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DEAR HELOISE: Do I need to bathe my cat?

-- Thomas D. in Nebraska

DEAR READER: Cats are fairly self-sufficient and take care of their grooming needs nicely. However, if sticky and/or smelly messes "find" your cat, a bath is due. Here are some hints, courtesy of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (aspca.org):

  1. Brush the cat to remove loose fur.

  2. Cotton balls in the ears will help keep water out.

  3. Put a rubber mat in your sink or tub so your kitty doesn't slip.

  4. Use the hand-held sprayer to wet the cat with warm water.

  5. Use special cat shampoo, thinned with water.

  6. Rinse thoroughly.

  7. To dry, wrap your cat in a fluffy towel in a warm place.

Some other grooming go-tos: Nail trims are important, but more so dental care. Check to make sure the teeth are clean and sharp, and the gums look healthy.

DEAR READERs: Today is National Do Something Nice Day. What are some nice things you and your family can do?

• Take care of the person's check behind you at the drive-thru. This is always a great surprise!

• Look into volunteering. The nursing home down the street or the after-school program at the middle school can surely use a helping hand.

• Post a positive message on social media for someone who is having a rough time of it, or send the person an encouraging text.

Being nice is not only for the recipient; it's for you, too. Reaching out to someone will lift you up. It feels good to help someone. Take a moment today to do something nice.

DEAR HELOISE: There is a relationship between temperature and taste. Heat generally enhances taste.

Cold pizza and hot pizza don't taste the same. Try this: Spoon ice cream into a safe cup and heat (but don't boil). Consume hot or warm as one might consume hot chocolate. You will be amazed at the improved taste.

-- Taste Gourmet in Texas

DEAR READERS: Kennel cough is also known as Bordetella. There is a vaccine that can protect your dog from getting this respiratory infection, which is highly contagious.

If you are boarding your dog, taking your dog to doggie day care or enrolling the dog in obedience classes, the Bordetella vaccine is generally required. Ask your veterinarian for more information.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

[email protected]

HomeStyle on 10/05/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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