Cats spend many hours licking and grooming their fur because they love to stay clean. In fact, back when people bathed perhaps monthly, campaigns to improve human hygiene cited cats’ cleanliness as an example from the animal kingdom. Despite their inclination to groom themselves, cats could use some help from human caretakers.

1. Grooming your cat promotes bonding between you two. For cats, brushing feels like receiving a light, whole body massage. He loves how it feels and associates that good feeling with you.

2. Grooming offers a way to reward your cat. A quick ear scratch or chin rub doesn’t put any calories in his body, unlike a treat. Replacing goodies with grooming may help cats prone to heaviness stay healthy and slim.

3. Grooming can help you keep tabs on your cat’s health. If you’re familiar with his body through grooming, you notice any lumps, skin problems or injuries.

4. Regular brushing also helps reduce swallowing the excessive hair that leads to hairballs. You’ll also find less hair on your furniture and carpeting.

5. Especially if yours is a long-haired cat, brushing at home can reduce your need to pay a groomer to detangle knots. If you groom regularly, you can reduce matting and keep your cat’s coat smooth.

Don’t just use an old hairbrush to groom your cat. Instead, select the right kind of brush for your cat’s coat’s density and length.

Once you have brushed your cat you can then take them safely out in the specially designed space backpack for cats, which can help them enjoy an outing without getting you worried of them running off.

Sometimes, knots seem to form despite a caretaker’s best efforts. Don’t yank at knots or try to clip them out, since it hurts the cat and can even injure his skin. In these cases, it’s better to allow a professional cat groomer to remove the knots.

That way, your cat can avoid unpleasant associations with you grooming him. Professional pet groomers use techniques that make removing knots easier on the cat.

Brushing your cat is more than vanity. To improve your relationship and his health, start brushing your cat today.

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant