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Long Hair Care ??

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Our newest family member.....Pearl...is a long hair kitty. We have never dealt with long hair (on a cat ) before. She loves to be brushed, except on her belly, and her fur is filling out. Our problem is she has a mat of hair that must of started at the rescue group. It is right below her ear and I can't figure out how to get it out...brushing it doesn't help.

So how do I remove Pearl's matted hair?? She doesn't like her belly to be brushed, is there some way to check and keep up on matted hair there??

Thanks in advance!!
post #2 of 21
Well you should be using various size combs - fine toothed and medium toothed - not brushes on a longhair cat.

You might need to cut the one mat out at this point. Develop a grooming routine several times a week. Use a small table to get her used to being groomed completely from head to belly/tail and train her to sit still while being groomed.

If you give in now, you will have problems with a full grown cat with a full coat. If you watch persian breeders at shows, their 4 month old kittens will stand on the table and accept grooming - because the breeders/owners have trained them from about 2 months old to have a routine grooming.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Well you should be using various size combs - fine toothed and medium toothed - not brushes on a longhair cat.

You might need to cut the one mat out at this point. Develop a grooming routine several times a week. Use a small table to get her used to being groomed completely from head to belly/tail and train her to sit still while being groomed.

If you give in now, you will have problems with a full grown cat with a full coat. If you watch persian breeders at shows, their 4 month old kittens will stand on the table and accept grooming - because the breeders/owners have trained them from about 2 months old to have a routine grooming.
Thanks for the information.....she's 6 years old, trying to teach the old kitty new tricks isn't a quick thing. Like I said we've never had a long hair before...I will get a comb when we make a food run today.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by babytrees View Post
Thanks for the information.....she's 6 years old, trying to teach the old kitty new tricks isn't a quick thing. Like I said we've never had a long hair before...I will get a comb when we make a food run today.
It may take a little longer, but you can establish a routine with her. Try bribes, they're very popular in my house
Seriously, one of my best weapons in the fight to keep Stanley's back side clean is a handful of dry kibble Get a nice comb and make good associations and you may find she will come to enjoy it (even look forward to it)...Stan starts his motor running as soon as he sees the comb.

That being said, she may still be very skittish about you touching her belly and there is no shame in enlisting the help of a professional (vet or groomer). Kitties have very thin skin and it is easy to cut them.
post #5 of 21
Shaving a cat seems just too traumatic for me, as are the results. They're naturally meant to be hairy and are perfectly able to dispell heat with the bodies nature gave them.

Plus in this case you're keeping the cat in an environment that isn't hotter than it would be at any other time of year... the cat will be cold.

Then there's the issue of anaesthesia. Having my cat put under for a biopsy made me nervous enough; I'd never risk that for a haircut.

My cat is medium-haired and I've considered possibly getting a trim to a shorter length, but I'd never shave the hair completely off. He had several different parts of him shaved for procedures, and I couldn't wait for it to grow back... he looked bizarre.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
Shaving a cat seems just too traumatic for me, as are the results. They're naturally meant to be hairy and are perfectly able to dispell heat with the bodies nature gave them.

Plus in this case you're keeping the cat in an environment that isn't hotter than it would be at any other time of year... the cat will be cold.

Then there's the issue of anaesthesia. Having my cat put under for a biopsy made me nervous enough; I'd never risk that for a haircut.

My cat is medium-haired and I've considered possibly getting a trim to a shorter length, but I'd never shave the hair completely off. He had several different parts of him shaved for procedures, and I couldn't wait for it to grow back... he looked bizarre.
My Nya is going in for a lion cut tomorrow. I've considered it a few summers in a row now, and our new apartment is UNBEARABLY hot, so I do feel it's necessary. She's been barely moving it's so hot.

The groomer where I work does not use anesthetic. She will not be sedated in any way either. I've seen dozens of cats done this way successfully and have complete faith in the groomer to do this properly. A groomer who's familiar with cats is important!

As for the original poster's questions, it does depend a lot on the type of hair your cat has. Nya's hair is great, sure she's longhaired, but it never needs brushing, and only mats on very rare occasions (if something got stuck in it). Most cats are not this fortunate. Take your time, go slowly in the areas she doesn't want brushed, and make it a happy, positive thing. She'll learn to like being brushed more.

The one thing you may want to consider is a "sanitary trim" if Pearl has issues with things from the litterbox sticking to her bum. Keeping the hair there shorter makes things much much easier
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
I don't want to shave her...her hair is thin on top....probably from stress as it is already becoming fuller. That mat is really bothering her I think I am going to try and cut it off tonight.

I have never felt a mat on her underbelly...but I also don't want one to develop.

She LOVES the brush...the goof ball!!
post #8 of 21
If you can associate a treat with it that might help. Wickett get's mats all over (chest, belly, legs...) and he HATES having them cut out but sometimes I have NO choice. He also hates having his chest and belly combed but he lets me do it ony because he knows he'll get spoiled w/ treats and love after. He actually followes me to the trash (to get rid of the hair) as if to say... Where are my treats woman!
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Wickett is handsome!!!!

Is there a specific comb or brush you use???
post #10 of 21
Thank you!

I use a wide tooth comb that has free spinning teeth. It works best for getting to his undercoat and stopping those mats... actually, if they are small enough it will pull them out. I always use short strokes so I don't pull hair and he LOVES it. I sometimes use a double sided brush but I only use the open side and he LOVES that one. Then the bristle side works great for picking lose hair up off the furniture.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks!! Now I know what I am looking for!!
post #12 of 21
No problem. I swear I own like 6 different brushes and I tried them all till I found the comb.
post #13 of 21
Combs are the best for working out mats and preventing them. You need one that is fine to medium toothed for around the head, face and ears. This is the one I use: Easy Groom Congrats on the new kitty!

twstychik, the rotating tooth comb doesn't work for my kitties. I think just because their fur is so thick and there is so much of it. You wouldn't believe how many different combs and grooming tools I have accumulated over the years! O wait...... maybe you would believe!

Anyway ... the rotating tooth may work fine for you babytrees. But if it doesn't, consider one like the comb pictured in the link I posted.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
mizjazz that is almost identical to the comb I ended up getting last night...along with 3 new toys. Pearl loves the toys...and she's spoiled.
post #15 of 21
I'm not sure if you got the mat out, but I've heard of people using baby oil to help get through it. There is also de-tangler specifically for cats at the pet stores.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnzoLeya View Post
I'm not sure if you got the mat out, but I've heard of people using baby oil to help get through it. There is also de-tangler specifically for cats at the pet stores.
Wouldn't using baby oil require a bath after? Wickett would so NOT be cool with that! He HATES water and will do everything (including using me for traction) to avoid it. :ouch:
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnzoLeya View Post
I'm not sure if you got the mat out, but I've heard of people using baby oil to help get through it. There is also de-tangler specifically for cats at the pet stores.
I looked for detangler last night. I really do think I am just going to have to buck up and cut it out as I think she hurt herself (cut on the forehead) trying to rub it out by herself.
post #18 of 21
Just be VERY careful. If she won't sit still you might have to get help. Cats have VERY thin and delicate skin. Make sure your using good sharp scissors and if the mat is big enough I usually cut it in half first and try combing out the rest. If you can't conb it out the carefully cut the rest out in little bits.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
twstychik- thank you so much for all of your replies!! This long hair thing scared me a bit but you have made it easier!! It is a fairly large hunk so I will be having someone hold her and I will cut half and try and work the rest out. She seems to sense when we are going to comb her head or belly....she's a smart kitty!!
post #20 of 21
Your very welcome. I'd never had a long hair before Wickett so he's been my test subject. What's funny is he LOVES having his tummy rubbed so I sneak up on him. I'm lucky in that he'll usually let me for a bit at least and if I can manage that a few times a week by the 3rd time he's all soft and tangle free. Good luck and remember lots of treats!
post #21 of 21
Babytrees,

If you do try to cut that matt out, make sure you put the comb under the matt right up against her skin. That way, you'll be sure that you won't cut her. The comb will be between her skin and the scissors.
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