What’s the Best Way to Groom a Long-Haired Cat?
Kitties with long fur (such as the stunning Persian) are beautiful to look at, but they can also require a bit more maintenance than other felines. Knowing how to properly groom a long-haired cat is a must for any paw parent of kitties with long or even medium-length fur. Want to know how to keep your fluffy friend in tip-top condition? Cat in a Flat shows you the best ways to groom a long-haired cat.
How do I know if I have a long-haired cat?
Some breeds of cats—such as the Himalayan or the Maine Coon—are known for their long fur. You can usually tell from your feline’s breed whether they will be long-haired or not. However, if you’ve adopted, have a mixed breed cat, or don’t know your kitty’s breed, you may not be sure if your cat is long-haired or not.
Here are a few traits of long-haired cats:
- A long-haired cat’s fur will generally be between two to six inches long.
- Many long-haired felines have ear tufts.
- Some furry friends may even have long tufts of fur at the bottom of their paws.
- If your kitty’s fur is prone to getting matted or tangled, then you have a long-haired cat!
How often should I groom a long-haired cat?
Like we mentioned above, kitties with long fur require more maintenance than your average feline. This is something you should take into account when considering adopting a long-haired cat. Different cat breeds are suitable for different lifestyles, so it’s good to know beforehand what you’re getting into.
Felines are naturally tidy and will spend a large chunk of each day grooming themselves. However, you will still need to help groom your long-haired cat every day. Without proper grooming Mr Whiskers will develop knots and clumps in their fur. Over time, these will grow bigger and tighter and become itchy and incredibly uncomfortable for your kitty. To avoid this, make sure you groom your long-haired cat every day.
Cat sitters: Always ask your kitty client’s paw parents to walk you through how to groom their long-haired cat. Be consistent with daily grooming so your furry friend stays happy and healthy while their owners are away.
How to care for and groom a long-haired cat
Ready to learn how to look after your fluffy furry friend? These five tips will help you learn how to properly groom a long-haired cat.
1. Set a grooming routine
What is the first step to grooming a long-haired cat? A great routine! Our fur friends are creatures of habit, so it’s important to try to maintain a daily routine. Aim to groom your long-haired cat at around the same time each day. Choose a time when your kitty is feeling calm and relaxed, like right after you’ve fed your cat their evening meal.
2. Use the right brush
There are a variety of grooming tools out there, but it’s generally recommend you use a brush and a wide-toothed comb for long-haired cats. Start by brushing Mr Whiskers with a slicker brush to remove any loose fur caught in their coat. Then gently comb their fur through the root with a wide-toothed comb. You might even consider investing in a full kit with a variety of combs and brushes that make it easy to groom your long-haired cat.
3. Look out for fur matting
You might still come across the occasional mat, even if you groom your long-haired cat regularly. This is more likely if your furry friend spends time outdoors where they can get dirty more easily. If you’ve accidentally overlooked a mat and it’s grown close to the skin, don’t try to cut it or brush it out yourself. You risk injuring your cat or damaging their skin. Instead, take them to the vet for a de-mat haircut. This is the safest approach when facing stubborn mats on your cat.
4. Monitor your cat’s grooming habits
Just because you groom your long-haired cat every day doesn’t mean they should stop grooming on their own! Make sure to monitor your feline’s grooming habits. Take note if you see any changes, such as over-grooming particular areas or grooming less than usual. These could be signs of health issues, so you if you notice a change take Mr Whiskers for a health check-up.
5. Feed your kitty a healthy diet
Taking the time to groom your long-haired cat regularly isn’t the only way to ensure their coat stays healthy and shiny. It’s important to feed your cat a balanced diet full of the right nutrients for their age, breed, and particular dietary needs. This will keep your feline healthy inside and outside too!
Do I need to bathe my long-haired cat?
As long as you regularly groom your long-haired cat and they have healthy grooming habits, it shouldn’t be necessary to bathe your kitty. Baths can strip your furry friend’s coat of the oils that keep it shiny and healthy. So, you should avoid giving your cat a bath unless it’s absolutely necessary.
But let’s say your feline has gotten into some sort of trouble (kitties are curious creatures, after all) and is too dirty to groom. In this case, a bath may be necessary. The domesticated cat’s history means many of them inherited a dislike for water. So, try to bathe your kitty quickly and infrequently to avoid frustration. If you find you’re struggling, opt to take them to a cat groomer instead. A professional will know how to safely bathe and groom your long-haired cat for you.
(Note: a groomer is not a replacement for your daily grooming routine. They will not be able to groom your feline as regularly as you can.)
How to groom your cat at home
Grooming is a healthy activity for both long-haired and short-haired felines. Brushing your cat will remove dirt, grease, and dead hair. It also stimulates blood circulation, removes skin flakes, and has an overall positive mental effect. Here are some tips to help you groom your long-haired or short-haired (and everything in between) cat.
- Choose a time when Mr Whiskers is relaxed. You can try grooming after playing with your cat (and they’ve let off energy) or when they’ve finished a meal.
- Know which areas are okay to touch and which are off limits. For example, some felines don’t mind having their tummies touched, while others may find this annoying.
- Before you start, hold out the brush for your kitty to sniff and rub their face against.
- Always groom in the direction of your cat’s fur.
- Start at the head and work your way to your cat’s tail.
- Groom your kitty in short bouts. If they swap at the brush or seem annoyed, stop immediately.
- Not all cats will tolerate being groomed. Don’t force it if your kitty fights the process. This can result in injury to either you or your feline and create major trust issues too. If your kitty needs to be groomed regularly, it’s best to make an appointment with a professional groomer instead.
Taking the time to groom your long-haired cat won’t just keep their fur soft and healthy, you’ll improve their quality of life and spend time bonding with them too! Looking for more feline grooming tips? Check out our blog posts on how to trim your cat’s claws and the major essentials of cat care.