Regularly grooming your cat helps to ensure it retains a clean, silky coat – as well as getting rid of any uncomfortable knots and tangles.
How to groom your cat’s coat
If you start when your cat is young, and make sure you do it regularly and gently, then grooming can lead to many special moments for both you and your feline friend.
Your cat will appreciate a well cared for coat, and it serves as a reflection not only of your cat’s good health but also of the care and attention you’re giving him or her.
The importance of brushing
Brushing the coat is particularly important, as it gets rid of any dead hair in amongst the fur. This minimises the chance of your cat licking and swallowing these loose hairs. If your cat swallows too much of this dead hair, this can cause balls of hair to clump in his or her stomach. Hairballs can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, and in the most severe cases can stunt your cat’s growth.
It’s vital you get your cat used to the idea of being brushed. You can do this by gradually building up sessions. Start with short gentle brushing sessions, and then gradually build up to longer sessions. You can also help them get used to being brushed by starting when they are young, and rewarding every session by having a cuddle, game or treat at the end.
How often you need to groom your cat depends on its breed and coat length – read on to find out more.
For short haired cats, brushing once a week should be sufficient.
Before brushing, you can use a “toothed” glove to massage against the direction of the fur. This will help to stimulate your cat’s skin and cause dead hair to rise. Brush with a soft brush, preferably with natural bristles – this should avoid damaging the coat.
Mid to long-haired breeds and Persians
Cats with longer hair normally require a brushing daily for a few minutes. This helps to prevent knots and tangles from forming, and will minimise the build-up of any dirt.
It’s usually advised that you use a large-toothed metal comb, however we would always recommend that you speak to your cat’s breeder – they should be able to advise you on the best grooming tools for the particular breed.
A comb like this gets deeper into the coat than a brush will – however there is a risk that you could irritate the skin, so you need to be careful and make sure you use the right comb.
First, comb the fur in the direction of the hair, then comb against it. This should gently remove any dead hair and get rid of small knots. If you find a difficult knot, tease it out gently and patiently –don’t pull hard as this will cause your cat pain.
Your cat can’t get to the areas around the ears and ruff, making these the most susceptible to knots. Pay these areas special attention during your grooming sessions.
Finally, groom the tail. Brush along its length, again start by going with the direction of the hair before then going against it. This will give the tail maximum volume.
Grooming and moulting season
The moulting season, over spring and summer, is a period where your cat’s coat needs more attention.
Increasing the frequency and duration of brushing sessions will help. For a long-haired cat, using a rubber massage glove followed by a comb should remove all of the dead hair. For a short-haired cat, you can go the extra mile and use a chamois cloth for extra shine.
Want to know more?
We hope this quick guide to grooming helped to answer your question about how to help your cat keep its coat looking its best. However, if you’d like to know something else about cat grooming, how to help your cat feel good, or any other cat related questions then we’d love to help out. Submit your question below.