Grooming is a great way to keep your feline companion healthy and looking good. Although cats groom themselves daily, your cat or kitten will need your help with some basic tasks. With a few supplies on hand, you can groom your cat at home in just minutes a day.
It is a good idea to begin a regular grooming schedule when you first bring your cat or kitten home. The sooner you start, the more readily your cat will become used to it. In time, he will accept the grooming procedure as part of his everyday life. If you have adopted an adult cat, be gentle and patient when you begin. He may not have been groomed before or he may have been groomed only occasionally, so he may not like being fussed over.
Brushing and combing your cat or kitten is a very important part of grooming. Cats (especially long haired breeds) have a lot of hair. As new hairs grow in, the old hairs are lost, or shed. Fur is shed every day, but excessive shedding is a sign of a medical or emotional condition. Cats that are stressed may over groom themselves or pull out chunks of their own fur. A nutritional deficiency, parasites, or ringworm also could cause abnormal shedding. If your cat is shedding a lot or pulling out his fur, take him to the vet for a checkup.
Set up a regular brushing routine and stick to it. How often you will need to brush or comb your cat or kitten depends on his hair length and coat. If you have a long haired cat with a thick coat (such as Maine Coon), then you will have to brush him every day. Short haired breeds (such as Burmese) may need only twice weekly brushing.
Brushing and combing is beneficial because it cuts down on the amount of hair that your cat consumes when he washes himself. A cat that swallows too much loose fur could develop hairballs, constipation, or intestinal blockages. If you see your cat vomiting up extra hair do not panic. This is normal reaction. It is nature's way of helping him to expel the extra fur that he has swallowed while bathing.