When buying any grooming equipment, make sure that you buy from a reputable pet store. The cheapest equipment might seem like a bargain, but is not always the best. It probably will not last as long as a better-quality product and might even damage your cat, Ensure that any metal combs have blunt, rounded teeth and that there are no sharp points.
The equipment you need depends on the length of the cat's coat. These are some of the most readily available:
For a shorthaired cat:
Chamois leather, bristle bruch or baby bruch, rubber grooming pad, flea comb, bay rum.
GROOMING A SHORTHAIR CAT
Shorthairs, on the whole, do not need a tremendous amount of grooming, but still benefit from a regular bruch and comb to help remove dead or loose hairs. A polish with chamois leather will also impart a glossy sheen. Some pedigree breeds, such as British shorthairs and manx, have particularly thinck coats and special attention needs to be paid to any early signs of a mat forming.
For a shorthair cat you will need:
bay rum, rubber grooming pad, flea comb, chamois leather, bristle or baby bruch.
A special rubber pad is used to loosen up any dead hair. The studded surface collects most of the excess fur and provides the added benefits of giving the cat a pleasant massage to stimulate the circulation. It is importent not to overdo this first stage as the pad is extremely effective and an over-enthusiastic owner can loosen too much fur. These pads are available in most good pet stores but if it is difficult to find one, try using damp hands as a substitute.
Use a fine-toothed comp (usually a flea comp, but not necessarily used for removing fleas) to comp the coat gently in the opposite direction to that in which it naturally lies; this ensures that the deep-lying dead fur is removed. Then comp thoroughly in the usual way to collect up any remaining debris.
Use a bristle or baby bruch briskly at this point. This will remove any remaining loose fur without disturbing the work already done and causing more hair to shed.
Now sprinkle a little bay rum lotion on your hands and working down the cat from neck to base of tail, gently massage it into the cat's coat. This is effective on any dark-furred, tabby or dark tortie cats as it brings out the brilliance of the colours and leaves a beautiful sheen on the coat. It should not be used on light coloured cats, as it can cause staining.
Finally, for a really superb finish, treat your cat to a polish with a chamois leather or piece of silk. Always smooth theb fur in the direction that it naturally lies.
GROOMING A LONGHAIR CAT
Longhaired cats require regular grooming if their coats are to remain free-flowing and tangle free.
Particular attention should be paid to the underparts, especially the belly and trousers, as these are where mats and knots are most likely to occur. Matting is a little like rust on a car-once started, it tends to spread like wildfire. Regular grooming for at least fifteen minutes each evening will prevent them forming; the alternative is a regular trip to the vets for anaesthetics to be administered and the matted areas surgically removed which is unpleasant for the cat and expensive.
For a longhair cat you will need:
Wide-toothed comp, toothbruch,wire and bristle double-sided bruch, talcum powder, metal comp with long and short teeth, slicker bruch.
GROOMING A LONGHAIRED CAT
Use a wide-toothed comp, or even better one with alternate long and short teeth, to comp gently through the coat in the opposite direction to that in which it usually lies. It may be necessary actuallt to make partings in the coat and comp it in sections. It is important to make sure that you comp right through to the undercoat to free any knots and tangels, and to comp gently through the underparts (this is a delicate part of the cats anatomy)
Lightly sprinkle the coat with baby or any unperfumed,talcum powder; this helps to ease the bruch through the fur, separating each individual hair and adding bulk to the coat. Avoid heavily perfumed designer talcs which can cause an allergic reaction, particualarly to the eyes.
Bruch the coat well, carefully using the wire side of the bruch. Be gentle as, although the wire bruch is effective, it can cause the delicate hair to break off if used too firmly. If in doubt, omit the wire bruching until you are confident of the way to do it.
Now use the bristle side of the bruch.
Use a toothbruch to bruch the facial area. (most bruches are far too big for this delicate area, but an ordinary toothbruch fits the bill nicely.)
A `slicker` bruch, although not essential, can be used for the final stage. This is mainly for tail and back and will give that finising touch by fluffing up the fur.
The finished result; smooth and tangle free.
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