A cat probably operated the first beauty salon. After all, felines are constantly licking and nibbling their fur so that it will lay just so. They invented the "paw-dicure," didn't they?
But a cat's fanatical self-care regime won't complete the job. That's where you come in with a brush. To remove any dirt, dead hair, or skin flakes, and to help keep him hairball free. You may remember a post on this blog about the difference between cat hair and cat fur. Hair relates to one strand. Fur refers to the rest of what’s on your cat’s body.
Brushing a cat’s fur helps every one of those hairs and also aids his blood circulation. If performed in short sessions, perhaps once or twice a week, the activity can help strengthen the bond between you and your cat. Plus, brushing your cat lets you discover any wounds, lumps, or ticks that require veterinary attention.
Purina, cited below, says, “It’s best to start holding, petting, and brushing your cat when he’s young so being touched will become second nature to him. If you’ve got an older cat with little human contact, you will need lots of patience – and maybe help from a trusted groomer.”
Once you get your kitty used to being brushed at home, he might be ready for an occasional trip to the groomer. Some cat groomers will come to you, which can help lower your cat’s anxiety level. A professionally-trained feline groomer can do a deep clean, which includes removing any matting that might be harming your cat’s skin.
According to VA Animal Hospitals, cited below, “If you’ve been thinking about getting a cat, but fear allergies, note that regular brushing, in addition to benefiting your cat, will dramatically reduce the amount of loose hair and cat dander floating around the home. For some people with mild cat allergies, daily brushing may even reduce the number of airborne allergens enough that they can share their home with a cat.”
Purina reminds the DIY crowd that grooming involves more than an occasional bath and brush. For example, ear cleaning is also important and can present an enormous challenge. I’ve had (and still have) both dogs and cats, and while dogs don’t like having their ears cleaned, my cats have threatened to murder me in my sleep if I don’t leave their darn ears alone! The same outcome is promised if I fiddle with their nails or teeth. Therefore, I will hold my cats and gently brush them occasionally. But I leave the main tasks to a pro groomer so that everyone survives.
Quote to remember: “What greater gift than the love of a cat.” – Charles Dickens
"All About Cat Grooming"
VCA Animal Hospitals
"Grooming and Coat Care for Your Cat"