5 Tips on How to Brush a Cat that Hates It

How to Brush a Cat that Hates It

Do you have a cat that hates to be brushed? Does he run away at the very sight of a grooming tool or swat at the offending object if you even try to approach him? It’s not uncommon to have a cat that hates to be brushed. However, if your cat goes outside, or has a longer coat, then you will need to groom him at some point in his life to free his hair of dirt, debris, and possible mats.

Before you throw your hands up in the air with a huge groan of despair, we’ve collected some hints and tricks on how to brush a cat that hates it.

Don’t Rush It

Take the grooming slowly to start and pick a smaller area like the head. Brush only as long as your cat is comfortable. Once he starts to show agitation, stop and remember to brush for a shorter period of time during the next grooming session. This is to encourage your cat to perceive the brush as a pleasure-source, rather than a punishment.

Is This a Good Time?

Catching your cat at a good time is another trick to keep in mind. When your cat is relaxed and resting in her favorite spot, sit down beside her and gently groom her fur. Don’t rush the grooming and allow her to enjoy the pleasant moment. If she starts to fuss, stop and try again at a later time.

The Right Tool

The Right Tool
Image: istockphoto.com / OlyaSolodenko

There are many different designs of cat grooming brushes on the market today and they come in many different bristle textures. If you’ve tried a particular brush and your cat absolutely detests it, then try a different one. Some cats love a deeper “scratch” on their skin, whereas others are very sensitive. Your cat may only hate to be brushed because you haven’t found the right grooming tool yet.

It’s a “Brush” But It’s Not

There are other ways to groom your cat, without having a brush in hand.

The grooming mitt or glove is designed with a rough surface on the palm or soft nubby bristles. Simply put the mitt/glove on and pet your cat. Your feline may not figure out he’s being groomed but instead, he will enjoy the attention.

The Grooming Arch looks like a large pipe cleaner, but with tougher bristles. This cat grooming tool comes arched and anchored to a carpeted board. When your cat walks underneath it, it is simulating the brushing motion. Cats that are reluctant to be groomed in a conventional manner, love the freedom and feel of this clever invention.


It’s never a good idea to allow your cat to play with or chew on a hand-held grooming tool. This will confuse him into thinking the brush is a toy and he will want to play with it, rather than lie or sit down and enjoy a nice relaxing grooming season.

2 thoughts on “5 Tips on How to Brush a Cat that Hates It”

  1. Our cat hates having her nails clipped. We’ve tried everything that other people have suggested. Is there an easier way to get this done. We are ready to start paying a groomer to do it.

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