Why Groom a Cat?
Written by Pam Johnson-Bennett
If you have a longhaired cat you’re probably very familiar with the need for daily grooming. The coats of longhaired cats easily tangle and mat so regular grooming is a must. Unfortunately though, I’ve seen many longhaired cats who don’t get the needed daily grooming and end up with health complications as a result.
Even if you have a shorthaired cat, regular grooming is an important part of maintaining health. She may not have a coat that mats but frequent brushing will cut down on shedding and the amount of hair getting ingested through her self-grooming.
Benefits of Grooming
- Brushing distributes the natural oil which helps maintain skin and coat health
- With frequent brushing you can address tangles before they turn into mats
- Grooming enables you to check for parasites such as fleas and ticks
- Time spent brushing your cat can help deepen the bond between the two of you
- Frequent grooming helps desensitize the cat to being handled
- You’re able to check for any skin abnormalities or ear problems
- The more hair you brush, the less hair your cat will swallow
- Tangles and mats can pull on the delicate skin and make it difficult for the cat to walk
- Mats around the armpits could result in tearing of the skin.
- Dense mats block air flow to the skin and can cause skin irritation or wounds
- Fleas can hide in the mats, making it difficult for you to find and remove them
- Mats on the cat’s backside can become encrusted with feces and/or dried urine
- A cat may chew or tear at a mat due to pain and end up ripping the skin
If you brush your cat on a regular basis, the daily maintenance shouldn’t take long. Grooming shouldn’t be torture sessions lasting 30 minutes. With a longhaired cat, brush just a few minutes every day to keep his coat in good condition. For shorthaired cats, brushing two or three times a week will do the trick.
The Right Tools for the Job
Use brushes and combs comfortable and appropriate for your cat’s type of coat and pay attention to how much pressure you’re applying when you brush. Remember, a cat’s skin is sensitive and very thin.
Need More Information?
For more information on how to groom your cat, refer to the book Think Like a Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett.