No More Fears: Follow These Quick and Simple Cat Grooming Tips

All you need is a dose of confidence and our experts' tips to make your cat shine.

By Kathy Swanwick | Posted: Fri Mar 30 00:00:00 PST 2001

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Follow these simple steps for fast, easy brushing and combing:

1. Use a soft baby brush the first few times you brush your kitten or cat. Find out where your cat likes and dislikes being touched. If it enjoys being brushed or petted behind the ears, start with that; you can always go back there if it starts to get agitated. "You have to do it so it's all positive," Johnson-Bennett says.

2. Always start in the same place and work your way around the cat's body, Salzberg says. "If the cat is not thrilled with this, do one quarter of the body [one night], and do the rest the following night."

3. Pick the type of brush that best fits your cat's coat.

Slick-coated cats, such as the Burmese and Havana Brown, do best with a grooming glove, which has little nubs, Salzberg says.

Double-coated shorthairs, such as the American Shorthair, British, Manx, Russian Blue and Scottish Fold, may have more intensive grooming needs. Start with a slicker brush to eliminate dead hair, then proceed to a curry brush. Use a flea comb to check for any of the little critters. Finally, a light brushing with a soft chamois cloth lends luster to your cat's coat. These cats probably need to be groomed once a week, Salzberg says.

Shorthaired, glossy, single-coated breeds, such as the Siamese and Oriental Shorthair, may only need a weekly chamois cloth rub, Salzberg says. Dr. Weigner recommends brushing the cat's hair against the way it grows with a soft slicker brush, then brushing it flat. "It's a good way to get rid of undergrowth," he says. If your cat rebels at such thorough brushing, simply brush the cat in the direction the fur lies.

Longhaired breeds normally require more grooming, but how much care differs among the breeds. Persians and Himalayans need daily brushing. But others, such as the medium-coated Balinese, Javanese and Turkish Angora, need only twice a weekly brushing, Salzberg says.

4. Gently comb out mats as you find them. Thick mats can constrict a cat's movement as they tighten, causing the cat a great deal of pain. Mats may also contribute to skin problems because they prevent air from circulating beneath them, trapping moisture next to the body and providing the ideal climate for bacteria to grow.

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No More Fears: Follow These Quick and Simple Cat Grooming Tips

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Reader Comments

jenny    charlotte, NC

12/28/2007 6:35:56 AM

great tips. very helpful.

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