Cats shed their hair year-round, losing greater amounts during a change in season. You can help control the amount of cat hair left around your house by brushing your cat regularly. The hair of a longhair cat will become tangled and matted unless you groom it at least once a week. But even short hair cats need to be brushed once in a while.
Introduce your cat to brushing while it is still a kitten. Hold the kitten on your lap and pet it affectionately. When the kitten is quiet and relaxed, begin to gently brush the hair on his back with a wire brush. Start at the back of the head and brush toward the tail. Always brush in the direction in which the hair lies.
At first your kitten may not want to be brushed. But continue to pet it gently and begin to brush again when it is calm. If you do this on a regular basis, the kitten will generally get used to it. Your kitten may even learn to enjoy being brushed.
Until the kitten has learned to accept brushing on its back and then its sides, do not attempt to brush its belly. Kitten's bellies are very sensitive and they will react by wrestling with and clawing the brush and your hand. Longhair cats frequently develop mats, clumps of hair that can not be separated. To get rid of mats, use a pair of blunt scissors, those that are rounded at the tips rather than pointed. Cut directly into the mat in the direction of the skin, rather than cutting that mat out sideways. Cutting the mat out will leave a bald spot. Cutting into it will break it up enough so that you can comb and brush it. Be careful not to cut your cat!
Bating your cat is not something you will have to do regularly. Usually your cat will keep itself clean. But from time to time a cat will get itself so dirty that it will not be able to do the whole cleaning job itself. The problem could have been grease from a car or soot from fireplace. In cases like these, you should give your cat a bath.
You will need help ask your parents or a friend to give you a hand. Fill a sink or tub with a few inches of lukewarm water. Put and old towel on the bottom so that the cat's feet will not slip and slide out from under it. To protect your cat during a bath, ask your mother or father to place a drop of mineral oil in the corner of each eye and put a small ball of cotton in each ear. Have your helper hold the cat firmly as you pour water over it from a cup. Use a mild soap or baby shampoo, trying not to go get any cat's eye or ears. Rinse the cat off, take it out of the water and dry it with towel.
Never bathe a kitten less than three months old and never dunk a cat's head underwater. Only give a bath when it is really needed, because frequent baths will interfere with the normal condition of your cat's skin and fur. Even though you will have to be firm with your cat when giving it a bath, make every effort to be kind and gentle as well. Cats do not really like water, but if they like and trust you, it may be a little easier for them to handle a bath.