Combing and Brushing a Long-Haired Cat Saturday 11 March 2017 @ 08:09
Last month, we met Russia, a 4kg Domestic Medium Hair. Russia was born in March 2013 and is currently on trial in Booragul thanks to Hunter Animal Rescue. He’s a happy, smooching boy with a big heart and bigger hair, who needs a fair amount of pampering and brushing to keep his luscious locks from getting matted. This week, we’re going to talk about caring for cats with a longer coat, in case you ever end up living with a feline like Russia.
With their beautifully soft fur and stunning appearance, long-haired cats can easily become their owners’ pride and joy. However, with this extra little luxury comes a little extra work, in the form of a few more grooming responsibilities. While long-haired cats will groom themselves just as much as any other cat, they do need a little more help and brushing to keep their hair from matting.
The amount of time you’ll need to spend grooming your furry friend will be determined by the type of fur they have. Cats with finer, silkier, softer hair are unlikely to pose frequent problems in terms of tangles. Meanwhile, those with thicker, fluffier hair could easily need your help more often than you’d expect.
For example, Persian cats have thick, luxurious hair which tangles very easily. This means they need to be brushed every single day and bathed monthly. Meanwhile, Turkish Angora cats have fur which rarely tangles and needs less grooming as a result - it needs brushing only once a week. Special care needs to be given to breeds like Selkirk Rex cats, whose long fur grows in curls similar to those of a poodle. This fur needs to be carefully combed a few times a week, and then fluffed back up with the hands to restore its natural bounce.
Combing and Brushing
Brushing a cat isn’t always easy. Some cats like being brushed, some don’t. In either case, the sooner you start brushing your cat, the better. Once it’s familiar with the sensation of being brushed, it’ll get easier for both of you. We have a few main tips that you should keep in mind when it comes to brushing which will hopefully make this process as quick and painless as possible:
Get the right brush. The type of brush your cat needs will depend on which breed it is: some breeds need a comb to manage matted areas, others are happier with a regular brush. You can ask your local vet or pet store for advice on which brushes you should be looking at.
Choose the right location. The grooming process will be a whole lot easier for both of you if you can sit somewhere both you and your cat are comfortable, and somewhere it won’t matter if your cat sheds. Make sure your cat is at ease by petting it until it licks you, purrs, lies down or gives any other sign of being comfortable and happy. When brushing, use the same motions you would when stroking it gently: starting with long, slow strokes. Carefully observe your cat’s behaviour: if it shows signs of being unhappy or tries to bite you, you’re either hurting it or brushing where it doesn’t want you to. Remember to reward your cat every now and then with a treat for sitting still and letting you groom it.
Make sure your brush isn’t getting clogged with hair. Keep checking the brush every now and then, throwing away any clumps of hair that gather around the bristles. You can clean the brush extra-thoroughly by using a comb. Keeping the brush free of shed hair will increase its efficiency.
Understand that your cat is probably uncomfortable. There’s a high chance your cat will be in a pretty bad mood by the time its grooming is complete - especially if it had been particularly matted - and will want to get away to relax and recover on its own. Remember that this is completely normal, and don’t worry that you have done something wrong by looking after its coat! Always remember that…
- Cats usually love getting brushed.
- You should never be forceful when brushing your cat, and only brush where it wants to be brushed.
- You should never, ever do something to your cat that you wouldn’t want done to yourself (within reason)!
- You should always be very gentle while grooming your cat.
- You should only try to brush your cats when they’re in a good mood.
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