Cat is known for its obsession with self-cleaning and will instinctively groom herself nearly the entire day. Despite that, we cannot rely on the cat alone when it comes to the brushing. Your cat cannot handle some issues like fleas or excessive hair on her own. Thus, it is your job to aid the pet’s treatment and it may finally result in their affection towards you.
1. Things to do before brushing
Knowing these basics first before learning ways to properly brush your cat.
Prepare the equipment
It is necessary for you to make the right decision when selecting the brushing equipment before proceeding to the actual task. There are various tools you need to prepare and it is not only limited to a comb which even has its own variation. Using the suitable equipment will help you minimize any unwanted accident and produce the desired result.
Keep it in mind that you may need to conduct the brushing thoroughly. You should also supply additional care of the area around nails and paw. These are essentials tools you must have to properly brush your cat:
Comb is an important thing for the care of your cat’s fur. The choice of this tool depends on the length of the hair. Use the fine-toothed for the shorthaired cat and wide-toothed comb for the longhaired one. Flea comb can be applied to both cats if you want to check for flea or small dirt. Use it with the caution since it might harm the hair or skin.
Instead of the nylon-bristle brush, a brush with a natural-bristle can possess a static electricity that is good for reducing damage to the hair. A slicker brush, palm brush and soft-bristle brush are suited for the shorthaired cat, because they are effective to take away dead hair and skin. Soft-bristle brush is also suitable for cats with delicate hair. A wire brush and a hard-bristle brush makes a great additional item to the wide-toothed comb since your longhaired cat needs to remove her loose hair and to spread her natural oil throughout her coat. You might want to use grooming glove or rubber mitten for both types to strike the similar sensation to when cats are being petted.
This tool is used for cutting the hair between the cat’s paws so it would not be a hassle when your cat is walking. Try using the blunt edge scissors or scissors with rounded edges as it will be used near the paws.
Monitor the coat
Try to check if the cat’s coat is healthy enough. It can be confirmed from its shiny and sleek hair that will sweep back once you strike it. Hence, try to examine any sign of fleas or ticks. Fleas are black, grains of sand-like creature and often lay small white eggs that blend with the cat’s skin. Ticks, on the other hand, are a brown small creature that sucks its host’s blood. You may remove them by using the flea comb or contact your vet if you find further issues, such as wounds, bumps and dandruff. You might want to read this Steps to Take Care of Cat’s Fur at Home Effectively (Include bathing tips!)
2. Ways to brush cats
There are two ways to properly brush your cat and it depends on the length of the cat’s hair. Either the shorthaired or the longhaired cat, each of them demands different treatment. Here are brushing methods you should know for both shorthaired and longhaired cat.
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Brushing the shorthaired cat
It only takes one to three times a week for providing this treatment to a shorthaired cat. If brushing becomes the first attempt given to your cat, you might need to prepare some treat in case she gets upset on the moving comb between her coat. Then you may proceed to the first step:
- Use your fine-toothed comb to brush the coat in the direction of your cat’s hair grows. Start with one stroke from the head to the tail in a tender, yet with enough force to take the dead hair away. Brush area around the ears cautiously as some cats will wriggle by being brushed on this sensitive part. You may use a smaller tool, like a toothbrush, to reduce such resistance. The toothbrush can also be used on other narrow areas of the cat.
- Proceed to the part around the sides, beneath the legs and its belly. Apply the brush carefully, using the same method as before: gentle and with a small force following the grain of the cat’s fur. These areas are very sensitive for most cats. Hence, if your cat twitches her body, consider to stop and continue to the next step.
- Reapply the two steps above using slicker brush or palm brush. Do it repeatedly to remove more loose hair and dead skin as well as to stimulate blood circulation.
- Use a damp cloth or chamois cloth to polish throughout the cat’s fur. Rub it gently as it will collect the remnant of dead hair, skin and dirt that are missed during the previous steps. It also benefits the cat in enhancing the glossy hair and making it relaxed.
- This step is optional and is performed after the second step. It can be done when there is no refusal from your cat, usually after several brushing routine. Scrub with a soft-bristled brush in a reverse direction against the grain of hair; from the tail towards the hair. By doing so, you can produce the better result in removing dead hair and skin than the usual direction.
Brushing the longhaired cat
Whether you like it or not, the longhaired cat needs more treatment than the shorthaired one. It can take one to two a day for just taking care of its fur. It is somewhat tiring, but you should do it anyway. Otherwise, there will emerge the longhaired cat’s number one issue: mats and tangles. These problematic hairs might be found, but few, in the shorthaired cats. Therefore, you should take some portion of your time dedicated to the daily routine.
- Use a wide-toothed comb to brush the coat against the direction of your cat’s hair grows. Begin this process from the area near the head and continue to the tail. Brush the hair from the undercoat to topcoat in order to lift loose hair and to remove tangles. Flatten the hair again, gently using your fingers. If your cat becomes irritated by this brushing direction, you may change to the usual direction. Despite that, you should train your pet to become adapted to the opposite direction for the best result in removing hair issues.
- Lie your cat’s back and hold it. While its belly open, brush it with the grain of the hair. Perform it extra carefully since you are faced with feline’s sensitive area. It might end up being upset and you may repeat this on forthcoming sessions until your cat gets used to it.
- It is possible to find mats during the two processes above. If this happens, detangle it using your fingers. You may need talcum powder to loosen the mats, as well as to reduce excess oil and to smooth the brushing movement. If it does not work, try any device specifically used for this occasion or contact professional groomer.
- Use a rubber mitten and a damp glove or chamois cloth afterwards to remove remaining dead hair and dirt, in the addition to make its hair shines.
- You might want to gradually change the wide-toothed comb to a fine-toothed comb, then to a flea comb during brushing the longhaired cat. However, you should take a great care when applying the finer combs to your longhaired cat, otherwise your cat may experience a severe grooming time.