How to Groom Your CatPosted 9/16/2014
Cats are known for their meticulous grooming habits. In fact kittens begin grooming themselves at just 15 days old! It ranks just below sleep as a priority for them, so cats will spend time grooming themselves each day. But they also need proper grooming by their human companions for optimal health—and beauty!
Why Do I Need To Get Involved?
While cats are great groomers, there are certain added benefits that we as owners can provide.
- Tangles, knots and hairballs – Because we can grip a brush, we have the responsibility to take it through, end-to-end, on our cat’s hair. A thorough brushing will prevent knots and tangles in long-haired cats and remove most of the dead hair in all cats. When we remove most of the dead hair, it gives cats less to remove during their grooming ritual, which amounts to less hairballs.
- You missed a spot. Cats can’t get into every nook and cranny, so we can help them with that. They can’t easily reach their necks or behind their ears, so cleaning that area will finish the process and help you keep an eye out for any parasites or dirt.
- Feline Friendship. Brushing or combing can be a bonding ritual for you and your cat. You can use it as a reward or treat to strengthen the connection between you and your pet. The trick here is to start early with your kitten and be consistent. Most cats come around to enjoy this activity.
Grooming Ground Rules
Generally, a short-haired cat only needs to be brushed once a week. Before brushing, eliminate dead hair by using a glove brush to massage his skin against the natural direction of his hair. Then, going in the same direction as his hair, use a soft brush, ideally with natural bristles, to avoid damaging his skin.
Mid- to long-haired cats need to be combed for at least a few minutes each day. Ideally, choose a large-toothed metal comb so you can better penetrate the coat. Just be careful not to penetrate his skin.
Make grooming a routine early with your kitten so that it becomes a positive experience. If you seek any skin irritation while grooming your cat, make sure you check with your vet.