As humans, we can help out cats to keep their coat in top condition by contributing to their grooming routine. Grooming of a cat decreases the occurrence of hairballs and prevents tangles. It also helps alert a cat parent to check on ticks, wounds, lumps, and skin problems in their cat.
BRUSHING – AN ESSENTIAL PART OF GROOMING
Start brushing from an early age of the kitten, so that it could get used to it. Kittens are inexperienced at grooming themselves. Senior cats also need extra hand to reach to certain areas of their body, as they lack energy and interest. Grooming is required all throughout their lifetime.
With random sessions of brushing, grooming can be comfortable and enjoyable for both cat parent and the cat. Start slowly, aiming to eventually brush the entire body, including the back legs, area behind the arms, and other areas that might seem hard to reach. If your cat resists brushing session, or seems unhappy, or wants to move away from the brush, don’t try and force them. Instead, you could try brushing just one section at different times of the day for as long or short a time as your cat is comfortable.
Tail and tummy are often sensitive areas and patience may be required for your cat to let you groom these areas. Reward calm behaviour with a food treat; this also associates grooming with something positive.
FUNDAMENTALS OF BRUSHING
Gentle brushing or combing collects all the loose cat hair instead of them ending up on your clothes; it can also mean that cat ingests less, decreasing the number of hairballs and reducing formation of hair matts/tangles so your cat is more comfortable.
Regular grooming will carry lesser irritants out of cat’s body, consequently, lowering the chances of allergy sufferers in the family or friends, who visit randomly, to get transmitted with an ungroomed cat. A cat’s health can be well monitored by alerting on endoparasites, small wounds, lumps, bumps, and skin problems at an early stage.
Few cats love the attention of being groomed, but not all. Many short and medium-haired breeds of cats, probably, need no more than a weekly brush. Long-haired cats need more regular attention, and for Persian, Siberian, Maine coon, and Norwegian cats, a daily brush is recommended.
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