unhappy cat being brushed

How Do I Brush a Cat that Hates Brushing?

Last Updated on January 31, 2023 by admin

Do you have a cat that hates being brushed?

Have you every tried brushing your cat, expecting a nice peaceful bonding session and instead watched in horror as your precious fur baby turned into a hissing monster ready to draw blood?

Not all cats immediately take to brushing the way you’d expect. Some will attack you if you keep trying to brush them and eventually hate you if you keep going about it wrong. Grooming your cat is normally a peaceful affair that lets you bond with your precious cat. But not all cats are the same and some cats are simply hard to handle and don’t like anyone touching them.



Brushing your cat has many benefits:

  • Keeps the coat clean
  • Improves the coat’s sheen
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Helps control bugs
  • Keeps fur from getting tangled and mats from forming
  • Helps you manage shedding within the house

Brushing is usually a relaxing and enjoyable affair for most cats. It helps them stay groomed and reach places that are hard for them to manage while bonding with their owners. Brushing not only removes excess fur but helps stimulate the skin to release natural oils so the fur gets a nice natural glow. Not only that as cats get older, they require more maintenance to keep them looking healthy and pretty. And who doesn’t appreciate petting a freshly brushed cat?

What if Brushing Your Cat is Dangerous?

There is simply no way to do something against a cat’s will. It will only make the situation worse and get more violent. Cats have sharp claws and teeth that quickly become lethal weapons when you try to do something they don’t like. Also forcefully brushing will only traumatize them and destroy your precious relationship with your beloved cat.

What Can I do if my Cat Doesn’t Let Me Brush It?

There are several strategies you can try to get your cat used to the idea of getting brushed.

  • Do short brushing sessions more often
  • Try different brushes until you find one that works with your cat
  • Let the cat get familiar with their brush
  • Give your cat a treat or reward after every brushing session
  • Shampoo your cat instead
  • Get professional help

Before we get into each of these strategies here are some quick safety tips:

  • Make sure their nails are trimmed before brushing
  • Wear protective clothing (long sleeves, gloves, safety glasses) and use a comfy blanket as a protective shield
  • Try to get them when they’re in a good mood

Do Short Brushing Sessions More Often

One quick strategy is to see if you can increase the number of brushing sessions. Some cats will tolerate some brushing before they get excited and lash out on you or run away. The key is to find a sweet spot where they don’t get aggressive or run away. You want to keep the experience positive and possible try to get the cat used to longer sessions.

Give Your Cat A Treat Or Reward After Every Brushing Session

If your cat has a favorite treat that they absolutely love, save it for a reward after their brushing session. This will hopefully get them to appreciate and look forward to brushing sessions.

Try Different Brushes Until You Find One That Works With Your Cat

Maybe the cat just doesn’t like the brush you use. Different cats respond to different brushes. For example some fine-toothed brushes will pull and tug on hairs in a way that makes it painful for cats with long and curly fur. You want to find the right brush for the right type of fur. Make sure the type of brush you use matches your cat’s coat.

One popular option that seems to work with some cats are grooming gloves. You basically pet the cat and remove any loose hairs.

Another great option of last resort is a horse brush. These brushes have really tiny teeth in a zigzag pattern that helps catch shedding hairs without too much stimulation or pulling. If your cat is sensitive to regular brushes and gets aggressive due to the constant pulling or bristles this brush can help loosen hair and do wonders for the coat.

Let The Cat Get Familiar With Their Brush

Maybe your cat is simply weary of the brush itself because it looks scary and unfamiliar. Keep the brush out around where your cat is so they can get used to the strange equipment.

Shampoo Your Cat Instead

Chances are if your cat doesn’t like to get handled in general, shampooing is out of the question but it’s something worth considering if you’re desperate.

Get Professional Help

If you can afford it, sometimes you just have to get professional help. Grommers are professionals that deal with some of the most difficult pets around. They have expertise in managing difficult cats and also have skills to work with them safely. Having a professional brush your cat ensures that they do a great job and helps your cat get used to the idea of brushing. Also by having someone else handle it for you, your cat will not hate you as much as if you did it yourself.

As with any cat care ritual that doesn’t go the way you want, you just have to be paitient and creative until you find a strategy that works for you and your cat. Just know that there are others who struggle with the exact same issues and there are many people who eventually find something that works.

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