Why, when and how do you groom a cat?
Grooming your cat removes dust, dead skin as well as loose hairs. It also prevents serious tangling and matting and can even boost circulation. There's also the benefit of additional quality time with your pet! Long haired cats will need grooming every day while short-haired cats will be happy with a grooming session once a week. Avoid cutting fur with scissors and ideally use a specialist de-matting comb or grooming mitt when caring for your cat. Regular grooming will help you monitor your cat's health more closely, as well as improve their wellbeing.
Here's everything you need to know about grooming your cat, including why, when and how. With great advice on choosing the best brush for your cat and ensuring they learn to enjoy grooming sessions with you.
Should you groom your cat?
The condition of your cat’s coat can be a helpful indication of their overall health and nutrition.
Grooming removes dust, dead skin and loose hairs, prevents serious tangling and matting and can improve circulation.
Regular grooming also allows you to spend quality time with your cat as well as providing the opportunity to monitor their health.
Check for issues such as sore patches, wounds or matted fur. If the condition of your cat's coat changes visit your vet for a check-up.
How much time to spend grooming your cat
How much time to spend grooming your cat depends on your individual cat. Short, regular sessions are best. Use praise and treats to help your cat give grooming a positive association
Short-haired cats generally do a good job of grooming themselves. However, grooming sessions at least once a week are important to help keep their coat in a good condition.
Many long haired cats need grooming every day to prevent knots from forming.
Some cats find grooming uncomfortable. If you notice your cat twitching, swishing their tail, growling or hissing, end the session.
Grooming a long-haired cat
Use a metal, wide-toothed comb and follow the direction the hair grows in naturally. Include chest and abdomen, behind the ears, back of the legs and axillae (armpit area) where tangles tend to form.
Tease any knots gently with the comb to avoid damaging the skin.
Keep grooming sessions short, especially while your cat gets used to them and finish with praise and a reward.
Choosing the best comb or brush
There are a variety of combs and brushes available. Some are specifically for checking for fleas and eggs, and some help tackle the moulting season.
Specialised dematting combs are available and should be used instead of attempting to cut matted fur with scissors, as there is the risk of cutting your cat’s skin.
Soft bristle and pin brushes can help distribute natural oils which can help the condition of your cat’s fur.
Slicker brushes are good for pulling out dead hair and breaking down mats in long haired cats.
You can also purchase grooming mitts which are useful in removing the dead hair from shorter-coated breeds.