Cat Brushing for Beginners

Cat brushingIn our previous article of the series for beginner cat owners, we talked about properly trimming your cat’s claws. Now, about a bit more pleasant activity – brushing your cat’s coat.

Why do you need to brush your cat?

Before we begin with tools and techniques, let’s state why it’s beneficial to brush your cat’s coat on a regular basis:

  • Get rid of loose hair. It ensures your house is cleaner, and hairball formation in your cat is reduced. And of course, your cat’s shedding is also minimized.
  • Prevent forming of mats in long haired cats. Remember, it’s not only about good looks. Mats prevent air accessing your cat’s skin, which may cause irritation, redness or other skin related issues.
  • Spend quality time with your cat. Most cats love brushing, and this is an opportunity to bond for you two. In order to prevent any behavior issues or to stop ones that are already there, part of the solution is increasing time spent with your cat. Always. And brushing is one of the options.
  • Monitor your cat’s health. Injuries, bumps, unhealthy skin or hair, ticks, fleas and other health issues will be noticed early (which equals – treated easily) if you do brush your cat regularly.

What tools you will need to groom you cat?

Tools you will need for brushing differ depending on your cat’s coat length:

  • For a long haired cat, you should have several combs with different width between their pins. Metallic ones are better as they break and bend less often. Also, you may need a comb with blades instead of pins, which will allow to extract the mots easily if they are formed. Note, some may need reassembling in order to fit for left handed cat owners.
  • For a short haired cat, you will need a bristle brush, a slicker brush and a fine comb, also known as flea comb.
  • For all types of cats, you may also benefit from having a special deshedding tool, branded as FURminator. It helps to reduce the hair falling off your cat. However, it’s a deshedding tool, not a comb, so do not over use it.

How often should you brush your cat’s hair?

The frequency of brushing your cat depends on your cat’s hair length again, and also the structure of it, not to mention the time available to you.

If you have a long hair usually getting into mats quickly, you might need to brush your cat daily. Other long haired cats are not getting mats that easily and may require it less often, like every other day, or twice a week.

Short haired cats usually do not have mats, even if they are never brushed. However, reduced risk of hairballs, bonding with your cat, keeping house cleaner and other benefits, listed above, will still be present. In order to achieve them, it might be totally okay, to brush your cat weekly, or, as necessary. Like, if you want to bond with your cat, you might still want to do it daily, but for deshedding purposes, when there is too many hair only.

Set the pace that fits both of you. Cats love predictability and, if you, for example, do watch the evening news every day, do the brushing then. It gives brushing to your cat at a predictable time (soon your cat will sit by the TV just few minutes before the news start ) and will hep you keep motivated doing it close to daily.

How to brush your cat?

If you do brush your cat every day, probably no other tasks than brushing through all parts of his body, will be necessary. Mats are forming if it is not done frequently enough, or if you leave out some parts of the cat’s body often.

Pay special attention to armpits, chest, the belly and the back of your cat. Those are places where mats are usually formed. It may not be necessary to brush all the parts every time you do it. Even god did not create the world on one day. But make sure you go through all of them over some period of time. And repeat.

Let’s say, you might brush front part of your cat on Mondays, hind part on Tuesdays, and all the problematic parts on Wednesday. Then, repeat it for the rest of the week and have yourself a rest on a Sunday.

This article is a part of the series about basic care for your cat. In the next article, we are going to take a look at the litter box maintenance.