A Guest Blog by Rosemary Hubble
Spring has come to the farm. The lambs are here, the Dogwoods and Red Buds have bloomed; the air is full of pollen and cat hair. Cat hair is normal in a household which enjoys the company of cats. A cat shedding hair is a normal, healthy process of nature. Just like humans, to stay healthy, old hair has to fall out for new to grow. But in spring it seems everywhere: It’s too much. More hair than usual on my clothes, in my food and on the floor is a nuisance.
Temperature changes in spring and fall will make cats shed hair more than usual; an outdoor cat will shed more than an indoor cat living in a controlled environment. However, they all still shed. That guilty feline bundle of love does not mean to be a nuisance. She/he and you will benefit from smooth brush or comb strokes over the cat’s coat. (Grooming) Frequency of grooming will depend on the breed but the majority of cats like to be groomed. It reminds them of their mother’s rough tongue when they were a few seconds old and throughout their time with her.
Start grooming your cat when she/he is a kitten. Kittens love to romp and play with everything. Let them play (not with their grooming tools) and when they take that quick break to catch their breath, grab the comb, stroke them gently and then replace your hand with the comb. Soon she/he will be sitting contentedly on your lap waiting for those strokes – If only for a few moments. Regular, cheap combs are certainly adequate but some like fancy brushes and combs designed specifically for cats. Our older cats truly enjoy a round cat shedding blade; excellent for removing winter undercoat fur. Your own hair brush will work well, too, especially if you have a kitten or cat that is not crazy about grooming but watches you. Six strokes for your hair – two for her/him!!
The advantages of regular combing or brushing your cat are many. Primarily it removes dead hair, keeps the fur in good condition and reduces the potential for hairballs. (Those icky wet “gifts” you step on in the middle of the night!). As you brush or comb your cat you can check for skin problems and the start of hair clumping or knotting (matting). The more you ply that comb the more you and your cat will bond. She/he loves the attention and you are soothed by her/his contented purr. Grooming also gives your cat’s coat a radiance that tells that you take good care of your cat and of which she/he can be proud as she/he struts a fluffy tail about the house for all to admire and enjoy.
Initially grooming your cat may seem like a chore but the benefits are great. Less fur around the house and a healthy, loving cat sitting on your lap enjoying a good brush as you both take a break in the spring sunshine.