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Cats are pretty good at grooming themselves—and they look pretty cute when they do it, too. But from time to time, every kitty needs some help from their pet parent to look and feel their best.
Whether the cat in question is a high-maintenance Himalayan or a domestic short-hair, here are some things pet parents can do to keep their cats’ hair and skin healthy.
Long-haired cats need more grooming help than their short-haired counterparts. Their hair is prone to mats, knots, and tangles, which can become painful and cause skin irritation if not dealt with properly.
A long-haired cat might need brushing as often as every day. Always follow a vet’s recommendations and use the cat’s brushing time to look out for potential issues, including:
Irritations on the skin, under the fur. These could be “hot spots” or rashes.
Trapped debris in the fur. This is especially important if the cat goes outside.
Small tangles. These could turn into bigger knots and matting in the future if unmanaged.
Long-haired cats with flatter faces, like Himalayans or Persians, also need their pet parents to clean around their eyes regularly. This prevents staining and helps to guard against infection.
Short-haired cats don’t need as much brushing as long-haired cats. While brushing a short-haired cat, look at the underlying skin and make sure everything looks healthy. Watch out for warning signs like:
Little red bumps. Small bumps on a cat’s skin can indicate a flea infestation, especially if the cat is scratching themselves more than usual.
Lumps and growths. Some growths on the skin are benign, but others are not. Consult a vet about any large, fast-growing, or painful lumps.
Rashes and unusual redness. These can signal an allergic reaction or sensitivity.
Hairballs are common in cats, but if a cat gets them often, they might be at higher risk of a dangerous intestinal obstruction. There are many options for hairball treatments, such as diet change, oral probiotics or Laxatone, as well as topical sprays, mousses, and shampoos to assist with coat health. If a cat is coughing up a lot of hair:
Find a trusted groomer and take the cat once or twice a year for a kitty spa day.
Talk to a vet about the variety of hairball remedies.
Start a regular brushing practice to remove the fur that the cat sheds.
Mama cat can clean her babies by licking—but pet parents need the help of tools, such as:
A balanced diet. Cats need to eat well to develop healthy and shiny hair. When in doubt about the quality of a cat’s food, ask a vet.
A cat brush. Stiff-bristled brushes are best for removing loose cat fur, especially in short-haired cats. Longer-haired cats usually also need a long-toothed comb or brush.
Medicated shampoos and mousse products. For cats who are prone to inflamed or itchy skin, topical products can help to keep them comfortable.
It’s natural for pet parents to want to provide the best cat care possible. Don’t ever be afraid to ask a vet questions about cat grooming or healthy cat fur.
To get quick answers to questions about how to keep cats’ hair and skin healthy, become a Fuzzy member today and take advantage of our 24/7 Live Vet Chat.