Grooming Your Cat

 

Anyone who has ever spent any time around a cat has to know that grooming themselves seems to be one of their favorite activities. Some especially the ones with short course coats can handle virtually all of their grooming needs themselves. However there are times when any cat may need a hand to look their best.

Appearance only plays a minor role in why you may need to groom your cat. They can come in contact with substances that smell bad or are harmful and need to be bathed. They may need an occasional nail trim to help protect the furniture. The most common and important grooming task though is brushing to control shedding and matting of their coat.

busy by parker yo!, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  parker yo!

As they groom themselves cats naturally swallow loose hair, which can accumulate in their digestive track forming hairballs. These normally pass through the cat but sometimes they also cough them up and less frequently but much more seriously they can lodge in the cats intestines causing a blockage. The best way to prevent hairballs is through regular brushing to remove the loose hairs before they can be swallowed.

As mentioned before cats with longer finer coats like Persians benefit the most from regular brushings, sometimes on a daily basis. As luck would have it though these are also the coats most prone to matting. Matted fur can irritate the skin and in extreme cases actually cause injury. If you've ever brushed a child's hair you probably realize that removing tangles is never enjoyable for the one being brushed, just imagine if their whole body was covered in hair instead of just their head!