Cat grooming: How do I take care of my cat’s fur?
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 can indicate a health problem.
Here in this article we’ll answer all of your questions so you know everything you need to about taking care of your cat’s fur.
Cat fur: What you need to know
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.
- 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
Grooming should be first introduced during the younger stages of their life when they are a kitten. A good way of getting them used to the feel of a grooming brush is to begin by running the back of the brush along your cats fur before using the bristle side. There are a wide range of different cat fur brushes available with a variety of 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.
Why does cat fur get matted?
Not regularly brushing your cat can ultimately lead to matted 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.
Can I cut my cat’s matted fur?
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.
How often should I bathe my cat?
Cats and baths don’t usually go together. However, there are certain circumstances when a bath may be required, for example, if your cat rolls in something unsightly.
So, how do you bathe a cat? 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. When it comes to getting them in the bath or sink, try to keep your cat’s head dry, if their face needs cleaning, use a damp cloth instead.
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.
What shampoo can I use on 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.
Why is my cat losing fur?
There are several reasons why your cat could be losing their fur. These include:
- Skin allergies
- Mange and immune system conditions
- A hereditary condition
- 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.
How long does cat fur take to grow back?
A cat’s hair can take between 1 to 2 months to grow back fully depending on the reason why they have experienced hair loss. The vet will be able to advise on the best course of action to take to encourage hair growth and how long it may take to grow back.
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