Brushing Your Cat

Cats enjoy self grooming and will clean themselves several times a day. This means they can end up ingesting a lot of dead hair and some will develop problems with hairballs. Brushing your cat will remove a lot of that loose hair and prevent it from being either swallowed, or shed around the house. It can also help with dandruff and itchy skin and will spread their natural oils throughout the coat to keep it clean and shiny.

How Often?

How often you brush your cat will depend on the length and type of their coat. Short haired cats only need a quick brush every week or so with a bristle or rubber brush to remove dead skin, hair and dirt. They will keep themselves very clean on their own, between brushes. However, cats that are overweight may have difficulty with this. They are unable to reach along their spine and around the bottom and these areas may become dry and full of dandruff. If your cat is overweight, they may need brushing more often.

Long haired cats can become matted much more quickly and cannot keep the knots out by themselves. They will need brushing every few days, or even every day for those will a very full coat. Brushing your cat doesn’t have to be a fight. Make sure you start when you have lots of time to take it slowly and patiently and at a time when your cat is feeling relaxed and secure.

Starting At The Face

It’s a good idea to start at the front and work backwards to ensure that you don’t miss any section. Faces and ears are very sensitive and will need a very soft “slicker” type brush or a cloth.

If there are knots or tangles, don’t tug on them. Using a leave in conditioner can help to untangle any matted fur and ease the process enormously. A good tip, is to soak a wash cloth in a detangler and then use it with your fingers to massage the knots out.

Moving Down

Move down to the ruffs of fur around your cat’s neck, shoulders and chest. Brush gently with the grain to remove any knots. Then brush against the way the fur lies to remove dead hair and dirt, once there aren’t any tangles. Finally, brush down into place again.

Legs, Tummy and You Know Where

Feathers on the legs will often get tangled and full of burs and seeds. Use a comb or matt splitter such as JW Matt Removal and plenty of detangler. If your cat starts to get irritated, just do a little at a time and then leave the rest for later.

The tummy and between the legs need more sensitive treatment. Use a soft brush and don’t tug on any tangles. A grooming mitt can also be used.

Finishing Up

You can finish the process by using a leave in shine and conditioning treatment, to make them smell wonderful.  If the cat is really matted, it might be a good idea to use a groomer or vet to shave the matts off and then continue with upkeep yourself.