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Suds in the Sun providing grooming to Bonnet-wearing Pit Bull, Abigail

The Naples Daily News recently featured Abigail, the bonnet-wearing pit bull mix, who was abused, then nursed back to health.  Abigail has since been adopted by a Ft. Myers family.   Suds in the sun has graciously offered to groom Abigail at no charge while she is transitioning to her new home! Abigail wears her bonnet because her right ear was ripped off during her abuse.  Now she is a happy, sweet girl on her way to a new home!

Check out Abigail’s story!         DONATE NOW



Cat Grooming Tips

When it comes to keeping clean and tangle free your cat will need a helping hand from you. We share our top grooming tips and advice with you.


Grooming is about more than just keeping your cat looking good. Grooming your cat on a regular basis will also help you to keep an eye on its health. And grooming your cat can even help to prevent feline health issues such as digestive problems caused by hairballs. Regular grooming can also help to improve the health of your cat’s skin and coat.


If you’re already a cat owner, this probably goes without saying: Don’t just snatch up your cat one day and commence to grooming if you’ve never groomed the cat before. The outcome is likely to be unpleasant for the both of you.

Instead, slowly accustom the cat to the process of grooming.

Pick a time when the cat is relaxed and content – after eating, perhaps. Then start with short grooming sessions of maybe 5 to 10 minutes. Pet and praise the cat as you’re grooming, and maybe even offer a treat at the end of the session. And if the cat begins to show signs that it’s none too happy about what’s happening, stop for now. You can try it again later.

With time, the cat will become accustomed to the process, and will likely come to enjoy it.


aRegular brushing offers benefits such as dead hair and dirt, and removing or preventing mats and tangles. But do it right, or you’ll end up with a cantankerous kitty on your hands!

Always brush in the direction that the hair naturally lays, never against the ‘grain.’ And be extra gentle around the belly and chest.

For shorthaired cats:

  • Start with a fine-toothed metal comb. Run it through the cat’s fur from head to tail tip. Watch for small pepper-like specks that could indicate the presence of cat fleas.
  • Use a bristle or soft rubber brush next to remove loose hair.

For long-haired cats:

  • Start with a wide-toothed comb to remove debris that may be caught in the cat’s coat. Carefully untangle any knots.
  • Next use a wire brush or a bristle brush to remove loose hair.
  • Consider using a toothbrush to brush around the cat’s face.

And if you encounter matting in the cat’s fur, don’t try to cut it out; one or both of you may end up getting hurt.

Brushing twice a week should be plenty for most shorthaired cats, while a longhaired cat may need brushing every day.


Does the idea of giving your cat a bath send shivers of fear down your spine? Understandable! It’s well known that most cats aren’t particularly fond of water. You may even have been witness to a vivid demonstration of this fact in times past.

Luckily, cats don’t often need the help of a full-blown bath.

But on occasion, your cat’s coat might become sticky or dirty to a degree that the old tongue-bath just isn’t going to cut it. So you’ll have to get involved. Fortunately, though, bath time doesn’t have to be a time of terror for the both of you – if you do it right:

  • Start by making the water temperature pleasant. It should be warm – not hot, and not cold.
  • Use a shampoo that’s made specifically for use with cats, and labeled accordingly.
  • Use a sink or tub in which you’ve placed a rubber bath mat, filled to a depth of just 3 or 4 inches.
  • Gently wet the cat down using a spray hose, but DO NOT spray or pour water directly on the cat’s head – you don’t want to spray or pour into the cat’s eyes, ears or nose. If you don’t have a spray hose, use an unbreakable pitcher.
  • Start at the cat’s head, and gently work in the shampoo from head to tail.
  • Rinse gently but thoroughly, making sure that all the shampoo is rinsed out. Again, be sure to avoid spraying or pouring water directly on the cat’s head.
  • Gently pat dry with a large towel.

And one last tip: If your cat’s nails need clipping, do it BEFORE bath time!


Getting your cat to accept having it’s claws trimmed by you really shouldn’t be too difficult, IF you approach it properly.

Start out by spending some time just training your cat to be comfortable and accepting of having her feet handled. Begin to massage its feet on a daily basis. Do that by running your hand along its leg, and then very gently pressing with your thumb on the pad of each toe, causing the claw to extend. After a week or two the cat will likely become comfortable with its daily foot massage.

Once the cat is comfortable with the massaging, it’s OK to clip. Use a quality, sharp clipper or nail scissors specifically designed for use on cats. Cut parallel to the flat of the claw, and clip off only the white tip. Be VERY careful to avoid the quick, which usually appears as a pinkish area that you can see through the translucent claw.


Compared to certain other pets, cats are relatively low maintenance – a nice perk for cat lovers. But like all of us, your cat could use a helping hand now and then. Independent creature though your cat may be, it still needs your help in remaining happy and healthy.

And that’s kind of a perk, too, wouldn’t you agree?

The Benefits of Regular Grooming

Why Grooming Is Important

Good grooming is about more than just having a pretty pet. You’re also tackling potential health conditions. Here’s how to care for your pet before any problems crop up.

Fur. Brush your cat or dog several times a week, Cruz says, even if it has short hair. This will cut down on hairballs, which cats almost always vomit or eliminate in the litter box. Sometimes, though, a severe hairball can cause stomach or intestinal blockages. Hairballs aren’t as big a problem for dogs, but they do occur.

Eyes and ears. When your pet gazes up at you with adoring eyes, they should be nice and clear, and shiny and moist-looking. Tell your veterinarian if you see any redness or irritation, or a cloudy eye. Ears need routine checks, too. Once a week, “flip the ears and take a look and a sniff. They should smell like absolutely nothing. If they’re red or inflamed, if you see a lot of debris, your pet may have an infection and requires medical attention. To help prevent infections and other complications, try liquid ear cleaners designed for pets. Simply fill the ear canal with the cleaner, massage the base of the ear, let your pet shake out the liquid, and wipe away the excess.

Nails. Active dogs that wear down their claws may not need nail trimming, but cats and indoor dogs usually do. Long nails, including the dewclaws on the inner paw, can grow into toe pads and skin, causing pain and infection. Trim dog nails a sliver at a time to avoid cutting into the quick, the area within the nail that contains blood vessels. If you cut into the quick, styptic powder will stop bleeding. If trimming intimidates you, visit a pet groomer or veterinarian.

Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

Brushing your pet’s teeth might seem like an unlikely feat, but veterinarians say it’s a great idea. The gold standard is to brush your pet’s teeth on a daily basis. Not realistic? Aim for once or twice a week. At the pet store, pick up a cat or dog toothpaste and a toothbrush kit, which includes a special toothbrush or a small brush that fits over your finger and inserts easily into your pet’s mouth. Avoid human toothpaste, which can upset pets’ stomachs.