How to Groom Your Cat

Grooming Basics

Regular grooming is essential for your cat’s good health. And a glossy, beautiful coat is a sign of your cat’s overall well-being. A well-groomed coat not only helps your cat to look her best, it helps her avoid more complicated problems like parasites and skin diseases. Most cats do a credible job of keeping themselves clean, but they still need your help when it comes to preventing matted hair and fur balls, and for detecting problems with eyes and ears. If your cat is not used to being groomed, start with a gentle combing in areas that she seems to enjoy and gradually work up to a full grooming session.

Brushing and Combing

For shorthair cats, we recommend grooming once a week with a natural-bristle brush and a fine-tooth comb. For Siamese and other breeds without an undercoat, you can substitute a rubber brush for the natural-bristle. Longhair cats require more frequent grooming, usually 2 to 3 times a week, unless she’s an outdoor cat. In that case, everyday sessions might be necessary. In order to properly groom your longhair, you’ll need a wire brush, a wide-toothed comb, and a fine-toothed flea comb.

Start by untangling your longhair’s coat with a fine-tooth comb or other mat splitter. Carefully untangle mats by working toward the skin, not away from it.

Next, use long, gentle strokes to brush your cat’s hair from the nose to the tip of the tail. Remove as much dead and loose fur as possible. If necessary, rub her coat with a nylon stocking to remove static electricity.

Finally, give your cat the once-over by running your hands over her body, looking for any unusual lumps or sensitive spots.