Your Complete Guide to Cat Grooming

What Grooming Tools Do I Need?

The secret to successful grooming is to ensure that you have the right grooming tools. It’s worth investing in good quality products. How often you brush your cat will depend a lot on whether she has long or short hair. Ideally, a longhaired cat should be brushed daily to ensure the hair doesn’t mat (which it’s prone to do quickly) and a shorthaired cat should be brushed weekly.

Toolbox Check List:

For shorthaired cats, your basic grooming toolkit should include:

• a wire slicker

• a rubber curry brush that looks like a comb with large rubber teeth that lifts fur and massages

• a flea comb

• a fine short-toothed comb to gently remove any matted hair and to remove hair from the slicker brush

• a deshedding tool (like the ShedMonster) to remove loose hair.

• a nail cutter specially designed for cats; some models come with a built-in light to help define where the quick is in the nail so you can avoid accidents

For longhaired cats, your grooming toolkit should include:

• a slicker wire brush for removing tangles, dead hair and debris

• a wide-toothed comb to help long hair remain matt-and tangle-free

• a 7 ½ inch metal comb with fine and medium-length teeth to keep the undercoat thinned without cutting the hair

• a deshedding tool to control that thick undercoat

• a nail cutter specially designed for cats; some models come with a built-in light to help define where the quick is in the nail so that you can avoid accidents

Even if you prefer to shop online, it's a good idea to get the feel of a particular grooming tool to see if it’s right for you and your cat by handling it in a store environment.

Also remember to regularly wash and disinfect your cat’s grooming tools. Keep them all together in a little plastic container.

How Should I Brush My Cat?

When regular brushing, place your hand just in front of the area you’re working on and use short, quick upward strokes, so that you are lifting and not pulling.

If you have to deal with matted fur, remember to be gentle. When attempting to cut out a clump of fur, it’s important to use blunt-nosed scissors and to do it in stages starting from the top of the matt. Never try to cut close to the skin. Cats have very delicate skin and with a bad matt, it’s easily to accidentally slice into the skin and cause serious bleeding. In fact, it’s a good idea to seek professional help with matted fur. Once the situation has been remedied, regular grooming at home can prevent it from happening again.

A cat that needs to be shaved because of a badly matted coat or health problems should be shaved by a professional groomer to also avoid nicking the skin. However, there are excellent professional shavers for pets for home use if you feel confident doing it yourself.