Not only does grooming make your cat look good, but it also has a number of health benefits. Getting involved in your cat’s grooming routine can bring the two of you closer together.
Grooming Feels and Looks Good
Cats are famous for their fastidious grooming and rarely need prompting from outsiders. Regular grooming helps stimulate circulation, improves tone, and minimizes hairballs in the stomach by removing loose hairs. Grooming also smoothes down the fur to insulate the body more efficiently and stimulates the glands at the base of the hairs, which act to waterproof the coat.
In hot weather, licking spreads saliva that cools your cat as it evaporates. Grooming also spreads sebum (natural oil that protects and waterproofs the hair and skin) across the coat. While your cat is capable of grooming itself, getting involved is an opportunity to check if they have any external parasites and skin wounds. It also provides you and your pet with quality bonding time.
Start grooming your cat as early as possible, ideally when they are still a kitten, and make it part of a regular routine.
How to Groom
For shorthaired cats, use a fine-toothed metal comb weekly and a natural-bristle or rubber brush to remove any dead hairs. Gently brush your cat's hair in the direction it grows. Use the bristle brush to sweep the coat up, and then smooth it down again.
For longhaired cats, groom daily with a steel comb. Any knots can be teased out with your fingers or cut carefully with blunt-ended scissors. You may want to get your vet to help you as it is very easy to cut the skin.
If grooming is a struggle, try offering food treats, stroking, and talking reassuringly. Gently start to groom as your cat’s attention turns to the treat.