Originally Posted by Kai Bengals
Alright so I'm a complete newbie at this whole long haired cat thing. I need lots of help and advice on how to make sure my Maine Coon is properly prepared for his next show in 3 weeks.
I have on hand, a slicker brush, a steel comb, with extra spacing between the tines, Suave shampoo for degreasing and some fancy high end shampoo for bringing out shine and color for brunettes.
I have been told to wash him once with Sauve, then the fancy shampoo. Blow dry his hind quarters first, then his front and belly.
What else do I need and what am I already doing wrong?
I haven't read the standards for the Maine Coon but I'll tell you basically my show grooming routine.
The best degreaser that I've found (and many, many other persian owners) is Goop hand cleaner. They even make a groomers goop now but you can only order it online. The regular white Goop hand cleaner still works wonderfully. But if Suave works for you, go for it! But these are the steps I take:
Rub down thoroughly with Goop handcleaner (use lots and rub down to skin.) Some keep it on for 10-15 minutes. I never have and it still works great.
Rinse well with Warm water.
Lather with Dawn dishwashing liquid and rinse well.
Lather with regular shampoo (I use one for whites and one for blacks because Maxx is a bi black and white). Rinse well.
Rub down with conditioner. Leave on for a few minutes then rinse.
Final rinse with 1/2 C white vinegar to a gallon of water. (I don't use that much vinegar for every day.... just for the show bath) It helps restore pH and makes them squeeky clean and shiney.
Then I blow dry paying attention to the legs, belly and tail first. Note: A high velocity pet dryer works soooo much better! If you don't have one, you may want to consider buying one. I use the Metro Air Force pet dryer. It is made to not get hot enough to burn the cat and it blows hard enough that it does the combing out for you. Don't comb fur while wet. Move the dryer in little circles and point toward the growth point of the fur. Basically drying from the bottom up! Using the circle motion and drying from the skin up fluffs them up. Pay special attention to the back of legs and bottom of tail when drying. Many people forget these areas and then you end up with kinky, bunched up fur. It's important to lift the tail and thoroughly dry the back of it. That takes some getting used to on the part of the kitty!
After drying, I comb Maxx out with a medium tooth comb. The comb should not catch or pull, if dried well and with a pet dryer. Finish with a fine tooth comb. I use a flea comb on the face and legs/paws. I don't know many long haired cat owners who use slicker brushes on show cats but then again my experience has been mostly with Persian's and Persian owners. The slickers stretch the hairs and can damage them, making the ends split and resulting in a frizzy look.
If I think of anything else, I'll let you know. And feel free to ask if you have specific questions. Have you ever checked out PandEcats.com? They have a lot of expert grooming advice. A lot of it you have to pay for. I bought a year subscription and learned TONS!
I'd say a subscription is well worth the money!
This site specializes in Persian and exotics.PanDCats
This is their sister site which deals with all breeds:Show Cats Online