Do Cats Like Being Brushed?

Last updated on February 3rd, 2023 at 03:55 am

Do cats like being brused? Photo of Emily brushing her cat Lexi. Lexi loves being brushed,
Image Credit: Cottonbro Studio/Pexels

Who doesn’t love getting your hair brushed every once in a while? It’s a good feeling, right? Especially if others are doing it for you. It’s the same feeling for cats. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not the same for all feline friends. Cats have different personalities like people, and they have different experiences that cause them to flee when we take a few actions that they are not comfortable with. That leads us to a question, do cats like being brushed?

The answer depends on your cat. As we mentioned, cats have different personalities; some may like it, and others may not. To know the answer to this question, you must assess your cat’s personality and behavior towards brushing. In this article, we will guide you through the process of how you should brush your cats and how you will know if they like it or not. Without further ado, let’s start.

Do Cats Like it When you Brush Them?

The answer depends on the cat that you have. Some will like it, and some will not. But the good news is, you can help your cat eventually like the idea of being brushed. You must be patient and help your cat deal with these things. Don’t worry; most of the time, it’s not entirely your fault why your cat doesn’t like the idea of being brushed. Now, before we go there, let’s explain why your cat likes the idea of being brushed before we go to the reasons why they don’t.

Why do Cats Like Being Brushed?

Cats are known to groom themselves and are very good at cleaning and fixing themselves. That’s why most cat owners don’t even bother to help their cats in terms of grooming. As you can see, even if you don’t bathe your cat or brush them, they can still maintain their clean, unlike dogs. But do they like the idea of your grooming and brushing them? Some of them, yes, and here’s why they like it.

  • Cats love the idea of feeling relaxed. They want calm and serenity, and brushing their hair, gives them that feeling. When you brush your cat, they feel like you are massaging them.
  • Cats love it when they are cleaned, and brushing cleans their fur. Trust us, cats are intelligent and mostly know when they are dirty and clean.
  • Cats love to be pampered, and we all know that. When you brush them, they feel like they are being taken care of, and they love it.

You are very lucky if your cat likes to be brushed. So, if your cat likes the idea, try to brush them at least once a week for 5-10 minutes. Give them the pampering they need, and they will surely give you the love you deserve.

Why do Cats Not Like Being Brushed?

Now that we know why cats like being brushed, let’s talk about the other way around, why do cats not like being brushed? What makes them scared of it? Here are some reasons cats do not like the idea of being brushed.

  • Your cat may have a sore body. We are sure you know how it is when you have an aching body and don’t want anybody to touch you. It’s the same concept for your cat. When they have sore bodies, they don’t like to be touched and want to be left alone until it heals. If this is the case, consult your vet for the best practice to help them and do not attempt to brush them during these times.
  • A case of trauma can also make your cat freak out. Studies show that cats and other animals can also experience trauma like people. If your cat has bad experiences with a brush or anything that looks like a brush, perhaps someone throws a brush at them, or someone uses it to hurt them deeply, they will run away by just the sight of it. Of course, aside from visual, the feeling of the brush touching their skin and fur can also relieve some trauma that they experienced in the past. If this is the case, then no matter what you do, your cat may not get used to the feeling of being brushed. You can ask a cat behaviorist or a vet to know the next steps you have to take.
  • Your brush might be a bit strong for your cat. Some people use brushes that are specifically made for people, which needs to be corrected in many ways. Researchers did a lot of work to create the perfect brush for our pets. As you can see, when you buy some in the market, cat brushes are softer and less aggressive than standard human brushes. Try to research more about the best brushes you can purchase for your cat. Finding the perfect one for your cat might take a bit of time, so patience is a virtue.

As you may know, there are psychological and physical reasons cats don’t like being brushed. It’s a bit harsh to know at first, but it does happen. With that saying, remember to be very cautious in approaching your cat. Do not try to scare them more by putting them in a more stressful situation.

How Can I Help My Cat to Like the Idea of Being Brushed?

As much as we love the idea of seeing cats clean themselves, there are a few times that we need to provide them with proper assistance and care. However, you need to remember that not all cats will like the idea of being brushed, and sometimes, there’s nothing you can do about it, especially if the main reason why they don’t like it is trauma. Don’t worry; even though it’s possible that cats will not like it after tons of therapy or assistance, you can still help them. Here are some techniques to help your cat somehow like the idea of being brushed.

Create a peaceful and cozy environment for your cat

As mentioned above, cats love the idea of being in a safe and calm environment. Before you start anything, make sure that your cat loves playing with you, being petted, and being touched. If your cat doesn’t like even just one of the things we mentioned, then it’s not time to start brushing. If you do, your cat will begin to run away or even avoid you. This can be very stressful for your cat, so it’s important that you give them time to adjust.

Always choose the best brush for your cat

Cats are very delicate and sensitive, and using the wrong brush might give them sore bodies, pain, and sometimes wounds. There are brushes specifically made to use for your pets and those are the brushes that you should use. Those brushes are soft and made for delicate skins and furs. Some of them are even created in a form of gloves so that your cat will feel as if he/she was being pet rather than being brushed. This will help them get accustomed to the feeling and possibly help them to like it.

Do it gently

Once you get your cat to trust you, do it gently. Remember to brush it in the direction of where the fur grows and do not go the opposite way. If you do it the wrong way, your cat may start resisting and won’t let you do it again for a long period of time. Do it gradually, gently, and proper. You can even watch a few youtube videos to help you.

Make it a routine

Cats are known for their routines. They have time to sleep, eat, and groom. That’s why if you want them to like the idea of being brushed, you have to incorporate it into their routine. If your cat is long-haired, then you can brush it daily to avoid matting as well. If they are short-haired, once a week will do. Do it until your cat knows that you brush them during that time. They are intelligent and they know the routine. Just make sure to do it slowly as cats don’t like their routines changed instantly. It can cause them another stress and we don’t want that.

Give them some treats

Rewarding your cat might be one of the best ways to get your cat to trust you. Cats are amazing and they love the idea of being rewarded every time they follow commands. Aside from treats and catnips, you can also give them some pampering after, like putting some warm cloth and tapping it on your cat’s fur after brushing. This will certainly calm them after a stressful attempt of brushing their fur.

How Much Time Should you Spend Brushing your Cats?

We understand that you still have anxiety and questions about how you can do this right. Like when you ask yourself if you are spending too much or too little time brushing them. As we mentioned above, the frequency of how many times you should brush your cat’s fur depends on its hair type. For example, long-haired cats should be brushed daily or as frequently as possible to avoid the matting of furs. Short-haired cats can be brushed at least once a week to maintain the healthy oils in their fur. All will depend on your cat’s fur/coat type.

In terms of how long you should brush your cat’s hair, you can do it for up to 10 minutes. Take note on how your cat behaves and if he/she isn’t comfortable on how your brush their hair, stop immediately. Do not make brushing as a traumatic situation for them especially if you noticed that they are starting to feel pain. Don’t worry, you can do this!

Why is it Important to Brush Your Cat’s Hair?

Brushing your cat’s hair can help your cat in a lot of ways. Aside from keeping them pretty, it can also give them a lot of health benefits and here are some of them.

  • It keeps your cat’s fur from matting.
  • It helps with their blood circulation.
  • Brushing keeps them relaxed and calm.
  • It keeps their hair from shedding.
  • It can help in removing dander and dandruff.

As you can see, brushing can help your cat in a lot of ways. But, as we mentioned a lot in this article, not all cats will like the idea and you should respect it if they want to get away from the brush as far as possible. Try to do some techniques that we mentioned, consult a vet, or talk to a cat behaviorist so they can give you the best possible course of action.


Cats are amazing, but they are also sensitive. Using the wrong brush can make everything go wrong in just a snap, so the best advice that we can tell you now is to choose the best brush for your cat. Do not be afraid to invest, it might be a bit more expensive, but it will be worth it for you and your cat. Another thing is to assess your cat’s situation first and pinpoint the reason why they don’t like being brushed before you do anything.

To sum up, the answer to if cats like being brushed purely depends on the cat in question. Not all cats will like the idea and not all cats will react the same way. We hope that this article helped you to figure out everything about brushing your cat. Remember, do it gradually and make sure that your cat is enjoying it. If not, stop immediately and try again.