This Is The Actual Right Way To Brush Your Cat

by Brittany Bennett
Rob Stothard/Getty Images News/Getty Images

It might seem obvious, but there is a certain technique when it comes to grooming your feline friend. While we can't all be the Jonathan Van Ness of the pet hairstyling industry, we can try to do our very best to keep our furry friends fabulous. Learning how to brush your cat the correct way may seem straightforward, but there are tricks to the trade you'll want to study up on.

If you've ever teetered on the brink of a meditative nap in the chair at the hairdresser's you know how blissful it feels to have your hair played with — I mean, professional done. It goes beyond styling. And the experience is the same for a cat. You're not furiously trying to untangle hair as quickly as possible. You — and certainly cats — are no fan of that approach. Believe it or not, there are ways that you can brush incorrectly.

It's important to make sure you're appropriately grooming and styling your cat. First of all, cats have claws. If you're accidentally hurting them by brushing incorrectly, you run the risk of being swatted. Besides protecting yourself against a fussy customer, brushing correctly is important for them as well, and it offers lots of benefits. According to, "regular brushing not only keeps fur from getting tangled and matted but also encourages good circulation and allows you to inspect for any issues such as fleas, worms, or injuries." And with less loose hairs for your cat to lick up themselves, they'll experience less hairballs.

While your independent, fierce kitty can most of the time take care of itself, it's important for you — the pawrent — to play groomer. Here's how to do it right without having to register for pet groomer school.

Use The Right Brush

Differing breeds of cats will have various lengths of hair. Long hair and short hair breeds require specific brushes fit for them, specifically. For short haired breeds, according to WebMD Pets, "With a metal comb, work the brush through your cat’s fur from head to tail to remove dirt and debris. Make sure to work along the lie of her fur, brushing in the direction the coat grows."

If your cat has more luscious locks, wire-pin brushes are recommended, according to Getting the right brush for your cat is step number one in conquering correct cat brushing. If you're using a brush for a short haired cat on a long haired cat, you won't be getting the job done.

Brush In The Direction Of The Cat's Coat

Pet groomer Melissa Linhares-Upton of The Wicked Groom in Falmouth, Massachusetts tells, "I think it pulls more when you go against the grain, kind of like when you were little and someone pulled your hair into a ponytail too tightly. It made you want to stand on your tiptoes, and it hurt." Instead of dealing with a hissy fit, brush with the natural direction of the cat's coat. To compromise, Linhares-Upton explained to that you can take a blower against the cat's coat to attack the loose hairs.

Brush Often

Brushing every once in a while isn't going to cut it for the hygienic purposes of your cat. Just as you have to untangle knots in your hair daily, a cat depends on your opposable thumbs to help out with the task for them. It's recommended that long hair cats are brushed one to two times a day (do it for less hacking up hairballs) and at least one to three times a week for short hair cats. It's a responsibility, but it will make your cat more comfortable. Which is all that matters, really.

Get Matted Hair Professionally Removed

If you stumble upon matted hair on your cat and don't feel comfortable removing it yourself, schedule a grooming appointment. It's better to play it professional than hacking at the mess yourself and potentially hurting your cat. Your cat will thank you with a symphony of purrs.