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7 Reasons Why You Really Should Groom Your Cat Regularly

Sep 6, 2012 · Updated May 8, 2017 · ·
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  1. Anne
    Is brushing part of the daily - or at least weekly - grooming routine for you and your cat? If not, you may change your mind after reading this article.

    Brushing your cat should be a regular part of your routine. It's good for your cat's coat, as well as for her physical and mental well-being. Hey, it's even good for you! Here's why.

    Why do cats groom?

    Cats are famous for their self-grooming rituals. Cats use their paws to reach those places they can’t reach directly with their tongue. They lick the paw and immediately use the wet paw to groom their head and ears. There is something meditatively soothing about watching a cat meticulously and thoroughly licking its own body.

    And in case you're wondering, we have an entire article about why cats groom each other. It's worth a read - and shows the importance of grooming for the social life of our felines.

    So, should you even groom your cat? Can’t the cat just take care of its own grooming needs without any human intervention?

    While feral cats and cats living outdoors can often manage their own grooming needs to some extent, we do actually have an important role as owners.

    The Benefits of Grooming Your Cat


    There are several good reasons for you to establish a grooming routine, involving your cat’s coat, claws, teeth and sometimes ears and eyes as well.

    1. Getting the cat used to being touched and handled

    Grooming procedures require tactile interaction; you touch your cat extensively and frequently as you groom her. Brushing or combing the coat is fairly similar to petting, yet clipping claws, brushing a cat’s teeth or cleaning their ears, require a different kind of handling. Getting your cat used to that kind of handling could help you in the future, should you need to medicate the cat or otherwise handle sensitive areas.

    2. Checking your cat for changes and abnormalities

    Grooming gives you the opportunity to take a close look at your cat and feel her over. It allows you to notice early changes in coat condition, tooth and gum disease, dirt inside the ears, increased sensitivity in a paw or a limb, or a suspicious lump or swelling. Early detection is key when it comes to many kinds of cancer and other medical conditions.

    3. Enhancing the feline-human bond

    One of a cat’s earliest experience is that of being licked over by the Mother cat right after birth, and from then on a regular basis. Cats often groom each other to show affection and reinforce social bonds. In fact, many cats will lick back when the mood strikes them, especially in response to petting, and some cats go as far as grooming a favorite person’s hair. By the same token, when you groom your cat’s coat, you are creating a sense of closeness and trust.

    4. Preventing excessive shedding in your home

    Yes, cats can groom themselves, but you can minimize the amount of loose fur in your household by grooming the coat with a good cat brush or comb. This is especially important in the springtime when cats tend to shed more.

    5. Special Needs cats need special grooming attention

    Paralyzed cats, or those with motor problems, may rely on human grooming to keep them in the right condition. Arthritis can prevent a cat from properly stretching to groom those hard to reach places too. For the same reason, obese and senior cats may require more assistance in grooming from their caregiver as well.

    6. Special breeds with special needs

    While all longhair cats could use additional combing and brushing, some purebred cats have more specific grooming needs. If you own a purebred cat or plan on getting one, you should take the time to study the breed and its specific grooming routines. Flat-faced Persians, Himalayan and Exotics, for example, often need help with keeping their eyes clean. Some shorter coats may need special care too, with occasional combing for dense coats.

    7. Claw and tooth care

    Living indoors-only and feeding on processed foods means you should pay special attention to claw and tooth care. That applies to most if not all pet cats. Claws don’t get as worn out as they would in a feral cat living outdoors, and thus may need trimming. Teeth may accrue plaque unless cleaned, and we now know that feeding kibble does not solve that particular problem.

    Finally, we have some recomemndations for the tools of the trade. If we convinced you that you should start grooming your cat, you need to take things slowly and very gradually get Kitty used to the new routine.

    These pet brushes can set you off to a great start!

    Choosing the best brush for your cat may take some experimenting. As the saying goes, different strokes for different cats! You may need to try several options before finding the one which "hits the spot" with your kitty.

    1. Cat Combo Brush With Reinforced Wire And Nylon Bristles

    This double-sided brush offers two options: gentle nylon bristles for a more tender touch on one side, and a set of rounded wires on the other. It's great for cats with medium length coats that may benefit from rotating between different levels of brushing intensity.

    Cat Combo Brush With Reinforced Wire And Nylon Bristles

    2. Miracle Coat Cat Slicker Brush

    With its soft pad and flexible thin pins, this brush is generally gentle enough for shorthaired kitties as long as you control the amount of applied pressure.

    From our reviews section:
    - "My cats love to be brushed and this slicker brush is very gentle on the skin."

    Miracle Coat Cat Slicker Brush

    3. Safari Cat Massage Brush With Rubber Pins

    When you use this brush, the evenly spaced rubber pins create a unique massaging effect. It's like having 32 tiny fingers gently weave their way through your cat's coat. The manufacturer says that short, quick strokes will remove dirt and debris while long, flowing strokes will smooth the coat and massage the skin.

    Safari Cat Massage Brush With Rubber Pins

    4. Kong Cat Zoomgroom

    The Zoom Groom is a popular choice among many cat owners. Its unique design offers thick long rubber spikes that are evenly spread across the cat-shaped base. Some consider it to be more of a massage tool than a brush but it does collect at least some dead hair and excess oils.

    From our reviews section:
    - "Like a kitty massage. Gets some loose fur off of a short hair cat. Good for kitty bellies."

    Kong Cat Zoomgroom

    5. Pet Massage Grooming Brush Glove

    Some cats just don't like brushes. They may be ok with a grooming glove though, such as this one. The spikes are small, making this a possible solution for cats with sensitive skins.

    Pet Massage Grooming Brush Glove

    6. Multipet Genie Cat Grooming Brush

    Amazon reviewers love the Groom Genie with its 4-inch-long base. It has bristles in three different lengths for combing, brushing and massaging all at once. According to reviews, this brush is a hit even with cats that don't usually appreciate being groomed.

    Multipet Genie Cat Grooming Brush

    Care to tell us about your cat's favorite brush? Leave us a comment here, start a thread in the Cat Care & Grooming Forum or add your review in the product page!

    You can read about proper claw care, dental care and coat care in the following articles:
    How To Properly Care For Your Cat's Coat
    How to Best Take Care of Cat Claws
    How To Brush Your Cat's Teeth



    Comments? Leave them using the form below. Questions? Please use the cat forums for those![/h3]

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  1. tarasgirl06
    Thanking you for another educational and informative article and hoping everyone reads and puts to good use! Fortunately, my cats crave the brush, and the comb is well tolerated. The other grooming isn't loved, but *I'm bigger than you* :yess::lovecat:
  2. Purr-fect
    I agree, the benefits of grooming are mors than just a tangle free coat.

    I try to give my boys two closely supervised outings a day. This means they are brushed twice a day, when they are brought back into the house. As they are brushed frequently, each brushing may only last a minute.

    But that time has also become a bonding time. It is specific one on one time with either greg or arnold. It is a time when we look into each others eyes, they lift their necks for me to brush their manes. I talk soothingly, greg will often flop down and begin purring. Its a sharing of respect for each other. This moment together strengthens our relationship.

    This is also the best time to check for any abnormalities, matts, bugs, dirt, tree sap, twigs ect that shouldn't be there. (As well as their paws). I remember I found what I thought was a skin tag on arnolds neck. Because I found it, I watched it carefully....the next day he was at the vet. It was a tick that had burrowed into his neck. Without careful combing and inspection I would not have found that tick until arnold was infected.

    (I now also use a very fine steel comb for fleas and flea eggs........ and they are flea free, with no chemicals).

    Sounds silly, but after comming back from the vet, arnold was even closer to me. It was almost like he was saying....."hey....thanks for finding that thing and dealing with it".
      MrHandsomesMama purraised this.
  3. meowbrand
    Regular brushing also helps decrease the chance of hairballs. The more loose hair you can brush off, the less your cat will swallow. My cats liked to be brushed so they come and line up when I take out the Furminator which I've found to be the best one for removing hair. It costs a bit more, but for the amount of fur it trims it's worth it. 
      MrHandsomesMama purraised this.
  4. splasha1
    Mine will usually just sit in front of her food bowl in the morning until she gets a combing with either a brush or hard toothed comb. Soon as the combing starts she starts eating.
      MrHandsomesMama purraised this.
  5. lucyandbruster
    My cat who is almost 5 years old hates showers.  How can I get him to like them better?
  6. convert94
    We groom ours everyday.  She automatically goes outside in the same spot and lies down and waits for it. We use mostly one of those rigid toothed flea combs as she is an indoor/outdoor cat and those combs
    usually get a couple fleas every day.  She really loves it and it definitely is a daily ritual with her very obliging.
  7. raysmyheart
    Part of my greeting Speedy when I come home is brushing her and she will roll from side to side.  It makes her so happy.  As much as  keeping the coat healthy, I think it keeps cats emotionally well, too.  Grooming can also make sure that the cat does not have any tender areas.  
  8. cyndilaupurrr
    I have started making it part of our daily routine even though she is still a kitten and hardly needs it, at first she played hard to get but now she comes running as soon as I bring out the brush and comb.
      MrHandsomesMama purraised this.
  9. purrsngrrs
    My cats love grooming so much. They make a queue and wait for their turn. Its amazing to see that they are so much interested in staying well groomed. People who do not groom their cats have no idea how how much important it is.
      MrHandsomesMama purraised this.
  10. conikat
    I always especially loved grooming Paxi. He absolutely loved it and would roll over so I could reach everything. One of his funnier moves was to raise each arm ( leg) up in the air so I could get to his underarm area in particular. He was a Main Coon mixed with Persian, so his knot supply was endless. Poor baby, I felt bad about his fur problems, but totally enjoyed the whole grooming process because he always chatted away at me and showed me the spots--all this while he was draped across my chest and stomach. ( I did say he was a really big boy, right?) I miss those days a lot.
      MrHandsomesMama purraised this.
  11. Anne
      MrHandsomesMama purraised this.
  12. joannie01
    What is the best way to clean a cats ears and what is the best comb
      MrHandsomesMama purraised this.
  13. procatgroomers
    That is a great article. 
  14. esra
    I think this would really help for anyone who is getting a cat for the first time.
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