Long Hair Cat Matting Problem-What Else Can I Do?

By | January 29, 2012

This letter written to the cat-health-guide.org website by John Rice from San Antonio, Texas, ask this question:

Our older long-haired female cat started having matting of the hair along each side from front sides back to the tail.

I back brush every day but the matting is close to the skin and is very tight. Some of the hair has pulled away from the skin, but is all rolled up.

I even tried to cut some of the matting away with scissors but the results aren’t the greatest.

What else can I do?

John C. Rice

Vet Suggestion Matting Cat Hair Problem in Older Long Haired Cat

Dear John,

Cat hair matting in the area that you describe is a common issue for older cats. Often the underlying problem is spinal arthritis, which makes twisting to keep themselves well-groomed in this area painful, but anything that makes a cat unwilling to groom can do it.

It would probably be best to take your cat to a groomer who can safely shave the cat hair mats away without cutting her skin. Once the matts are gone, regularly brushing your cat should prevent them from returning.

If your cat does have arthritis, nutritional supplements like Dasuquin or a herbal preparation such as muscle and joint support can sometimes help.

If they don’t do the trick or your cat is acting like she doesn’t feel well in any other way, talk to your veterinarian.

Regards,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

Reasons for Cat Hair Loss

By | January 23, 2012

Most people know that a healthy full coat is a sign of good health in animals. Cat hair loss can then be a cause for concern. What should you be looking for if you are facing cat hair loss?

There are several possibilities in hair loss issues. The first is to check for parasites. Mites, fleas and ticks can cause scratching and hair loss in cats. Mange is another possibility to consider. If parasites aren’t a problem the next thing to look at is diet.

A natural diet with meat as the primary ingredient is less likely to have issues with food allergies. Poor diet and food allergies can cause hair loss due to itching and irritated skin. A good quality diet that – no pun intended – feeds the cat’s natural requirements is the best solution if this is a possibility. Low end foods with high grain content can increase the chances of problems. Your cats hair loss might come from things you can’t see.

You’ve tried a few alterations and have determined although the health is improved there’s still cat hair loss. There’s four other possibilities all which will take testing by a veterinarian to determine or rule out for sure.

• Cushing’s disease has not only hair loss but increased thirst, appetite as   well  as the cat being lethargic. Perhaps the skin is easily irritated or petting  seems to hurt her. The hair is usually missing from the same areas on both sides.
• Addison’s disease is an adrenal gland issue that can also cause lethargic behavior as well as hair loss and skin issues. The good news is that this is not common in cats but the bad news is when it is found it’s often brought on by cancer or a pituitary imbalance. There is little to do but keep the cat as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.
• Hypothyroidism is a hormone imbalance that causes a cat to groom excessively. They might be obsessive about licking and biting themselves due to the skin itching and the hair might fall out in patches. They might overeat and gain weight. If this is obvious along with vomiting it means a trip to the vet as this can indicate a kidney disease.
Hyperthyroidism takes it the other way with weight loss lack of grooming themselves, increased thirst and greatly increased appetite. This can be controlled with medication.
• Another possible reason for hair loss is an autoimmune disorder that causes loss especially on the head, neck and body with no itching noticed.
• Allergies to food are sometimes considered but not allergies in the air or bedding.
• The symptoms of licking feet, inflamed ears, redness, itching, “hot spots” can be the same. Occasionally it can be a symptom of a drug reaction. Stressed cats can also have hair loss including some during pregnancies.

Hair loss in cats is sometimes difficult to pin down a reason for. Talk to your veterinarian to weed out the most serious causes first if you are seeing cat hair loss in an individual cat.

By breeding-cats.com

How to Groom a Cat and Survive the Experience

By | January 21, 2012

If you watch your cat when it is awake you wont have to wait long before she starts to wash herself.

When Is a Good Time to Groom a Cat?
A good question. Have you ever tried to make your cat do something that she does not want to do? I know its impossible and ends in tears, usually yours. If you need to groom your cat then don’t force your attentions on her. Try and make the grooming session enjoyable for her and have her purr in delight as you groom her. It might not be the best thing to do if either you or kitty are in a bad mood- a hissing and scratching cat does not make the subject of a good groom.

Why Brush a Cat’s Hair?
I brush my hair nearly every day as it keeps it in good condition and lets the natural oils from the scalp spread through my hair. Daily brushing keeps the tangles out and helps prevent cat hair matting. Cats have just the same problems with their hair as we do, but they also have the added problem of the need to remove dirt particles and probably bits of undergrowth if they are allowed outdoors.

Choosing the right brush or comb is just as difficult as choosing your own. Metal combs are really useful to do that first comb through. Start at her head and move slowly to her tail, doing only so much as she will tolerate. When you have combed her, and she has probably run off, go and find her and use a bristle brush to remove all the loose and dead hair. Many cats have really sensitive areas- like humans, so be very careful if you find one. The usual suspect areas are around her chest and her tummy.

Long haired cats need a little more care. You need to pay more attention to their legs and tummy as this is where they can get large knots. She may want more attention on her tail, if so , let it spread out on your lap and brush the tail gently so that the hair brushes out to the side.

Bathing Your Cat                                                                                               Bath your cat only if it is really necessary.

When I was a teenager we moved into a new home which had an unguarded chimney stack. My mother’s white Persian ran up the chimney and came down, black, so amidst all the furniture arriving, we had to bath the cat.

Before you start, pop down to your local pet store and buy shampoo that can be used on cats. If you use your own mild shampoo you may have problems rinsing it out, which could cause skin irritation for your cat in future days and expensive veterinarian bills for you!

Firstly, make sure that the door to the room you are in is securely fastened and that you have a couple of soft, warmed towels available.

After you have brushed her to get all of the loose hairs out, deposit her on the sink in about 4″ of warm water. She will be very surprised at this point. If you have a shower or spray attachment give her a quick shower, if not, use your hand and wet her coat.

Apply the shampoo and rinse in accordance with the manufacturers instructions- make sure that you manage to rinse the last of the shampoo out.

Pick her up in the towel(now you know why a thick towel is preferred) and dry her gently- the second towel will be useful to dry yourself off when the cat shakes herself over you.

Nail Clipping
I don’t recommend this. If she is an outdoors cat then she should not need it doing. My mum’s current cat, Bluebell has hers done professionally- she has to, she has nine toes on each foot and it its hard to keep track of her toenails. If, like Bluebell you have nail issues visit the veterinarian , perhaps making an appointment to have her nails done when she is having her annual booster injections.                                                                                       When it comes to grooming your cat, with just these few tips-you WILL survive!

By CASE1WORKER at hubpages.com

The Importance of having your Cat Groomed

By | January 19, 2012

How would you like help with your cat hair matting issues without having to to leave your house? Check out this interesting article from Pet Love Mobile Grooming in Dallas, Texas, USA-a mobile pet grooming service that grooms your pet at the convenience of your own home or office in the DFW area.

 

Cats have a reputation of being fairly self-sufficient. While cats do groom themselves, meticulously and repetitiously, there are some anatomical areas that are difficult for them to reach. Read on to learn about the importance of having a pet grooming professional groom your cat:

  • Nails

No matter how frequently your cat licks between and around his claws, those nails are not going to get any shorter without a pair of clippers. To keep your cats nails from becoming needle-sharp, they should be trimmed regular as part of the grooming process.

  • Ears

A cat’s ears should be examined and cleaned regularly. The process of pushing a cat’s hair away from the ear canal and removing all dirt and wax can be completed efficiently and effectively by a pet grooming professional. Build-up of dirt and wax can lead to infection and discomfort.

  • Anal Glands

When fluid builds up inside your cat’s anal glands, it can cause impaction, infection, and even cancer. Most healthy cats regularly pass this fluid themselves for most of their lives, but it is important that your pet groomer regularly examines your cat’s anal glands to ensure that this is taking place.

  • Matting and Hairballs

One of the most common and notable grooming hurdles is the matting of hair that twists itself into your cat’s coat. Regular gentle brushing can help prevent this. This will limit your cat’s personal hair consumption, thus decreasing the frequency of hairballs. Hairballs are disgusting for pet owners to deal with and pose a threat to a cat’s digestive system.

Are you ready to make your life easier and trust a grooming professional to tend to your cat’s grooming needs? Pet Love of Dallas is staffed by caring groomers who will travel to your home and groom your cat in one of our mobile salons. Call (972) 499-4973 to find out more about our mobile grooming services today.

By petlovedallas.com

Ten Ways to Treat a Cat for Matted Fur

By | January 17, 2012


Grooming your cat regularly with a brush or comb will reduce the occurrence of cat hair matting.
Unfortunately, many cats wind up with matted fur because they hate to be groomed. Here’s how to deal with the problem, which occurs most often in longhairs.

Instructions

1. Attempt to remove the fur mat after the cat has eaten. Cats tend to be more relaxed after meals.

2. Adopt a calm and soothing demeanor as you approach the cat. Have your manicure scissors hidden in your pocket as you pet the cat.

3. Once the cat is relaxed, try to work out the matted fur with your fingers. Pull out the scissors if that doesn’t work.

4. Snip down the middle of the fur mat, far from the skin. It’s quite easy to snip the skin accidentally on long-haired cats, so work carefully.

5. Slowly work apart the fur mat with your fingers. Snip away a little more if necessary. Reassure the cat in a soothing voice as you snip. If she becomes upset, stop and come back to the task later.

6. Once you’ve worked apart the matted fur and it’s clearly away from the skin, cut it off.

7. Reward the cat’s cooperation with a kitty treat.

8. If the cat has several fur mats, remove them at separate times. The cat will quickly lose her patience after you remove the first fur mat. Build trust with a gentle approach and kitty treats to make future encounters easier.

9. Bring the cat to a professional groomer if the cat is unapproachable, if the fur mat is in a delicate area or if the mats are extremely tangled.

10. Purchase a hair-ball treatment at a pet store to help your cat eliminate a troublesome hair ball. Or feed the cat butter or a can of oily sardines

Additional Tips & Warnings

If a cat is vomiting hair balls, it is a sign that he needs more grooming. Comb or brush “Kitty” at least once a week to remove excess fur, more in shedding season. Cats ingest their fur while they groom themselves.

If a cat is retching for days, stops eating or is constipated, bring him to a veterinarian. It could indicate that a major hair ball is blocking the digestive tract.

If a cat stops grooming, bring him to the veterinarian. This is a common sign of underlying illness.

By ehow.com

What is the Difference Between Cat Fur and Cat Hair?

By | January 16, 2012

As a reader you no doubt have noticed references to both phrases on this site and other sites-but no one has ever explained the difference, if any. Here’s a nice answer by Franny Syufy to the Question: What is the difference between cat fur and cat hair?

Answer: Excellent question, and one many people wonder about, apparently, but are afraid to ask.

All Fur is Hair
Actually, all mammals have hair, from humans to whales, to pigs and elephants, to cats, dogs, and monkeys. But the hair has a different appearance, feel, and purpose, depending on the development of the individual species.

But Not All Hair is Fur
Technically speaking, however, the term fur is generally confined to mammals with very thick body hair. With cats, the terms are almost always used interchangeably, although with some “hairless” breeds, the Sphynx in particular, the short, downy stuff that is almost invisible is usually called “hair.”
But with most cats we use terms like “hairballs” to describe the fur cats swallow and then hack up, while we affectionately refer to our cats themselves as fur balls or fur-kids.

Personally, I think of “cat hair” as individual and “cat fur” as collective, e.g., a cat hair is what I find on my black sweater. There may be many of them, but they are not all massed together like fur is on my cat. When grooming my cat I may either “comb his hair” or “brush his fur.”

To complicate things further, breeders often describe the overall appearance of a cat’s fur as its coat. You will see this term used almost exclusively in breed standards, but you will also see “hair” mentioned, as in long-hair or short-hair breeds or divisions.

Different Types of Cat Hair and Coats
Like all hair, cat hair originates in the epidermis (under the skin), and the type of hair determines the structure. There is a muscle next to the root, just under the skin, that is extremely sensitive to temperature. In cold weather, or when a cat is frightened or alarmed this muscle contracts, causing the attendant hair to “stand straight up,” causing that “Halloween cat” look that is so familiar. Cats may have from one to three types of hair in their coats, referenced sometimes as “double coat,” or “triple coat,” plus those distinctive whiskers, which are also hairs.
•Whiskers (Vibrissae)
Long, thick, tactile hairs extending from the sides of the muzzle, above the eyes, the cheeks, and at the outside of the lower legs on cats. Whiskers are extremely sensitive, and play an important role in cats’ ability to gauge openings, find their way around in total darkness, and they may even contain a scent-sensing ability. Whiskers are also an important factor in revealing cats’ body language.
•Guard Hairs
The longer, stiffer hairs that extend out past the “base coat” (awn hairs). These are the hairs that usually determine the basic color of the cat. Guard hairs help in retarding water to keep a cat dry.
•Undercoat, also called “Down”
Softer, fluffier hair that provides warmth. This is the hair that tends to mat if a cat is not groomed regularly.
•Awn Hairs
There are several different definitions of awn hairs, depending on the breed of cat, but awn hairs usually form the basic coat. In some breeds, the (finer) awn hairs may be the same length as the guard hairs, while in other breeds, such as the Manx, the guard hairs are longer.
•Vellus
Sparse, baby-fine hairs, such as those found on the Sphynx cat. (Humans also have vellus on all but a few body parts.)
•Curly Hair vs Straight Hair
As in humans, curly hair in cats has flattened shafts while straight hair has round shafts.
This may be more information than you asked for. The bottom line is that you will be correct whether you call the fluffy, fuzzy stuff that covers your cat hair, fur, or coat. So use the term that is most comfortable for you, and I, for one, will not split any hairs over your choice of words.

By Franny Syufy, About.com Guide

How to Groom a Ragdoll Cat!

By | January 13, 2012

Grooming a Ragdoll cat regularly will ensure your pet’s coat remains healthy and lustrous. Read on to learn more about Ragdoll cat grooming
requirements from the following article.

 

Easygoing and mellow, that’s a Ragdoll cat for you. These cats are one of the easiest pets to keep as pets, especially for families with children. These cats have a very placid temperament and prove to be very affectionate in nature. The Ragdoll cat size makes it one of the largest domesticated cat breeds. They are long-haired cats and therefore, require regular grooming. Ragdoll cat grooming will ensure their fur remains free from mats and hairball considerably reduced. Let us have a look at a few simple pointers that will help you learn how to groom a Ragdoll cat.

Ragdoll Cat Grooming                                                                                    Ragdoll cats have moderately long guard hair. Their fur is short on the front legs and tend to be longer on the hind legs. These cats come in a variety of colors like van, matted, shaded, bi-color as well as smoke patterns. As you can see, one needs to take care of the thick fur by grooming it regularly. Ragdoll shedding and hairball occurrences will be greatly reduced if you groom your cat regularly. You will notice that their winter coats are shed in spring and thus, there will be more hair covering your furniture, clothes and upholstery. Also, if you avoid Ragdoll cat grooming, you will find your pet’s fur matted and dirty. However, you do not have to worry a lot about the grooming ritual. It is simple and very easy to carry out. Let’s go into the details of grooming care you need to follow for your Ragdoll.

Brush My Hair
In order to prevent excessive shedding, matting and hairball, you need to brush your kitty’s fur. Use a wide-toothed steel comb to brush her hair. You should begin with the grooming rituals early with kittens. This will get them accustomed to the rituals and they won’t put up much of a resistance. If the fur is matted, be gentle when brushing. You can clear the mats little by little every day. Soon, your cat will sport long, shiny and soft hair. And an important tip: Never ever place a matted cat into water for bathing. This will make things worse and you will have no choice but to shave off your cat’s fur to get rid of them. Thus, just use a steel, wide-toothed comb and separate the hair little by little.

Give Me a Bath
Before putting your Ragdoll cat or any other cat in for a bath, you need to make sure you have all your tools in order. And by tools I mean shampoo, hair detangler, brushes, ear cleaner, a human toothbrush as well as a few cotton balls. You need to plan beforehand or be ready to be torn by cat scratches. Now, decide whether you are bathing the cat in a sink or the bathroom. It will be a good idea if you can rope in some assistance from a friend or family member. This will help in holding the cat, while one is washing the cat. After you have de-matted the cat, it is time to wet the cat with lukewarm water. You can then apply a suitable cat shampoo and work on it to create enough lather. Once you work throughout the cat coat, you can rinse off the shampoo totally. Brush your cat’s fur with the help of the toothbrush and clean the ears with the help of the ear cleaner and cotton balls. After you have finished bathing the cat, you need to squeeze the excessive water in a towel. Try to pat her dry as much as possible.

Hairball Giving Me Trouble
Cats tend to groom themselves clean. This continuous self-licking causes hair to accumulate in their stomach. Many times, this causes the cat to cough up a hairball. Once in a while coughing up hairball is not considered a problem. However, if this happens regularly, you can take some measures to avoid this problem. You can give a teaspoon of Laxatone or Petromalt to an adult cat. However, speak to a veterinarian before giving your cat any kind of laxative.

Time for My Manicure and Pedicure
Nail trimming is a good idea if you want to avoid those occasional scratches. Trimming nails also helps reduce tearing, splitting and infections in overgrown claws. You can use human clippers to clip the nails. But do not try so until and unless you are sure of what you are doing. You need to observe the nails carefully. You will find a pink patch running through the nail. This patch indicates the nerve endings of the cat. You need to avoid these pink patches and cut the nail slightly above it. If you cut off the nerve endings you will hurt your cat leading to bleeding, pain and possible infection. If you are not comfortable, take your cat to a professional groomer for trimming nails.

Other Tips                                                                                     These were a few Ragdoll grooming tips that you should follow. Brushing your Ragdoll coat twice a week ensures the natural oils in the cat’s skin spreads all over the coat. This will keep the coat healthy and shiny. Speak to the veterinarian and search the internet for more information related to Ragdoll cats. Ragdolls are beautiful cats who are extremely docile and affectionate. Once you begin with the grooming ritual, not only your cat, but you too will enjoy the process. It is a great way to build a bond of trust and friendship with your pet Ragdoll.
By Batul Nafisa Baxamusa

My cat has matted fur. How do I go about grooming matted cat fur?

By | January 12, 2012

This question is from Mary in the UK from the pictures-of-cats.org website. She ask:

My cat has matted fur. How do I go about grooming matted cat fur? She is a medium long haired cat and is old with a bit of excess weight. She always gets matted fur on her backside which she sits on and squirms about on when she is grooming the other parts of her body!

I’d appreciate some tips on this as I have always fought with this problem.

Mary

Hi Mary… thanks for popping by and asking. I like visitors and questions even though I can’t always answer them and this is a slightly difficult one or at least there are no easy answers.

It really depends on how matted the fur is. If is is bad I would get it done professionally and I wouldn’t leave the people (in the UK they might be assistants to vets at a veterinarian’s surgery) to decide how to do it as they might just manhandle your cat and groom through the matting upsetting your cat, maybe even traumatizing her.

I think the best way for bad or lots of matting is to have the fur shaved out professionally. It looks like a bad haircut afterwards but after the shaving the key it to consistently groom your cat every day, perhaps twice a day, to ensure that matting doesn’t reoccur.

As for less bad matting, Doctors Carlson and Giffin, two well known veterinarians in America (who I hope don’t d-claw) recommends the following:

Clumps of hair should be removed they say. Incidentally, it is worth asking ourselves if matting should be removed. Are we doing it for the cat our ourselves? This is a valid question. We don’t like matting as it feels horrible and we like the feel of stroking a cat (particularly the dense silky coat of a British Short-hair) but this is not a reason to clear out cat hair matting. Anyway that said, it is usually advisable to remove them as it makes the coat more efficient as a protector for the cat if it is in good condition (although cats don’t mind matting).

Doctors Carlson and Giffin recommend tangle removal liquids and sprays that may soften the clumps which makes it easier to remove them. A wide toothed comb should be used to remove matting but it may not if the matting is tough.

Under these circumstances the matting or clumps of hair has to be removed and anything we have in the house in the way of a shaver won’t do it. They recommend using sharp scissors with great care cutting away from the skin into the hair clump in narrow strips. A comb can be slid under the clump to protect the skin.

The single danger is cutting skin and the single obstacle is keeping your cat still to allow you to exercise some precision during the cutting. Take time and don’t take chances.

Leave some of the clump there (that is nearest the skin). Wait a few days for the hair to grow some more, which leaves the clump further from the skin. Then do some more judicious trimming. At a point in time the remainder of the clump can be teased out between the fingers and/or combed out in the usual way say with a Furminator which is a heavy weight and highly effective grooming tool.

Some people who keep Persians, a very long haired cat, give the cat a “lion cut” to get rid of the matting and give the cat a new look. Not sure about that but it is an option.

After all that it might be worth considering how to take proactive preventative steps. As mentioned consistent grooming by us given to our cats will prevent it. Also finding a diet that allows for some loss of weight without losing enjoyment of eating might be worth looking at. Although if your cat is old a bit of fun eating is not worth taking away from the cat. Exercise may also assist to burn some calories.

I found that dry food can put on weight as it is made palatable but contains carbohydrates that help to pile on the pounds.

By pictures-of-cats.org

Long Cat Hair-The Importance of Cat Grooming

By | January 6, 2012

This is an article I found on our-happy-cat.com website, going all the way back to 2007. It’s called “Long Cat Hair The Importance Of Cat Grooming”

Long cat hair needs special attention everyday and although your cat will groom itself often it will need some help from you to keep it in tiptop condition.

This is an important consideration when you are thinking of getting yourself a long-haired breed of cat like a Persian cat. You must be able to dedicate some time every day to pet grooming.

What is matted fur?
Long cat fur is normally very thick, which is what gives it that lovely fluffy look. When your cat grooms itself, it is normally only able to reach the top layer of fur.

Deeper down is where the trouble begins. The cat hair deeper down will start to get small tangles from just everyday activities.

These tangles if left will begin to clump together and get larger and larger and harder and harder to get out. This is what is known as matted fur.

The matted fur will start to pick up debris from the ground, which will make the matted fur heavier, causing it to pull on the cats skin. This will not only be uncomfortable for the cat but will eventually cause sores to form.

Common places mats form

Check these areas of your cat regularly for signs that the cat hair is beginning to mat:
•Behind the ears
•In the groin area
•Along the back of the haunches
•Between back legs
•Under the collar
•Behind front legs
How to deal with matted cat hair
If you groom your cat everyday, making sure that you are reaching deep down into the coat, matting should not be a problem. However every now and then the fur may get a mat and you will need to know how to deal with it right away.
As a rule any matted fur, which is larger than your thumb, should really be dealt with by a professional groomer. This is because your cat’s skin is thinner than our own and it may be very painful to remove larger mats without professional care and equipment.

In some extreme cases the cat may have to be shaved to remove all of the matted fur. Smaller mats can be tackled at home:

•Start by trying to gently pull the mat with your fingers to break it apart

•Then using a mat rake or mat breaker (available from pet supply shops), slowly saw through the mat, starting at the top and then working your way deeper into it.
Mats generally cannot be brushed out, as by the time they become knotted they are well and truly glued together and would be very painful to pull at.

If the mat goes very close to the skin, again see a professional groomer, who will be able to shave away the mat close to the skin. Do not attempt to do this yourself; it is very easy to cut the skin.

•It may be a slow process to remove small mats so take your time and be very aware of your cat’s discomfort. Remember their skin is very delicate.

Fur Balls Another Cat Hair Problem

Another really good reason why cat grooming is important is to help to prevent fur balls.

Every cat will get fur balls occasionally and will usually be able to easily get rid of them themselves. We’ve all had the lovely experience of your cat bringing up a hairball, in my case normally when you are about to eat your own meal.

However long haired cats are more prone to having hairballs which can get stuck in the throat and which will require a visit to the vet.

If this does happen to your cat please do not be tempted to try and get it yourself, using oil etc, its too dangerous and very unpleasant for your cat. A vet will be able to quickly and painless remove it.

By grooming your cat regularly you will be removing a lot of excess cat hair and so there is less that your cat will be licking up. This is especially true during periods of shedding, generally in the spring.

By Svetlana at cat-grooming.co.uk

Cat Grooming part 2

By | January 4, 2012

This article will conclude the series I did on “Cat Grooming” from i-love-cats.com.

 

All cats who have hair, sheds them. And long-haired cats get matted hair. Professional groomers can help you get rid of shedding hair and prevent cat hair matting. But do as much yourself as you can. It is a good opportunity for quality time between you and your cat and less stressful if someone he knows works on him.

A cat’s grooming schedule depends on his hair length, the amount of time he spends outside and whether he is an only cat. Some cats may need brushing once a day and some once a month. Cats who go outdoors roll in dirt or on concrete which helps remove loose hair, so they may be able to go longer between grooming sessions. Short-haired indoor cats may need to be brushed every one or two weeks. Long-haired cats need to be brushed more frequently.

The Following is a List of Grooming Tools

1. Brushes and combs that come in a wide variety of bristles, wire and  rubber.

2. Stainless steel pet combs are good for getting tangles out of long hair.  Brushes are nice for a lighter touch.

3. Use scissors to cut out clumps of matted hair. Always hold a comb between scissors and skin to prevent accidental cuts. For more safety, use scissors with rounded tips.

4. A shedding blade is a hoop-shaped strip of metal with a sawtooth edge and an attached handle. It is especially good for removing fine hair. Use a damp rag to collect the hair that the blade picks up.

5. Spread a dampened chamois cloth in your open hand and rub it firmly over the cat’s coat to remove loose hair. Keep the cat away from drafts until he is dry.

6. Some hair can become so matted that a comb and scissors simply will not work. If you brush your cats regularly, you should be able to prevent this. If necessary, you can use electric shears to remove matting close to the skin, but be careful. It is easy to nick him.

7. One of the best grooming tools available are your fingers, especially for short-haired cats. Remove loose hair by roughing up your cat’s coat with your fingertips and then stroking it back down. Use a damp cloth to pick up any loose hair.

Eight Tips on Cat Grooming

1. Find a time when your cat is in a good mood. Put him on your lap, on his bed, or on a counter with a towel underneath him. Pick a space big enough for him to stretch out.

2. Rub him where he likes it to get him in a good mood. If he starts getting in a bad mood, stop grooming for the day.

3. Start with the neck, chin and head or wherever his favorite places are. If he tries to get up and walk away, gently push him back down and immediately resume grooming. If he gets up again, let him go.

4. Start brushing slowly. Take short strokes, lengthening them as he relaxes. If you use a shedding blade, start with short, slow raking motions with the grain to remove the loose hair. Try pushing some hair so it leans against the grain. Then, starting at the base of that area, rake the hair back to its normal direction with the blade.

5. Once you have gained his trust, try a new area of his body that he is willing to let you brush.

6. The legs on short-haired cats should not need much grooming.

7. Keep the grooming pleasurable for him. Be gentle and talk to him while you work.

8. Stop the grooming session before he becomes agitated or before you brush him bald, which is easy to do if he really likes to be brushed. In addition, too much grooming can make some cats moody, something you need to avoid. Gently massage him again, tell him what a good boy he is and slowly walk away. Leave him with a positive image about grooming.

Shampooing: Cat hair has natural oils which shampoo will remove. Regular brushing prevents the need to shampoo a cat. Most cats should not need regular shampooing. Some never get shampooed, or as little as two or three times in his entire lifetime. A cat who has body odor all the time may have a serious health problem; see the vet if you have any doubts. If you do need to shampoo him, be very careful not to get water near his nose. Cats can easily get a cold or upper respiratory infection that way. Shampoo as gently as possible, using very little shampoo. Keep the water on a low, gentle warm flow. A hair dryer startles most cats so towel dry as soon as he is done.

By Tristan Andrews

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