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Brushing Your Cat

November 1, 2023

Kitties are very clean, which is one reason they make such wonderful pets. Fluffy will take time every day to carefully groom herself and keep her fur soft and smooth. However, that doesn’t mean she can’t use a bit of help with her beauty routine. A Brampton, ON vet offers some tips on brushing your feline pal in this article.

Benefits Of Brushing

Cats are pretty diligent about keeping themselves clean, so why brush them? There are actually several reasons. By brushing Fluffy, you’ll be getting that dead fur with a brush before she swallows it. That means less furballs, which are no fun for either you or your pet. You also won’t find as much kitty fur stuck to your belongings. Brushing can also be a good way to spend time with your feline buddy and bond with her. It’s particularly helpful for older cats, as they can’t always bend and stretch well enough to groom  their whole bodies.

Getting Started

You’ll of course need to get your feline friend on board with the process. Choose a time when she’s feeling relaxed. (Given that cats spend so much of their time sleeping, that really shouldn’t be hard.) Start by gently petting her, going in the direction of her fur. Then, slowly incorporate the brush. Talking to Fluffy in a sweet, gentle tone will sweeten the deal. Catnip and treats won’t hurt, either. Most kitties relax and go with it once they realize that they are being pampered. However, some will only tolerate being brushed for a few minutes. If your pet struggles, don’t force the issue. Just let your furry buddy go, and try again another day.

Tips And Tricks

For short-haired cats, you can use any brush. If Fluffy has long fur, you may need to get her a special detangling  brush. Longhaired kitties also need some extra attention as they can be prone to getting knots and tangles. If you come across a snarl, don’t pull too hard. Kitties have very delicate skin, so you could accidentally cause a rip. Instead, gently clip the knot out, using blunt-end scissors.

We’d also recommend using this time wisely. Take the opportunity to inspect your furry pal. Look for things like lumps, bumps, lesions, swelling, heat, weight gain or loss, or tenderness. If you notice anything unusual, contact your vet right away.

Our Advice on Brushing Your Cat in 2024

Your cat grooms herself constantly, so why is brushing her important?

Even though your cat grooms herself constantly, brushing is still important because it helps remove loose fur, reducing hairballs and the amount of fur on your belongings. Brushing also distributes natural skin oils throughout her coat, keeping her fur healthy and shiny. For older cats or those with long hair, brushing aids in grooming areas, they can’t easily reach or manage themselves, preventing mats and tangles. Additionally, regular brushing sessions provide an opportunity to bond with your cat and check for any signs of skin issues or changes in her health.

What type of brush should you use for your short-haired/long-haired cat?

For short-haired cats, any brush can be effective, including a soft-bristled or rubber brush, which will remove loose fur and stimulate the skin. For long-haired cats, consider using a detangling brush or a comb specifically designed to prevent matting and remove tangles. Long-haired breeds benefit from brushes that can reach through to the undercoat, like slicker brushes or long-toothed combs, to gently work through knots without pulling on the skin. Choosing the right tool is crucial for keeping your cat’s coat healthy, smooth, and free of mats.

How often should you brush your cat? Does it depend on the length of their fur?

The frequency of brushing your cat does depend on the length of their fur. Short-haired cats can be brushed once or twice a week to remove loose fur and maintain coat health. Long-haired cats require more frequent brushing, ideally every day, to prevent tangles and mats from forming. Regular brushing not only keeps their coat clean and reduces hairballs but also provides an opportunity to check for any skin issues or abnormalities. Adjust the frequency based on your cat’s grooming needs and tolerance to ensure their coat remains healthy and well-maintained.

Does a cat’s brushing needs change with the seasons?

A cat’s brushing needs can indeed change with the seasons. During shedding seasons, typically in the spring and fall, cats may require more frequent brushing to help remove excess fur and prevent matting. In contrast, during colder months, their fur may become denser to provide insulation, requiring additional attention to prevent mats from forming. Adjusting the brushing frequency according to seasonal changes helps maintain coat health and reduces the risk of hairballs. Regular grooming throughout the year ensures that your cat’s coat remains in optimal condition regardless of the season.

If your cat absolutely refuses brushing, are there other ways to help manage their shedding and prevent matting?

If your cat refuses brushing, there are alternative methods to manage shedding and prevent matting. Regular use of grooming wipes can help remove loose fur and keep the coat clean. Additionally, specialized diets rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids promote healthy skin and coat, reducing shedding and minimizing matting. Incorporating interactive toys and puzzle feeders encourages natural grooming behavior, aiding in fur maintenance. Lastly, consulting with a veterinarian for professional grooming services, including deshedding treatments and lion cuts, can effectively manage shedding and matting in cats reluctant to brushing.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us anytime! As your local Brampton, ON pet hospital, we’re always here to help.