The frequency with which you should brush your cat will depend if you have a short, medium, or long-haired cat. The prevailing recommendation is that medium and long-haired cats like the Manx and Persian breeds should be brushed daily while short-haired cats like the British Shorthair should be brushed at least once a week.
How often should I brush my cat?
Brushing your cat is important for maintaining the health of the cat’s fur. It also makes your cat more presentable and prevents matting. But, how often should you be brushing your cat? It will mostly depend on what type of cat you have; whether she is short, long, or medium-haired. Here’s a more detailed discussion:
Long-haired cats should be brushed daily.
Long-haired cats tend to be high-maintenance because of their long and thick coats that easily develop mats, tangles, and knots. These cats shed their coats throughout the year so they must be brushed daily to remove the dead hairs and to avoid tangling of the fur. Just some of the long-haired cats include the Maine Coon, Persian, and Ragdoll.
The recommended type of brush: A de-matting brush and a fine-toothed comb works best for long-haired cats. Other good options are a dual-sided brush and a moulting or flea comb to de-tangle the long locks.
Steps in brushing a long-haired cat:
- First, comb the belly and legs, make sure that you untangle any knots.
- Next, brush the fur in an upward motion using a bristle or rubber brush.
- Finally, brush the tail by making a part down the middle and by brushing the fur out on either side.
- Some mats are hard to untangle so you may have to bring your cat to a professional groomer.
Medium-haired cats should also be brushed daily.
Medium-haired cat breeds like the Manx and Japanese Bobtail should also be brushed daily especially if their hair is dense and they are shedding most of the time.
The recommended type of brush: Grooming mitts and slicker brushes are good for medium-haired cats.
Short-haired cats should be brushed once a week only.
Short-haired cats have coats that are easy to brush and they should only be brushed at least once a week to prevent skin injury or irritation and bald patches. Popular short-haired breeds include the British Shorthair and Egyptian Mau.
The recommended type of brush: Grooming gloves brush is a good choice for short-haired cats because it easily removes dead hair.
Steps in brushing a short-haired cat:
- First, use a metal comb and brush from the head to the tail.
- Next, utilize a bristle or rubber brush to remove the loose and dead hairs.
- Finally, be extra gentle when brushing her chest and belly area.
Benefits of brushing your cat
These are the benefits of brushing your cat:
1. It reduces shedding.
Regularly brushing your cat especially if you have a long-haired cat reduces the amount of excess hair. There will be less hair shedding on the floor or furniture and you do not have to suffer from clogged vacuums and furnaces and your clothes will not look like fur coats either.
2. It distributes the natural oil evenly on your cat’s skin.
Brushing your cat evenly spreads the natural oil in her skin resulting in a healthy and shiny coat. The natural oils also protect from skin irritation.
3. It results in fewer hairballs.
While hairballs may be a normal part of a cat’s life it should be prevented since it is unpleasant to clean up. It can also harm your cat’s health as it may cause a life-threatening blockage if ingested. Brushing your cat ensures that there will be fewer hairballs to tackle.
These are the symptoms that your cat has ingested hairballs:
- vomiting, gagging, and retching
- lack of appetite
4. It soothes your cat.
The gentle strokes against her skin while brushing your cat is a great way to soothe your cat aside from removing the tangles in her fur. Just be sure that you are not overbrushing the coat as it may irritate her skin. Also, it is gentler to brush towards the hair growth instead of against it.
5. It is an opportunity to bond with your cat.
Cats normally groom each other as a means to show affection and build mutual trust. Each time you brush your cat, you are building that same trust and allows you to bond with your cat.
6. It allows you to check for fleas.
Brushing your cat gives you a good chance to check her skin for any problems including the presence of fleas. Thus, regularly grooming your cat is very beneficial.
7. It is a pain-free grooming technique.
Cats need to stay presentable, clean, and disease-free. Brushing your cat keeps her groomed and comfortable in a pain-free way.
8. It stimulates blood circulation.
Brushing improves your cat’s skin condition since it removes skin flakes underneath the coat. As a result, it stimulates the skin and increases the blood flowing to the skin.
Common mistakes when brushing your cat
While you only have the best intentions by brushing your cat, you should be aware that there are things you should not do. Here are some of the common mistakes when brushing your cat:
1. Using the wrong equipment
Do not just use any brush or grooming tool for your cat. You should take into account the thickness or length of the coat. For instance, a brush with short teeth is not favorable for long-haired cats and you should not use a brush with long teeth if you have a short-haired cat as it could puncture the skin.
2. Brushing partially
Some pet owners leave off some areas that are equally important like the back of ears and legs. This results in tangles and mats which could become very unpleasant for your cat. So, be sure to brush your cat thoroughly including the nooks and crannies of her body.
3. Brushing in the wrong direction
Be sure to brush in the direction of hair growth. Brushing the opposite way or against the hair growth needs more force and hair may be pulled out from the skin resulting in injuries.
4. Brushing after bath
Brushing your cat after bathing them is a No-no since the mats on the coat are hard to tackle when the fur comes in contact with water. Be sure to brush your cat before bathing her to easily remove loose hair.
5. Having an irregular schedule
You have to commit to a certain schedule to maintain the luster, shine, and health of your cat’s coat and fur. Thus, if you have a long-haired cat you should brush her daily while if she’s short-haired then once a week will do.
How long should you brush your cat
For the first few sessions, you should brush your cat for a minimum time of 5 to 10 minutes. You may gradually lengthen the time once your cat becomes used to the routine. Make sure that your cat becomes comfortable while being brushed and groomed. While going through the grooming session, try to pet your cat especially in her ear, tail, and feet area.
You should brush your cat regularly to keep her clean, presentable, and comfortable. If you have a long-haired or medium-haired cat, you should brush her daily. If your kitty is a short-haired darling, then you should brush her at least once a week. Brushing your cat is a fun way to bond with her while keeping her fur and coat healthy and free from matted fur, dead hair, and fleas.