Cats love grooming. You will have noticed this. They are happier when they are well groomed, and they it has a positive effect on their health as well as their mood.
Some cats, especially long furred breeds need a little help. So helping them groom becomes part of your normal routine. Other cats just benefit from some additional help.
The main question is, how often should I brush my cat? These depends on a number of factors that we will look at throughout this article.
Most cats can take care of themselves just fine, and if you never brush them it will not make a difference. However, helping out helps build a bond and keep your kitty in even trimmer shape.
Grooming Should Be Fun Not Annoying
Ok, firstly, grooming should always be fun. For you, and your cat. If they are getting stressed out in any way by you brushing them, you need to stop.
Unless you are freeing up knotted fur, or dealing with any other issues. In that instance, you’re working for the greater good and they are going to have to endure it.
Some cats will see it as some kind of game. Chasing the grooming brush and clawing at it. You need to steer them away from thinking it’s a game, otherwise they will never let you get on with it.
Never lose your patients, no matter how frustrating this is. Most things take time when it comes to pets. You’re training them to let you groom them, so it’s not going to be easy for some.
How Often Should I Brush My Cat?
This depends a lot on how long your cat’s fur is. What kind of mess they get into outside, and how difficult it is for them to clean unaided.
I have had cats before that were very adventurous and didn’t shy away from rolling in dirt. I had to brush them almost daily to keep on top of all the dirt in their fur.
It’s not good for cats to ingest too much dirt and debris off their fur. And as using their tongue is the only way they groom, take a moment to appreciate what a task that is.
Some cats do like baths. Others can tolerate them. But most will not go near a bath, and unless it’s an emergency, it’s too stressful to put them through that.
So if you have a long furred cat, you should be looking at giving them at least a brief brush daily. This will pick up most of the loose fur and give them a break.
Dirty cats that roll in dirt, you can groom as and when you see they have a lot of dirt in their coat. A good quality brush will work wonders in collecting the loose fur and dirt.
How to Brush Your Cat
Short Hair Cats
Using a metal pet comb start by working from their heads, and moving down their backs. Brushing their heads will usually relax them, before working down their backs.
You should cover most of their bodies with this. Most cats will not allow you to brush their lower legs and paws. Which is fine, they can take care of the short fur on those areas.
Next you need to use a bristle brush to collect all the loose fur coming off due to the combing. It’s important you collect up all this fur so your cat doesn’t ingest it and cause a large fur ball.
Take extra care around the belly and under apron areas. Also take your time, sometimes you can run into a ball or matted area that can be painful for the cat.
Long Haired Cats
Long haired cats need to be brushed daily. This is something you should have considered before buying a long haired cat if it’s something you don’t want to do.
There will be knots in the fur on a regular basis. Failure to deal with these knots and loosen the fur will result in the fur becoming more matted over time.
Eventually leading to painful issues for the cat. With the only option being to have the fur cut off. So keeping up a grooming routine is an important part of cat care when it comes to long furred cats.
Brush the fur in an upward motion with a bristle brush to collect as much loose hair as possible. Don’t be alarmed it you’re removing big balls of fur, this is normal.
With big bushy tails, part the hair into two halves. Then brush outwards on either side, running the tail through your hand after to maintain the natural shape.
When Bathing a Cat Becomes Necessary
Like I mentioned earlier, some cats can be bathed. While for most cats it seems like an impossible task, it may be necessary sometimes to do so.
If your cat has managed to get itself covered in some kind of substance that needs to be cleaned off. Which mischievous cats can end up doing sometimes!
Or, maybe they are just a bit smelly and unable to get on top of the grooming. Excessively greasy and oily, or for any other reason in need of a bath.
There are shampoos that are safe for cats. Always use these with caution and read the label fully. But there are some that are perfectly safe.
The general directions to give your kitty a bath include:
- Brush off as much fur and debris as possible before bathing.
- Place a non-slip mat in the bath to give them a more secure grip.
- Only fill around 4-5” with lukewarm water.
- Use a shower head to spray the cat from above.
- Be very gentle, massage in the shampoo if you have some, and run the water through.
- Avoid the eyes, nose, and inside of the ears getting wet or soapy.
- Rise your cat thoroughly, there must be no products of dirt left in their fur,
- Dry them as best as you can.
While you may have no other option than to bath your cat, make is as painless and stress free as possible. Give them some nice treats afterwards too, this will help them forget when they just went though a little sooner.
How often should I bath my cat? Just as and when it’s completely necessary is my recommendation,
Cats groom and wash themselves. You don’t want to take this dependency away from them. But giving them a helping hand when necessary is fine.