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Groomin questions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I adopted a stray cat. I've been told it's a ragdoll. He was heavily matted & 1/2 of his body was covered with clumps of burs. The vet says he is about 2-3yrs old. I took him to a groomer. What a terrible experience. He fought bathing, shaving the clumps & nail clipping. He was only mildly aggressive when she combed him. I have only had him since Thanksgiving so I'm still trying to build trust. If I try to brush him he gets nervous & then starts to growl. If I try to comb his tail & back leg areas he fights. Then he acts like he doesn't trust me again. I've always had cats but never one that needed so much brushing. I'm trying to build trust but how can I when it's so important to groom him?
post #2 of 8
I haven't used this technique on cats, but it works wonders on dogs.

I take a tube of something non-toxic and unflavored like paper glue, food coloring, lip gloss or something similar and cut the bottom out. Empty the contents of the tube and wash it out thoroughly. Boil a couple chicken livers and mash them into a paste when they are cooked using hot water. Stuff the tube with paste and seal the bottom with a toothpaste squeezer. Once the dog realizes what's in the tube he will lick and lick as I slowly squeeze the contents out. During that time, nothing can distract him from the tube, so I can do all the poking and prodding I need.

I'm not sure that would work on cats, but knowing my kitty's love for chicken liver, I imagine it would.
post #3 of 8
Thats a brilltiant idea! I'd guess the cat may eventually get annoyed w/ the poking but it will at least reinforce grooming as a good thing.
post #4 of 8
I think I'd do a "parts" routine. Do no more then 5 mins of grooming to start. YOU stop when the 5 mins is up - use a timer.

Start with the head/neck and do that while talking nicely and giving treats. Then the next day, do another part of the body. Do not groom any other part for the 5 mins.

Hopefully over a few days or a week he will be more tolerate of grooming all over. Tell him how wonderful he is, how pretty he is, etc. and praise him with soft talking. You may also play some soft music in the background on your grooming area.
post #5 of 8
He may be struggling because he was in pain before from all the burrs and mats. Now when you comb him, he associates that with discomfort he had when they were trying to clean him up. Hopefully he will get better with time and trust. You're right... it will take a while for him to trust you. And it takes some longer then others. Thanks for caring for this kitty!
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all of your suggestions. Even if he is screaming & fighting to get away from me should I continue for 5 minutes ?
post #7 of 8
I wouldn't. That will only teach him that it's a bad thing. Do as much as he'll let you or 5 minutes which ever comes first. Wickett hates having knots groomed or cut out so I'll keep going until his struggling becomes a hazard. As in, he's struggling so much that I risk cutting him or ripping out fur.
post #8 of 8
Doesn't have to be a whole 5 mins, but you DON'T want them to learn that if they make the least complaint or try to stop you they can do it - you'd never get grooming done.

Just be gentle and firm; talk softly, play soft music, and do a little at a time. Have treats on hand and when he's not complaining, then give him a nibble.

You should be able to groom one part at a time before complaining too much. Take it slow. But also don't let him decide when to quit. If you start at the head/neck you can work down the entire body. He should not have objections to having his head and neck groomed at first. Save the legs/belly for the last.
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