All cats who have hair, sheds them. And long-haired cats get matted hair. Professional groomers can help you get rid of shedding hair and prevent cat hair matting. But do as much yourself as you can. It is a good opportunity for quality time between you and your cat and less stressful if someone he knows works on him.
A cat’s grooming schedule depends on his hair length, the amount of time he spends outside and whether he is an only cat. Some cats may need brushing once a day and some once a month. Cats who go outdoors roll in dirt or on concrete which helps remove loose hair, so they may be able to go longer between grooming sessions. Short-haired indoor cats may need to be brushed every one or two weeks. Long-haired cats need to be brushed more frequently.
The Following is a List of Grooming Tools
1. Brushes and combs that come in a wide variety of bristles, wire and rubber.
2. Stainless steel pet combs are good for getting tangles out of long hair. Brushes are nice for a lighter touch.
3. Use scissors to cut out clumps of matted hair. Always hold a comb between scissors and skin to prevent accidental cuts. For more safety, use scissors with rounded tips.
4. A shedding blade is a hoop-shaped strip of metal with a sawtooth edge and an attached handle. It is especially good for removing fine hair. Use a damp rag to collect the hair that the blade picks up.
5. Spread a dampened chamois cloth in your open hand and rub it firmly over the cat’s coat to remove loose hair. Keep the cat away from drafts until he is dry.
6. Some hair can become so matted that a comb and scissors simply will not work. If you brush your cats regularly, you should be able to prevent this. If necessary, you can use electric shears to remove matting close to the skin, but be careful. It is easy to nick him.
7. One of the best grooming tools available are your fingers, especially for short-haired cats. Remove loose hair by roughing up your cat’s coat with your fingertips and then stroking it back down. Use a damp cloth to pick up any loose hair.
Eight Tips on Cat Grooming
1. Find a time when your cat is in a good mood. Put him on your lap, on his bed, or on a counter with a towel underneath him. Pick a space big enough for him to stretch out.
2. Rub him where he likes it to get him in a good mood. If he starts getting in a bad mood, stop grooming for the day.
3. Start with the neck, chin and head or wherever his favorite places are. If he tries to get up and walk away, gently push him back down and immediately resume grooming. If he gets up again, let him go.
4. Start brushing slowly. Take short strokes, lengthening them as he relaxes. If you use a shedding blade, start with short, slow raking motions with the grain to remove the loose hair. Try pushing some hair so it leans against the grain. Then, starting at the base of that area, rake the hair back to its normal direction with the blade.
5. Once you have gained his trust, try a new area of his body that he is willing to let you brush.
6. The legs on short-haired cats should not need much grooming.
7. Keep the grooming pleasurable for him. Be gentle and talk to him while you work.
8. Stop the grooming session before he becomes agitated or before you brush him bald, which is easy to do if he really likes to be brushed. In addition, too much grooming can make some cats moody, something you need to avoid. Gently massage him again, tell him what a good boy he is and slowly walk away. Leave him with a positive image about grooming.
Shampooing: Cat hair has natural oils which shampoo will remove. Regular brushing prevents the need to shampoo a cat. Most cats should not need regular shampooing. Some never get shampooed, or as little as two or three times in his entire lifetime. A cat who has body odor all the time may have a serious health problem; see the vet if you have any doubts. If you do need to shampoo him, be very careful not to get water near his nose. Cats can easily get a cold or upper respiratory infection that way. Shampoo as gently as possible, using very little shampoo. Keep the water on a low, gentle warm flow. A hair dryer startles most cats so towel dry as soon as he is done.
By Tristan Andrews