The care that is applied to the different races varies depending on the type of fur they have. At first, a kitten's fur is softer, lint-like and shorter than that of an adult cat. Although at the beginning of the kitten's life, grooming is not essential, it is advisable to do so to get used to this practice. If you teach him to let himself be manipulated and even enjoy that contact, it will be much easier to clean him later. Cats usually like to be brushed. Most of them will approach you as soon as they see you with the brush or comb in their hands and they will be pleased to have your full attention!
STEPS TO BRUSH YOUR CAT
For a shorthair cat, it is recommended to perform a quick brush once a week using a comb or a soft brush. On the contrary, with a long-haired cat, such as the Persian breed, daily care and adequate equipment are needed, ask the breeder or cat groomer for advice.
- When you have your kitten on your knees, start brushing it gently.
- Congratulate him for his good behavior with a calm and pleasant voice.
- After two minutes stop brushing and stroking it again. Offer him a treat as a reward.
- Repeat this sequence several times a day, progressively lengthening the duration of brushing.
- If your kitten tries to bite or take the brush, turn your back without letting it be. Cats hate being ignored and quickly learn that by attacking the brush, they lose your attention.
- Once your cat has become accustomed to grooming (which will occur after about five days) start brushing her belly, tail, ears and other more sensitive parts. You must be very delicate and try to make the first toilets brief. If you detect signs of anger or agitation in your cat, brush the back again.
- While the cat is calm, take the opportunity to touch his paws and examine his nails and fingers. Start with a nail, then congratulate and reward. In the next session, try to touch him already with two fingers and so you gradually increase the time you manipulate his legs.
- Look inside your ears and gently open your mouth to see the teeth and gums.
For long-haired breeds that need intense brushing, it is convenient to get the cat used to grooming on a table that has a non-slippery surface. When the kittens have become accustomed to the routine of grooming, we must put them on the same table that we will use when they are adults, in this way they will quickly associate this place with the toilet.
Healthy cat hair protects the cat
Cats are hairy, an axiom that is true in almost all felines. There is long-haired, light-haired cats with three-colored spots, black and bright felines. The fur of the cat, however, is not only a matter of aesthetics: it also fulfills some important functions for the animal, which sometimes go unnoticed.
"The cat's hair plays an important role in the sense of feline touch, but it also serves as an insulator against extreme temperatures, both cold and too hot," concludes a team of veterinarians coordinated by Michael Foss of the University of Washington, in his work 'Anatomy and psychology of the cat'.
Healthy cat hair protects you from diseases and the bites of insects or parasites
The protective role of cat hair against extreme changes of the thermometer explains that the cats take the opportunity to renew an important part of their fur when temperatures moderate: that is, during autumn and spring.
The cat's hair, however, is not only effective as a thermal insulator: the hair also protects it from the insects and bites of other animals. This characteristic feline mantle also fulfills a striking defensive function against other possible dangers. He cat is able to bristle its hair, and almost double its size, as a measure of intimidation when you feel intimidated by other animals.
The healthy and careful feline fur is also a sign of well-being for the furry friend. "Excessive hair loss may indicate that the animal is suffering from a disease, that the cat does not feed properly or even that it suffers from parasites," Foss warns.
The Cat brushes help keep the feline fur healthy, care and dirt free. The following explains how to take care of it and how to remove most dead hair from the animal's body in four steps.
1. Brush the cat's hair, start with a soft brush
Brushing the cat can begin with a soft barbed brush, from the tail to the head of the cat
"Felines need daily brushing to keep their fur healthy"warns veterinarian Patricia González. This simple gesture of grooming the cat helps remove dead hair that slows the aeration of the animal's skin and, therefore, that damages the health of this important natural feline barrier.
There are numerous models of cat brushes in the market: with soft and flexible bristles, in the form of gloves, with metal spikes. Which one to use and how?
A good idea is start with a soft and flexible barbed brush, which serves to groom the cat's hair superficially. This straightening usually provides great pleasure to the cat, as it provides a massage to the animal and stimulates the circulation of its body.
The flexible brush is not only a great help to start brushing the cat. This utensil is also useful to start in this essential habit of feline hygiene to the cat more reticent or less accustomed.
The best way to remove dead cat hair is start with a brief brushing in the opposite direction to the coat, that is, from the tail to the cat's head. Then, we must continue in favor of hair growth, from head to tail.
2. Cat's hair with a metal barbed brush
"Metal barbed brushes drag much more hair than the previous soft bristle, so this utensil is essential to complete the grooming and keep the cat's fur healthy, "González adds. This metal barbed accessory removes a good part of the cat's hair - never all of them - that otherwise will end up on the clothes, the living room sofa and the rest of the house furniture.
However, who has ever brushed a cat knows: felines seem to never stop letting go of hair, however much one prolongs this habit of grooming for five minutes or more. What is the password? Patience and humor in abundance, which the cat will reward with purrs, nice caresses and lots of love.
Effective brushing also involves removing the strands caught in the spikes from time to time before continuing. But, Is there a risk that the cat will lose more hair than recommended? "Not at all, a feline seems to never stop releasing hair, but it is about dead tufts, so the more we collect in brushing, the better, "Gonzalez adds.
Long-haired cats have it a little more complicated to get rid of free hairs. "In these cats it is common for the mantle to get tangled and form knots, especially when they get older, "adds veterinarian Ion Sustatxa, author of the blog Amores Dogs. and cats.
Hair tangles are not healthy, since they block the passage of air and prevent the cat's skin from oxygenating as accurate. When brushing is not enough to eliminate them, you need to ask for help from the cat hairdresser, a relevant collaboration especially during the summer. This video offers some keys to brush a long-haired cat.
3. Brush the cat's hair: patience and games
Brushing is a habit of hygiene that seems to satisfy the vast majority of felines. For the cat it is time to receive all the love of his beloved two-legged friend, which during these minutes will be focused exclusively on him. A delight for the cuddly felines.
Brushing the cat in depth will be easier if the cat is relaxed or sleepy
However, there are restless cats that do not stop moving, who find it difficult to stay in the same place for too long. In other cases, grooming is complicated because the adopted cat has just arrived home, and is not yet used to it.
How to act on these occasions? You have to earn their trust. The games with the cat, patience and perseverance are keys so that, over time, the cat gets used to receiving his daily lovely brushing. Another guideline? A sleepy feline or ready to sleep is easier to accept our care willingly.
4. Cat hairs in exchange for love, do you accept the deal?
The cats are a constant source of hairs. Brushing is essential, but it will never eliminate all dead tufts. The person who lives with a feline should know that surrounding himself with hairs - on sofas, carpets, clothes - will be part of his day to day.
Humor and love for the cat will make these hairs become part of the charms of living with a feline or, at least, of the fair price to pay to enjoy the cat's charms. In return, the feline will return his affection to us, in doses far superior to the inconvenience that it means that he releases hair wherever he goes. Love has these things: either it is taken or left.
Do not use the wrong brush
Before you start, make sure you have the right tool at hand. To do this, you should know that there are many types of brushes and combs for cats in the market, so do a previous investigation to select the one that best suits your cat's fur. Most brushes and combs are quite cheap and worth it.
For shorthaired felines you can use a "card", which is the typical cat comb. When selecting the most suitable one, try to make it soft to make brushing a positive experience. We invite you to read the article" Brushes for short-haired cats ".
For longhair cats, dense and prone to break when brushing, it is not recommended to use a comb or a brush designed for short-haired cats, since the shorter teeth would not reach their sub-hair, brushing would be useless and would continue to lose dead hair. Ideally, opt for a double-sided or one metallic brush, and use them very carefully so as not to break the hair or harm the animal. For more details see our article "Brushes for long-haired cats".
General tips for brushing your cat's hair
Before you start, there are some things that we can recommend in ExpertAnimal that will help you for the next time you want to leave your cat's hair shiny and silky:
- Always brush your cat in the direction of the hair, for him it could be even relaxing. On the contrary, continuous brushing against you will cause you discomfort>
The trick is to do it right
To brush your cat's hair without problems, take your cat in your arms and sit with him between your legs in a place that is comfortable for both him and you. Close doors and windows so you do not try to escape during brushing and you can not hold it again. Pet your cat until he gets in a spectacular, serene and relaxed mood, you'll know when he starts licking or purring.
Now, brush along your back with slow, delicate and long movements, from the tail to the top of the head. See if your cat is having any strange sensation that can bring aggressive behavior, stay alert to his body language. Check the brush from time to time to make sure you don't have tangled hair, if so, remove the hair with a comb and continue. Do not neglect the armpits and abdomen, these are areas in which many knots are formed and some go unnoticed because they are attached to the skin. Be delicate if you get tangles, try to soften them with a little baby oil and then comb.
If you find some knots very impossible to comb, do not pull them, since you could cause pain in the animal and tear the skin of your cat. Use a knot separator to cut them into smaller pieces or, failing that, cut them carefully with a small scissor (only if they are not too close to the skin). Also, like people's hair, you can start untangling from the tip to the root, you will see how they gradually soften.
Always, always, pamper and reward your cat With a prize after each brushing. It will help you relate this moment in a positive way.
If you want to read more articles similar to Recommendations to brush my cat's hair, we recommend you enter our Beauty Tips section.
The trick is to get used to it
If you have a kitten, you should start getting used to the brush or comb you are going to use today. But if you are an adult, you can also get him to accept brushing if you follow these steps:
- The first thing you have to do is show him the brush. Let him get close to him, smell him.
- Give the odd cat treat to start associating the object with something positive (the prize you give it).
- Congratulate him by saying some nice words in a sweet tone, like "good boy", or "very good" so that he feels more and more at ease in the presence of the brush.
- Now, take it and gently pass it on the back, and then the legs and tail. Go giving prizes with each pass.
- When you finish, congratulate him again stroking it for example.
How many times do I have to brush my cat's hair?
Brushing should be part of our daily routine if we have a cat with hair, whether long, semi-long or short. We must also take into account that they spend a lot of time grooming themselves, and in the process they can swallow an important amount of hair that they should be able to expel, if they do not, they could have problems.
Therefore, it is advisable to brush them at least once a day, but if you have it long or you are in a time of molting, we will brush it between 2 and 3 times / day.
So your furry will not have to worry about anything 😉.
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Eva San Martín is a journalist and Expert in Certified Feline Behavior. It started IN THE NAME OF THE CAT in 2015 to make visible and help the millions of brave cats (all) and their conscious humans (every day more). Here you will find tips, videos, hairy manuals for everything !, news, recipes for cats and, interviews with conscious humans who, like you and us, speak IN THE NAME OF THE CAT. In addition, you have a Feline Behavior Service, at home and online. Read about how it all started >>