Brushing Your Cat
Brushing your cat not only removes dirt, grease and dead hair from her coat, but it helps to remove skin flakes and stimulates blood circulation, improving the overall condition of her skin. One or two brushing per week will help kitty to keep her healthy glow—and you’ll find that regular sessions are especially beneficial when your cat ages and is no longer able to groom so meticulously on her own.
- Before brushing, check out the condition of your kitty’s coat. If it’s healthy, her hair will have a natural gloss and spring back under your hand when you touch it. There shouldn’t be any bald patches or signs of fleas and ticks, and her skin should be free of wounds and unusual bumps.
- For short-haired cats: With a metal comb, work the brush through your cat’s fur from head to tail to remove dirt and debris. Work along the lie of her fur, brushing in the direction the coat grows. Brush all over her body, including her chest and abdomen, concentrating on one section at a time to remove dead hair and tangles. A rubber brush can be especially effective for removing dead hair on cats with short fur.
- For long-haired cats: Long-haired cats who live indoors shed throughout the year and need grooming sessions every few days to remove dead hair and prevent tangles. Start with her abdomen and legs, gently comb the fur upward toward her head. Comb the neck fur upward, toward her chin. Make a part down the middle of her tail and gently brush out the fur on either side. You can sprinkle talcum powder over knots and gently use your fingers to tease them apart. If the knots don’t come out by hand, try using a mat-splitter.
- During your weekly grooming sessions, run your hands along your cat’s body, checking for wounds, bumps and hidden tangles. Check for ticks and flea dirt, black specks of dried blood left behind by fleas. Sneak a peek under her tail to check for feces attached to the fur that may need to be snipped away with scissors. It’s also important to check around your cat’s anus for a tan, rice-sized object—these may indicate the presence of tapeworm.
- Neglecting to brush your kitty’s coat can lead to painful tangles and a bellyful of hair. You’ll know if your cat is suffering from hairballs when he coughs them up onto the floor or expels them in his feces. Despite regular brushing, if your cat continues to suffer from hairballs, there are several remedies available. Please ask your vet to recommend a solution.
Source: ASPCA Cat Grooming Tips (https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/cat-grooming-tips)