Care and hygiene
If well trained as a kitten, an adult cat should be used to these few gestures of basic care. If you’re having trouble with your cat accepting these practices, veterinary staff and other feline health professionals (such as breeders and groomers) will be able to provide you with much advice.
Removing dead hair from the coat
Apart from looking good, a brushed coat is freer of dead hair, meaning less is available to be removed by your cat while grooming. Grooming activity, constituting an average of 30% of your cat’s time leads to ingestion of shed hair, leading to hairballs and sometimes digestive issues. Indoor cats, which molt throughout the year, are more predisposed to hairballs; a 4 kg cat can eliminate a daily volume of 10 cm3 of hair through their feces!
Cats with longer hair such as the Persian require careful untangling of the coat with a good-quality comb every day. The coat should then be brushed and aired. In short and flat hair cats (such as the Siamese or the Abyssinian), a few firm strokes of the hand is sometimes all that’s needed. Passing a soft brush through the coat once a week is recommended for a medium-length coat or hair with a thick undercoat (such as in the Maine Coon or Exotic Shorthair respectively).
The coat may be described by some as a mirror of dietary health. A protein deficit or deficiency of certain amino-acids (the building-blocks of protein) may accelerate hair loss, slow down hair growth and be responsible for lack luster or brittle hair. The coat’s natural beauty may be strengthened by a diet which focuses on health nutrition. Such foods contain specific nutrients which are indispensable in favoring coat growth, gloss and renewal.
Having a bath?
Some cats are open to being bathed, particularly when trained to do so from a young age. While this practice is more typical of show cats, any cat can undertake the practice and it can improve the condition of their skin and coat. Where certain dermatological problems are identified, bathing may be recommended. Use specially formulated (not human) shampoo and be sure to bathe your cat in a relatively warm room. If in a sink or bath, use an anti-skid mat and a few centimeters of water, gradually moistening the coat before applying the shampoo and working it in to lather. Thorough rinsing is to be followed by gentle rubbing with a towel. Be sure to keep your cat warm throughout.
For cats which are adverse to bathing, scentless powders equivalent to dry shampoos can be used as an alternative.