Posted 15th Aug 2016 by Peter Byrne
We've established why you should groom your cat - the next question is how do you go about doing it?
Grooming will not just keep your cat looking good - it actually plays a key part in identifying how healthy your cat is and can prevent the forming of fur balls.
If they have never been groomed before do not just grab your cat one day and start as if they've received it their entire life - this would most likely result in numerous scratches - instead, ease your cat into it.
Tip: Remember, short-haired cats should only require brushing once or twice a week, while long-haired cats could need brushing as regularly as every day.
Find a time when your cat will be relaxed and calm. You should then start to acclimatise your cat to being handled and, more importantly, to the comb, with a short grooming session. Be sure to pet and praise him throughout, and when you finish, give him a treat. If he starts to show signs of extreme unhappiness at any point, stop, make a fuss of him, and repeat as many times as necessary.
Little by little, your cat will get used to this.
So what are the basics?
The key is to brush in the direction that the hair naturally lies. No matter what, do not go against the grain. And, of course, be sure to take extra care in the stomach and chest areas, as these will be extra sensitive.
The technique that you use will differ slightly based on whether you have a long-haired or short-haired cat.
If you have a short-haired cat, you should:
- Use a fine-toothed metal comb and slowly run it through the cat's fur. Do this from head to the tip of the tail, and keep an eye on any small specks that could be an indication of fleas.
- Then use a bristle or soft rubber brush to remove any loose hair.
If you have a longer-haired cat, you should:
- A wide-toothed comb should be used to remove debris that could be caught up in the cat's coat. Be sure to carefully and gently untangle any knots.
- Now use a wide or bristle brush to remove any loose hair.
If you come across matted fur, do not cut it out. Instead try to gently tease it apart, so that the cat will barely feel it. Bigger matts will require a dematter tool if you think it is big enough to warrant it. It's worth holding the skin taught, otherwise you will pull on the skin.
Image courtesy of Pixabay