|Maine coon and ragdoll with mane|
|ragdoll with mane|
|Ragdoll with mane|
Gus's mane came in thick and beautiful. He's very handsome.
|Gus and his mane|
However, longer haired cats have grooming requirements beyond their own tongues. They need to be brushed quite often. I brush Gus daily. It's probably fine to do it every other day, but he likes to lay in my arms and have me brush him, so I'm not going to say no! Brushing him also turns his fur from a cottony texture to a silky one. His type of fur doesn't mat very easy, and I've never had to cut or pick a mat out, but I don't want him to have to suffer mats anyway!
The secret to a beautiful silky coat is this:
The right brush. That's right, the brush matters! This type is generally referred to as a slicker brush. I found out about them years ago. I had a Samoyed (actually I had two, in a row).
Samoyeds are a wonderful dog breed, but their coats are a chore. They were originally bred as Siberian sled dogs. They have a very thick and luxurious undercoat that they shed twice a year, and it requires a lot of work to get it out of the longer guard hairs. A groomer showed me the secret. You take the slicker brush, part the hair and start down at the skin. The brush collects all that fluffy undercoat and you save yourself a hundred dollar grooming bill!
So, I've been a slicker brush fan for a long time. I got cat-sized versions for Oberon, one of my past long haired kitties, and I used it on all of the cats I've had since. They love it (long or short). It's like having a metal cat tongue. The brush tines are bent so they grab the hair and smooth it like a wool carding brush. Plus, it helps keep shedding to a minimum. It's the only way to go for grooming, and a definite for a long-haired baby!
Brushing your kitty has several benefits. You get to spend one on one time with them building your bond, it makes their coats silky and soft to the touch, it decreases the amount hair that they shed on your clothing, furniture and carpet, but the best reason is it decreases the amount of their own hair that they consume through grooming keeping their digestive systems healthier!