How do I take care of my cat’s fur?

Posted by Argos, June 9th 2020, last updated October 1st 2020.

Your cat’s fur can tell you a lot about their health. While a shiny coat with clear skin shows a healthy cat, dry skin, bald patches and a greasy coat could indicate a health problem.

Here is everything you need to know about taking care of your cat’s fur.

What you need to know about your cat’s fur

Cats like to keep themselves clean. You’ve probably seen your cat grooming themselves, using their rough tongue to lick parts of their fur. However, it’s also important that you groom your cat too.

Grooming advice will vary depending on their breed. For example, longhaired cat breeds such as the Norwegian Forest need to be groomed every day to ensure their fur doesn’t get tangled. These cats also shed their coats regularly, meaning your home will rarely be without cat hair scattered around.

Shorthaired cat breeds on the other hand, such as the Domestic Shorthair, only require brushing around once a week. Unlike their longhaired counterparts, shorthaired cat breeds don’t tend to shed as much fur.

How to groom a cat

You should start grooming your cat when they are a kitten. To help your cat or kitten get used to the feel of the brush, you could begin by running the back of the brush across their fur before introducing them to the bristle side. There are a variety of cat fur brushes available with different textured bristles to suit your cat’s coat.

When you first start to introduce your cat or kitten to the grooming process, you should only brush them in short intervals and do specific sections of their body. Don’t brush their whole body as they may find the grooming process stressful. You want to ensure that your cat feels as comfortable as possible when you groom them.

tortoise shell cat on fence

Why does my cat’s fur get matted?

If you don’t regularly brush your cat, it could lead to matted cat fur.

Your cat’s fur can get matted in several ways. Breeds with longer hair, such as the Persian, are more likely to get knotted fur. As the longer-haired breeds tend to shed more, when loose hairs fall from your cat’s skin, it can sometimes get trapped in their fur. This can then lead to knots.

The most common areas that your cat can get matted fur is between their legs, on their chest, around the tail and their collar.

How to get rid of matted cat fur

As soon as you spot any matting on your cat, you should deal with it immediately. Matted fur can cause several problems for your cat, including damage to their skin tissue. This can cause irritated skin, and could even lead to an infection or parasites, particularly in areas where urine and faeces could be trapped, such as on their legs or tail.

While cats do groom themselves, they can make the issue of matting worse and could lead to other problems.

If you spot any matted fur on your cat, you should use your fingers to prise the fur apart. If, however, the problem is much worse, you should use a metal comb and a detangling spray. Speak to your vet for recommendations on the best detangling spray to use.

You should never attempt to cut out matted fur. Brush your cat close to the skin and try to be as gentle as possible to minimise any discomfort. If you are struggling to get rid of the matted fur by yourself, you could always seek help from a professional pet groomer.

white cat

How often should you bathe a cat

Cats and baths don’t usually go together. However,  there are certain circumstances where a bath may be required, for example, if your cat rolls in something unsightly.

When bathing a cat, make sure you have a feline-friendly shampoo, a towel and a bathmat to prevent your cat from slipping. If you choose to bathe your cat in the bath, rather than the sink, don’t fill it up to the top as this could stress your cat out. You should fill the bath with warm water and be sure to check the temperature before placing your cat inside the tub.

You should make sure that you keep your cat’s head dry. If you do need to clean their face, use a damp cloth instead.

What shampoo should I use for my cat?

When selecting a shampoo, check the label on the back to ensure it is suitable for your feline friend. You shouldn’t use dog or human shampoo as this can be harmful to your cat.

If your cat has dandruff or suffers from dry skin, there are specialist shampoos that can help. Speak to your vet for the best recommendations on shampoos and conditioners for your cat.

To keep your cat occupied during bath time, use treats or a toy to distract them. If your cat doesn’t stay still in the bath or tries to bite or scratch you, why not ask a friend to help by holding the cat whilst you bathe them. To help reduce damage to your skin you could get their nails clipped before their bath.

If you’re unable to bathe your cat yourself, you could take them to a groomer. In some instances, you can get pet groomers that come to your house.

Why is my cat losing their fur?

There are several reasons why your cat could be losing their fur. These include:

  • Skin allergies
  • Mange and immune system conditions
  • Alopecia
  • A hereditary condition
  • Ringworm
  • Stress
  • Hormonal imbalances

If you’re concerned about any aspects of your cat’s health, including your cat’s fur, or if you spot any bald patches on your cat you should seek help from a vet.

Take care of your cat’s fur and keep your feline friend protected with Argos Pet Insurance provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our cat insurance policies today.

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