Many people think that cats don’t need grooming or that they won’t enjoy it. In reality, some cats need regular grooming, such as long-haired breeds and many cats actually enjoy it!
Commonly asked questions
Longhaired cats should ideally be brushed at least once a day, whereas short haired will often be fine with once a week. If you start when they are young, they will quickly get used to the experience and not only is it good for their coats, it can be a wonderful bonding process for you and your cat.
If you’ve never groomed your cat before, it’s always important to start off slowly and let them get used to the process. One good way is to let them sniff the brushes before you use them. Many cats will rub their faces along the brushes when you do this, as they do gently move the brush along the top of their heads. If your cat seems happy with this, then gentle brush down their back and down their legs. If at any point your cat objects, stop for a moment and revert back to letting them sniff the brush. Little and often is the key to success to start with.
Some cats will try and grab at the brush, especially if you try to brush their tummy. This is usually a signal that they’ve had enough for the day, so it’s usually best to down tools at this stage.
It should never be a stressful experience for your cat to be groomed at home. If your cat reacts in a negative way, especially when you groom a specific area of them it could be worth having a check-up with your local vet as sometimes this can be a sign of arthritis or another underlying condition causing discomfort.
There’s lots of choice available when it comes to grooming brushes for cats. Some focus on removing the underlying “dead” fur, whilst others are for the simple smoothing of the upper layers of fur. Your choice will often depend on whether you have a long-haired or short-haired cat.
Some cats love being brushed with soft plastic type combs, it’s more of a massage for them but still has the benefit of helping to groom. If you have a particularly nervous cat this could be a good way to start, perhaps when they’re nicely settled on your lap.
There’s a really good guide produced by our friends at Pets at Home about how to choose the best brush for your cat. Click here to take a look at it.