With their soft, luscious coats and fluffy tummies, long-haired cats are truly magnificent, but they also require a bit of extra maintenance. All that fabulous fur is often too much for your cat to groom by themselves, so they need a bit of help to keep it in tip top condition.
While short-haired cats need a bit of help grooming too – a quick brush once a week should do it – long-haired cats ideally need to be brushed daily to prevent their fur from becoming tangled and matted.
If you have a long-haired cat who needs some grooming help, follow our top tips for preventing a bad fur day.
1. Set a routine
Cats are creatures of habit, so try to brush your moggy at around the same time each day. Find a time when they are likely to be calm and relaxed enough to sit still for you (eg not when they’ve got the post-mealtime zoomies!)
Setting aside some time to groom your cat every day is a great way for the two of you to bond, and also gives you the opportunity to give them a quick health check, looking out for any fleas or lumps while you brush.
2. Brush up on your technique
There are lots of different types of grooming tools you can use, from combes and brushes to special grooming gloves, so it may take a bit of time to find the one your cat is most comfortable with. Once they’re happy with your tool of choice, watch our video to find out how to master your grooming technique.
3. Monitor their grooming habits
As well as a daily brush, your cat is likely to still groom themselves from time to time. Keep an eye on their own personal beauty routine so you can look out for any changes. If they start grooming a lot more or less than usual, this could be a sign of a health issue, so book them in for a vet visit as soon as possible.
4. Feed a healthy diet
Giving your cat the right food packed with the right nutrients for their needs will help to keep their coat healthy and shiny. Choose a ‘complete’ cat food that is right for their life stage, and avoid feeding them human foods and too many cat treats as these wont contain the vitamins and minerals needed for luscious locks.
5. Look out for mats
Regular brushing should hopefully prevent any large knots of matted fur from forming, but if you do spot any mats in your cat’s fur then do not try to brush them out yourself. If the knots have grown close to the skin then there is a risk of ripping or tearing the skin while trying to brush them out, and it is especially dangerous to try to cut them out with scissors.
If your cat’s fur has become matted, take them to a vet who will be able to perform a ‘de-mat’ haircut while your cat is safely sedated. Avoid taking them to a cat groomer as they will not be able to sedate your cat for the procedure and therefore your cat will likely experience a lot of pain and stress.
6. Clear up the hair
It’s possible for the loose hair you groom off of your cat to become tangled in their fur, leading to mats. Therefore it’s a good idea to vacuum regularly to clear up the debris from your brushing sessions.
If you’re looking for a powerful vacuum that will quickly remove embedded cat hair from your floors and furnishings, then check out Cats Protection’s official partner Shark.
Shark’s TruePet range of vacuum cleaners are designed for homes with pets and also give back to unwanted cats and kittens. For every UK sale of a TruePet vacuum cleaner made through Shark’s website, they make a donation to both Cats Protection and Dogs Trust!
Since our partnership launched in November 2019, we have received £66,218.25 from Shark. This could pay for one day's care for 3,500 cats at our centres, so thank you to Shark and anyone who has supported us by purchasing a vacuum cleaner. You have helped us to provide the best care for cats and kittens while they wait for their new homes.
To find out more about Shark and where to purchase a TruePet vacuum cleaner, click here.
For more help and advice about grooming your cat, visit https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/cat-behaviour/grooming.