We take a look at what tools owners need to maintain their cats’ fur.
Many cats struggle to groom themselves for a variety of reasons. Therefore, it is important to help your cat maintain their coat. Enlisting the support of a professional groomer can play an important role but equally, maintaining the coat between grooms is at the cornerstone of good feline health.
Hair Type and Length
Generally, long-haired cats will need more regular grooming than shorter-haired cats. Knots can form easily in longer fur and places to keep an eye on are the armpits, around the back end, and the tummy in particular. If they have a big mane, such as Norwegian Forest Cats and Maine Coons, then the chin and chest is another hot spot where knots can form very quickly. These cats also can have very fluffy, tufty ears and knots can form at the base of the ear so check there too.
Flat-faced brachycephalic cats like Persians are more prone to runny eyes and it is worth checking them daily and giving them a gentle wipe with a cotton makeup remover pad. You can get reusable ones you can wash, just put a mark on the ones designated for the cat so you don’t mix them up with any you use yourself!
Of the shorthaired cat breeds, do keep a close eye on British Shorthairs in particular. Their fur is very thick and dense so shed fur can easily get trapped if you don’t help with their grooming.
All the fluff from one groom…
…after the groom!
Older and sick cats of any fur length will need their fur checking as often they will struggle with their own grooming. They may also be in pain so unable to do those lovely yoga poses cats are so well known for, or some conditions, such as kidney and thyroid problems, can cause the cat’s coat to change and be harder to manage.
Professional cat groomer Katie Gwilt, known as The Kat Lady, shares her top home grooming tips:
1. If in doubt, always start with the widest tooth comb you have so it doesn’t pull too much. Grooming needs to be an enjoyable experience for you and your cat.
2. Don’t feel like you have to groom all of the cat in one go or every session. Pick one area to groom and then next time do a different spot. Eventually, you will work your way around the whole cat and can start again at the beginning!
3. Try to hold the comb at around a 45 degree angle and comb in the direction the fur grows. This makes sure that you get to the root of the fur and your cat gets the most benefit from the session.
4. Start with places the cat likes to be petted. Often the chin, base of the back of the neck, and shoulder area are great places to start. You can go back to these areas any time your cat is starting to get annoyed with you to relax them again.
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