What grooming tools work best on long-haired cats?

All cats require some degree of grooming, but it’s especially important to take care of your long-haired cats. Their fur is subject to matting, which creates a serious and often expensive grooming issue. A cat’s skin is highly sensitive, so mat removal can be dangerous, especially if the clumps of hair have to be cut out or the coat shaved.

Grooming tools don’t have to be expensive. The important thing is to establish a routine, preferably when your cat is young, and stick with it. The most basic and essential grooming tool is a wide-toothed metal comb. The round teeth pass easily through the animal’s fur and remove loose hair.

The central grooming issue with all indoor cats in particular is that they shed year round. They are not subject to changes in the seasons. Cats groom themselves, and their tongues are equipped with barbs that point backwards.

Unfortunately, this means that they have no choice but to swallow that hair, which then comes up as hairballs. That’s an uncomfortable process for cats and just downright disgusting for you as you need to perform clean up duties.

A variation on the wire-tooth comb is a slicker brush. This implement is set with tiny wire teeth that are bent backwards like the barbs on the cat’s tongue. The brush works in the same fashion.

Whether using the comb or the brush, make grooming a pleasant time for your cat with minimal restraint. Remove the clumps of hair from the implement as they accumulate. Failure to do so, especially with a long-haired cat, will actually increase the danger of matting and clumping.

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