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Understanding Your Cat's Coat: A Quick Reference Guide


Understanding Your Cat's Coat

One thing for certain, cats are unique. They can have no hair, or be nothing but! Each boasts a unique coat that adds to their charm and that’s one of the reasons why you love ‘em! In this quick reference guide, we'll take you through the world of feline fur, with a quick overview of the different coat types and our recommended grooming techniques for each one.

Short-Haired Cats: Sleek and Low-Maintenance Beauties

Bombay Cat in a flower pot

Coat Characteristics:

Short-haired cats, such as the sleek Siamese or the sophisticated Bombay, sport coats that are typically close to their bodies. The hairs are short, dense, and require less grooming compared to their long-haired counterparts. Their fur doesn’t need frequent brushing but their skin will benefit and brushing is still important for bonding and sticking with a routine to reduce the stress in their life.

Grooming Tips:

  • Regular brushing with a soft-bristle brush (silicone) to remove loose hair and minimize shedding.
  • Occasional baths, if necessary, to keep their coat shiny and healthy.
  • Gentle ear cleaning and nail trimming as part of routine maintenance.

Long-Haired Cats: Luxurious Coats, Extra TLC Required

Maine Coon Cat laying on a white table

Coat Characteristics:

Long-haired breeds like the majestic Maine Coon or the glamorous Persian boast luxurious, flowing coats that demand extra attention. Their fur can be prone to matting and tangling if you skip even a day of brushing under the arms and their bottoms – so don’t forget!

Grooming Tips:

  • Daily brushing with a long toothed brush to prevent matting and reduce shedding.
  • Regular trims, especially around the hindquarters and underbelly, to prevent mat formation or remove existing mats. Regular=once a month.
  • Diligent attention to ear cleaning and nail trimming to maintain their overall well-being.
  • Daily brushing can help reduce dangerous furballs, consider adding olive oil to food or a digestive additive to help with hairballs.

Semi-Long-Haired Cats: The Perfect Blend of Fluff and Practicality

Balinese Cat laying by a window

Coat Characteristics:

Breeds like the Norwegian Forest Cat or the Balinese fall into the semi-long-haired category. These cats exhibit a beautiful combination of longer fur with less maintenance compared to full long-haired breeds.

Grooming Tips:

  • Regular brushing two to three times a week to prevent matting and reduce shedding. Daily brushing if you want to stick to a routine is recommended by veterinarians.
  • Focused attention on areas prone to matting, such as the hindquarters and underarms.
  • Routine maintenance of ears, teeth, and nails.

Curly-Coated Cats: Uniquely Textured Beauties

Devon Rex Cat laying on a fluffy rug

Coat Characteristics:

Cats with curly coats, like the Selkirk Rex or the Devon Rex, boast distinctive curls or waves in their fur, creating a unique and visually interesting texture.

Grooming Tips:

  • Gentle brushing to prevent matting and maintain the curls.
  • Regular ear cleaning to address the potential for wax buildup.
  • Minimal trimming may be necessary in areas prone to matting.

Understanding your cat's coat is the first step towards a grooming routine that not only enhances their beauty but also contributes to their overall health and happiness. It is important to know that different kinds of brushes have different benefits but also may cause problems if you are choosing the wrong brush for your cat. You may want to check out our guide to brushes so you know the difference!

Worth mentioning: Groomers and vets use the Bailey Brush for all cats and dogs, and sometimes combine their routine with metal combs if heavy mats have formed when the pet owner has missed brushing days. Generally, we find that regular daily brushing with a soft brush like the Bailey Brush Cat Brush or Dog Brush will drastically reduce shedding and furballs / hairballs. So brush your pet every day!


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