We’ve recently begun brushing our cat, and thank goodness for her not having front claws, or else we’d be lacking several fingers by now. She HATES the brush, but slowly and surely our cat is getting used to her daily brushing, with a little coaxing, trickery, and tons of patience. A week after starting her brushing, she is beginning to really enjoy it, even begging to be brushed when we are brushing the dog.
Start by placing a few treats on top of the brush and placing the brush in front of your cat so they can get familiar with the brush. They’ll tentatively eat the treats off the brush, or even rub against it. You want your cat to “befriend” the brush before you pick it up and attempt to use it on your cat. Once your cat becomes comfortable with the brush, you can attempt to brush them.
Pet your cat from neck to tailbone, and then stroke the cat lightly with the brush. Your cat may fidget at first, so stop brushing and continue petting your cat until they calm down, and then repeat the petting and brushing motion until your cat fidgets again and then once again just pet your cat until they calm down. It helps to not be holding the cat. We started out brushing our cat while she lounged on the couch or was on the floor, so she didn’t feel restrained.
Once your cat gets used to this, pick up the cat and hold them loosely on your lap and repeat the petting and brushing alternating motions until your cat is entirely comfortable. If they start swatting at the brush, hold the brush still so your cat can sniff at and chew on the brush, which will quickly become just another toy. Don’t ever chase your cat down with the brush, or corner your cat and begin brushing them. You want them to learn to enjoy being brushed, not be terrified of it and bolt whenever they see it.
It took us about a week to get our cat used to being brushed, and now she horns in when we are brushing the dog, begging for a turn. It’s a great way to get a few stray hairs out while enjoying our cat’s company, and she purrs the entire time and even rolls over for a belly brushing. FYI- a soft-bristle brush for starters is the best brush to use, as it is gentle enough to not freak your cat out while still getting out the hair that keeps shedding all over the place.