How to brush your cat
Brushing your cat is not just to make him look good. It’s also to keep him healthy. Plus, it’s a great way to bond! By instinct, cats clean themselves by licking their fur, resulting in hairballs in their mouths that they then swallow.
These hairballs could make them choke. To get rid of them, your cat has to vomit, which of course is quite unpleasant, something most pet owners are eager to prevent.
Brushing your cat keeps his coat shiny and remove excess fur. This means less fur on your furniture! It also means less dander, which is one of the main causes of cat allergies. Last but not least, daily brushing also helps protect your cat from fleas and lice.
Recommendations for brushing your cat
- Pick the right time. It’s best to wait until your cat is relaxed, especially for the first few times or if he’s not used to being brushed.
- Start by petting your cat then alternate brushing with petting.
- Some experts recommend talking to your cat. Explain to him that you’ll brush his fur and ask for his permission to do so.
- It is very likely that on the first try, your cat won’t allow you to brush him. So just keep the grooming short; little by little, as he starts to trust you more, you can stretch out the grooming time.
- Use the right brush. Use one meant for cats, with harder or softer bristles depending on his coat.
- Brushes with separated bristles are ideal for long coats. For short-haired cats, a rubber brush is recommended.
- Moistening the brush can help keep the fur from floating around the room.
- Start by brushing along his spine and then his neck and head. Leave his legs and belly until the end because they’re sensitive there and may not like it.
- Although the belly is the hardest part, don’t stop brushing him.
A matter of time and routine
- There is no exact amount of time you should brush your cat but ideally, it should be at least 4 minutes. This is enough time to remove excess dander and activate the natural oil in your cat’s skin, which will make his fur shine.
- There’s no maximum amount of time, either. Your cat should feel like it’s a pampering session, so you can brush as long as you want.
- Get into a routine. Like any other animal, cats are creatures of habit. One way to get them used to brushing is to do it every day at the same time.
- Identify when during the day your cat is the most relaxed. Just watch his routine: for example, before or immediately after eating may not be the best time.
Bathing your cat
It is often said that cats and water do not get along. However, it’s all about habits.
A cat who has been bathed since it was a kitten will be used to it. On the other hand, you may find that adult cats are more reluctant.
In these cases, here are recommendations to follow:
- Brush your cat before bathing him to get rid of shed fur.
- Use a shampoo meant for pets. This type won’t irritate their skin.
- Use rubber gloves to keep your cat from slipping out of your hands because of the slippery soap.
- Dry your cat with a warm towel.