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SquirrellyMama

Cat grooming issues

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I feel like a horrible cat mom. We a long haired cat that we cannot keep groomed. She hates being brushed, and she cannot keep her long fur groomed. Our vet did a shave under sedation for us, and we were able to keep up with grooming until her fur got long again. She started to get aggressive when being brushed, and her fur is matted and gross again. Unfortunately, our vet doesn't do grooming as a regular service, and I cannot find another vet that will groom with sedation.

Our vet did give us some Gabapentin to try to relax her so we could groom her ourselves, but it didn't work. So, I have an appointment with a cat groomer, but I really have no hope it will work 😞 

I'm hoping the vet will do it again for us one more time, and then maybe we could get her in with the groomer every 8 weeks. 

I'm so stressed about this today. She's such a sweet kitty, but hates being groomed. Any suggestions on brushing her fur without the aggression? 

Kelly

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Can you get some sort of one time kitty anxiety pill to give her like once a month or something, to just get a basic brushing in?

Also though, my mom had a long haired cat, a Maine Coon.  She pretty much never groomed the cat.  And the fur never got matted or gross?  Does your cat have especially long hair or some sorts of special considerations?

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12 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Can you get some sort of one time kitty anxiety pill to give her like once a month or something, to just get a basic brushing in?

Also though, my mom had a long haired cat, a Maine Coon.  She pretty much never groomed the cat.  And the fur never got matted or gross?  Does your cat have especially long hair or some sorts of special considerations?

We tried a pill that didn't work. I don't think she has any special considerations, other than the fact that she doesn't like the other 2 cats so she tends to stay in my daughters' room. She's often on a bed with one of the girls.

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6 minutes ago, SquirrellyMama said:

We tried a pill that didn't work. I don't think she has any special considerations, other than the fact that she doesn't like the other 2 cats so she tends to stay in my daughters' room. She's often on a bed with one of the girls.

Maybe check your DD's room to see if there's some sort of crap that she's getting into that causing the matting and grossness?  I am not suggesting your DD has grossness, rather that maybe the cat's getting into lotion or make up or something?  If she's sitting next to your DD as your DD is spraying hair spray or perfume, or the cat is rubbing on a lotion pump all day or something, that might contribute to the matting and such.  

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What kind of brushes have you tried?  How does kitty tolerate handling in general?

Have you tried a Greyhound/metal comb? Combs are much better at preventing/removing mats than brushes are, plus they're gentler on skin.

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You're not a horrible cat mom! We had a longhaired cat that had exactly that same problem - his fur would form big matted clumps, all over his body. He was a very gentle cat, but hated to get brushed and would bite at us. We tried all kinds of ways to get him to tolerate brushing, but he never did. Luckily, our vet was willing to sedate him and give him a lion cut, so we had that done every six months. I wish I had better advice for you, but that was the only thing that worked for our kitty.

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58 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

What kind of brushes have you tried?  How does kitty tolerate handling in general?

Have you tried a Greyhound/metal comb? Combs are much better at preventing/removing mats than brushes are, plus they're gentler on skin.

We've tried so many brushes. Not too many combs. I'll take a look at the link you provided. I will try anything!

Kelly

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42 minutes ago, Selkie said:

You're not a horrible cat mom! We had a longhaired cat that had exactly that same problem - his fur would form big matted clumps, all over his body. He was a very gentle cat, but hated to get brushed and would bite at us. We tried all kinds of ways to get him to tolerate brushing, but he never did. Luckily, our vet was willing to sedate him and give him a lion cut, so we had that done every six months. I wish I had better advice for you, but that was the only thing that worked for our kitty.

Thank you! I'm picking up the vet records for the groomer tomorrow. I'm going to beg the vet office to do a groom under sedation again. If they do I will take her to the groomer in about 8 weeks in hopes that it will be a less traumatizing experience.

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6 hours ago, SquirrellyMama said:

I feel like a horrible cat mom. We a long haired cat that we cannot keep groomed. She hates being brushed, and she cannot keep her long fur groomed. Our vet did a shave under sedation for us, and we were able to keep up with grooming until her fur got long again. She started to get aggressive when being brushed, and her fur is matted and gross again. Unfortunately, our vet doesn't do grooming as a regular service, and I cannot find another vet that will groom with sedation.

Our vet did give us some Gabapentin to try to relax her so we could groom her ourselves, but it didn't work. So, I have an appointment with a cat groomer, but I really have no hope it will work 😞 

I'm hoping the vet will do it again for us one more time, and then maybe we could get her in with the groomer every 8 weeks. 

I'm so stressed about this today. She's such a sweet kitty, but hates being groomed. Any suggestions on brushing her fur without the aggression? 

Kelly

Same here  - I always fail at this and have for the past 17 years I've had a semi-long haired cat.  Some PetSmart and PetCo have cat groomers on staff; call them and have them refer you to a location that does, or post on your neighborhood NextDoor for cat grooming services.

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My dd's cat has tons of really long hair. She really can't keep it all groomed well herself because even her neck ruff is so long that she can't get to the end of it with her tongue. She also hates being brushed or combed.

Do you have any cat-only vets in your area? That's where we were finally able to find a cat groomer. Our cat goes in every once in awhile for a good combing, as well as a pretty short shave around her rear (really helps reduce litter box issues from getting stuck there).

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5 hours ago, Reefgazer said:

Same here  - I always fail at this and have for the past 17 years I've had a semi-long haired cat.  Some PetSmart and PetCo have cat groomers on staff; call them and have them refer you to a location that does, or post on your neighborhood NextDoor for cat grooming services.

i would avoid Petsomething groomers unless you get a recommendation from someone you really know and really trust who has a difficult cat and who has personally used that groomer. Both companies have their own internal training programs. Last time I checked they're roughly six or eight week courses that consist almost solely of book learning. I am nothing but a hobbyist groomer who has only done my own dogs, some volunteer rescue grooming, and a few pets that belong to family and friends. And I guarantee you that gives me hugely more hands-on experience than many groomers at Petsomethings have when they start, and I'm pretty sure I could walk into any Petsomething today and pass their testing to become a full groomer. That doesn't mean I'm qualified.

ETA: That doesn't mean there aren't some really good groomers at Petsomethings. In some areas it can be hard for an independent groomer to make ends meet, and I've known some really good ones who work part time for a Petsomething. You just have to be really careful.

Edited by Pawz4me

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I can relate. I also feel like a horrible cat mom because this happens to my Luna as well and I must have her shaved under sedation. It is literally the only solution. I just had her shaved last week and I feel so embarassed when I do finally bring her in, but it cannot be entirely prevented, only staved off.

I did work with her to train her to jump up on a card table permanently put up in the garage. I give her treats and love on her, then get a small amountof grooming in. I have a very good mat comb that helps pull out the shedding undercoat, which is where/how the mats form. This is better than it had been before I trained her to jump onto the table, but (so far) I cannot comprehensively groom her entire body this way. There are also areas, like her belly, which she will never let me touch, let alone groom. 

I do also acheive some success by holding the scruff of her neck while working on a small mat, but this is difficult to do with just one person. I have recruited a kid sometimes to help, but haven’t ever made this a certain thing. 

@happysmileylady, some long-haired cats don’t mat unless they get something gunky in their fur, but others mat the moment the wooly undercoat begins to shed. My cat’s brother also had long hair, but his fur stayed silky. He didn’t have such dense wool underneath. 

Personally, I don’t ever want a long-haired cat again because this predicament bothers me so much and I have to do it just about every year. 

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@Pawz4me, thank you for the comb link! Putting one in my cart as well....

@SquirrellyMama, our kitty gets mats too; we've cut a few off ourselves with scissors, which she doesn't love and I'm sure isn't ideal, but we didn't know what else to do. Ours mostly gets hers underneath her belly, below her tail, on her back legs, etc.; not so much up top. Of course in all the areas that she *really* won't let us near with a brush or anything....we'll see though if the comb helps. 

@Stacia, thanks for mentioning the shave around the rear! We just got the rec of a good cat groomer, and I'm going to ask about this. Our neighbor who rec'd her also has Maine Coons so I'm hopeful this one will be good with our kitty (ours is a Maine Coon mix). 

Just wanted to say I commiserate! You aren't a bad kitty momma, at all! These long haired furbabies are just tricky! 

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She has an appointment with a cat-only groomer at the end of the month, unless I can find a vet who will shave her under sedation.  This stresses me out so much that I want to cry. I just feel so bad for this kitty. I'm sure the mats feel awful. I'm hoping we see her more once my daughter goes to college. Maybe I can get her to let me groom her more.

Thanks for all of the suggestions and commiseration!

Kelly

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I know it frustrating and embarrassing,  but I also think it's not uncommon.

We used to have a different long-haired cat, but her hair wasn't nearly as long. When she was elderly and not grooming herself as well, she developed knots and I was embarrassed to have to take her in. The vet assured me not to worry, even her mom's cat would get knots that she needed help with.

All that to say, don't feel badly.

Dd's cat just posed for me so I had to post....

20190514_124949.thumb.jpg.007cb9a01926207fa00feb936e070695.jpg

 

Edited by Stacia
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Don't feel bad.  This is really hard and really common.  It just sucks all the way around.  The cat only groomer sounds like a great idea!

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Thanks to this thread, I bought one of the grooming combs linked above. The stray we feed gets a little knotty (and sheds a ton). I'm hoping she might appreciate a good brushing. 

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I wonder if getting her to a groomer about a week after shave when it’s not going to be long and difficult at all could help by giving her a more positive first experience with the new groomer?

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4 hours ago, chocolate-chip chooky said:

Our vet recommended this brush: https://www.kongcompany.com/cat/essentials/care/cat-zoomgroom 

Our long-haired cat actually enjoys being groomed with this and will roll on his back and bare his belly.

 

We only have short hair pets, but they all love zoom groom.  

 Daily zoom after shave might help.   And cat treats 

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4 hours ago, chocolate-chip chooky said:

Our vet recommended this brush: https://www.kongcompany.com/cat/essentials/care/cat-zoomgroom 

Our long-haired cat actually enjoys being groomed with this and will roll on his back and bare his belly.

Those look just like the hair scrubby thing I just bought my girls (after seeing it recommended on another thread). Wonder if they're the same thing....

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Don't feel bad! We never blamed the owners for cats that don't like grooming! Cats are cats...they are set in their ways, lol. However...we did get upset with owners that wouldn't go ahead and do the sedation grooming regularly. Obviously that's not you, you are trying to do it. Call around to other vets if you have to. The reason some vets don't like to do this is that the hair often comes out looking kind of silly and you wouldn't believe how many owners get irate because it doesn't look like a pro groomer did it. Sigh. But do get it done, ASAP. When that hair under the belly gets matted it can actually keep them from moving their legs without pain, and as the mats on the body tighten they can literally rip the hair out by the roots, ever so slowly. It's really painful, and you can't tell by looking from the outside. It's only when you are shaving them down and see the spots where the skin is bald that you realize it. The owners would get mad about the bald patches thinking we did that with the clippers but it was actually places where the mats had tightened and pulled the fur from the skin. 

The best solution for these cats was to start with a lion cut, and then have the owners try to brush at least the top of the cat daily. Then if they couldn't do the underside (common) to have just the belly/inner thighs/rear end shaved on a regular basis. That leaves the cat looking pretty normal, but gets rid of the hair that causes the most problems. 

For the one that asked why it gets so matted, it is just the kind of fur that persian/himalayan cats have. It's not like Maine Coon fur at all - totally different. They have been selectively bred to have fur that needs human intervention. 

 

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