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Since I became weary in brushing our Persian cat over the many years, I became desperate to find a frugal solution!
Since her favorite place to go daily is into a spare closet to sleep a while, I realized that it is always only partially opened, about her width. And since the inside of the closet door has a long white wire rack on it that goes almost all the way to the floor. Hum-m-m-m, I wondered. You guessed it! I twist-tied the same nylon-bristled hair brush that I had become tired of using/cleaning so often, to the lowest and outermost edge of the rack just at her body height and guess what, it works.
Start grooming as soon as you get your cat. Start slowly to see how kitty responds. If he or she is skittish, do it frequently in short time periods until kitty responds better.
Use scissors made to trim small pet claws to clip the front nails, holding and pressing each toe gently to extend the claw and trimming only the tips. Take your time until kitty gets used to it, you may only get a toe or two at a time at first.
Using a comb or brush suited to your cat's coat, groom kitty gently in the direction of growth, talking softly and petting kitty as you go to make it a pleasant experience. Unless your cat is a huge fan of grooming, best to let kitty remain unrestrained and do as much at a time as kitty will allow, picking up where you left off later if need be.
After brushing and petting, use a folded paper towel dampened with warm water to clean any crust from eye area gently. Then, use a big cotton ball moistened with a bit of mineral oil to gently clean kitty's ears. Place the cotton ball in the outer ear and gently rotate it back and forth to remove any wax or fur you can see.
The key to all of it is to be gentle and reassuring, and have patience. I have had three alley cats from kitten age, and though each was initially fearful of grooming, they quickly came to love it. I couldn't even brush my own hair without being accosted by a cat wanting its turn! Then, finally, praise and treats for your spa kitty!
Source: My own personal experiences with felines.
By Kat from MD
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I have recently rescued my first long-haired cat. She is sprouting big mats that are clearly painful to her. However, she gets so excited when I groom her that I get scratched and I'm afraid I will hurt her. Is there anything that makes it easier besides having the groomer shave her down?
By Bluey from Laramie, WY
You may very well have to have her shaved. My mom does this with her Persian. She gets a "lion" cut, or you can simply cut the bad tangles out. I will give you several tips that I have found work for my cat:
Take a baby-wipe and spray it with lots of hair detangler made for kids. Then while your cat is eating a food she loves (like wet food) or someone is holding her, wipe this detangler soaked baby-wipe all over her coat especially on the tangled spots. The baby-wipe works better than spraying the detangler directly on to the cat! Also you might try mixing a tiny bit of hair conditioner into a tablespoon or 2 of water and putting this directly on to the tangles, just use you fingers to apply it. But my favorite detangler is Frizz-ease hair serum. It's made with a silicone-based product and it's super slippery and removes knots in a jiffy! (look for the word "dimethicone" in the first word of the ingredients)
Also, my cat will only let me brush him while he is eating. So when he's super-hungry in the morning I always brush him while he's eating. It helps to offer wet food to get the cats attention. I keep a brush hanging up near his food bowl.
Start out grooming your cat with a wide-bristled brush at first, then after you've gotten out all the tangles, switch to a pet comb. (a small comb with about 1/4 inch spaces between the teeth) These combs will remove the hair that is shedding. You can also pet your cat with an old panty-hose on your hand and this will help remove some of the shedding hair. It's most important to brush your cat in the spring when they shed most!
I have a pure Maine Coon that I have shaved every spring. He would never allow me to brush his belly, resulting in terrible knots in his fur. But I changed his mind.
Every night before dinner I would swipe him a few times with the brush where he liked to be brushed. The back of the head especially, down his back and on his chin and chest. Then he'd get to eat. I just slowly expanded on this so now he gets a few quick swipes all over before he eats. Now he purrs getting brushed because he knows what's coming. And so far this winter, no knots!
So you may as well get her shaved so that you have a "clean" start, and then try my plan. Most animals will respond to the reward system.