Despite their reputation, many cats are loving, wonderful animals that truly enjoy your company and your affection. But there’s no denying that cats do not exactly adore being groomed.
One reason for this is that cats tend to receive their first grooming later in life. For a species that already has a tendency to prefer self-cleaning, this lack of exposure can be problematic.
So it is a good idea to start helping your kitten get used to grooming as soon as possible. Even if your feline is older, the sooner you start grooming the better.
Notes on Keeping Your Cat Groomed
There is no denying that cleaning and grooming your cat can take a bit of work. But if you follow these simple tips, your cat will remain clean, and the grooming process will be a little easier:
- Know Indoor/Outdoor – Outdoor cats tend to shed twice a year (spring and fall) while indoor cats shed all year due to the temperature controlled environment. Stressed/fearful cats also shed more often. The more a cat is likely to shed, the more brushing is important.
- Brush Once a Week – Indoor cats (and some outdoor cats) should be brushed at least once a week. This will reduce matted fur, and prevent hairballs. It also distributes hair oils throughout the body, which can keep your cat’s coat healthier. Brushing weekly will also help ensure you notice any problems early, like lumps, bumps, or mites.
- Watch Their Body Language – Cats will learn to tell you when they’re not happy or when they have enough. Pay attention early to how they act. If your cat doesn’t love it, limit its time to 5 or 10 minutes until he/she gets used to the experience.
- Loosen Mats First – Your cat’s skin is paper thin, so if you do come across a mat, you can try to loosen it by separating it with your fingers, then using the slicker brush over it again or gently comb through it with a metal comb.
You should also pay attention to the type of brush. Slicker brushes are preferable to myself and many cats. The unique shape of the pins helps to pull out the loose undercoat and debris.
If you have a cat with a short coat, there may be some additional strategies to use:
- Have them sit on a solid surface.
- Start with the head and neck and work your way to the back of the legs and tail.
- Sit the cat on its belly, then start working from one side to the other.
- Use line brushing for long coasts, and brush each section of the coat in different directions.
- Pay extra attention to the back of its legs and its chest, as these are where matting occur.
- Be very gentle on the cat’s belly. It is sensitive.
Hopefully these tips will make grooming your cat easier. Whether you just added a new kitten to your family, or you have an older cat, it is never too early to start grooming and make the process easier for all of you.