Just as we would exfoliate for the benefits it gives our skin, using a cat shedding brush stimulates its circulation and can help improve muscle tone. The brushing motion, with long strokes, in particular, distributes the natural oil (known as sebum) that cats produce from glands associated with every hair follicle, and this sebum helps to maintain good skin and a healthy coat. Regular brushing will also free any trapped dirt and minimize tangles or matted areas. Matts is a particular problem in long-haired cats or cats which are not flexible because of injury or age as they can’t easily reach to groom themselves, resulting in mats over their lower back. Significant matts create a shield which actually prevents a cat from grooming themselves; the skin under the matt is starved of fresh air, so this can lead to dirt building up and the matts becoming a haven for fleas. Another important benefit of frequent grooming is that it helps to reduce the number of hairballs your cat may digest by removing loose hairs – the more that are brushed away the less they are likely to swallow when grooming themselves.