Why It’s Good To Brush A Cat (And Common Mistakes)
The same rules don’t apply to all types of cats as a long-haired feline will require more frequent brushing, but what is the ideal time between brushes? Your cat might not like the process so much to begin with so not only will we look at how often you should brush a cat, but the best techniques, and other ways to make the experience harmonious. By the end of this article, your cat should be looking her best, and the likes of fur balls will not be such a problem.
Why Brush A Cat?
Since not all cats enjoy being brushed, it is a necessary question, so let’s start with the why.
If you have kids then you’ll know how difficult it can be after you have skipped even one day of brushing their hair. Matting can make brushing uncomfortable and even grooming can be challenging for a cat as a result. This is why it is important to regularly check for matts, and try to prevent them from forming with regular brushing.
If you notice a mat then there are specialist mat combs you can buy to help remove them without hurting your cat. It is not a good idea to use scissors to remove a mat, opt for a shaver if you can.
One of the benefits of the grooming process is that it helps to clean your cat. This is particularly important for outdoor cats that tend to interact with dirt and when exploring they can easily pick up debris in their fur. This will be difficult for her to clean by herself, so using a quality cat brush can help to keep her fur and skin clean.
Shedding can be a problem for your home as it tends to get everywhere at certain times of the year. This can be difficult for guests who have allergies so it is in your best interest to reduce shedding. Some brushes are easy to clean once you have taken the excess and loose hair, simply push the button to encourage the hair to fall into the trash without having to touch it yourself.
Check On Ticks
As you run the brush through you move her fur in different directions so it can help you to spot ticks and fleas. This is a common time to find eggs and once you do you can tell that it is time to update their anti-flea and tick treatment to ensure they are free from these nasties.
Keeps Hairballs To A Minimum
Loose hair can lead to frequent hairballs which means your cat is going to have to go through the uncomfortable experience of getting rid of them. By brushing your cat often, you can ensure they do not get as many hairballs. Long-haired cats in particular will feel the benefit of this.
Provides A Chance To Bond
Not only does it allow you to slow down for a minute but the close interaction can mean some much-needed bonding time between you and your cat. A lot of cats enjoy the sensation of being brushed so you will happily sit as you gently run the comb over her fur.
Spreads Natural Oils
Ever wondered why your cat’s fur can look so radiant and shiny after a brush? Part of this is because of the spread of natural oils. This not only benefits the fur but her skin as well.
Common Mistakes From Brushing A Cat
Thinking You Don’t Need To
One of the major misconceptions of cat ownership is that there is no need to brush a cat at all since they self groom. As much as this would be nice if it was true, it isn’t. An older cat will be in particular need of the extra help since not only does it become more challenging to groom themselves, but there is often more hair to deal with.
You’re Going Too Fast
A lot of the time, you can try and get the process over with thinking your cat won’t sit for long but this approach can cause discomfort and you will find that your cat tries to get away as a result. Brush in the direction of the fur and with slow movements so you do not catch the comb on a matt you didn’t know was there.
If you go too fast and in the wrong direction you might earn yourself a swipe of a claw for your troubles, don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Any Brush Will Do
Another mistruth. Different cats require different brushes which is why it is important to purchase a quality cat brush. A wide-toothed comb for long-haired cats is often easy to get on with, and for short-haired types, there are more options including curry brushes, and even a grooming mitt can suffice. Take a look at our list of the best cat brushes to see some of the better options available.
How Often Should I Brush My Cat?
This depends on the hair type but a general rule for long-haired cats is once or twice a day as otherwise, their hair can mat quickly. Short-haired cats require less maintenance with brushing only necessary once or twice a week.
Tips For Removing Matts
Your approach should depend on the severity of the matting. Any light matting can usually be removed with your hands and a little detangling spray although be careful when applying as a lot of cats might run at the sound and sensation.
Once you have worked this through and parted much of the matting, use a wide-toothed cat matting comb to work the matting out with slow motions. Although it is not always a good idea to use scissors, if you intend to use them, go with a product with a blunt end as sudden movements can cause a cat to move into the sharp ends.
If you have recently found a lost cat then the matting could be particularly bad, especially if she has been outside a long time. When this is the case, it can be better to take the cat to a vet who will be well able to remove the matting easier.
The best tip we can give you for removing matting from a cat’s fur is prevention. Although it is not always so easy, regular brushing is one of the best ways of keeping a cat’s fur looking its best and free from matts.