Why is combing better than brushing for removing excess hair and preventing mats?
The blanket statement that combing is better than brushing to remove excess hair and prevent matting in cat fur is somewhat misleading. The truth of this notion depends entirely on the breed being groomed.
Combs are certainly better for long-haired breeds like the Persian because the steel teeth of the comb are highly effective at separating the long hairs of the outer coat to reach the denser undercoat and remove dead hairs.
This is more true, however, in a preventive sense. Once a mat has formed, the most important thing is never to pull or tug at the mass. In this instance, it’s generally better to work at the base of the mat with your fingers to loosen the tangle and gradually free the dead clump.
Pulling at the mat can easily damage the cat’s sensitive skin to the point of bleeding and will certainly inflict unnecessary pain. If the mat is so severe as to require being cut out, enlist the aid of a professional groomer.
Combs are also useful grooming aids during flea season. you can obtain combs specifically designed to trap fleas, which will be clearly visible on the teeth as it is drawn through the fur. Simply dunk the comb in warm soapy water to kill the flea, dry the comb on a dish rag, and return to the grooming chore.
Any cat will enjoy having its upper coat brushed, which helps to add a healthy shine to the hair. The comb will also remove dead hair, and has the added advantage of achieving a deep grooming into the thicker undercoat where matting problems most often originate.