When buying 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
GROOMING A SHORTHAIR CAT
Shorthair on the whole, do not need a tremendous amount of grooming,
but still benefit from 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 think coats and so special
attention needs to be paid to any early signs of a mat forming.
For a shorthair cat you will
bay rum, rubber grooming pad, flea comb, chamois leather, bristle
or baby bruch.
A special rubber pad is used to loosen
up any dead hairs. The studded surface collects most of the excess fur and provides the added benefit of giving the cat a
pleasant massage to stimulate the circulation. It is important 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 comb (usually called
a flea comb, but not necessarily used for removing fleas) to comb the coat gently in the opposite direction to that in which
it naturally lies; this ensures that the deep-lying dead fur id removed. Then comb thoroughly in the usual way to collect
up any remaining debris.
Use a bristle brush briskly at the 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 the hands, 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 a piece of silk. Always smooth the fur in the direction that it naturally
A well-groomed cat will look sleek, with a glossy sheen to the
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 the 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 likr wildfire. Regular grooming for at least fifteen minutes each day 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 very expensive for you.
For a longhaired cat you will
Wide-toothed comb, toothbrush, wire and bristle double-sided brush,
talcum powder, metal comb with a long and short teeth, slicker brush.
Use a wide-toothed comb, or even betterone
with alternate long and short teeth, to comb gently through the coat in the opposite direction to that in which it usually
lies. It may be necessary actually to make partings in the coat and comb it in sections. It is important to make sure that
you comb right through to the undercoat to free any knots and tangles, and to comb 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 brush through the fur, separating each individual hair and adding
bulk to the coat. Avoid heavily perfumed designer talcs which can cause allergic reaction, particularly to the eyes.
Brush the coat well, carefully using
the wire side of the brush. Be gentle as, although the wire brush is effective, it can cause the hair to break off if used
too firmly. If in doubt, omit the wire brushing until you are confident of the way to do it.
Now use the bristle side of the brush.
Use a toothbrush to brush the facial
area. (most brushes are far too large for this delicate area, but a toothbrush fits the bill nicely.)
A slicker brush, although not essential,
can be used for the final stage. This is mainly for the tail and back and will give that finishing touch by fluffing up the
The finished result; smooth and tangle-free....
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