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How Often Should You Brush a Cat? Frequency & Brushing Tips

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By Nicole Cosgrove

woman brushing the Persian cat

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If you’re a cat owner who’s wondering how often you should brush your cat, we’ve got the answer you need. To help them keep a healthy glow and to remove dirt, grime, and dead hair from his coat, you should brush him one or two times a week.

You may have to brush your cat more often if he has long hair, sheds a lot, or is an older animal that doesn’t groom himself as often as he did when he was younger. If you have any questions about how frequently you should brush your cat, ask your vet for advice.

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Use the Right Cat Brush

Many new cat owners mistakenly think that any brush will do when it comes to grooming a cat. Some people even use their own hair brushes on their cats. Don’t make that mistake because human hair brushes aren’t designed for cats as many have stiff bristles that can get caught in a cat’s coat and even cause discomfort on the animal’s skin.

A good quality soft and flexible bristle brush for cats is ideal for all types of cat hair, including short, medium, and long. This type of brush will help soften your cat’s hair while distributing his natural oils.

Another good option is a grooming glove with soft, flexible bristles. This type of grooming tool is designed to remove dead hair while undoing tangles, lifting away dirt, and distributing natural oils. You can do double the grooming if you pick up a pair of grooming gloves which would be ideal if you want to get the job done quickly or have more than one cat to brush.

Woman brushing a gray cat
Image Credit: Sergey Gerashchenko, Shutterstock

Make the Brushing Sessions Enjoyable

Since a cat needs regular brushing, it only makes sense that the brushing sessions should be as enjoyable as possible for both of you. Try to pick a time for brushing when your cat is relaxed like after his evening meal.

If your cat isn’t used to being brushed, make the sessions short and sweet so he can get used to being handled. Five or 10 minutes of brushing is better than no brushing, so take it easy and gradually lengthen the time you spend brushing your cat during each grooming session. If your cat becomes impatient or upset while you’re brushing him, cut the session short and try again later.

Regular Brushing Can Reduce Shedding

If you need some incentive to brush your cat, think about all those gobs of cat hair that fly around your home. And don’t forget about all those single cat hairs you have to pick off your clothing every time you hold them.

It’s normal for cats to shed, and it doesn’t matter if they have short or long hair. All cats with hair shed every day, and some shed a lot! Regular brushing will help reduce shedding because, with each stroke of the brush, you’ll collect and get rid of many excess hairs before they have time to make their way all over you, your furniture, and your floors.

A Deshedding Tool Works Great for a Heavy Shedder

If your cat sheds a lot of hair, arm yourself with a cat deshedding tool that features a wide stainless steel edge designed to remove dead hair. A deshedding tool works by pulling the loose undercoat off while leaving the top coat nice and soft. It’s a good idea to use this tool outdoors because cat hair will fly everywhere, even though most of it will get caught in the tool.

Another product that works great on heavy shedders is a deshedding spray. This type of topical spray contains ingredients like aloe vera gel and lactic acid that work to hydrate the coat and reduce shedding. Using the spray is easy—just spray some on your cat and work it in with your hands. You can use the spray during your regular brushing sessions to help get excessive shedding under control.

brushing a maine coon
Image By: Olleg, Shutterstock

Regular Brushing Helps Prevent Hairballs

When your cat grooms himself by licking his hair, he swallows some of the loose hairs. Those loose hairs he swallows can accumulate and form a large clump in your cat’s stomach called a hairball. The hairball will usually get vomited up by your cat and as it passes through his throat, it comes out thin and tube-like! Plus, it’s very unpleasant to watch and hear your cat spit up a hairball as he will hack, gag, and retch. And it’s certainly not fun for you when you have to clean that nasty thing up.

Regular brushing will result in your cat having fewer hairballs, which is something that will make both of you happier.

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All cats with hair benefit from being brushed. Regular brushing keeps your kitty looking nice and it removes dirt, grime, and loose dead hair. You should brush your cat once or twice a week and make it a routine so your cat learns to enjoy being pampered by his favorite human!

Featured Image Credit: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock

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