All cats groom themselves but it’s a good idea to offer a helping hand, especially to those cats who struggle to manage thick or long coats.
Grooming your cat has a lot of benefits. It can help to keep on top of removing loose hair from the coat preventing ingestion of the hair and subsequent vomiting of fur balls. It also gives you the opportunity to check the health of skin and coat, for example, checking for any parasites and injuries. For those cats that enjoy being groomed, it can be a wonderful bonding activity.
Here are our 10 top tips for happy grooming.
1. Choose the right grooming tools – soft bristle brushes work well for short coats and plastic-tipped metal pronged brushes work well for longer and thicker coats.
2. Introduce grooming gradually and calmly when both you and your cat are relaxed.
3. Check your cat is in the mood to be groomed by first stroking it with your fingers. Treat a positive reaction as a green light to continue.
4. Give your cat the chance to see and sniff the grooming brush or comb before beginning.
5. Start with the areas cats most enjoy having touched, eg, cheeks, chin, and top of the head, moving to less tolerated areas once the cat is well relaxed into the grooming.
6. Associate grooming with positive feelings for your cat by interspersing several brushing strokes with food treats.
7. Keep grooming bouts short. Don’t try to groom the entire body in one go! Several short sessions are as much more likely to be tolerated than one long session.
8. Move the brush or comb in the same direction as the coat.
9. Use as little handling as possible and always stop grooming if the cat is not enjoying it.
10. Start young! If you have a kitten, now is the time to introduce it to grooming to ensure it learns to love it.
To learn more and see how best to teach a new cat to enjoy grooming, watch the video below.