Some cat owners never brush their pets, but there are several reasons why this should be done regularly.
The number of times you should do this depends on how long their coat is:
- Shorthaired cats – brush a minimum of once a week
- Longhaired cats – brush at least one per day
You may find longhaired cats that regularly go outside need more grooming than those who are house cats. The same applies for shorthaired cats, although not as extensively.
There is clearly more work involved for owners with longhaired cat breeds, but the reasons why you should brush your cat are the same regardless.
Even though cats are known for being extensive groomers, they’re not perfect (sshh, don’t tell them!). Regular grooming on your part helps them – and you – in lots of ways.
1. It’s better for your home
Let’s begin with the fact that excess fur drops all over the place. Shedding is a real problem, giving you far more housework to do each day.
If you brush your cat when required, you’ll notice far less fur being shed around your home. (That’s got to be good for your vacuum cleaner too, even the best vacuum cleaners for cat hair can struggle on certain floors.)
Choose the best brush for the grooming session, so you can remove all the loose hair that is held inside the coat. After a few days or so, you’ll find there is far less cat hair being left on the sofa, on the bed, and anywhere else they like to go.
2. It’s great as a bonding exercise
Most cats like being groomed. While cats in the same household are likely to groom each other, your cat will be happy for you to groom them too.
It provides a similar bonding experience they would have with another cat.
It doesn’t matter whether you have just one cat or several, you should still take the opportunity to groom your cat(s) to encourage the bonding experience.
Not only does your cat find this relaxing, it has been proven to be beneficial for human health too. You could call it a two-for-one bonus.
Better still, equipping yourself with a grooming glove from our list of the best cat grooming gloves will make regular brushing easier and more natural for you both.
3. It helps to prevent matted fur
This is far more likely to occur in longhaired cats, but even shorthaired cats aren’t immune to them. Once a knot occurs, it can easily get worse without attention. They are hard to spot in longhaired cats until they reach a stage where you cannot miss them.
Knots also tend to pull on the cat’s skin, making it uncomfortable and even painful for them.
Regular brushing helps prevent these knots from even getting started.
4. It helps identify any skin problems or fleas as early as possible
Fleas aren’t always easy to see until they are well established and causing a real problem. Regular brushing should enable you to spot even the occasional flea before it has a chance to take hold. Of course, regular vet-approved flea treatments should prevent this anyway, but brushing will help you spot any signs of an infestation as quickly as possible.
Watch out for flea dirt in their fur and on the comb or brush you are using.
If you have a dark-haired cat, you could always sit them on a white towel on your lap. That way, you won’t miss any flea dirt that might fall out.
Various skin conditions can also be spotted more easily during grooming sessions. As with humans, some cats are never bothered with these while others are. If you regularly brush your cat, you are likely to see the signs earlier than you might otherwise do.
Watch out for bald patches, sensitive patches, and other similar issues such as your cat not allowing you near a certain area. This could indicate injury or a skin condition that should be seen by your vet.
Spotting cat dandruff early is hugely important too – there are plenty of shampoo treatments for dandruff in cats, but for over the counter options, even the best shampoos for dandruff only work if you catch the condition early.
5. It helps your cat become more tolerant of other procedures
Not all cats like being handled by their owners, let alone by anyone else. If your cat becomes used to a grooming session with regular brushing, it is more likely to be more relaxed during other situations too.
You might someday need to use a cat nail clippers to trim out their claws, administer medicine, or to take them to the vet for treatment or examination. A perfect example of this is brushing cats’ teeth; even if you invest in the best cat toothpastes or dental gels, most cats absolutely hate the whole ordeal unless they’re already comfortable and trusting while being handled.
Brushing every day or every week means your cat will become more relaxed if they are not naturally happy with handling.
If this is the case, try a short session of brushing with some treats close at hand to start with. They’ll soon learn to associate the brushing session with something good.
Many cat owners believe their cats are fantastic at grooming themselves. Rightly so, too. Yet they are not perfect.
As a responsible cat owner, it makes sense to be certain your cat is happy and healthy and relaxed. Brushing them at the right intervals to suit their fur type is a huge part of this process.
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