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Bath or Snip?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone!

So, until earlier this year, I had 2 cats - two brothers. Unfortunately, one of them passed on. The other one (Arthur) is still rollin'.

Arthur has always been a well-kept guy. Of course, he did get some help from his brother. However, these days, his brother isn't around to clean him in those hard to reach places. We just noticed that the fur on his back is pretty matted.

It's kind of weird, but I've never given him a bath before. Arthur is a 100% indoor cat, and he has always been sparkling clean until this matted fur thing.

We want to take care of the matted fur. My question is: would it be better to bathe him or just snip it?

I'm worried that a bath might be needlessly traumatic if the fur doesn't get clean and I would have to snip him anyway.

Thoughts?

Thanks so much,
Elizabeth
post #2 of 11
Bathing will not help the mats in fact just make them worse. He is going to need them shaved or clipped out. Be very careful if you attempt this, their skin is very thin and a little cut can cause big problems.

Leslie
post #3 of 11
How old is Arthur, and how's his weight? Generally cats can reach everything but what is on their own heads, unless a health problem compromises their reach.

If he's an older kitty it would be best to see if the vet can clip these out for you, as well as make sure he's healthy. The same applies if he happens to be an overweight kitty. You want to make sure he's thoroughly checked out before anyone attempts to sedate him for clipping.

Bathing may help later, after all the mats are gone, but what will help the most is that your regularly comb your cat. The fluffier the cat the more often they need combing - at least 2-3 times a week for some, or if you have the time a once over daily with a detangling comb can help. You're pretty much going to have to take over a bit where the brother cat left off.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Leslie & strange_wings!

I never would have thought about his skin being thin - thanks so much for the heads up.

He's going on 14 years old now, so he's no longer a kitten. And yeah, he's pretty porky.

I will take him to the vet and comb him from here on out.

Thanks again for such a prompt & helpful reply!
post #5 of 11
Aww, you have a senior kitty. He'll definitely need an ok from the vet before any sort of thorough grooming (clipping) can be done.

You can also get wipes to regularly wipe him down with if you want to avoid regular baths in the future.

Good luck with your boy.
post #6 of 11
I agree with all that has been said. I recommend you have blood work done so you know where his numbers are at. You'll know what's normal for him, and if there is trouble brewing, you'll catch it early. Matting where you mention can be a sign of arthritis, meaning he is getting too stiff and sore to bend and manipulate himself long enough to keep that area tidy.

Putting him on a supplement called cosequin for cats (a glucosamine, chondroitin, msn supplement) can help greatly with arthritis.

Other illnesses also can make him feel poorly enough that he doesn't want to groom anymore. Thyroid problems or kidney problems should be ruled out. And if he has recently lost a companion, he may still be grieving.

So a complete check up at the vet, including bloodwork, is definitely the way to go, and has been said, once the mats are removed, daily grooming will help control any more.

Mats can be split by hand too, but this works best when you find the "occasional mat", not like what you are describing.

To split a mat by hand gently grasp it between your fingers with both hands and slowly pull it apart. As you do it you will see what needs to be done. Each pull will loosen some hair until gradually the whole thing is opened up.

Splitting by hand allows one to see what a mat really does to a cat. Mats are extremely painful, but cats are not complainers. Mats pull and twist the skin in terrible ways. And if left too long, and if moisture gets under there, sores form , and maggots are next.

(Sorry for the worst case scenario. I'm not saying this is happening to your kitty. I know a cat whose people do not keep up with her mats and she is always in terrible pain. I do what I can, splitting them for her whenever I am there, but it's like talking to a wall trying to make them understand how much she is likely suffering)
post #7 of 11
Never get a longhair cat wet without combing the tangles/knots out of the coat!

I would work on combing him every day and seeing if that will fix things. If not, then you can wash him in good cat shampoo and conditioner.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Never get a longhair cat wet without combing the tangles/knots out of the coat!

I would work on combing him every day and seeing if that will fix things. If not, then you can wash him in good cat shampoo and conditioner.


I totally agree with the above!
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Never get a longhair cat wet without combing the tangles/knots out of the coat!

I would work on combing him every day and seeing if that will fix things. If not, then you can wash him in good cat shampoo and conditioner.
Should you comb them before or after?

I have DLH Tabby and have never brushed him before or after baths. Is this something I should avoid?

He's had at mat three times before but only under his chin and very small ones that were easy to cut out.

(Don't mean to hijack the thread, I bathe my cat regularly and I want to make sure I don't do anything that could harm my baby)
post #10 of 11
The mats/tangles must be out of the coat before you wash the cat. If you can't get them out - then a groomer is needed to shave the cat down.

With longhairs, you must comb them a lot (not brushing) to keep the tangles from forming. Persians usually need combing every day; Maine Coons, Raggys can get away with 2-3 times a week depending on the texture of the coat.

Its good to at least comb a shorthair before you bath too.
post #11 of 11
Comb before bathing. Then it's best to blow dry and comb again after the cat is dry. Blow drying usually makes the comb go through like butter!
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