Cats are extremely clean creatures and one of the benefits for their owners is that they are self grooming. Despite their high standards in keeping themselves looking good, the owner still needs to help them along a little.
The problem with self grooming is that this can lead to a lot of loose hairs both on the cat and in their surroundings, so it is important that these are regularly cleaned up. A build up of hair can also be dangerous, as your cat may swallow too much and choke on a fur ball. For cats with longer hair in particular, it is a good idea to groom them regularly yourself.
The process of grooming may take a while for your cat to get used to; however once they relax they will begin to enjoy it, as lets face it, all cats like to be the centre of attention. The grooming process can also be a bonding session between owner and cat and make them feel more relaxed in your presence.
The main tools you need are a soft brush and a flea comb. Position the cat in a comfortable position and begin by stroking them until they get used to the sensation and loosen up a little, you can then introduce the brush and comb. It is not recommended to bath a cat in water, partly because they do not like it and also because it is not really necessary as they will clean themselves. Their sensitive skin also means that soap and shampoo products should be avoided.
A cats diet can also play a key role in the condition of their coat. Choose fish based cat foods, in particular oily fish, as part of their diet at least 3 times a week. For longer haired cats again, a pet food containing vitamins such as Iams can help maintain a healthy, glossy coat.