Grooming – Brushing your cat

Grooming your cat is important for a number of reasons. Grooming enables you to check your cat over for health conditions or lumps and bumps, it also enables you to (obviously) keep your cat’s coat looking its best and it also helps prevent knots and hairballs. Grooming your cat has also been shown to create a close bond with your cat (providing they enjoy it!!). When people hear the term “grooming”, many people just associate that with brushing their cat, however it also includes other things such as trimming their nails and also checking their eyes, ears, nose and mouth.

As some of you will be aware from our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/felinefriendscathotel) I recently brushed my cats.They do not appreciate being brushed, but they do tolerate it with some persuasion. I have a tool which is similar to the well known “furminator” however, mine is double sided. One side has long “teeth” which swivel. This is important as if they are static, they can get stuck in knots and hurt your cat’s skin. The other side looks like a nit comb! This side is supposed to help shedding by taking away some of the undercoat, without hurting your cat. This side is the side I use with my cats (and dog).

Here are some pictures of the fur I got from them the other day. Tabitha is a short haired cat and Crystal is semi-longhair.

As you can see, there is a lot of hair there!

It is pretty easy to brush your cat if they enjoy it, however it is significantly more difficult if they do not! The best way to get your cat used to being brushed is to start slowly, little and often, and build up. Give your cat a treat when grooming and they should start to associate being brushed as a good thing!

A few tips –

  • do not brush the face!
  • be careful with the belly as most cats do not like their bellies being touched
  • if your cat has knots, try to free them with your fingers first or a brush. If you must use scissors, be VERY careful so you don’t cut the skin
  • if your cat does not like being brushed and is long haired, you can take them to the groomers to be shaved if this is more helpful for you both
  • I personally would not advise baths unless necessary (or a show cat) as this can remove oils from the skin

The choice of brush is important as cats have sensitive skin, so some brushes in pet shops may not be best for your cat. Think about if you were brushing your skin, which brush feels nicer, a soft bristle brush or a hard metal brush?

As I previously stated, my favourite brush is the de-shedding comb. This is not painful to the cats and removes a lot of hair, which is great for summer time! Mine was from Amazon, but there are similar ones out there and to be honest, I rarely use the longer side. I will post a picture below:

Next week, we will talk about clipping your cat’s nails, checking their eyes, ears, nose and mouth! If you have any questions, please contact us. Finally, if you wish for your cat to be groomed when they are in the cattery, please provide their own brush.

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