Most of the time, our cats handle grooming, but if your kitty has a luxurious long mane, you may have to help them out a little. Not that all cats can’t benefit from some extra grooming, but long-haired cats seem to need a bit more assistance than other cats. Proper grooming does help reduce all the hair floating around your house and reduce hairballs. As a bonus, it will help you bond with your feline too! You can take this grooming time to inspect your kitty for any cuts, lumps, or anything out of the ordinary. The process is relaxing and therapeutic for both of you, so don’t hesitate to give it a try!
Make it part of their daily routine if you have a kitten. If you are dealing with an adult cat, test the waters carefully. Let them smell the brush first before touching it to their fur. Start with brushing the back, then explore other areas slowly. Short sessions will work better when you’re starting, and you can steadily grow them to longer ones as your cat becomes more comfortable with the idea. If your kitty loves being groomed right out the gate, enjoy bonding with your cat! Remember, you should never force your cat into a grooming session. Respect boundaries, or your kitty will view these attempts to brush them as attacks, not as a happy time with you.
If your cat doesn’t like grooming, you may have to resort to handing it off to a professional. Depending on your cat’s fur, you may need to make appointments every 4-8 weeks. Work with your pet care professionals to determine a schedule that works best for you.
Look Out for Warning Signs
You want to make grooming your cat a positive experience. Hissing and growling are signs of displeasure. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms of discomfort.
- Tail thumping
- A sharp turn of the head towards the brush
- Sudden freezing
- Ears rotating backward or flicking
- Shaking their head
- Rapid self-grooming
- Skin twitching
- Dilated eyes
What Tools Should I Use
There are a lot of different tools on the market! There are a variety of combs, slicker brushes, bristle brushes, de-shedding tools, and even rubber mitts. Which fur care utensils you decide to use all depends on your cat’s comfort. Your long-haired cat may enjoy the slicker brush, or they may like the rubber mitt instead. Listen to your cat and try other tools if needed.
When Should I Groom My Long Haired Cat?
For the best fur care, you should brush your long-haired cat at least once a day. As with all aspects of grooming, tailor it to your cat’s preferences. If they object to once a day, maybe try every other day. Additionally, make sure you wait until your cat is relaxed and happy to begin grooming. Remember, you do not want it to be a negative experience. If your cat is not in the mood, do not push it. Try again later!
How Do I Groom My Long Haired Cat Effectively?
Once your cat is used to grooming them, start with a wide-toothed comb if possible, but whatever brush your cat prefers is fine, and begin brushing head to tail. Make sure you keep an eye out for any signs of fleas as you go. Be very gentle in potential problem zones like the armpits and between the hind legs since the skin is thin and sensitive. When you come across mats and knots in the fur, try to untangle them as best you can with your fingers first. Be patient and gentle. Only use scissors to cut it out as a last resort. Use the scissors carefully when cutting mats out; it can be hard to see the line between the end of their fur and the beginning of their skin.
Do What Works for Your Cat
It should be an enjoyable experience for both of you. Grooming is like petting, but with a purpose! Regular grooming should prevent pesky mats from developing, but if your cat consistently develops knots and tangles like that, you may have to take them to the professionals. In most cases, bathing your cat is unlikely to help the situation; it can make mats harder to untangle!
Remember to respect the boundaries and preferences of your cat. You are only trying to help, and if you stay mindful of their signs, they will love you all the more for it!