Health & Care

How Often Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet?

A big grey cat with black stripes being held in the arms of a woman in a white doctor's coat.

In general, cats should visit their veterinarian at least yearly. However, this recommendation can vary based on your cat’s age and if there are any health concerns. 

Most cat owners know that their cat needs regular veterinary care. But the term ‘regular’ is subjective and can mean different things to different people. Just how often is ‘regular’ veterinary care for your cat? The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends that cats should visit their veterinarian at least once per year. The decision about how often to bring your cat or kitten to the vet depends on several individual factors such as age, environment, breed, and health status. 

study done by Bayer health determined that 52% of American cats see the vet less frequently than once per year. Some common reasons for these infrequent visits are that cats are pros at hiding their illnesses and injuries, and can sometimes be difficult to bring to the vet. Remember that cats need frequent and regular veterinary care, just like dogs and people!

Kitten Vet Visits

A small tan and white kitten sniffing a stethoscope on top of a clipboard, both of which are on a table.

If you have a kitten, it is important that they see a vet within the first week of adding them to your family. This way, your veterinarian can determine if the kitten is healthy and discuss the vaccination and visit schedule. 

Kittens typically receive their first core vaccination against feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia around 6-8 weeks of age and then every 3-4 weeks until around 16-20 weeks of age. Between 12-16 weeks, a kitten will receive its first rabies vaccination. 

During your kitten’s first veterinary visits, they will be examined, vaccinated, dewormed, and given other tests such as feline viral tests or fecal parasite tests as needed. 

Once a is kitten is around six months old, you should bring them to a vet to be spayed or neutered. 

Adult Cat Vet Visits

A grey, white, and brown cat with black stripes is being held from behind by a woman (probably a veterinarian) on an examination table.

Once a cat is a year old, they are considered an adult and should see the veterinarian at least once a year. These yearly wellness and preventative visits will include an annual examination, vaccines, and testing as needed. 

Most adult cats will receive their distemper combination (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia) vaccine and rabies vaccine anywhere from every 1-3 years. At-risk cats will receive their feline leukemia vaccines yearly. 

Annual vet visits are a perfect time to ask your veterinarian questions regarding your cat’s diet, exercise, and behavior. 

Senior and Geriatric Cat Vet Visits

A light brown cat with its eyes closed lying down.

Senior cats are around 10-15 years old, while geriatric cats are considered over the age of 15. Senior and geriatric cats should see the vet twice a year for their wellness and preventative exams, and at least one of these visits should include routine blood and urine tests. Older cats are more prone to kidney, liver, and thyroid diseases and tend to become sick more often. 

When to Bring Your Cat to the Vet More Often

A light brown and white cat lying down, looking tired. A brown teddy bear is on top of the cat's back.
  • Cats should be seen by their veterinarian more often than once per year if they: 
  • Are acting sick
  • Have a known medical condition
  • Are injured
  • Spend time outdoors (higher risk of exposure to diseases and injuries)
  • Are used for breeding
  • Are exhibiting any changes in behavior

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.


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Durable


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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. 

Cat Digging Excessively in The Litter Box: causes and Solutions

A black cat sniffing and pawing the litter in a blue litter box.

Digging in the litter box is normal for cats after they have gone to the bathroom to cover up their urine or feces. However, if your cat is digging in the box more often than they usually do, this could not only be an obnoxious mess, but it could point to a health or behavior problem. Let’s look at some reasons behind why your kitty might be spending more time than necessary in their litter box and digging excessively.

Reasons Your Cat Won’t Stop Digging in Their Litter Box

A black and white cat lying down next to a blue litter box, starting at a pile of litter on the floor.

Here are some reasons why your cat might be making frequent trips to their litter box and digging in their litter box more than usual. If you notice your cat displaying this abnormal excessive behavior, they may be trying to tell you something is wrong. You will first want to bring them to see your veterinarian and make sure they aren’t suffering from any of these medical or behavioral issues. Let’s look at some behavioral issues first.

Behavioral Issues Why Your Cat Is Digging Too Much

A brown, white, and black cat standing on the top of a pink and white enclosed litter box, looking towards the camera.

These causes of abnormal behaviors can be just as worrisome as medical causes and could explain excessive digging in the litter box.

  1. OCD: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a behavioral issue where a cat becomes fixated on a particular action and performs it regularly and repeatedly. It can be hard to break these habits, especially when they involve innate behaviors such as scratching and digging.
  2.  Anxiety/Stress: Cats are finicky creatures and can become stressed by even little changes in their household. Stress can cause cystitis, as mentioned above, and can contribute to abnormal behaviors, including inappropriate urination or defecation, hiding in strange places (litter boxes included), and OCD type behaviors.
  3. Marking; Naturally, cats will signal to other cats in various ways such as urine marking, scent-marking through pheromones, and scratching. When cats knead, dig, or scratch, they display this marking behavior and leave their scent through pheromone deposits. Excessive digging or scratching in the litter box could be related to marking their territory or signaling to another cat.
  4. Playing: Some cats find the strangest places to play. The litter box can be one of these places. This is more commonly seen in cats who haven’t been properly trained or aren’t used to being inside and using the litter box as their bathroom.
  5. Hiding Food or Toys: Stray, feral, or wild cats can be found hiding their resources from other animals. Even domesticated cats living solely indoors can display this behavior and may take to hiding their toys, treats, or food in odd places such as the litter box.
  6. Boredom: A bored cat is a destructive cat. If your cat isn’t given the necessary enrichment to keep them entertained, they will fend for themselves and find places to play, items to destroy, and expend their energy in whatever way they see fit. This could include playing in the litter box, excessive digging in the litter box, and other abnormal behaviors, as previously mentioned.

Medical Issues Why Your Cat Is Digging Too Much

A white and tan cat lying down looking tired, with a brown teddy bear on top of it.
  1. Diarrhea: Diarrhea is abnormally frequent defecation where the feces are soft or liquid. This can result in an increased urge and frequency to go to the bathroom.
  2. Intestinal Parasites: Cats can suffer from various intestinal parasites such as tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and others. These parasites can cause an upset stomach leading to vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and frequent defecation.
  3. Constipation: Constipation is the inability to defecate regularly or easily. This can result in straining in the litter box and frequent visits to the litter box.
  4. IBD: IBD, or Inflammatory Bowel Disease, is a disease where a cat’s gastrointestinal tract is chronically irritated and inflamed. This commonly causes diarrhea, vomiting, and a decreased appetite.
  5. UTI: Urinary tract infections are bacterial infections of the bladder and other parts of the urinary tract. Common signs include frequent urination, urinating small amounts at a time, blood in the urine, and inappropriate urination.
  6. Idiopathic Cystitis and FLUTD: FLUTD, or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, includes several different urinary tract disorders that cats are prone to. This category does include UTIs, but a more common condition cats can get is idiopathic cystitis. Cats with cystitis have similar signs as those with UTIs, including frequently urinating in small amounts, blood in the urine, and inappropriate urination, none of which is caused by a bladder infection. Sometimes this is caused by stress, anxiety, inflammation, diet, or behavioral issues.
  7. Urinary Blockage: Male cats are the most at risk for a urinary blockage than females due to the small size of their urethra. A blockage of mucus, tiny stones, or crystals can form in the urethra preventing the cat from urinating. These cats usually have a painful abdomen, strain to urinate but don’t produce urine, make frequent trips to the litter box, and often act sick. This is an emergency! If you see your cat trying to pee but he can’t, you need to take them to see your veterinarian immediately.
  8. Diabetes: Cats with Diabetes Mellitus don’t respond normally to insulin, which results in high blood glucose. Common symptoms include drinking more water than usual and urinating larger amounts (thus more frequent trips to the litter box).
  9. Kidney Disease: Cats are prone to Chronic Kidney Disease as they age. This disease causes a loss of kidney function over time. Some common symptoms included weight loss, anorexia, vomiting, drinking excessively, and increased urination.

What to Do About Excessive Digging in the Litter Box

4 kittens in a cage, 3 of which are sitting in a small litter box.

Now that we have gone over several reasons why your cat might be spending more time in the litter box and excessively digging or scratching in it, let’s look at some solutions.

  1. See the Vet: Number one, as we already mentioned, is to take your cat to the vet. You’ll want to make sure you aren’t dealing with a serious medical or behavioral problem that needs attention.
  2. Size of Litter Box: Make sure your cat’s litter box is big enough that they can turn around, have plenty of space to move, and space to dig and cover as needed. The top shouldn’t be too low where they have to hunch over. It must also be long enough and wide enough. If you think your litter box is too small, try a bigger size.
  3. Type/Style of Litter Box: Cats can have different preferences as to what kind of litter box they prefer. Some enjoy the privacy of a hooded or sheltered box with a top. Others feel too confined with a hood and want an open box.
    • Cats with arthritis, injuries, or other mobility issues will require a litter box with lower walls, making it easier to get in and out of.
    • Self-cleaning litter boxes are popular because of the convenience and cleanliness they provide for the cat owner. However, some cats are scared of the motion and noises and may not use them appropriately.
  4. Number of Litter Boxes: It is recommended to have one more litter box than the number of cats in your household. You may need to add another litter box.
  5. Location of Litter Box: Litter boxes should be found on each level in the house or spread out across different areas.
    • Litter boxes should be located in quiet, out of the way areas.
    • Litter boxes should be kept away from other pets such as dogs.
  6. Litter Substrate – Type of Litter: Cats may have preferences for the type of litter they want to use.
    • Typically, the best and most common type of litter is a clay litter – either clumping or non-clumping.
    • Litter should always be unscented. Scented litters, while appealing to cat owners, is not appealing to the cat.
  7. Enrichment & Entertainment: If your cat displays abnormal behaviors such as excessive digging in the litter box, make sure to provide enough enrichment. This includes toys, play, attention, cat trees, scratching posts, and time and space to explore.  
  8. Amount of Litter: Ensure that the litter box has enough litter in it. There needs to be enough for the cat to be able to cover what they need to completely.
  9. Cleanliness: Last but certainly not least, the litter box must be kept clean. This means scooping it at least once a day, changing out the litter weekly to monthly, and cleaning the box itself regularly.
    • Cats don’t like to be dirty, and even though a litter box seems like a filthy place, cats will avoid it if it is too smelly or full.

Why Do Cats Use a Litter Box? 

An overhead shot of a brown/blackish cat looking down into a litter box with white and blue litter in it.

It is a cat’s natural instinct to use a litter box as their toilet. After they urinate or defecate, they bury it in the litter. Cats are notoriously clean and tidy creatures and prefer a clean environment. From a young age, they inherently know that burying their excrement helps keep their environment clean. Their wild ancestors would bury their droppings to cover their scent from other animals, keeping predators unaware of their whereabouts.

Normal Litter Box Behavior

A brown and white cat sitting in a litter box looking up at the camera.

Normally, when a cat or kitten has to go to the bathroom, they will seek out an area where they can bury their excrement. For outdoor cats, this could mean the kid’s sandbox, the garden, or a dirt pile. 

Indoor cats must be provided the substrate to bury their droppings. A proper litter box should contain the appropriate amount and type of litter for the cat to use (more on this later). The cat will go into the litter box, walk around until they find that perfect place, and then do their business. When they are done, they will cover it up with litter and leave the litter box.

Abnormal Litter Box Behavior

A grey and white cat with black stripes in peaking out of a an enclosed litter box.

Some signs that your cat is using the litter box abnormally include:

  • Frequently going in and out of the litter box while they may or may not be doing anything in it.
  • Spending a longer amount of time in the litter box. They could be squatting or posturing for a long time, straining to urinate or defecate, sleeping, playing, or digging around.
  • Urinating or defecating outside the litter box. This could be right outside the litter box, on the floor, on a rug, on your laundry, in the bed, or anywhere else.

These behaviors are abnormal, and you should seek out veterinary attention if you notice your cat displaying these types of litter box behavior.

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
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.


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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 Hot is Too Hot for Cats?

An orange-tannish and white cat lying on the sand with the ocean in the background.

Cats tend to seek out sources of warmth-consider their quest for the perfect sunbeam, cozy blanket, or cat pile. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t reach a melting point. Not every kitty has the same level of heat tolerance. What each cat considers too hot will depend on several factors.

With an average body temperature that is slightly higher than our own, around 100 – 101° F (37.8 – 38.8° C), they can tolerate a bit more heat than we can. But as temperatures rise, cats are very limited in the layers that they can shed and their mechanisms for cooling their body. So, it’s essential that as cat parents, we pay special attention to our cat’s comfort to prevent potentially serious problems.

How Can I Tell If My Cat is Too Hot?

A small grey kitten with black stripes lying on its back with its paws outstretched to its sides on sand on a beach.

Most commonly, cats that are feeling warm will act uncomfortable. They may be restless and move around from place to place, seeking cooler temperatures. They may not eat as much and drink more. You may see them pant, especially after exercise. Or you may notice them grooming more often to increase the cooling effects of evaporation.

When cats start to get dangerously hot, they can experience heatstroke when the body temperature gets to 104° F (40° C) or above. At these high temperatures, organs and systems can start to fail and shutdown. Cats with heatstroke may pant excessively, drool, sweat from their footpads, appear disoriented, vomit, stagger, and have bright red gums. Heatstroke is a medical emergency and should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

How Hot is Too Hot For Indoor Cats?

A white, grey, brown cat with black strips is sitting on someone's legs, with a fire burning in a fireplace in the background.

Most of the time, indoor cats are at little risk of getting too hot. Humans will be uncomfortable well before they are. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. 

Situations like power outages when the A/C doesn’t work, or if a cat is in a confined space can lead to overheating. As a general rule, anytime temperatures exceed 90° F (32.2° C), your cat needs to be provided with a cool space, fan, or another cooling source, and plenty of water to feel comfortable.

How Hot is Too Hot For Outdoor Cats?

A small grey kitten with black stripes in outside in the grass, looking up at something.

Outdoor cats may be a bit more acclimated to hot temperatures, especially if they have access to cool, shady spots. However, to be safe, stick to the rule of 90 degrees to ensure their safety. Since outside temperatures in some areas routinely exceed 90° F, consider letting your cat indoors during extreme heatwaves.

How To Cool Down a Hot Cat

A black and white can sleeping on top of a table, with a small, blue fan in front of it. There is a sofa in the background.

Cats are usually more likely to seek cool spots and suspend activity than their canine companions, making heatstroke less common in cats. However, it’s still nothing to mess around with. When body temperatures reach 104° F or above for extended periods, your cat’s life could be in danger.

If you suspect your cat has heatstroke, cooling them is the priority. If you have a rectal thermometer, use it. It may be important to know their body temperature as a reference point to see how quickly they can be cooled down. 

Cooling them down should be started before you head to the veterinarian. Start by moving your cat to a cool spot, either in the shade or in front of the air conditioner or fan. Place them on a cool, wet towel. 

You can then spray or wipe cool, not cold, water on their fur, and use a fan to increase evaporation. If your cat is alert, offer them cool water. You can add tuna oil or low sodium chicken broth to entice drinking. Once you’ve knocked their temperature down a notch or two, get them to the vet for further treatment.

How to Prevent Your Cat From Getting Too Hot

A black, grey, and white cat lying on its back on a hardwood floor in a bathroom.

Always provide your kitty with a safe, cool spot. This may be as simple as a cardboard box that offers some shade. Bathrooms or laundry rooms with tile or vinyl floors are also preferred. Keep the temperatures in your home low and comfortable and invite outdoor kitties in when it’s too hot outside. 

Frequent grooming to remove excess hair and providing clean, fresh, water is also a must. Never confine your cat in a hot car or poorly ventilated room. A cooling mat may also offer some comfort for indoor or outdoor kitties.

Factors That Affect a Cat’s Heat Tolerance

A yellow-tanish and white cat sleeping on the ledge of a house or store which is located right in front of a body of water.

We all experience heat in various ways. The same temperature on the thermometer can feel different depending on humidity, wind conditions, shade, if you’re moving, or if you have a cold drink. Cats are no different.

1. Ventilation

Stagnant air turns the temperature from warm to hot, really quick. A fan or breeze can help to move that warm air providing a cooling effect on your cat. 

2. Exercise

Muscle movement creates heat, which is exemplified by the heat in the environment. Cats that are moving or playing are more apt to get hotter than those who choose to lounge when the temperatures rise.

3. A Cool Space

You may notice that cats tend to “disappear” during the hot summer months. This is because they are hiding out in a cool, dark spot to keep their body temperature down. Without access to these cool hideouts, heat becomes more of a problem.

4. Age and Health

Older and younger kitties can’t regulate their body temperature as effectively as healthy adults. Similarly, those with chronic health conditions, such as kidney disease, may have trouble as well.

5. Weight

Excess fat provides insulation, which is great in the winter months but not so much as it gets warmer. Overweight kitties will have a harder time staying cool.

6. Haircoat

Before giving your cat a summer haircut, it’s important to realize that that haircoat provides some insulation against the heat. However, in long-haired or thick-coated cats, the protection against heat is overcome by the hair’s heat absorption. Frequent brushing to remove dead hair can help.

Grooming also helps to cool cats down. Wetting the haircoat with their tongue is sort of a cat’s way of sweating as the evaporation of that water helps to cool them off.

7. Breed

Cats cool themselves by panting, similar to dogs. Panting moves hot hair from inside the body through the mouth and nasal cavity, where it utilizes evaporation to cool down. Cats with “smushed” faces, such as Persians, Himalayans, and Scottish Folds, have a shorter nose and, therefore, less area to provide that cooling effect. 

8. Access to Water

Hydration is a major factor in a cat’s cooling process. Having a moist nasal and oral cavity is a must to allow for evaporation during panting. It is also essential to keep systems functioning at higher temperatures.

Final Thoughts

Even though we often think of cats as heat seekers, they can get too hot. Providing them with ways to cool off is key in preventing discomfort and heat stroke.

How Cold is too cold for cats?

A white and brown cat outside walking in the snow covered ground.

Even though they may sport a thick fur coat, cats aren’t immune to cold weather. But how cold is too cold for your feline friend depends on several factors. Since there’s no defined number that should set off the chilly alarm, let’s look at how you can tell if the weather is subpar for both indoor and outdoor cats’ needs and what you can do to fix it. 

The normal body temperature of a cat is around 100 degrees F (37.8 C). While this may be similar to our body temperature, it doesn’t mean that cats are as adapted as us to handle colder temperatures. That’s because we can add or shed layers of clothing as need be to make ourselves comfortable. Your cat relies solely on their haircoat, whatever thickness and weight it may be. So, what feels warm and comfortable to you in your wool sweater might be a tad on the chilly side to your kitty.

Factors that Affect Your Cats Cold Tolerance

A grey, brownish cat with black stripes under a pile of fabric or clothes, with only his face sticking out.

There’s no set temperature for when a cat gets too cold because it depends on many individualized factors. Some of those include:

1. Age and Health of Your Cat

Older kitties or those with health conditions, such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or even a common cold, are more likely to feel the cold than young and healthy cats.

2. Access to Food and Water

Being adequately hydrated and having enough calories goes a long way in keeping a cat warm. If your cat isn’t given enough high-quality food to eat or enough warm water, they are more likely to get cold.

3. Access to Warm Shelter

Wind and wetness can make your kitty cold quicker, even when the temperatures are only slightly chilly. They need access to shelter from the wind, rain, or snow to stay warm.

How Can I Tell If My Cat is Cold?

A cute, yellow and white kitten under a white blanket, dressed in a blue sweater and blue beanie cap.

Since you may not be feeling the chill that your cat is, it’s essential to recognize signs that they’re cold. First off, pay attention to how they are sleeping. Cold kitties will sleep in a tight ball, usually next to a source of heat, which may be the radiator, a sunbeam, their other cat buddies, or under a blanket. 

Or they may not be comfortable enough to sleep and instead may be restless, looking for that warmth. They may also follow you around, seemingly trying to smother you anytime they get the chance. They’re trying to absorb some of the warm vibes that you may be giving off.

Other signs are shivering or feeling cold to the touch. Shivering is a body’s natural way of trying to produce heat from muscle movement. You may notice slight tremors in their black, side, head, or leg muscles. The ears, footpads, and end of the tail may feel cold or cool to the touch as well.

If your cat gets really cold and hypothermia sets in, they may be weak and lethargic, cold to the touch all over, feel stiff, or have shallow breathing. This is an emergency, and you need to get your cat to a vet immediately. 

How Cold is Too Cold For Indoor Cats?

A grey cat with black stripes sleeping at the arm of a light tan-ish chair. There is a blurry image of a lit-up Christmas tree in the background.

Even with the protection and comforts that the indoors allow, keeping a cat warm can still be a problem. Most kitties appreciate an ambient temperature between 75 – 90° F (24 – 32° C), especially if they have a sunbeam to bask in. You may notice that temperatures below 75° F will make your cat eager to run under your blankets. 

Getting down into the 50-degree F mark without acclimation can be getting too cold. Most of the time, our homes don’t get down to 50 degrees unless the power goes out, heaters break, etc., so it’s usually not a problem. 

But it’s still important to watch your cat for the signs above and provide them with a cozy bed and safe heat source if they’re starting to act cold when indoors.

How Cold is Too Cold For Outdoor Cats?

Two identical, yellowish and white cats sitting outside on the ground, next to each other. They both having their mouths open as if they are "meowing."

Outdoor kitties are a bit more of a question mark when it comes to being cold. They are usually a little better acclimated to handle lower temperature fluctuations, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely out of the woods. 

As a general rule, when temperatures consistently stay below 45° F, it’s time for some intervention. They may need protection when nighttime temperatures dip into the 30s, but daytime highs are still at 60 as well.

Give outdoor kitties a comfortable bed free from draughts and sheltered from rain or snow. Ensure the bottom and sides are thick to provide insulation and consider adding a safe heat source, like a heating pad or heat lamp, if you’re in a part of the country when winters get and stay cold. 

What Happens if a Cat Gets Too Cold?

A black cat with a white nose outside in the snow, with some snow on his face.

Being chilly is usually just a minor inconvenience, but getting too cold can reach dangerous levels, sometimes very quickly. 

Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition that occurs when a cat’s body temperature gets below 90 degrees. At this temperature, organ function can start to decline or even shut down. A kitty may go into shock or die if body temperatures aren’t brought back up.

Another risk of colder weather is frostbite. This happens when freezing weather damages a cat’s extremities, sometimes to the point that they need to be removed. Ears, tails, feet, and noses are the most at risk.

A risk that some of us might not think about is freezing water dishes. Cats need water for all bodily functions to occur. While they will be able to get some water from eating snow or licking ice, this can also contribute to hypothermia. Keeping liquid water for your kitty is of utmost importance during cold temperatures.

Final Thoughts

Even though our feline friends might act tough, they usually need a little help when it comes to handling cold weather. Remember that every cat is different in how they will handle cold temperatures. It’s important to recognize when your cat is cold and having a plan to warm them up.

Why Is My Cat Shivering?

A grey tabby cat with black stripes on an orange background crouching down looking afraid of something.

We all get the shivers sometimes, our cats included. Shivering in kitties can be brought on by several reasons, none of which should be ignored. While not all causes of shivering require an emergency response, some warrant a veterinary visit. This guide will help you to determine the reason why your cat is shivering and how to respond.

What is Shivering in Cats?

A grey kitten with black stripes lying on a wooded floor, next to a cardboard box looking at something in front of it.

Shivering, trembling, or shaking are all pretty synonymous with the same type of movement. We’re talking about those small, involuntary muscle contractions that can occur in the head, tail, legs, or over the whole body. They are often more pronounced when your cat is at rest. These tremors can be slow or fast twitches depending on the cause and the muscles that are involved.

What Causes Shivering in Cats?

A grey tabby cat with black strips on a box of some kind, lookign down and meowing.

The causes of shivering in cats can vary from behavioral to medical. Let’s start with the simpler ones first and work up to those with more complex causes.

1. Hypothermia

Your cat may be shivering simply because they are cold. We’ve all been there – feeling like we should have worn a heavier coat. Even though cats have a perpetual fur coat, they can still get cold if the ambient temperature is too low. Young kittens, older kitties, or cats with health issues can also have a harder time maintaining that 100-102-degree body temperature and may shiver as a result.

2. Hyperthermia

Shivering isn’t just a symptom of being cold. On the flip side of the temperature coin, kitties can shiver when they get too hot. Fevers are often a result of viral or bacterial infections, which can cause a cat to shiver.

3. Hypoglycemia

Cats need to maintain a certain glucose level in their blood to feed tissues and organs, mainly the brain and heart. A drop in blood sugar can lead to shivering or tremors. Low blood sugar can occur because a cat hasn’t been eating or diseases like diabetes.

4. Fear and Anxiety

We’ve all heard the term “scaredy-cat” to refer to someone afraid or apprehensive about doing something. Well, it can be used to describe cats as well. Our feline friends can develop fears or phobias to things like loud noises, flashing lights, and strangers. In response to their fears, they release the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to shakes and shivers. Nervous or scared cats may also have dilated pupils, want to remain motionless, or try to hide to avoid their fear.

5. Chronic Kidney Disease

As a cat owner, you’ve no doubt heard about the prevalence of kidney disease, especially in older kitties. When the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, they don’t filter the blood efficiently, leading to a buildup of waste products that can become toxic if high enough levels are reached in the bloodstream. These products can cause trembling and even lead to seizures if left untreated.

6. Pain

When a cat is ill or injured, the accompanying pain and discomfort can cause trembling or shaking. This is related to their stress response and may be seen in localized areas or all over the body.

7. Toxicity

Many toxins can cause tremors or shivering in cats. These toxins can be from plants or chemicals and require immediate treatment.

8. Nervous System Disturbances

A disruption in the nervous system causes some shivering in cats. This can be due to an injury or illness that causes inflammation of the nerves leading to conductance disturbances. Some kitties can be born with deformities that cause trembling as well.

What To Do If Your Cat is Shivering

A grey, tan cat with black stripes looking sheepish inside of a blue and white cat carrier.

All shivering in cats should be taken seriously. If your cat’s shaking can’t be controlled by turning up the thermostat, it’s time to see your veterinarian. They can diagnose and treat causes of shivering such as illness, injury, or toxicity. 

In general, if your cat experiences sudden onsets of shivering, you’ll want to see your veterinarian as soon as possible.

For cats that are shivering due to fear or anxiety, give them a quiet place to relax away from the fearful stimuli. Prevention can be just as important. For example, if you know your cat is afraid of thunderstorms and there’s one in the forecast this afternoon, preemptively place them in a quiet, safe spot with some white noise, their favorite toys, and a comfy bed.

You can prevent other causes of shivering by keeping your kitty as healthy as possible. Stay up-to-date on vaccinations and see your veterinarian regularly. 

How is Shivering in Cats Treated?

A small grey kitten with black stripes on an examination table. A man wearing blue scrubs is holding the kitten as if examining it.

Treatment of shivering depends on treating the underlying condition. Toxicities need to be decontaminated; pain needs to be relieved, and fevers need to be reduced, etc. That is why seeing your veterinarian is vital. They may be able to diagnose the underlying cause and provide the proper treatment to get your cat’s shivering under control.

In some instances of nervous system disorders, surgery may be necessary to reduce shivering, or medications that reduce muscle movements may be needed.

Is Shivering the Same as Tremors?

A black and light brown cat lying on a cushion looking at something in front of them. The cat looks a little timid or scared.

Tremors are defined as involuntary, rhythmic muscle contractions causing shaking movements in one or more parts of the body. Sounds pretty similar to shivering, right? Tremors and shivering are terms often used interchangeably. However, tremors more commonly refer to a symptom associated with a neurological issue, like a brain injury or a congenital deformity. 


Don’t brush off any shivering in your cat. The reason behind it may require veterinary attention or, at the least, some environmental changes. It’s also important to note any other symptoms or abnormalities in your kitty that might go along with or explain their shivering, such as decreased appetite, cough, or leg weakness.