Kittens start to groom themselves at a very young age. This is learned because their mothers spend many hours a day both grooming and caring for their baby kittens. Adult cats spend 10 percent of their day grooming themselves. Grooming is a good way to bond with a new kitten. Brushing a kitten can help establish a relationship between you and a kitten you have just brought home. It shouldn’t be a painful or hard routine to establish between you and your kitten either. It should be enjoyable for the both of you. As kitten gets accustomed to being brushed it can be incorporated into their regular grooming routine.
Brushing and combing a kittens fur is very important for several reasons. First it helps reduce shedding and fur balls. It also distributes the oil in kittens skin to the fur evenly to help reduce dryness. It also minimizes the fur matting and keeps it smooth and shiny. Depending on the kittens hair length helps determine the frequency of how many times a week to brush your kitten. Short haired cats can be brushed once or twice a week while long haired cats should be brushed daily. There are many different brushes to choose from. They range from soft rubber to hard metal ones. You want to try different ones to see the one that your kitten likes the most and then stick to that one.
To get kitten into the brushing habit you should start with short sessions from 5 to 10 minutes depending on your kittens tolerance level. As the kitten gets used to it you can increase the time. A kitten has to be relaxed enough for you to groom them.
You want to make your kitten relaxed first so they let you brush them. A good prerequisite to brushing is this grooming tip that mimics their mother grooming them. The idea is to take a barley damp wash cloth and wipe kitten down all over with short little strokes as if it were their mothers tongue. This reinforces kittens grooming techniques and further teaches kitten to groom themselves.
The next thing you want to do is play a little with kitten to let kitten completely relax and let off excess energy. When the playing winds down massage him behind the ears and under the chin. A female kitten will relax if you stroke her back and near the base of her tail. If you get the kitten to purr then they are relaxed enough for you to introduce the brush.
Do not show kitten the brush. As you pet them you transition to the brush. You do this slowly. If kitten gets antsy or annoyed you stop and go back to petting. Eventually kitten will let you brush him or her longer every time until you can brush the kitten with ease. Be careful of kittens sensitive areas like the belly, hind legs and tail.