Grooming for long-haired cats

Long-haired cats are graceful beauties with every movement of their silky, flowing coat. So that it continues to shine, shimmer and stay tangle-free, it is important to brush Persians and other long-haired breeds gently but effectively every day. This ensures that their silky soft coat stays smooth and well groomed and to prevent it from becoming matted, avoiding the need for shaving. Hair should stick out slightly from the body after brushing, not lie against it.

Persian pussycat

One of the best known long-haired cats is the Persian. This distinctive, beautiful feline was bred in western Asia hundreds of years ago. Persians have a very thick, long coat, a neck ruff and a bushy tail that needs special care. The Himalayan, or Colourpoint Persian, was bred by crossing a Siamese with a Persian. Its long coat also has to be brushed every day, just like its cousin. Semi-longhairs also need daily beauty care with a comb and brush. These include the Turkish Van, the Birman, the Norwegian Forest Cat and the popular Maine Coone.

Spoil your tabby

Most felines thoroughly enjoy being spoiled and willingly let themselves be combed if they are used to this gentle, loving procedure from kittenhood. You should always wait until your pet is calm and relaxed. Stroke them gently, a treat can also help to get your cat in the mood. While you are grooming, take the brush out of your hand every now and again and gently cuddle your pet. This keeps your cat happy and creates a comfortable atmosphere.

Brushing your cat

Use an extra soft brush with soft, curved bristles. Some cats are very sensitive! Don’t brush too hard, especially on the belly or head. Use the brush to remove dead hair and untangle their coat. You can minimise the pull of the comb by putting your hand between the brush and skin, this should ensure that it doesn’t hurt at all. Tackle the knots that inevitably form despite daily grooming with your hand. Try to untangle these with your fingers. Sometimes a knitting needle can help, just make absolutely sure not to hurt your pet! If nothing helps, you will have to cut the knot out. Use a special coat scissors, not kitchen scissors, and take care not to cut your cat, especially around the stomach. Remember that cats don’t always want to stay still. If you need to, ask someone to help by holding a comb between the skin and knot.

When everything is untangled, brush the long hair until it is silky smooth. Never comb against the direction of their coat, this literally goes against the grain for your furry friend. Start at the head, over the back to the tail. Take care not to shock your cat if their coat becomes statically charged. This can scare your cat, and they might refuse to be groomed next time. There are antistatic sprays for extra sensitive cats.

Do cats have to be bathed?

Opinions differ on this point. As around 99% of cats absolutely loathe water, a bath can be anything other than relaxing for two and four-legged friends alike. Although bathing has the advantage that fur won’t matt as easily, it is really only recommended for divas that are accustomed to being wet with lukewarm water and shampooed on a non-slip base (only with special cat shampoo). Rather than risk scratches and a stressed-out cat, it is better to invest energy in a daily beauty hour with a comb and brush, but without water.

Call into your local store today to discuss your cat’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts