Q: I have two longhaired cats. Any tips for grooming?
A: I am not a professional groomer, but I do know it can be difficult to groom longhaired cats. Still, it is very important. Regular brushing and combing can stimulate the circulation in the skin, help prevent hair mats and remove loose hair that can become hairballs or end up on your carpet and clothes.
I remember two sweet, beautiful long-haired cats named Jewel and Pearl whose hair nearly touched the floor. This sort of coat is a magnet for mats and that was certainly true of these kitties. Their owner gamely tried to keep up with mat removal herself but it was an uphill battle. One day when I came into care for them I found Jewel snoozing under a computer screen. When she got up to greet me I had to laugh. Her owner had managed to trim her hair and remove the mats on one side of her body but could not do the other. Jewel looked like the leaning tower of Pisa. From then on her owner did daily brushings but hired a professional groomer to take care of haircuts and mat removal, which I think is a good idea in a case like this.
First of all, never wait until your cat’s hair is loaded with mats to groom them. She will be unhappy and you’ll pay more to get them removed by a pro. Start getting her used to being brushed and combed when she is a kitten. If you adopt an older cat, be calm in your approach to brushing and you might want to trim her nails first. Get out the brush when she is relaxed, talk softly to her and gently begin brushing. When she’s had enough, then stop but make sure she has a treat. Soon, she will look forward to “brushies,” as we say in my house. You will have a happier cat and less cat hair to clean up. Also, shorthaired cats need regular brushing as well. As always, I welcome your stories and comments.