Grooming Your Cat
Grooming your cat has benefits that are more than just skin deep! Regular grooming not only stops long coats from getting tangled into matts, it is also beneficial to cats of all coat types in many other ways including:
- Reduced hairballs due to removal of loose hair.
- Improved muscle tone.
- Stimulation of oil production by the skin for a shiny coat.
- Provides an opportunity for you to examine your cat for new lumps and bumps or parasites.
- Strengthens the bond between you and your cat.
How to Get Started
The best time to start getting your cat accustomed to grooming is when she is a kitten. Start by gently using the brush for very short periods of time so that she gets used to the sensation, then gradually work up to longer grooming sessions. Try to initiate the session when she is calm and restful, for example when she is asleep on your lap. When you have finished grooming, give her plenty of praise and maybe a treat too! Never forcibly brush your cat as this will result in her resenting being groomed.
Which Brush Do I Use?
Short Haired Cats
Use a bristle brush, rubber brush or deshedding tool in the direction of the hair growth to work free any loose hairs in the coat. To finish use a rubber grooming mitt or damp cloth to pick up all the loose hairs and leave her coat with a shiny finish. Grooming once a week should be sufficient for most short haired cats.
Long Haired Cats
Use a wide tooth metal comb or deshedding tool like the Furminator or Pet Life Deshedding Tools to gently work through the entire coat. Pay close attention to the sensitive 'armpit' and inner leg areas as these are not only sensitive, but also a common place for knots to form. Gently tease apart knots or matts with your fingers, never yank or pull at them. For tough matts avoid the temptation to cut them with scissors, it can be very hard to tell where the hair ends and the skin starts and before you know it you will have cut a hole in your cat! Once you have groomed the entire coat, use a rubber mitt to pick up the hairs that you have worked loose and leave the coat smooth and shiny. You should aim to groom your long haired cat daily.
Taking the time to get your cat used to grooming is worth it whether she has long or short hair. Regular grooming prevents painful matts from forming and has a host of other health benefits for your feline friends.
When Teagan's not busy sharing her knowledge of all things pets as Pet Circle's resident vet, she is the human companion of two intense English staffies and a three-legged cat named Steve.
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