How to Groom A Highlander Cat

Reviewed by Grooming Expert: Clarissa Stevenson, CFMG

Table of Contents

Highlander Cat Characteristics

Body Type: Moderate

Coaty Type & Length: Short/Long

Coat Texture: The Highlander has a thick, shaggy coat that is both water-resistant and hypoallergenic. Its fur is soft to the touch and comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

Highlander cat

Highlander cats are a relatively new breed that originated in the United States. They are known for their unique appearance, with curled ears and a wildcat-like appearance.

Highlander cats are also known for their friendly and affectionate personalities, making them great pets for families. They are intelligent and playful and enjoy interactive toys and games. Highlander cats have medium-length coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.

What You’ll Need to Groom Highlander Cats

In order to groom Highlander Cats properly, you’ll need to have the following tools:

Grooming Tool Description Price
Slicker brush Perfect for removing tangles and mats from your cat’s coat, leaving it smooth and shiny. $10 – $20
Grooming gloves Carefully eliminates loose fur as it offers a soothing massage $10 – $25
Nail clippers Safely trims your cat’s nails to prevent overgrowth and injuries $5 – $15
Ear cleaner Cleans and removes debris from the ear to prevent infections $8 – $15
Cotton balls Gently cleans the ears in combination with the ear cleaner $1 – $5
Toothbrush Cleans your cat’s teeth to prevent dental issues and maintain oral health $3 – $10
Toothpaste Removes plaque and freshens breath; specially formulated for cats $5 – $10
Shampoo Use shampoo that’s made specifically for cats. Shampooing your cat will help remove any dirt deep in its fur $3 – $12

The Grooming Process


Frequency: Brush your Highlander once or twice a week

Technique: Use the slicker brush or grooming mitt and brush in the direction of hair growth.

Use a deshedding tool to remove loose hair and minimize shedding.

Bathing your Highlander Cat

The Highlander is a unique breed with a wild look and a thick, curly coat.

  1. Start by wetting their coat thoroughly, then apply the shampoo and work it into a lather.
  2. Rinse thoroughly to avoid any residue.
  3. Use a towel to gently pat them dry, and avoid using a blow dryer as it can damage their delicate curls.
  4. Regular brushing will help keep their coat looking its best between baths.

How Often Should I Bathe My Highlander Cat?

You should bathe your Highlander cat every 4-6 weeks to maintain their coat’s natural oils and prevent matting.

How to Trim the Nails of a Highlander Cat

  • Cat nail clippers, styptic powder (in case of bleeding), and treats.
  • Find a comfortable spot for your cat, such as a table or your lap.
  • Hold your cat’s paw gently but firmly and press on the pad to extend the nail.
  • Use the clippers to trim the tip of the nail, being careful not to cut the quick (the pink part inside the nail).
  • If you accidentally cut the quick and your cat starts bleeding, apply styptic powder to stop the bleeding.
  • Repeat with the other paws, giving your cat a treat after each paw is done.
  • Recommended frequency of clipping: once every 2-3 weeks.

How to Clean the Ears of a Highlander Cat

  • What you’ll need: cotton balls or pads, ear cleaning solution (make sure it’s safe for cats), and a towel.
  • Hold your cat securely and gently lift one ear flap to expose the ear canal.
  • Squeeze a few drops of the ear cleaning solution into the ear canal. Massage the base of the ear for a few seconds to help the solution work its way in.
  • Use a cotton ball or pad to gently wipe away any debris or excess solution from the ear flap and surrounding area.
  • Repeat on the other ear.
  • Watch out for any signs of discomfort or pain, such as your cat pulling away or vocalizing. If you notice anything unusual, stop and consult with your veterinarian.
  • Avoid using cotton swabs or anything that could damage the delicate ear canal. And never use human ear cleaning solutions on your cat.

How to Brush the Teeth of a Highlander Cat

  • Start by getting your Highlander cat comfortable with having their mouth touched. Gently lift their lip and touch their teeth with your finger.
  • Once your cat is comfortable with this, introduce them to a toothbrush specifically designed for cats. Use a small, soft-bristled brush.
  • Apply a small amount of cat toothpaste to the brush and gently brush your cat’s teeth in a circular motion. Focus on the outer surfaces of the teeth.
  • Brush the back molars, as these are often neglected and prone to tartar buildup.
  • Brush for about 30 seconds to a minute, gradually increasing the time as your cat becomes more comfortable with the process.
  • Reward your cat with a treat or praise after each brushing session to reinforce positive behavior.
  • Aim to brush your Highlander cat’s teeth at least once a week to maintain good oral hygiene.

Highlander Cat’s Coat Care

As part of the grooming post-care process you should pay attention to the following potential issues:


To prevent fleas and ticks on your cat, use a flea comb regularly and keep your cat’s environment clean. Vacuum carpets and furniture frequently and wash bedding in hot water. Consider using a flea and tick preventative medication recommended by your veterinarian.

Hair Matting

Highlanders have a thick, curly coat that can quickly become matted if not brushed regularly. Use a slicker brush to gently remove any tangles and mats, and consider trimming the fur around the ears and paws to prevent future matting.

Allergies and Skin Irritations

Highlanders have thick, long hair that can easily become matted and cause skin irritation. Regular brushing and grooming can prevent this issue and keep their skin healthy.

How Often Should I Brush My Highlander Cat?

You should brush your Highlander cat at least once a week to prevent matting and keep their long, thick coat healthy and shiny. However, during shedding season, you may need to brush them more frequently to remove loose fur and prevent hairballs.

Can I Use Human Shampoo on My Highlander Cat?

You should not use human shampoo on your Highlander cat. Human shampoo is formulated for human hair and can be too harsh for your cat’s delicate skin and coat. It can strip their natural oils and cause dryness, itching, and irritation. Instead, use a cat-specific shampoo that is gentle and pH-balanced for their skin.

How Rare is a Highlander Cat?

The Highlander breed is quite rare and hasn’t yet received full recognition from major cat registries. Consequently, locating a Highlander may prove more challenging than finding other breeds, but it’s still possible to connect with a reputable breeder who has kittens available.