Often older pets may develop diseases like osteoarthritis, rheumatism, etc. affecting their mobility, which may mean they find it harder/it may be painful for them to groom themselves.
You may notice that by simply seeing them struggle to lift their leg to scratch or to start licking and cleaning their leg or paw, or you may just notice it with their coat cleanliness and the lack of grooming over their face by licking their paws, as examples. So what can you do:
– these days you can get specific wet wipes from pet stores, designed specifically for pets so no chemicals that are harmful to them, that you could run over their body to help them feel cleaner.
– there are dry and wet shampoos obtained similarly. Be VERY careful about using human toiletries on your pets, because ingredients can be toxic and harmful, so consult a pet store, vet or even groomers to find out products that are suitable for them.
– Take them to a groomer (good luck if you try that with a cat!) 😀
– I get a cotton wool cosmetic pad, soak in warm water, and squeeze so just damp, and gently go over their face and forehead and to eliminate sleep from the side of their eyes. Gentle movements, always with the flow of the fur and always monitoring their level of relaxation. Keep it calming and soothing.
– brush them to remove dead hair – consider any pain or conditions they may have and be gentle about this, make it a relaxing experience that they will be grateful for, and appreciate, rather than a hurried stressful effort. Zoom Grooms you can get for dogs and cats are great at massaging as they brush. I often follow a stroke of the brush, with a stroke of my hand to soothe, but each pet is unique in their preference.
– if they are going out less, their claws may need trimming as they won’t be getting worn down naturally by going outside. If you know how to do this properly to avoid pain and distress to your cat, then you may wish to do this, otherwise a trip to the vets may be required so they don’t get them caught and cause themselves injury or undue pain e.g. carpet loops