Cats are fastidious pets who take pains to keep themselves clean. Their grooming habits make them an excellent choice for low maintenance pets, but they still need our help to keep healthy coats. Most cats, from short hair to long hair cats shed considerably. Anyone who's ever been licked by a cat also knows their tongues are like sandpaper. The barbs on their tongues help to remove the loose and dead hair, which is swallowed. Hair is not digestible and sits in your cat's stomach until they pick it back up as a gooey, gross hairball.
Brushing your cat will significantly reduce hairball events and help keep the cat hair down in your home. Every cat owner should have a slicker brush, which is a soft padded brush with tiny, flexible metal pins. These brushes can reach down to the undercoat and help to finish the coat while preventing and removing tangles. Certain times of the year, and with particularly hairy cats, you may need to use a de-shedding tool, like the FURminator.
Deshedding tools remove the maximum amount of hair from the undercoat. However, overuse of de-shedding tools is not recommended because they can break healthy hair prematurely and lead to bald spots. Another excellent brushing tool is a grooming glove. These gloves have a flexible plastic palm and fingers with small pins. Your cat might not tolerate a brush well but might enjoy the stroking and massaging with a grooming glove.
Rarely, if ever, will you have to bath your cat. While some cats tolerate the occasion bath, most cats despise them. Thankfully, cats keep themselves pretty clean, but if you need to clean their coats, consider a cat wipe or a dry shampoo intended for cats only. Whatever shampoo product you chose, make sure if it designed for cats and watch out for any signs of allergic reaction to the products.