Using a Cat Brush
One of the easiest ways for a cat owner to promote good cat health, prevent hairballs and establish a deeper connection with their pet is via daily brushing. To get your cat accustomed to the idea of a cat brush, start brushing when the cat is young. Begin the process slowly, allowing your cat to develop its own affinity for the brush.
The best way to accomplish this is to first leave the brush out where your cat can see it and adjust to it. Next, try gently brushing your cat any time when it is relaxed and receptive to being touched. When brushing your cat, talk to it and encourage it to enjoy the brushing.
The Importance of Cat Grooming
As a responsible pet owner, one of the best things you can do for your cat is to mimic its natural environment. When cats live in family groups or in wild tribes, one of the ways they communicate with each other is via grooming. If you have ever seen two cats that are comfortable with each other, you may notice the more dominant cat grooming the other. In a similar manner, brushing your cat is an important part of cat socialization. This is a time for you to express your affection for your pet by giving it your undivided attention and helping it stay clean.
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Another important aspect of brushing your cat is that it can help reduce the chances of hairballs, and in cats that are allowed outdoors, brushing can help you identify parasites such as fleas and ticks before they become a problem to your pet. If you choose to brush your cat using a specific routine, you may find that the cat soon seeks you out to be brushed.
Regular brushing of your cat stimulates the oil production glands in its skin, helping its coat stay healthy and shiny. It can also remove snags in long-haired cats and help all cats to shed more easily.
How to Choose the Right Cat Brush
Choosing the right cat grooming supplies depends on the length of its fur and the cat's sensitivity. For a short-haired cat with a smooth coat, a flea comb or rubber cat brush is best. Slicker cat brushes with sharp pointy tines may dig too deeply, causing discomfort or even skin irritation for a short-haired cat.
Specialty brushes designed to help with shedding, like the Furminator, can be used with short-haired cats, but cats with longer hair often find the pulling motion of the Furminator irritating. For cats with longer, denser fur, a slicker brush is often a good option. This brush will help collect loose fur, making your cat more comfortable and less likely to ingest its own fur, leading to hairballs.