpening their claws and removing the older, outer layer. It can also prevent nails from getting too long. However, most of the time, this behavior is discouraged as we would rather keep our couch and carpets in one piece. 

Trimming your cat’s nails will help decrease the destruction they do when performing this natural behavior. It can also help prevent the painful repercussions that come from having nails that are too long.

When cat’s nails are left to their own growing devices without proper access to a scratching post or other structure, they can grow to the point that they curl back into the pads of the foot, creating a painful and possibly infected area. Regular trimming will help prevent this from happening and give you a chance to notice any broken or split nails before they become a bother.

Clipping your cat’s nails can also decrease the chance of an errant nail scratching you or your furniture. Cat’s nails are retractable, meaning they are under cover most of the time, but when nails get too long, they become harder and harder to conceal, allowing for accidental scratching.

Shorter and blunter nails will also cause less damage to furniture and carpets when your cat gets the urge to scratch to remove the nail’s excess outer layers.

How Do You Trim a Cat’s Nails?

A brownish and orange-ish cat being held by someone and another woman cutting the nails of the cat's front paw with a nail clipper.

Trimming a cat’s nails can be a one or two-person job, depending on your kitty’s willingness. Before attempting a nail trim, gather all necessary tools, help, and your cat. For kitties that need a little encouragement, a large bath towel or cat sack may help. You’ll want a good set of clippers and even some corn starch on hand in case you get a little blood. 

Get a comfortable hold on your cat’s body and paw and push down on the footpads to extend the nails. Take notice of the pink triangular area of the nail as that is the blood supply and the area that you’ll want to avoid. 

A drop of baby or mineral oil on the nail can help make that spot more visible. Using your clippers, trim off the tip of the nail just beyond the pink area. It may take several clips, especially if you’re uncomfortable and only want to take small bites at a time. Repeat with all nails. 

If you happen to trim one too short and get a little blood, dabbing corn starch on the spot can help stop the bleeding. Be sure to reward your kitty for a job well done. Don’t hesitate to enlist the help of others if your cat is nervous.

How to Choose the Best Cat Nail Clippers

A close-up of cat's paw with one of its nails being cut with a cutter by someone.

The style of nail clippers you choose for your cat will depend on your cat’s temperament towards nail clipping and your preference. There are many styles to choose from, including:

  1. Scissor Style Clippers: These are exactly as they sound. They feature two cutting blades that come together in a scissoring action to clip the nail. They may be spring-loaded to facilitate clipping larger nails or not have a spring for smaller nails. This style of clippers may require a little more experience as it can be hard to see where the lower blade is cutting, making it easier to clip nails too short.
  2. Guillotine Style Clippers: These clippers have a single cutting blade that slides over a hole for your cat’s nail to go through. They provide great visualization but may crush the nail if not kept sharp enough.
  3. Electric Nail Grinders: These are more popular for larger dogs with thick nails that are hard to clip. These grinders use an electric motor that operates a file that grinds nails down. They are quick but can be loud, scary, and grind the nail too short, especially in cats. These usually require more experience to prevent grinding the nails too short.
  4. Human Style Clippers: These look like, or are, exactly what you would use to clip your fingernails. They feature two cutting blades that come together and cut the nail when you push down on the upper handle. They are usually inexpensive but provide little visualization of your cat’s nail as you are cutting it and may be better suited for experienced nail trimmers.

Most beginners prefer a guillotine-style clipper, while most pet parents with multiple pets of various sizes may prefer a scissor style or electric grinder. Whichever clipper you choose, make sure that the blades are as sharp as possible and that all parts are in working order before attempting a nail trim on your kitty.

Final Thoughts

Trimming your cat’s nails may be something you need to do regularly or for your feline friend. Either way, having the right nail clippers will significantly reduce the stress and increase the job’s efficiency. Then your kitty can enjoy their comfortable paws while your household can enjoy fewer tears and scratches.

The Best Cat Self Groomers & Buying Guide

A grey and white cat with some black stripes lying down holding and biting a pink brush.

Cats love to look their best, and as you’ve probably have realized, it doesn’t come without effort. It sometimes seems that they spend nearly every minute of their waking hours grooming themselves. And sometimes they still need a little help from you and a brush. If you want to help your kitty continue to look good but want to save them and yourself some time, look into getting one of the best cat self-groomers to boost their grooming routine.

Best Overall Self Groomer: Petstages Scratch and Groom

Petstages Scratch & Groom Corrugated Cat Scratch Pad With Catnip
Self-groomer and scratcher that helps reducing fur shedding and hairballs.
Scratch pad includes dried catnip to further entice your cats.

For a 2-in-1 product with a simple design, it’s hard to beat the Petstages Scratch and Groom. It features an arched brush mounted on a cardboard scratching pad. The brush provides the perfect location for your cat to self-groom or get a little self-massage. The cardboard flooring is perfect for working out those claws and their natural scratching behavior without sacrificing your carpet.

Another great thing about this product is how lightweight and easily mobile it is. It can blend into any décor and be moved throughout the house. Your kitty will like the do-it-yourself ability of this product. They can get a back scratch whenever they want! During those heavy shedding times of the year, you should find yourself wallowing in less and less cat hair as your cat can get rid of it at their leisure. 

The cardboard bottom is also infused with catnip to entice your kitty to use it.

Since the bottom scratch pad is made of cardboard, it will wear out. If your cat scratches especially hard with their claws, it may leave bits of cardboard pieces that can scatter around your house. If kitty is a vigorous clawer, they can end up moving or tipping the whole product over.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Self-groomer and scratcher in one
  • Catnip infused to attract use

Cons

  • Will need to be replaced
  • May leave bits of cardboard around your house
  • Easily tipped over or moved

Best Combo Product: Happi N Pets Premium Cat Arch

Happi N Pets Premium Cat Arch Self Groomer Cat Massager
3-in-1 multipurpose designed cat grooming brush & massager.
Luxury cork surface and high end plush surrounding the scratching pad for extra comfort.

The Happi N Pets Premium Cat Arch is more than just a self-grooming brush. It also includes a cork scratching pad and a catnip-filled mouse toy mounted on a spring to keep your cat entertained. 

The self-grooming arch’s bristles are longer than previous versions of the product, making it ideal for cats of all hair lengths. The cork scratching pad base offers a different texture than most scratching pads for kitties with picky scratching tendencies, and the mouse toy provides mental and physical stimulation for when you can’t be there.

This product’s base is weighted and lined with plush fabric to make it attractive, comfortable, and sturdier. Cats can play, scratch, and groom all day with less chance of tipping it over or chasing it around the house. The longer bristles provide more grooming power to get through even thick or long hair. This can help to catch loose hairs and keep them from floating around your house.

A possible issue with this product is that the brushed arch is relatively small, making it difficult for cats to walk through it. While small cats and kittens may be fine, larger cats might avoid using it since they will have to crouch or crawl through to get the full effect.

Pros

  • Combo product featuring brush, scratching pad, and toy
  • Weighted bottom to prevent tipping over
  • Longer bristles to accommodate all hair types

Cons

  • Small arch
  • Some cats might not like cork for scratching

Best Self Grooming Vertical Brush: Amazon Basics Cat Scratching Post With Toy

AmazonBasics Cat Scratching Post with Toy
Durable, scratch-friendly design allows your pet to entertain themselves for hours on end, keeping their claws busy and their mind content.
Made of natural jute rope with a carpeted MDF wood base, for long-lasting quality and durability.

This product’s name implies that it only has a scratching post, but it also features a mounted vertical brush to aid your cat with self-grooming. Included on the base is a mounted vertical scratching post with a toy attached at the top, making this an all-in-one entertainment station for your kitty.

This product is durable, featuring a jute rope covered scratching post, carpeted base, and a stiff-bristled grooming brush that helps remove shed hair, prevent mats, and stimulate the skin through massage. Your kitty can rub or roll against the brush, reaching all groom-able parts of their body. 

This product works best with kittens or smaller cats. Since it is only about 21 inches tall, it might not be a favorite of those long-bodied types that like to get a full stretch when scratching. Taller cats may have trouble using the self-grooming brush since it will be difficult to reach the higher parts of their sides and back without laying down. This product can also be easily flipped over, especially if your cat is an aggressive scratcher or groomer.

Pros

  • Includes scratching post, toy, and vertical self-grooming brush
  • Durable materials
  • Helps to remove hair and stimulate the skin

Cons

  • Easily tipped over
  • Only for smaller cats

Most Versatile Product: IMISNO Cat Self Groomer With Cat Nip Pouch

IMISNO Cat Self Groomer with Catnip Pouch
Made of eco-friendly softer plastic, so it is safe and won't hurt your cat's skin and it easy to install on walls.
Can be used as an self-groomer or as a handheld brush.

For a wall-mounted self-groomer with plenty of versatility, look into the IMISNO Cat Self Groomer. Not only can you mount this brush on a corner or flat surface, but you can also use it as a hand-held brush to groom your kitty. Since this product comes in a four-pack, consider doing all of the above! There is also an inner compartment for putting catnip if your cat needs a little extra nudge to get used to this brush.

The IMISNO Cat Self Groomer can be easily mounted on walls or cabinets with screws or adhesive strips. If your cat prefers a flatter surface, it can even be mounted on the floor. The plastic bristles will help stimulate the skin while catching loose hair and preventing mats and tangles. Your kitty will love how this brush promotes their natural rubbing behavior, and they may appreciate the little catnip enticement.

Some kitties might find the bristles of this brush too hard, especially if they are aggressive groomers or rubbers. The nice part about this version is that your kitty can adjust the intensity they use if the bristles seem too stiff.

Pros

  • Can be mounted on flat or curved surfaces
  • Easily cleaned
  • Inner compartment for catnip

Cons

  • Bristles may be too stiff
  • Can cause damage to walls

Best Wall Mounted Product: TTSAM Cat Corner Self Groomer

TTSAM Cat Corner self Groomer
Made of upgraded version 3.0 softer ABS plastic base and softer plastic bristles, to ensure gentle massaging and grooming without painful remove fur or scratch the cat's skin.
Easy to install, disassemble, and to clean.

If you want to promote your cat’s natural tendencies to rub on things and get a little grooming at the same time, look at this wall mounted self-groomer. The TTSAM Cat Corner Self Groomer attaches around the corners of walls, cabinets, or even table legs to provide a surface for your cat to rub and self-massage while collecting hair and preventing tangles. 

This self-grooming brush is easily mounted using optional screws or adhesive strips. It can be mounted at any height to ensure that your cat is comfortable and wants to use it. 

The brush can also be removed for easy cleaning in soapy water. The soft plastic bristles won’t cause any damage to your cat yet are sturdy enough to massage and stimulate the skin while collecting loose hair and preventing mats.

Before buying this product, make sure that you have the proper surface for it. Since it wraps around for two-sided use, you’ll need a corner that sticks out rather than goes in. You’ll also want to make sure it won’t cause any damage if your cat is aggressive and pulls it off of the wall.

Pros

  • Versatile brush that promotes a natural cat behavior
  • Collects loose hair
  • Easily cleaned and assembled

Cons

  • May cause damage to the wall or cabinet
  • Cats may need some enticing or training to use it

Cat Self Groomer Buying Guide

A close-up of a brush and its bristles with the text, "Cat Self-Groomer Buying Guide" written on it.

Whether you’re looking at a self-groomer for your cat to reduce the amount of hair around your home or your kitty just wants a little stimulation, make sure you buy the best product by following some of these tips.

Why Does My Cat Need a Self-Groomer?

If cats are such professionals at keeping themselves clean and presentable, you may be wondering why they would need a self-groomer. The answer is, they don’t need one, but they might love having one around. Self-groomers consist of some version of a brush mounted to a platform or wall that allows your cat to rub against it at their leisure. It works to both help remove loose, shed hair and to massage and stimulate the skin. Frequent brushing also helps prevent tangles and mats and distribute natural skin oils for healthy softness and shine.

A cat’s tongue may be good at removing dirt and debris and preventing tangles, but a brush can really help get the job done. Brushing is essential for those cats that don’t groom as they should due to illness or age. While brushing your kitty is also a great way to bond and spend time with them, it’s often not feasible for us to be with them all day. A self-groomer is an excellent substitute for when you want your kitty to have the benefits of brushing but just don’t have the time.

How to Choose a Self-Groomer For Your Cat

As with all cat products, there is a wide variety of self-groomers out there. Choosing the best one for your cat’s needs requires knowing your cat’s preferences and natural behaviors.

  1. Arch Style Self-Groomers: For those kitties that love to rub against your leg or crawl under blankets, an arch type brush may be best. These self-groomers features a firm bristled brush mounted in an arch over a base that often doubles as a scratching pad or play area. This brush allows your kitty to walk or crawl through, getting the full effect of a nice back rub or massage while collecting loose hair, combing through mats, and spreading skin oils.
  2. Wall-Mounted Self-Groomers: Most wall-mounted self-grooming brushes are smaller and work best for cats that like to face or body rub along a vertical surface. They can be mounted at a comfortable height and promote a cat’s natural behavior for “head butting.” These brushes can also work well at collecting loose hair, massaging, and can be placed nearly anywhere without being another piece of cat furniture that’s in the way.
  3. Vertical Brush Self-Groomers: Another style of self-groomer is a vertically mounted brush or post. These are often found on a platform and allow your cat the same benefits of being able to headbutt, walk by, or roll along on their belly to reach the brush’s bristles. 
  4. Combo Products: If you’re short on space or don’t want another cat product in your home, look into a combo self-groomer. These can have the self-grooming brush, in the form of an arch or vertical brush, with an attached scratching post or pad, toy, hammock, or bed. They are often carpeted, weighted, and durable to make them safe and comfortable.

How Do I Train My Cat to Use a Self-Groomer?

Most kitties will take to a self-groomer instinctively. They have the urge to rub against things, especially if they get a pleasing massage in return. But some cats may have a harder time coming around. For those that are more difficult to convince, try these tips:

  1. Allow for Exploration: Cats are curious by nature, and most will willingly come to inspect a new piece of equipment. Leave the new self-groomer out where they can see it and use it without any pressure or observation.
  2. Add in Some Play: Don’t hesitate to play with your cat and the self-groomer. Show them that it isn’t scary and is something they can enjoy.
  3. Demonstrate: If your kitty just doesn’t understand, show them how it works. Help them to rub against it or brush them near the product. Once your cat is comfortable with this, brush them against the groomer gently.
  4. Catnip: If all else fails, rub some catnip on it. Catnip is a natural cat attractant and can be used on just about any cat product to make it more enticing. If your self-groomer doesn’t feature a catnip compartment, you can rub some on the bristles or base to get your cat interested.

Final Thoughts

Self-groomers for cats can be great products that help promote the health of your cat’s skin and haircoat. They can replace you having to brush them when you can’t be there. Self-groomers can also provide your cat with entertainment and independence, especially if grooming has become difficult for them to do themselves. Choosing the right self-groomer for your cat will depend on their natural habits, your available space, and if you want any additional bells and whistles. 

The Best Cat Shampoos: advice from a veterinarian

A light and darker grey cat in the bath with soapsuds all over its body and on top of its head. An arm can be seen in the background washing the cat.

We’ve all heard that cats hate water. While it’s true that most felines would avoid a plunge in a lake or running through the sprinkler, they can learn to tolerate an occasional bath. 

To get your kitty to enjoy baths more, it helps to have the right tools. Among the most important is using a proper shampoo. There are so many brands available on the market that knowing which one to choose can be challenging. To help you find the perfect product for your cat, here is a list of the best cat shampoos you can buy, along with a buyer’s guide with essential information.  

1. Best Overall Shampoo: Burt’s Bees Hypoallergenic Shampoo With Shea Butter and Honey

Burt's Bees Hypoallergenic Shampoo
Self-
Made with high-quality ingredients and does not use any fragrances, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemicals.

If you love Burt’s Bees products for yourself, chances are you’ll love their pet care line as well. This hypoallergenic shampoo is made from all-natural ingredients, like shea butter for moisturizing and honey to add a little extra shine to your cat’s haircoat. 

There are no harsh chemicals, including fragrances and dyes, that can be toxic or cause harm to your cat’s skin. The formula is pH balanced to be gentle yet cleansing for all skin types, even young kittens and older cats.

Even though Burt’s Bees Shampoo is made with natural, non-toxic ingredients, it can still get the job done, leaving your cat’s hair soft, shiny, and free from mats. It will also leave their skin moisturized without irritation. This product isn’t scented, so you won’t have to worry about being overwhelmed by a strong perfumey fragrance.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something with a fresh scent, you won’t get it with this product. It also doesn’t produce a lot of lather, making it easy to use too much. This also makes it harder to tell if you’ve completely rinsed the product out of your cat’s fur.

Pros

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Includes shea butter to moisturize skin and hair
  • Includes honey for some extra shine

Cons

  • Doesn’t lather well
  • No added fragrance 

2. Best Detangling Shampoo: Earth Bath Mango Tango 2-in-1 Pet Conditioning Shampoo

Earthbath Mango Tango 2-in-1 Pet Conditioning Shampoo
Does not contain any soap, gluten, DEA, parabens, synthetic dyes, sulfates, or phthalates, and is animal cruelty free.
Safe to use on all animals over 6 weeks old.

Another all-natural product from Earth Bath is their Mango Tango 2 in 1 Conditioning Shampoo. This is a good choice for long-haired cats or those prone to tangles and mats. The gentle cleansing and conditioning leaves hair shiny and smooth to prevent and help remove nasty snarls and knots. It’s also free from harsh chemicals, like parabens and sulfates, so that it won’t over-dry your kitty’s skin.

The combination of shampoo and conditioner in this product will cut down on a step in the bathing process, getting your kitty out of the tub sooner while still leaving their hair and skin soft and moisturized. When used regularly, this product can help reduce the number of mats and tangles in your cat’s haircoat, especially when combined with regular brushing.

The mango tango in this product’s name is due to the fragrance, so if you’re not into strong scents on your kitty, this product isn’t for you. Not only can that added fragrance be irritating to your nose, but it can also be irritating to cats with sensitive skin, causing rashes. Use with caution in kitties with previous skin sensitivities.

Pros

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Helps to detangle and prevent mats and snarls
  • Gentle and conditioning

Cons

  • Scent can be overwhelming
  • May cause irritation in cats with sensitive skin

3. Best for Shampoo for Sensitive Skin: Pro Pet Works All Natural & Organic Oatmeal Shampoo + Conditioner-

Pro Pet Works All Natural & Organic Oatmeal Shampoo + Conditioner
Hypoallergenic soap-free blend for pets with allergies & sensitive skin.
Does not contain any soap, detergent, sulfate, alcohol, or parabens & is cruelty free.

This product, formulated for both dogs and cats, has everything you’ll need to clean your cat’s sensitive skin and haircoat without being over-drying or causing irritation. It is soap, alcohol, detergent, and sulfate-free.  

It does contain ingredients like aloe and almond oil to moisturize and prevent itchy skin. The addition of oatmeal also makes it soothing for kitties that already have a case of the itchies. Along with all of those ingredients, there are vitamins to help boost haircoat health as well.

This product is gentle enough to use frequently without causing excessive dryness, yet can remove dirt, extra oils, and loose hair. It’s 2-in-1 formulation provides a cleanser with a conditioner to cut down on the amount of tub time for your cat without skipping the all-important conditioning step that will leave hair soft, shiny, and tangle-free.

The natural cherry scent in this product can be overwhelming for some people and cat noses alike. It’s also essential to thoroughly rinse this product from the hair and skin as leaving it on can lead to dry skin and irritation.

Pros

  • Gentle and chemical-free for sensitive skin
  • Added conditioner to moisturize
  • Soap, detergent, sulfate, paraben, & alcohol-free

Cons

  • Scent can be overwhelming
  • Thoroughly rinse to prevent over-drying

4. Best Shampoo for Shedding: Top Performance Shed Patrol De-Shedding Shampoo

Top Performance Shed Patrol De-Shedding Dog and Cat Shampoo
Formulated with aloe vera, wheat germ oil, and vitamins to reduce unwanted shedding.
Enhances the shine and revitalizes your pet's coat.

To prevent shedding, a cat shampoo has to be deep conditioning. This prevents breakage and damage. Top Performance Shed Patrol De-Shedding Shampoo does just that, using omega fatty acids found in wheat germ and moisturizing with aloe vera. It also provides essential vitamins to make hair healthier and stronger so that your cat will shed less in between baths. Deep conditioning has the added benefit of leaving your cat’s hair soft, shiny, and smooth.

If your kitty is a heavy shedder, de-shedding shampoos like this one from Top Performance can cut down on the amount of hair left on your couch, carpets, and clothes. Providing deep conditioning will also help improve and moisturize your kitty’s skin, helping to decrease irritation. This product is also sold as a concentrate, meaning that one little bottle will make plenty of shampoo to keep your kitty clean and soft through many, many baths.

Any time you bathe your cat, they’re going to shed more right off the bat because you’re pulling those dead and loose hairs from their haircoat. A de-shedding shampoo is no different, so don’t be surprised if you see more shedding immediately following a bath. 

However, with regular use and grooming, the amount of hair that is shed should decrease over time. Deep conditioning shampoo also isn’t great for kitties that produce a lot of natural skin oils as the extra moisturizing can lead to a greasier haircoat.

Pros

  • Can decrease the amount of shedding between baths
  • Highly moisturizing and conditioning for optimal skin and haircoat health

Cons

  • May cause a greasier haircoat in some cats
  • Will increase shedding immediately following a bath

5. Best Waterless Shampoo: Wahl Pet-Friendly Shampoo

Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo
No rinsing necessary: Just dry with a towel and brush your pet's coat.
The pH balanced formula is, alcohol, paraben, and PEG-80 free.
Calming formula cleans, conditions, detangles, and moisturizes.

If your kitty just can’t be persuaded to take a traditional bath, or if you’re pressed for time, a waterless shampoo may be the way to go. Waterless shampoos are sprayed on and then patted dry to gently clean and condition without having to put your cat in the sink. 

Wahl Waterless Shampoo is an excellent choice because it is alcohol and paraben-free and pH balanced for all skin types. This gentle formula will clean, condition, detangle, and moisturize without getting your kitty overly wet.

Another bonus is the use of lavender and chamomile as natural, plant-derived calming ingredients. This may help keep those nervous kitties calm and comfortable during the entire bathing process, even though you aren’t immersing them in water like a traditional bath.

The lavender scent can be overpowering, especially since you don’t rinse it out. If you find it too strong, you can consider using less of the product more frequently to achieve the level of cleanliness without the overwhelming smell. Also, since this is a leave-in product, you don’t want to use too much to prevent your kitty from getting sick when self-grooming.

Pros

  • Waterless formula-no bathtubs required!
  • Gentle and effective
  • Can be calming for nervous kitties

Cons

  • The scent may be overwhelming
  • Can make cats sick if they lick it off immediately

Best Cat Shampoos Buying Guide

A young, blonde woman holding and inquisitively looking at a bottle that looks like pet shampoo. She is in a store and in front a shelf with a row of products in front of her.

The grooming supplies market for cats has recently exploded, which may seem weird since cats tend to do most of it themselves. However, even the most fastidious self-groomers can use a little assistance sometimes. For those kitties, having a great shampoo on hand can really help you out.

Why Do Cats Need Baths?

A grey cat with black stripes being washed by someone. It has soapsuds on its head and body.

Before we get into shampoos, it’s important to understand why cats need baths in the first place. After all, most cats spend 90% of their time awake bathing themselves, so why do they need your help? The truth is, the cat tongue is a great bath and comb all in one, but the occasional bath with shampoo can boost your cat’s skin and hair health. Baths are especially important for several reasons.

  1. Detangling: Long-haired cats are especially prone to mats and tangles. Regular baths with a moisturizing shampoo can help prevent and remove tangles and mats. They work by leaving hair slick and smooth, making it harder to form knots.
  2. Shedding: Shedding is a natural process where old hair is replaced with new hair. However, some cats may shed more than others because their hair is dry and brittle, leading to increased breakage and damage. Deep conditioning cat shampoos provide extra moisture to hair to decrease the amount they lose on your clothes and carpet.
  3. Degreasing: The skin produces natural oils that help to moisture the hair to keep it healthy and shiny. Some kitties produce more oils than others, causing a greasy haircoat. Shampooing can gently remove some of that excess oil to promote a shiny coat without the greasy feel.
  4. Cleansing: While it’s less likely than dogs, cats are capable of getting into “stuff.” Sometimes things can leave your cat’s haircoat so dirty that they can’t clean it off themselves. They may even contact things that could be harmful for them to clean off, making a bath from you an important step.
  5. Fleas or Other Parasites: Some flea and other parasite treatments come in the form of a shampoo. These products will help remove the adult fleas and eggs to treat the infestation and prevent it from spreading to other animals.

How to Choose the Best Cat Shampoo

A grey cat with black stripes lying on a pink towel which is on top of a countertop. There are bubbles floating in the air, and one bubble is directly in front of the cat's face. We see that cat's face through this transparent floating bubble.

Once you’ve decided to undertake bathing your cat, it’s important to have a shampoo that will work with you. Understanding your cat’s needs from a shampoo product will help you choose the one that’s right for you.

Safety: First and foremost, you want a product that is safe to use on your kitty. This means a shampoo that is free from parabens, alcohol, and phosphates. You’ll also want to find something free from fragrances and dyes if your cat has sensitive skin or a sensitive respiratory tract. Always try the product on a small patch of skin before covering your entire cat to ensure it won’t cause irritation.

  1. Conditioning: Each cat shampoo product offers different degrees of conditioning. Depending on your cat’s skin and haircoat type, you should choose one that will provide more or less conditioning. Dry skin and hair should have more conditioning, while greasy hair and skin should have less. 
  2. Skin Sensitivity: Some kitties will get irritation seemingly from the sight of shampoo, so it’s vital to use hypoallergenic or a sensitive skin formulation for them. These products are usually free from fragrances, dyes, and other chemicals. They may also contain skin soothers, like oatmeal and aloe vera, to keep your cat’s skin healthy. Again, always try a new shampoo on a small area of skin to test for irritation before using it all over their body.
  3. Hair Type:   Long-haired kitties have different needs than short-haired kitties. The same goes for thick versus thin haircoats. Be sure to use a shampoo with plenty of moisturizers for long-hair to prevent tangles in long or thick-coated critters. You may also want to look for a shampoo that helps cut down on shedding if your feline friend is especially prone. 
  4. Your Preference: Most kitties aren’t going to care what scent their shampoo is, as long as it’s not irritating. They also aren’t going to care if it lathers well or not. Those preferences are up to you. You may also have a preference over using a concentrated formula versus one that’s ready-to-use. And, of course, pricing is also part of it. You’ll want to find a product that is safe, effective, and affordable.

Conclusion

A smiling cat with a shower cap on, lying in a small bathtub with bubbles and a rubber duckie toy. There is a blue curtain drawn halfway covering the right half of the bathtub.

Whether you’re a cat bathing veteran or this is your first go, it’s crucial to have the right tools. Not only does it make a possibly complicated process more manageable, but it’s also imperative that you have a product that is safe and effective for your kitty. 

Hopefully, this list of the best cat shampoos will help you find a product that will leave your cat clean, soft, shiny, and content without a lot of fuss or grumpiness.

How to Groom Your Cat: A Complete Guide

A light brown cat with white patches and black strips being groomed by a brush under its chin. The person grooming the cat with a blue grooming brush is also holding the cat's face.

 

You’ve probably noticed that your cat spends the better part of their day grooming themselves. The constant licking, primping, and nibbling is for a good reason – they are trying to rid themselves of tangles, snarls, and filth so that they look their best at all times.

While your cat may be a professional at grooming, they sometimes need a little help. That’s where you come in, along with some handy tools, of course. No idea where to start? Let us help you.

How to Groom Your Cat

Cats possess the ultimate all-in-one grooming tool- their tongue. We’re not going to ask you to whip out yours to get this process started. Instead, let’s look at how you can groom your cat go over some of the tools that might help you along your way.

 

1.  BrushingA tan and white cat on its back lying on the floor, with someone holding its legs with one hand and brushing it with the other hand.

Let’s start with the grooming activity that you’ll spend the most time on and will do most frequently – brushing. Depending on your cat’s hair length and shedding style, you may need to do a thorough brushing every day. Brushing is that important.

Brushing your cat’s hair helps remove dirt and dander, untangle snarls to prevent mats, and distributes natural skin oils to give their coat a healthy shine. It also allows you to collect some shed hair that would otherwise wind up on your couch, carpet, and clothes. For your cat, brushing is like a massage that stimulates blood flow to the skin and further deepens that human-animal bond.

For short-haired cats, once a week brushing will usually suffice, especially if they’re doing a good job of grooming themselves. Long-haired or thick-coated cats, like Persians and Himalayans, may benefit from more frequent brushing. Your cat’s brushing schedule will depend a lot on their hair coat type and their temperament.

 

Brushing Short-Haired Cats

  1. Use a metal comb or rake. Start at the head and gently brush or comb your way down the neck and back.
  2. Continue down the sides, ending with the chest and belly, brushing in the direction of your cat’s hair growth. This will help remove tangles and large pieces of debris.
  3. You can then follow the same pattern using a bristle or rubber brush to remove smaller debris and loose hairs.
  4. Brush their legs and tail last, since most kitties aren’t huge fans of these areas being brushed.

For heavy shedders, nothing works better than a Furminator. This tool has a fine comb with very closely spaced teeth that grab onto that loose hair and gently pull it away and hold it so that you can dispose of it in the trash later on.

 

Brushing Long-Haired Cats

  1. Start with a metal comb or rake and comb the tangles out, starting at the abdomen and combing the hair upwards towards their head. This will help ensure that you get tangles out of the undercoat.
  2. Comb their legs and tail by making a part down the middle and combing through each side.
  3. Follow up with a bristle or slicker brush in the same pattern to get smaller debris and snarls and to spread those skin oils.

Furminator makes a long-haired version as well to help decrease shed hair around your home.

Take your time and make brushing a fun and pleasant experience. Detangle their hair gently, being careful not to pull at their hair. Also, don’t try to rush and go faster than your cat is comfortable with. While you brush, be sure to look at your cat’s skin for any irritation, discoloration, or pests. This also gives you a chance to look for new lumps or bumps that might need veterinary attention.

 

2.  BathingA grey, light brown cat with black stripes in a bathtub being given a bath. Someone is washing the cat's belly with one hand, and the other is holding a shower with running water that is going on the cat's back.

The majority of kitties are only going to need a bath every couple of months as they get extra greasy or any time they get something sticky or overly dirty on their fur. If this is your first time bathing your cat, it never hurts to have an extra pair (or two!) of hands to help out.

  1. Brush your cat first to remove excess debris and hair. This will make the bathing process a whole lot easier.
  2. Gather your supplies. You’ll want to have everything within arm’s reach once you get the water going, so have your shampoo and a towel ready. If using a bathtub, a bathmat works well to provide traction.
  3. Fill the tub or sink with 3-4 inches of warm water. Gently place your kitty inside. Using a spray hose or cup, wet your cat down while trying to avoid spraying them directly in the face.
  4. Massage a gentle shampoo into the hair. Human shampoo can be too drying, so stick with a pet labeled product for the best results. Shampoo from head to tail, avoiding the face and ears as best you can. Work the shampoo down to the skin.
  5. Thoroughly rinse the shampoo from your cat’s hair using the spray hose or cup. Make sure you have every last bubble gone, or else it can severely dry your cat’s skin out.
  6. Use a washcloth to wipe the face and ears.
  7. Dry with a towel.

Bathing can be extremely stressful to a cat, so be sure to take it slow and only do what they will tolerate. Having another person help you hold the cat will allow for better control and ensure that everyone stays safe.

 

3.  Nail TrimmingA close-up of someone pushing on a cat's paw to expose its claw nail. The cat's face can be seen in the background.

Even though a cat’s toenails are retractable and you rarely see them, they can still get too long. Trimming your cat’s nails can prevent pain or problems caused by nails that are too long. It can also keep you safe by blunting the ends should you get caught by an errant nail.

Depending on your kitty, you may need to trim nails once a month, while others might only need it a couple of times a year.

 

You’ll Know It’s Time to Trim Your Cat’s Nails If:

  • They start getting their claws hooked in blankets or the carpet.
  • You hear that tell-tale click as they walk across a hard floor.

Older cats may need more frequent trimmings.

This is another project where having another person will help, but it isn’t always necessary.

 

How to Trim Your Cats Nails

Only attempt a nail trim when your kitty is at their calmest. Times that might work well are when your cat just wakes up from a nap or right after dinner. Let them warm up to the idea by first playing with their feet.

  1. With a firm grip on your kitty’s paw, extend the nail by pushing on the toe pad.
  2. Make a note of where the quick is so that you can avoid cutting the nail too short. The quick is the nail’s blood supply and will appear as a pink triangle that protrudes into the clear nail.
  3. Using a comfortable and easy to use pair of nail trimmers, trim off as much of the clear nail as you can without cutting the quick. Do as much as you’re comfortable with. For some, that might mean only taking the sharp tip off, and that’s okay. Whatever you can trim will make a difference.
  4. Continue through with the rest of the toes, rewarding your kitty when you finish. Repeat the process with the remaining paws.

*Note:  Not every cat appreciates their feet being handled. If this sounds familiar, you’ll want to start by working with their feet before introducing the nail trimmers. While brushing, petting, or playing, be sure to touch their feet. You can even gently hold onto them so that they get used to the idea. Make sure your cat is comfortable with this before you try to trim toenails.

 

Grooming Your Cat’s Ears, Eyes, Teeth, & Anal Glands

Grooming your cat doesn’t end there. You’ll want to clean their ears, eyes, and even teeth periodically.

 

1.  EarsA woman putting cleaning drops in a white and light brown cat's ears. The cat is resting on the woman's lap.

Cats get ear infections, ear mites, and hair in their ears. All of these can lead to scratching, head shaking, and general discomfort. Cleaning their ears can help prevent these issues and also give you a chance to notice other problems. Cleaning ears can be done as part of a bath, or anytime you have notice discharge, odor, scratching, or head shaking.

  1. To clean your kitty’s ears, use a gentle cleanser, such as Epi Otic.
  2. Pour the cleaner into the ear until it fills the ear canal. Watch out for head shaking as you do this; kitties tend not to like their ears filled with fluid.
  3. Then massage the base of the ear to loosen debris and hair.
  4. Using a paper towel over your finger, gentle dry out the ear as well as you can. Cotton swabs usually aren’t necessary and can cause some damage if you’re not careful.
  5. Repeat for both ears.

If your cat has a lot of dark-colored discharge or is extremely itchy, see your veterinarian as they may have an infection or ear mite infestation brewing.

 

2.  EyesClose-up side profile image of a grey cat with black stripes. Its green and black eye stands out.

Your kitty’s eyes aren’t going to take a lot of cleaning, usually. However, some cats have a touch of allergies or even an illness that may cause occasional discharge. If that’s the case, wiping them with a wet, warm washcloth will typically take care of it.

 

3.  TeethA close up of a grey, light brown cat with black stripes having its teeth exposed by someone pushing its top lip up. A white toothbrush can be seen in frame, ready to brush the cat's teeth.

Believe it or not, there are vets out there that will tell you to brush your cat’s teeth. And, believe it or not, some cats will let you! If your cat is one of these, great, do it! Using a tiny toothbrush or a finger brush, apply a good flavored toothpaste, and brush those teeth at least once a week.

While brushing their teeth is the best way to avoid dental disease and loose teeth in your cat, it’s not always possible. What you can do instead is provide hard kibble or treats to clean those teeth mechanically. But above all, monitor your feline friend’s smile for bad breath, dirty teeth, or red gums. Then see your vet for a dental cleaning as needed. A quick lift of the lip during brushings or baths is all that it takes to check.

 

4.  Anal GlandsTo the left, a black kitten, and to the right, a white kitten. Both are facing away from the camera, with their anus clearly seen.

Most cat parents will want to leave this to a professional, but it’s worth mentioning. While anal gland issues are more commonly a dog problem, they can become impacted in kitties. Signs of an impaction include excessively licking their hind end, difficulty defecating, and a strong odor. Cats don’t often scoot the way that dogs do; it’s too indecent for their tastes. Having your vet manually express those anal glands will clear this issue up right away.

When grooming your cat, fun should be had by all. Don’t look at it as a chore and make sure your cat doesn’t view it as a punishment. Grooming keeps your cat’s hair coat clean, healthy, and shiny. It also gives the two of you a chance to bond and is the perfect time to check for abnormalities that could be detrimental.

 

 

The Best Cat Carriers for Nervous Cats

Black and white cat sticking its head out of a dark greenish-bluish and light tan cat carrier. A woman is touching the cat with her left hand on the cat's neck

 

Choosing the Right Carrier for a Nervous Cat

If traveling with your cat falls under the category of “worst idea imaginable,” it might be time to invest in a new cat carrier.

Now, nothing will have your cat jumping eagerly at the door, begging for a car ride, but choosing one of the best cat carriers for nervous cats can make any cat-accompanied trip much more enjoyable.

Don’t believe me? Reading this article might change your mind!

1.  Best Overall for Nervous Cats: Amazon Basics Two Door Top Load Hard Sided Pet Travel Carrier

AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Hard-Sided Pet Travel Carrier
Simple, hard-sided carrier that is durable and easy to assemble.

Two-doors, with a top entry option to making loading easier.

This cat carrier from Amazon Basics is just that-basic. Which when it comes to nervous cats, sometimes the simpler things are, the better.

This hard-sided carrier is meant to stand up to scratchers and clawers, and the front metal door will keep errant paws from causing trouble.

This carrier comes in two sizes, a 19″ and a 23″ length so that you can accommodate any size kitty. The larger carrier is convenient for placing a comfortable bed, while the smaller size may help your fraidy cat feel more confined and secure.

For cats that are more nervous with loading in a carrier, the Amazon Basics features two doors, one at the front and one on top so that you and your cat can choose which one is more comfortable.

The top door also opens to either the left or the right, again adding convenience. This carrier comes apart in the middle so that the top can be lifted off in case you have a nervous cat that doesn’t want to come out once they go in.

But don’t worry, it secures with latches and screws when you don’t want it to come apart.

Always be sure to securely latch the top door as it also serves as the carrying handle and can come open when you lift it if you’re not careful. This is especially a problem when carrying multiple kitties or cats on the heavier side.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy to Use
  • Two-door access
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Top door may come open when lifted
  • Not as comfortable as a soft-sided carrier

 

2.  Easiest Storage: SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier

SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier - Front Door Plastic Collapsible Carrier, Gray and Tan, Medium (Pack of 1)
Durable, easy to clean, and can fold down for easier storage.

Can accommodate pets up to 25 pounds.

This unique carrier from SportPet features a triangular shape, rather than the more common rectangle. This shape is what makes a hard-sided cat carrier foldable for more convenient storage.

The shape also makes it easier to fit on the floor of your car. While it might seem like a triangular carrier wouldn’t be as comfortable for your kitty, this one is large enough for a smaller cat to stand or sit up as well as sprawl out. This carrier can hold cats up to 25 pounds!

The SportPet Designs Foldable Cat Carrier only has one door, but that door takes up nearly all of the carrier’s side, making it large enough to load even nervous cats conveniently. There is also plenty of holes for ventilation or for your cat to see out. The plastic sides are durable to stand up to any rough and tumble as well as persistent claws.

Since this carrier can fold for storage, always be sure that the sides and door are secured before trusting your kitty inside. A cat escape issue can occur if this carrier isn’t correctly latched when reassembled.

Pros

  • Easy storage
  • Unique shape for more convenient stowing
  • Durable plastic for easy cleanup

Cons

  • Needs reassembling if folded
  • Cats can escape if walls aren’t properly latched

 

3.  Most Versatile: PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier

PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier Soft Sided Foldable Top & Side Loading Pet Crate
Optimal ventilation cat carrier with four access panels and adjustable shoulder straps for more comfortable transport.

Adjustable seatbelt loops, locking zippers, and reinforced seams makes it a good carrier for traveling by car.”]

For cats whose nervousness makes them difficult to load, the PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Carrier offers four access options. All four sides double as doors should you need them to coax your nervous kitty in or out.

These four doors are made of rubber mesh so that this carrier feels more open for those claustrophobic or curious felines. It also has roll-down solid curtains should your cat want some privacy.

This is a soft-sided carrier, making it convenient to fold and store, as well as comfortable to carry. It comes in many different sizes, some even with wheels. The different size options will allow you to outfit your kitty with a comfortable bed to make them feel more at home.

The doors open with zippers that can be locked to block any clever escape attempts. It also comes with seatbelt loops to securely fasten your cat into any car seat to prevent rolling and tumbling while on the road.

Since this is a soft-sided carrier, it’s not meant for destructive travelers. Kitties on an escape mission should be able to tear through the rubber mesh and get away. It works best for kitties who are more afraid of the entry than actually being in the carrier.

Pros

  • Provides lots of visibility or privacy
  • Easy access for quick loading
  • Convenient storage

Cons

  • Material can be scratched or clawed
  • More expensive

 

4.  Most Private: Prefer Pets Hideaway Duffel

Prefer Pets Hideaway Pet Airline Approved Travel Carrier Duffel Bag & Backpack
Easy to carry and airline approved.

Privacy covers can roll down for extra privacy.

Side pocket is convenient to hold small items like snacks, medication, waste bags, etc.

If comfort, or lack thereof, is the reason for your cat’s nervousness about travel, look at the Prefer Pets Hideaway Duffel. This duffel is easy to carry, provides plenty of seclusion, and even blocks some noise.

The mesh top and sides allow for extra ventilation or can be covered with lined, roll-down curtains to block out the world.

This carrier has three doors, one at the top and one on each end, to provide quick loading and unloading access. There is a harness clip inside should you want the added security of fastening your kitty inside of the carrier.

There is also a large storage pocket located on the outside of this carrier to store treats, catnip, or other travel necessities to keep your kitty calm.

This is a soft-sided carrier, making it a risk for destructive cats. It also doesn’t have zipper locks to keep the doors securely fastened, and some persistent cats can push through the doors by unzipping the zippers. You can place your own lock on the zippers, though. It just doesn’t come equipped with them.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Provides seclusion and privacy
  • Easy to carry

Cons

  • Can be unzipped
  • Mesh can be clawed or scratched

 

5.  Most Durable: Petmate Sky Kennel

Petmate Sky Kennel, 28 Inch, IATA Compliant Dog Crate for Pets 15-30lbs, Made in USA
Heavy duty plastic shell makes this carrier very sturdy.

Carrier meets most airline cargo specifications for easy and safe travel, but you should always confirm this with individual airlines.

Petmate Sky Kennels are designed for airline travel, so this one should solve your durability issues if your cat’s escape plan includes digging themselves to freedom.

It also features a metal door that serves as structural reinforcement, which may be necessary when traveling by plane. This door is large, making the loading game a bit less tricky.

This cat carrier also has metal screens on the sides that serve as vents or windows for those curious travelers. However, there is still ample enough room for those cats that prefer to hide behind the solid parts of the walls.

The Petmate Sky Kennel comes in a variety of sizes to get the perfect fit for whatever size your cat, or cats, may be. Larger sizes may be more comfortable and easier to load your cat into. However, smaller sizes may be easier to carry around.

When choosing a size, the measurements listed on the chart are for the outside dimensions. Keep in mind that the inside dimensions will be slightly smaller, so when in doubt, go for the bigger one. The larger sizes tend to be heavy as well, so be careful when using the carrying handle as it can break when lifting heavier kitties.

Pros

  • Ready for airline travel
  • Many sizes to choose from
  • Sturdy and durable

Cons

  • Not as comfortable as other carriers
  • More expensive than other carriers

 

Best Cat Carrier for Nervous Cats Buying GuideBest Cat Carrier For Nervous Cats Buying Guide

If you have a nervous kitty, having a comfortable and secure cat carrier is a must. When choosing that perfect carrier, there are several things to consider.

 

What Makes Cats Nervous When Traveling?Grey, brownish cat with black straps coming out of a purple soft carrier. The cat looks a little timid coming out of the carrier.

To find the best carrier for your nervous cat, you first need to understand what makes them nervous. For some kitties, their nervousness comes from being pushed into a cramped, dark, plastic box.

And who could blame them?

For kitties that dread the loading procedure, look for a cat carrier with multiple door options, especially a top door.

This allows you to set your cat down into the carrier rather than trying to push them in. Having larger and more ventilation “windows” may also help the cat carrier appear more open and shed some light on the interior, easing some cat’s apprehension.

For other cats, the nervousness isn’t in the loading; it’s in confinement. Maybe they don’t like the rough and tumble of being jostled around. Or they don’t appreciate four walls closing in on them.

This may cause them to scratch, claw, wail, or look for another means of escape. For kitties that scratch or claw, look into a hard-sided cat carrier. While they might not be as plush and comfy, they’re more durable and able to withstand some nervous slashing.

If, instead, your kitty seeks more comfort, look into a soft-sided carrier that can easily be toted. Adding a soft bed and windows/openings that can open or close (depending on whether your cat wants to look out or would prefer to be unseen), is an excellent option for comfort.

 

The Safety of a Cat Carrier for Nervous CatsGrey cat with dark orange eyes half way out of a purple hard case carrier. The carrier is in the car, and the cat is looking over to the left.

Your next big concern when choosing a cat carrier for your bundle of feline nerves is safety.

Safety is always a priority when traveling with your furry friend, but especially so with nervous cats. They are more likely to devise and execute escape plans. If your cat is a scratcher, you will want to get something that can withstand cat claws.

You may also want something with lockable doors. Whether they close with zippers or springs and pins, the ability to lock the doors will prove invaluable if you have a feline Houdini. You’d be surprised what a persistent kitty can do.

Many can push zippers open and pop the metal spring, especially if it isn’t closed correctly. Some cat carriers may come with locks or secondary buckles already in place, while others may provide the ability without the actual lock. Whichever the case, always backup the closing device of your cat carrier.

Whether you’re planning to fly or spending long periods in a car, the durability and sturdiness of a cat carrier may become important.

There may be a lot of jostling, packing, and stacking when you travel by airplane, so make sure your carrier can hold up. You also may want to make sure it has some stability if in a car accident.

If you choose a soft cat carrier, go with one that can be buckled in with a seatbelt. You may also choose a carrier that allows your cat’s harness to be fastened to the inside. This will prevent your kitty from busting out whether they can get the door open or not.

 

Other Features of Cat Carriers for Nervous CatsSmall multi-colored kitten in a white cat carrier. Kitten is lying down looking towards the left.

Once you have your safety and loading capabilities chosen, it’s time to pick out the perks. After all, if you’re more comfortable when traveling, your cat will be as well.

You need to pick a cat carrier that will be big enough to be comfortable for your cat, but it can be awkward and heavy for you to carry. If that’s the case, consider a cat carrier with wheels. Or for soft-sided cat carriers, one with a shoulder strap. The more conveniently and comfortably you can carry your cat, the more at ease they will be.

You can also look into a cat carrier with pockets for storage of necessities like treats and leashes. Finally, look at your storage situation when the carrier’s not in use. If you’re worried about where you’ll store it for the rest of the year, think about a model that folds or can be taken apart easily.

 

Conclusion

Traveling with any cat is usually no picnic, but traveling with a nervous cat can be downright unpleasant. Choosing the best carrier for your nervous cat buddy is essential. It can help make traveling more comfortable and safer for your cat and make the loading process much easier for you.

The 5 Best Escape Proof Cat Harnesses – Tested and Reviewed

Maine Coon Cat standing up on grass wearing a harness

 

Finding the Perfect Escape Proof Harness for Your Cat

I know what you’re thinking…why in the world would you need an escape proof cat harness?  Harnesses are only for dogs right?

That’s exactly what I thought at first.  But now that we have 5 cats (soon to be more) at home, I’ve realized that a good harness is essential to the freedom and happiness of both you and your cats.

If you have an indoor cat, it would be next to impossible for them to enjoy the outdoors without running away as soon as you open the door.  A secure and comfortable harness is the perfect way to let your cats enjoy the outdoors while protecting them from any harm.  Even if you have an outdoor cat, a good harness makes your life much easier if you have to travel with your pet.

The real problem is choosing the perfect cat harness for your furry little family member.  There are dozens of different harnesses on the market.  That’s why I decided to buy some with the highest reviews, test them on my own cats, and see which ones are truly worth your money.

Here are the best escape proof cat harnesses I’ve tested and feel will provide you with the most security and value.

1.  Overall Best Harness:  Yizhi Miaow Escape Proof Cat Harness with Leash

Yizhi Miaow Cat Harness and Leash for Walking Escape Proof for Winter, Adjustable Cat Walking Jackets, Padded Stylish Cat Vest, Sailor Suit Navy, Medium

 

  • Type:  Padded harness vest type
  • Leash:  Leash included
  • Securing method:  Buckle free.  Magic Tape enclosing system
  • Reflective strips:  None

This escape proof cat harness by Yizhi Miaow is probably the best harness I’ve tried overall.  The material is soft and comfortable, the harness feels secure, and it’s easy to put on.  Also, the design is cute too.  The harness fully opens up, which makes it easy to put it on your cat.  Instead of slipping the harness over your cat’s head (as many other products require), you can just wrap the neck and chest strips around your fur baby. You can then easily adjust how snug this harness fits with their Magic Tape enclosure system (aka Velcro).

The Magic Tape enclosure replaces any belts or buckles, which simplifies the process of putting it on your cat.  However, I prefer a harness that uses buckles.

This is just my opinion.  The harness feels very secure, and it would be very, very, very unlikely that a cat can open up the Magic Tape enclosure on their own.  It’s probably 100% psychological, but a harness that uses buckles feels more secure to me.

That being said, I have no fears of any of my cats being able to break open the Magic Tape straps.  I would be surprised even if a dog could break the straps open.  I had no problems putting it on my cats, and they seemed to be comfortably walking around in it.

I highly recommend this if you want a cute vest harness that has an outstanding balance of comfort, security, and is easy to use.

A side by side photo of the Yitzi-Miaow cat harness. It is a vest style of harness, with a sailor outfit design (blue and black with white stripes). The left side shows the front of the vest, while right shows the back. Both front and back images show the blue and white leash above it.
Yitzi-Miaow vest harness (front and back)

Pros

  • Magic Tape enclosure makes it simple to secure your cat into the harness
  • Soft material
  • Cute design

Cons

  • While the Magic Tape enclosure works well, the sound of separating the Velcro can scare some cats
  • The Velcro on the straps can stick to things (carpet, fabric, etc.) if not fully covered

Important Tip:  Measuring Your Cat

No matter which cat harnesses you buy, DO NOT choose a size based on your cat’s weight alone.  Be sure to carefully measure your cat (neck and chest) to get the most accurate size.

Buy from Amazon here:  Yizhi Miaow Escape Proof Cat Harness with Leash

 

2.  For Larger Cats:  Voyager Step-In Air Pet Harness

Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness - All Weather Mesh Step in Vest Harness for Small and Medium Dogs by Best Pet Supplies - Red, X-Small

  • Type:  Air mesh vest type
  • Leash:  Leash sold separately
  • Securing method:  Hook and loop fastener, buckle, and double D rings
  • Reflective strips:  2

The design of the Voyager Step-In provides a unique way to secure the harness to your cat.  Many products require you to slip the harness over your cat’s head.  Any cat lover will already know that cats DO NOT like having anything put over or on their head.

That’s where this Voyager step-in harness stands out.  To secure this harness to your pet, you simply slip your cat’s legs through the sleeves, wrap it around their body, and secure it with the buckle.  I found this method to be much easier and safer than a harness that needs to be slipped over your cat’s head.

A grey cat with black stripes lying on green grass. The cat is wearing a black vest style harness that has a pink border on it. The leash is attached (pink) and someone is holding it off camera. The cat vest brand is Voyager. The cat's face is looking down, so we just see the side profile of the cat.
Our lovely Maxi going for a walk while wearing the Voyager cat harness.

The material is breathable and feels nice and light.  My cats seem to like it, so I’m assuming it’s as comfortable as it looks.  The buckle and double D rings make it feel secure.  Because of this harness’s design, there is minimal pressure on your cat’s neck (as opposed to a collar leash).  This makes it easy for your cat to walk around comfortably.

However, this Voyager cat harness is not for all cats.  Very small cats or cats with small heads could probably slip out of this harness rather easily.  However, the only way you should be using a harness is by training your cat to use it first (see the “how to use a harness guide” below).A grey cat with black stripes lying on green grass. The cat is wearing a black vest style harness that has a pink border on it. The leash is attached (pink) and someone is holding it off camera. The cat vest brand is Voyager. We see the cat from the back, as it's facing away from the camera.

Pros

  • Designed to slip on over your cat’s legs, not their head
  • Air mesh material is light and breathable
  • The triple safety measures:  Hook & loop fastener, buckle, and double D rings feel very secure
  • Reflective bands on harness to improve visibility
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Small cats or cats with smaller heads could have an easier time getting out of the harness
  • Does not come with a leash

Buy from Amazon here:  Voyager Step-In Air Pet Harness

 

 3.  Best Strap Harness:  Unihubys Cat Harness with Leash Set- Stylish and Efficient

Cat Harness with Leash Set- Adjustable Embroidered Bee H Style Harness and Leash for Walking (L, Green)

  • Type:  Nylon “H strap” type
  • Leash:  Leash included
  • Securing method:  Adjustable straps and buckles on both neck and chest strap
  • Reflective strips:  None

I was really impressed with this cat harness.

It is a simple “H” type of harness that is both stylish and effective. If you are planning to use an “H” strap type of harness (as opposed to the vest type), this is probably the best one out there.

When I first used it, I thought to myself, “why don’t other strap harnesses use this type of design?”  Many other strap harnesses don’t have an adjustable neck strap.  The Unihubys cat harness has a fully adjustable neck and chest strap.

This harness also has buckles on both the neck and chest strap.  This makes putting on the harness simpler and feels much more secure.  Instead of slipping the harness over your cat’s head, you can wrap the straps around your cat (neck and chest) and buckle it in to close.  While the harness itself feels very secure, you’ll still need to train your cat for it to be truly safe and effective.

Both the harness and leash come embroidered with a stylish bee design.

The simple design and fully adjustable straps make this one of the easiest and effective cat harnesses you can buy.

The only negatives are that the “H” part of the harness (the strap that connects the neck band to the chest band) is not adjustable.  So, you may run into some problems if you have a cat with a long body or a big chest and neck.  However, most other harnesses I’ve seen don’t have an adjustable “H” strap either.  The Unihubys harness fits nicely on my cats, and I’m impressed at how well it works.

Unihubys brand strap type cat harness. The harness is shown with the leash above it. Both have a dark green color with a red strip going through the center. There are small yellow bee designs throughout it as well. On the leash, there is a bigger bee emblem attached to it.
Unihubys strap style of cat harness

Pros

  • Simple design makes it easy to use
  • Fully adjustable neck and chest straps
  • Cute bee design embordered on both harness and leash

Cons

  • Center “H” strap cannot be adjusted
  • Doesn’t protect from the elements like a vest harness would (cold weather, etc.)

Buy from Amazon here:  Unihubys Cat Harness with Leash Set

 

4.  For Smaller Cats:  GAUTERF Dog and Cat Universal Harness with Leash

Kitten Harness with Leashes Set, Escape Proof Cat Harness, Adjustable Reflective Soft Mesh Vest Fit Puppy Kitten Rabbit Ferrets's Outdoor Cat Harness (Grey, XXS, Chest: 6' - 7')

  • Type:  Soft mesh fabric vest type
  • Leash:  Leash included
  • Securing method:  Velcro, buckle, and leash rings
  • Reflective strips:  360° omnidirectional 3M reflective strip

The Gauterf escape proof cat (and dog) harness is a great option that has a good balance between comfort, security, and ease of use.  The price is very reasonable too.  It has a sound method for securing your cat to the harness, has nice reflective strips for higher visibility, and feels very comfortable.

The Velcro fastening system, along with the security buckle makes the harness feel secure when it’s closed.  It is also pretty easy to put on your cat (if they are trained).

However, there is one HUGE thing we didn’t like about this harness (actually two things, but they are related.  On our very first use, the stitching that holds the Velcro pad in place came off at the corner.  This must have been a manufacturing defect, since we literally just opened it up put it on our cat.  When were securing the harness with Velcro fastener, we noticed that part of it was not secured.

A picture of the Gauterf pink cat vest harness (back). A hand is pointing to the white Velcro patch that is coming off from its stitching.
The stitching holding the Velcro pad in place was already coming off from the first use (at least that’s when we noticed it)

While this is most likely due to a defective product, there is an issue with the overall security that I also had issues with.

The harness’s design and shape doesn’t feel as “escape proof” as other harnesses on this list.  I’m not saying it’s bad…because it’s not.

While no harness is 100% escape proof, I feel that the Gauterf product is more easily escapable than other options.  This may be due to the difficultly in finding the right size harness for your cat (average to big sized cats).  The harness needs to fit properly around their body and legs, so if your cat is bigger or longer than “normal,” it might be hard to find the perfect size for your pet.

The other harnesses mentioned above, like the Yizhi Miaow vest or the Unihubys strap product, feel more secure.  That being said, depending on the size and shape of your cat, the Gauterf harness might be much more comfortable.

Also, unlike the Yizhi Miaow and Unihubys models, the Gauterf harness comes equipped with reflective strips.  If you take your pet out during low light conditions, these reflective strips are essential, and can even save you and your pet’s life.  So, if you plan on walking in the early morning or early evening, the Gauterf model is probably your safest bet.

In addition to having reflective strips, the Gauterf harness has the edge when it comes to small cats.  If you want a harness for small cats or kittens, this is probably the best choice in terms of fit and ease of use.

A pink Gauter vest style cat harness (2 photos side by side). The left photo shows the front of the harness, and the image on the right shows the back/inside of the harness. Both images include the pink leash below it.
Gauter vest harness (front and back)

Pros

  • Easy to adjust
  • Reflective strip around vest for 360° total reflection of light
  • Good fit for small cats and kittens

Cons

  • Feels that bigger cats can escape this harness easier than other models
  • Sizing can be difficult to find the right fit
  • The stitching on part of the Velcro pad came off after the first time we used it.

Buy from Amazon here:  GAUTERF Dog and Cat Universal Harness with Leash

 

5.  DCSUIT Cat Harness Leash Set – A Sleek Design

ADCSUITZ Cat Harness and Leash Set,Escape Proof Walking Outdoor Safety Soft Mesh Breathable Body Harnesses,Personalized Black Adjustable Vest Top Lightweight Comfort for Kitten/Puppy/Small Animals

  • Type:  Cushioned, air-mesh fabric vest type
  • Leash:  Leash included
  • Securing method:  Velcro for neck band, buckle for chest band
  • Reflective strips:  None

The Dcsuit harness has a slightly different design than what I’m used to.  It looks cool (both in style and temperature), feels secure, and seems to give your fur baby the most freedom in terms of their range of motion.

Compared to other vest harnesses on this list, the Dcsuit is much more minimalistic and provides more open space for your cat’s body and legs.  This design looks like it won’t affect any type of action your pet does, while still providing comfort.  Other harnesses have leg holes or vests that cover more of your cat’s body.  While this can be good in some cases (weather conditions, size of your cat, etc.), it can also impede some of your cat’s movements…especially if you don’t get it properly fitted.

This makes the Dcsuit model a good choice if you want the freedom of a strap harness, but still want the comfort of a vest type of a harness.

The neck strap can also be fully opened, which makes putting it on a little easier.  The adjustable straps, along with the Velcro and buckle, makes it feel very secure.  However, I think that this harness is a little more challenging to put than the others on this list.  The first time trying to put it on was especially rough…but it doesn’t take very long for you to get used to it.  Once you put it on a few times, it becomes pretty straight forward.

A pink, DcSuit brand cat harness (front) with the pink leash on the left.
Dcsuit vest harness

Pros

  • Small vest allows your cats to move more freely
  • No small leg holes you need to put your cat’s feet into, which makes finding the right size easier
  • Neck strap opens to make putting it on easier

Cons

  • No reflective strips
  • Doesn’t provide as much cover in colder weather as other vest harnesses
  • It was more difficult to put on our cat that the other harnesses

Buy from Amazon here:  DCSUIT Cat Harness Leash Set - Escape Proof

 

Cat Harness Buying Guide – Important Information You Need to KnowLots of cat harnesses and leashes hanging from a display in a store. A woman's hand is seen browsing through them.

If you’re new to using a cat harness, the information in this section will teach you all of the basics;  choosing the right harness for your pet’s needs, training your cat, and important tips you should know.

 

Why Should I Buy a Cat Harness?A young girl with dirty blonde hair wearing a red, long sleeve shirt, black pants, grey socks, and brownish shoes. She is walking a cat using a cat harness and leash. The cat she is walking is a yellow cat with white patches in what seems like a park. They are on a walking path sounded by green grass, trees, and a small pond on the right side.

Probably the most common reason people use a harness is to take their cats outside and enjoy the outdoors.  This is usually a real treat for indoor cats, and most of them love their time outside.

However, there are other reasons you might want to get a harness for your little furry family member:

Replacement for a carrier:  Some cats freak out when they are put into a carrier.  The freedom of a harness might make them feel at ease when you need to travel somewhere.  This might be especially useful at places like their veterinarian.

The outdoors is a new/overwhelming experience:  While most cats love to explore outdoors, some indoor cats might be apprehensive about going outside.  Using a harness can help them to enjoy the outdoors safely.

Providing exercise and stimulation:  Taking your cat for walks not only provides them with exercise but also a change of scenery can fun for both you and your little one.

 

What to Look for When Buying a Cat Harness

There are so many different types and brands of cat harnesses that it’s hard to know which one you should buy.
To help you decide, let’s break down the 2 different types of harnesses you can buy.

  • The strap type or “H” strap harness
  • The vest/jacket harness

 

Strap / H Strap Harness

The strap type of harness consists of two collars (one for your cat’s neck and one for their chest) connected by a shorter piece of fabric.  The result is a strap that looks like the letter “H.”

Generally, the neck and chest straps are fastened with a plastic buckle or clip.  Quite often, strap harnesses require your cat to put his head through the neck collar.  This requires training since most cats are uncomfortable with having something on or around their head.

Advantages

  • Strap harnesses are usually small and are very open.  This means your cat has more range of motion in their movements.
  • Takes up very little space and can probably even fit in your pocket.
  • Keeps your cat cooler in hot weather (compared to a vest harness)
  • Not as bulky and heavy as a vest
  • Simple design can make it easier to find a strap vest than fits well (as opposed to vest harnesses)

Disadvantages

  • Usually not as comfortable as most vest harnesses
  • Can’t protect your cat from colder weather as well as a vest/jacket harness
  • SOME strap harness designs can put more pressure on your cat’s neck when using a leash.  Usually, vest harnesses distribute the pressure more heavily on your cat’s torso.

 

Vest / Jacket Harnesses

There are many variations on this type of harness.  You find vests that only cover the chest of your cat, while others can cover most of their torso.

The method to secure these types of vests to your cat varies with each brand.  Some require you to put either your cat’s head or front legs through holes in the vest.  Others have no sleeves for your cat’s neck or legs.  Instead, you simply wrap the open collars around your cat’s neck and torso and fasten it with a Velcro strap.   Some brands also utilize a buckle or clip as a second safeguard to keep your pet secure.

Advantages

  • The padding or soft fabric can be more comfortable than strap harnesses
  • Better suited for colder weather since it covers more of your cat’s body than a strap harness
  • Some vests distribute the pressure of the leash to your cat’s torso better (as opposed to the neck)
  • Generally has more security features (multiple safeguards to secure your fur baby, reflective strips for higher visibility, etc.)

Disadvantages

  • Can be difficult to find the right size since there are more variables involved for fitting (leg/neck sleeves, bulkiness of the vest, etc.)
  • Heavier and bulkier than most strap harnesses
  • Depending on the brand/model, vest harnesses can be easier for cats to escape than a strap harness
  • The sound of the Velcro strap could scare some cats

 

How to Choose the Perfect Cat Harness for YouA black cat with yellow eyes lying on green grass. The cat is wearing a pink harness, with someone holding the leash off camera.

There are 3 basic things you should consider when choosing a harness for your cat.

  1. Environment:   Where will you be taking your cat?
  2. Comfort:  The best fit for the shape and size of your cat
  3. Convenience:  It the harness easy to use, wash, and store?
  4. Quality:  Is the harness durable?  Will it last a long time?

 

Here’s a General Summary to Help You Choose:

Vest harness:  Usually provides more comfort, security, and is better suited for different types of weather.  However, it may be difficult to find the right size.

Strap harness:  Small, compact, and lightweight.  Usually allows your cat to move more freely.  Takes up little space if you need to travel with it.  Easier to take care of/wash than vest harnesses.

Both vest and strap harnesses:  Usually made of strong fabric and are durable.  Malfunction or damage usually occurs on any buckles or clips.

Important Tip: Adjustable Neck Collars

When it comes down to it, you want the most secure and comfortable harness for your cat.  If you don’t know which one to choose, make sure to buy one with an adjustable neck collar.  The neck collar is usually what keeps your cat in the harness securely.

 

Measuring Your Cat for a Harness

To ensure you get a harness that fits your cat well, you need to measure your cat’s neck and chest girth.  DO NOT choose a size based on their weight alone.

Also, be sure to take the measurements more than once.  I took it several times to make sure I got the most accurate measurements.

Check out this video to see the right way to measure your cat for a harness:

The “Escape Proof” Cat Harness Myth

Many people think that once they buy a cat harness, all they need to do is put it on their can, attach a leash, and then “presto!” they can go out into the world and take their fur buddy for a walk.

WRONG!

Unless your cat is super calm and obedient, there is only one way to use a cat harness.

You need to TRAIN your cat to be able to use a harness.

 

How to Use a Cat Harness –  Training Your Cat

Even though most products are labeled “escape proof,” there is no such thing as a 100% secure cat harness.  I’ll bet that any cat can escape from any harness on the market.  And that’s exactly what will happen if you just try to put a harness on your cat without training.  They’ll instantly try to take it off, or at the very least, show that they are annoyed.  Or, they could even freak out and start going crazy.  You and your cat don’t need that kind of stress.

However, if you train your cat, a harness can be highly effective, and you can feel safe taking your precious pet out for short walks outdoors.

Your cat will eventually get used to the harness, so just remember to be patient.  It will all be worth it!

Here are the steps you’ll need to take to train your cat to wear a harness:

  • Step 1:   Allow your cat to get used to the harness.  Show it to them and let them smell, touch, and play with it.
  • Step 2:  Give the rewards (treats and/or affection) with the harness next to them.
  • Step 3:  Open up the harness and coax your cat to go through it themselves (using treats)
  • Step 4:  Once you get the harness on your fur baby (patience required here!), leave it on them without buckle/closing it.  Let them get used to the harness being on their body.
  • Step 5:  Allow your cat to go through the harness and buckle/close it.  If they are ready, adjust the straps to secure them in fully.  When they get used to this, connect the leash.  Remember to give them treats to reward them.
  • Step 6:  Allow them to walk around indoors until they feel comfortable. Even after my cats were comfortable wearing it indoors, I still didn’t take them around the neighborhood.  I let them walked around for a few minutes each day in my enclosed yard…just in case.

Here’s a video showing you all the details of training your cat to use a harness:

Cat Training Tips

Be sure to train your cat for only a few minutes at a time.  If you overdo it by leaving the harness on too long, your cat might not want to put it back on again.

When you do take your cat outside, try to avoid heavily trafficked areas or areas with lots of noise.

If your cat tries to escape the harness by backing out of it, give the leash some slack.  Pulling the leash may help your cat escape.

Bring a nice pet blanket on your walks.  If your cat becomes scared or stressed, you can use the blanket to cover them and calm them down.

 

A Few Extra Suggestions…

Lastly, here are a few things you should be aware of.

Do Not:

  • Do not leave your cat unattended while they are wearing the harness.  The harness could catch on something, and your cat could get stuck.
  • Do not take your cat out to dangerous areas until they are properly trained.
  • Do not walk your cat for long periods of time.  This could make them uncomfortable or stressed, even if they are trained.  Shoot for a 10 – 15-minute walk.

Do:

  • Do be patient with your cat.  It takes time to train them properly and get them used to walking outside on a leash.
  • Do bring treats with you on your walk to reward them for good behavior.
  • Do enjoy making memories outside with your furry little friend. 😊

I hope this article could help you find the right harness for your little bundle of joy.  Feel free to drop a message below if you have any questions or comments.  Until next time, I hope your cat is happily purring!