When brushing a cat you should always try to brush in the direction of the hair, continuous brushing against the grain will cause discomfort and won’t encourage your cat to stick around long.
It is important to brush your cats entire body, this is not always easy and especially in those tricky spots under the back legs and behind the arms. You may therefore need to be opportunistic. If your cat is asleep on their back it may be your time to pounce!
With difficult cats that don't like to be brushed you should split brushing up into different sections. This way you can brush each section once a day. This can take longer but may be easier for your cat and will ultimately give you the same result.
Start brushing from a kitten
A cat accustomed to being brushed from a young age will learn to accept it throughout adulthood.
Try getting a variety of combs and brushes. Normally the brush your cat hates the most is the one that’s doing the best job. Sometimes you will need to approach your cat with a softer brush to start with and work your way up to a more effective comb. A soft brush is not going to be that effective but it will be a good start and also help build up your cats trust. Once you have their confidence you can move on to a more effective instrument. A wide set metal comb is generally best for long haired cats.
Cat Brushing Tips
1: Have brush's and combs scattered around the house where your cat most likes a nap. When the moment comes your can seize the opportunity before your cat gets curious.
2. If your cat hates the brush then try starting with a clean oven glove. This will get your cat used to a stroking motion from something different to a hand. Slowly move on to a grooming mitt and then the brush. For hard to reach places like around the ears use a human toothbrush.
3: Always start off brushing with a gentle stroke, most cats loved to be stroked and this can get them in the mood to be groomed.
4: When you start brushing a cat, gently stroke the fur with the back of the instrument. This will help your cat to trust the grooming tool and not see it as a threat.
5: If your cat always sees what’s coming and runs away then try grooming on a small table. It can be too easy on the floor for your cat to run away. A small table will make escape more difficult.
6. If your cats not happy then try using gentle restraint. Get a family member or friend to gently hold your cat while giving them attention.
7. Know when to stop! When your cat has had enough they have had enough, there is no point in trying to force the issue as they will resent the brush which is not good. Doing separate sections one step at a time is perfectly satisfactory.
8. Treat your cat once you are done. Associating grooming with treats will help your cat become happy with grooming, they will slowly come round to the idea that grooming is good for them. Do not reward for aggressive behaviour.
9. Cats can sense your mood. If you are anxious about grooming then you will make your cat anxious too. Try and act loving, calm and normal.
10. Don't groom around other pets. When cats are on their back they feel exposed. If you have other pets try and keep them away in another room.
Always end a grooming session on good terms. If your cat starts to get fed up, give them a good rub under the chin, treat them and then stop. Your cat will then start to have good memories of the last grooming session.