The Right (and Wrong) Ways to Brush Your Cat

brush your cat

Anyone who owns a cat knows the disgusting digestive phenomenon known as the hairball.

According to, brushing your cat is one of the best ways to prevent hairballs.

Kitties can be fickle, though, and fight you when it comes to brushing. But, if your cat likes petting, they will probably like being brushed if you approach it the right way. Here are some practical do’s and don’ts on how to brush your cat.

Brush Your Cat With The Right Brush

There are different brushes and combs for cats with long hair versus short hair. The cost is relatively the same, so it’s worth it to select the correct brush for your cat’s coat.

If your cat is afraid of the brush, you may have to use a dry washcloth for a few sessions to get them used to the routine. When you introduce the brush, use gentle strokes.

Eventually, your cat should permit you to brush with a bit more pressure.

Wait Until Your Cat Relaxes

If your cat is feeling playful or has just spent an hour window-hunting squirrels on the lawn, hold off on brushing. Wait until they settle. After a nap is an ideal time.

If you have other pets, it may help to put them in another room while you brush your cat.

Start Small

Use gentle strokes when you begin. You don’t want to add a lot of pressure until you know where your cat’s favorite spots are. Begin with an area of the body your cat likes you to pet. If they like you to scratch behind their ears, then gently brush your cat there first.

Give Post-Brushing Treats

Give your kitty a treat right after you finish brushing. This associates brushing with attention and rewards. After all, brushing is one on one time with their person.

It just may take a few treats to help them adjust to the presence of the brush.

Do NOT Assume Your Cat’s Self-Grooming Enough

True, cats are fastidious about grooming. Though they still need to be brushed. Older cats especially need brushing to alleviate the excess hair. Older cats have a harder time keeping themselves clean.

If you can, brush your long-haired cat one or two times each day. For short hair, one to three times per week will do it. Brush more often during shedding season.

Do NOT Brush Against the Direction of the Coat

Many say you should brush in the opposite direction of the fur to get the most hair. All that does is pull the fur out.

Your cat won’t take kindly to having their hair pulled any more than you would. Brushing against the fur may earn you a claw swipe or even a bite.

Do NOT Try and Remove Tough Mats

If you find a mat right away, light brushing will loosen it. Though, deep mats are firmly embedded. The last thing you want to do is rip them off your cat.

Not only will you hurt them, but you will lose their trust. If you aren’t comfortable clipping the mats off yourself, take your cat to the groomer.

Here, Kitty!

Brush your cat regularly to keep them cleaner, but also to improve their health. You can better monitor for flees and other problems you may miss otherwise.

And, regular brushing means your cat will swallow less hair, which will help keep the nasty hairballs under control, and OFF your carpet.

If you have any other cat grooming questions, please contact us.

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