Thursday, February 26, 2015

Get the combs out! It's cat shedding season!

Lucy the cat in her bed

It's been creeping up on 50 degrees each and every day in Oregon, and that means the daffodils are in bloom all over my yard. It also means that each and every items of clothing I own is covered with a fine sheen of cat hair.

Yup, the cats have decided that spring is here, and that means I need to step up my brushing routine.

Long-haired cats like Lucy need to be brushed at least weekly (even though she hates it). That little grooming helps prevent tangles (like the riot of tangles she has in her beard in the photo above). But in the spring, Lucy needs even more frequent brushing. That's because the hair she loses with the heat can get tangled in the longer hairs she plans to keep. In time, those tangles can turn into mats that pull her skin and cause her pain. By brushing her more frequently, I can keep that process from happening.

Maggie the cat on her bed

Medium-haired cats like Maggie don't have the same trouble with matting. But, Maggie has a different type of problem.

Mags is the household groomer. She thinks it's her personal responsibility to keep all of the household cats clean and tidy, so she spends a lot of time grooming her roomies (she'll even groom my head of hair, if I let her). Since every cat she helps has a whole lot of hair, Maggie ingests a lot of discarded fibers with each grooming session. She's very prone to hairball problems in the spring as a result.

By brushing Maggie's roommates (and her, of course), I can reduce her workload and lower the chances that she'll ingest more hair than her little body can handle. Since she's still in recovery from that nasty mouth ulcer, I don't want her throwing up anything at all. That alone will keep me brushing.

For now, I'm planning twice weekly brushing sessions. Here's hoping that helps!

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