Cats spend about 10% of their waking time grooming, but sometimes they may need a little help.
Matted fur and external parasites can be a problem for your cat, but with some simple grooming and care, you can keep your cat's skin and coat in top condition.
Cats are very clean animals and like to groom themselves, but sometimes they may need a little help. Long-haired cats should be brushed daily to stop their coat becoming tangled.
If they are not regularly groomed fur can become matted and uncomfortable. These mats may need to be removed under anaesthetic by a vet. Short-haired cats will probably only need to be groomed once a week.
Older cats may struggle to look after their coats and require gentle grooming to help to keep their skin healthy. Grooming also gives you some valuable 'together' time with your cat.
If your cat isn't keen on being groomed, ask your vet for advice as referral to a qualified behaviourist or groomer may avoid the development of problems.
With kittens it’s important to gently groom them regularly so they can get used to the feeling of being brushed. There are a variety of kitten brushes and grooming tools available.
Find out how to get your cat used to grooming - perfect for cats who are a little nervous or unsure.
Find out more about grooming your cat in our how-to guide
There can be many different medical causes for over-grooming such as skin irritation or parasites, so it is important to take your cat to the vet if they show signs of this, such as constant licking of one part of the body and bald patches in their coat.
Cats may also over-groom if they are stressed or are suffering behavioural problems. Feliway can be very useful in behavioural causes for over-grooming but needs to be used in conjunction with advice from a qualified behaviourist such as a member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors.