Cat Grooming: Over Brushing

As a cat groomer you might think it would be better business for me to not advise anyone on how to care for their cat’s coat, and to a degree you’d be right.

But, I can’t help myself. My children are older now, and I’ve always loved cats. As the kids have got older, cats have occupied a much larger space in my life, and I’m now at the point where they are my career too. I am not religious, but I do feel blessed and I can’t, in good conscience, groom someone’s cat then tell them in eight weeks time when I go back that they need me in six weeks, when we could save them a bit of money and care for the cats coat a bit better if I just give that little bit of advice.

This way it’s better for their pocket, but more importantly the cat.

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Obviously, grooming can be a bit tedious and annoying for your cat. Some cats really love it, and (as part of a six to eight weekly routine) do become accustomed to it and will sit much better (it’s as if they know it’s how to get rid of me more quickly!) enabling me to do a much better job. As a master cat groomer I understand the concept of taking our time. It’s like re-growing your hair after having a short cut and wanting it in a particular style, these things don’t come overnight. On the rare occasion that your cat will sit beautifully, then you’ll get the very best possible result I can give…but usually they like to be themselves during grooming. Cats do not usually sit still so you can manipulate their body into better grooming positions, but can you imagine them becoming more tolerant?

It happens! And when it does it is very rewarding for all concerned.

A lot of people will say, “Oh, they don’t need us to do anything, the cat looks after its coat itself!” and to a degree they are right, but help won’t go amiss as long as we have the cats best interests in mind and not just our own.

So, I decided to write this little post to encourage better awareness of what a cat owner can do at home to help improve their cats coat.

Many caring cat owners have various brushes and combs at home, and will groom their cat as part of a regular routine which involves lots of cuddling. But some people have a bit of a nightmare on their hands if their cat doesn’t really like it!

Both types of cat owner will suffer from the same problem!

The cat will often only allow certain parts of its body to be brushed. The less tolerant cat may be slightly worse than the cuddlier cat, but only because the cat former won’t tolerate it as long; but they both can be over-brushed.

I’ve groomed many cats whose fur I’ve had to be very careful of in certain parts because of over-brushing. Over-brushing occurs (as you might imagine) when we brush in a certain place too often. This most usually occurs on the top line of the back. If you look at your cats fur, you might possibly see how thin the fur is on the top where you brush the most. Compare this to the rear area of the back of their legs (to each side of their tail) and you will probably see what I mean. This goes for both long and short-haired cats, the fur really is much thicker there than you might realise.

The simple answer to this problem, is not to stop brushing your cat, but simply try and brush your cat in more areas. Their chest beneath their chin, the haunches and tail, belly and armpits all being problem areas where knots and mats can occur. Levelling out your brushing over the cats body, also familiarises the cat with the feeling of the brush on their body rather than just in one comfortable place. This in turn makes life easier for me too, and there’s less annoyance for your cat whilst I am grooming him/her.

Brushing your cat regularly also reduces the nastiness of the fur-balls your cat has to deal with through self-grooming, and also potentially reduces the loose fur left lying around your house. Both long and short-haired cats will benefit from this, particularly once you’ve got the correct product for your cats coat. Combs are a great starting point and there are many available in all shapes and sizes – both for your cat, and you own hand-size. I would strongly advise you never to go near your cats coat with a tool that contains a razor (such as a furminator), scissors or clippers. I will make a post about good products to use at home at a later date.

That’s it for today I think, so see you next time! x

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