How to Teach Your Cat to Accept Brushing

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Cats love to be stroked, so it is easy to teach your cat to accept brushing. Brushing will help to remove loose hair and prevent kitty getting a fur ball stuck in his throat. It also helps to remove irritating prickles he may have picked up on his walks outside. You will be able to keep tabs on his general health if you brush him regularly, too. Choose a time when kitty is feeling a bit sleepy and wants to curl up on your warm lap. Have the brush handy so you don’t have to disturb him to get it. If he hasn’t seen the brush before, hold it near his face so he can sniff it all over if he wants. In this way he will understand that it won’t hurt him and so he won’t be frightened of it. In fact, it’s a good idea to rub your own hands along the handle of the brush so he can detect your scent on it. If he’s used to you, he will be reassured that this strange tool is to be trusted. 

Once he has inspected and accepted the brush, begin to brush your cat with slow and gently movements. Always brush with the lay of the hair, not against it. If kitty tries to grab the brush with his paws to play with it, put it away immediately. You don’t want him to start playing every time he sees the brush, you want him to learn to keep still and let you brush him.

As soon as kitty has quieted down, start to brush him again. Start at about ear level and work backwards with a long, fluid movement. Never try to brush his face, or you might damage his delicate eyes and whiskers. Brushing the tangles out of badly matted hair can cause pain, so be careful to do it gently. If kitty expects pain every time he sees the brush, he won’t be amenable to the process.

Several different brushes can be useful when grooming your pet. A large brush with stiff bristles is good for the body, while a smaller, softer brush can be easier to manage the belly and tail. If your cat has long tail hairs, you may need a brush with bristles that are a little stiffer then the smaller brush has. A comb can also be a handy part of your cat grooming toolbox.

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