Grooming Cats with Long Hair

Many people don't think that grooming cats is a good use of time. In general, cats tend to be hygienic animals that take care of their own fur and hair issues. However, there are a number of good reasons to work with your cat and to help groom his fur, especially if he has long hair. These include not only health issues for your pet, but also social bonding and a number of other benefits. Read on for a brief overview as to why it's helpful to groom your pet's long hair and how to best go about doing this.

Benefits of Grooming Your Cat with Long Hair

A cat with long hair is more likely to develop hairballs than a cat with short hair. Hairballs come about when your pet licks at his fur. Individual hairs are likely to fall out, and your cat can swallow them. Because your cat's body is not able to process those individual hairs, they collect in his stomach, where they form into a ball. At some point later on, your cat will have to vomit up that ball of hair, causing a mess and resulting in his discomfort. Grooming cats regularly can help to reduce the instances of hairballs.

Grooming your cat will reduce the mats and other potential problems with his long hair that he will be unable to deal with on his own. You'll also help to build a stronger connection with your cat, particularly if you begin to groom him early on in his life. This is especially helpful for pets that get older and can no longer groom themselves.

How to Groom Your Cat

The basic grooming process for your cat is relatively straightforward. The earlier that you can start this process on a regular basis with your pet, though, the better. Some cats do not take very well to being groomed later on in life if they aren't used to it. Begin by simply calling your pet over to you and sitting with him on your lap. Do your best to ease any fears that he may have and soothe him with a calm voice and plenty of pets.

When your cat is comfortrable, use a firm steel-toothed brush to gently brush his hair. Be sure that you brush the hair away from his head, as moving in any other direction may cause him discomfort. Brush his back, sides and stomach, if he'll allow you to. Use a gently firmness with the brush stroke and be sure to collect any hairs that may become dislodged as you do. As you go, praise your pet regularly and give him treats to eat.

Many cats actually enjoy the feeling of being groomed in this way. You can also consider bathing your pet regularly and dealing with his claws by clipping them, if you're feeling more ambitious.