Grooming Issues

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your cat. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your cat's hygiene needs.


I didn't do it!
Purred: Tue Jan 20, '09 7:02pm PST 
I really, really hate brushes. And combs. And anything other than hands touching me. The human manages to comb out my fur every night to every other night, but it is slow going because she has to wait until I am trying to sleep and can only get one side at a time.

I am a formal stray, and have apparently had very bad experiences. I am not only frightened of any remotely loud noise, but also of black garbage bags. I love other bags of any sort, but black garbage bags send me under the bed. The human thinks someone may have stuffed me in one as a kitten. There were other signs of abuse when I first arrived.

The human doesn't want to force the issue of grooming with me, but the OTHER human in the house says she needs to hold me down and brush me for short periods of time. What do you guys think? Is getting completely combed every night worth the trauma she believes it will cause.

And I am not generally a mean cat, but I will bite. Hard. The day after I got spayed, it took FOUR people including two grown men to get me from the vet's overnight cage to my cat carrier. No kidding, no exageration. I get crazy when I am confined. I don't even tolerate being picked up by anyone other than MY human, and only for short periods of time even then.

Help? kitty


Purred: Wed Jan 21, '09 5:44pm PST 
First show her that brushes and combs are ok. Then when she is fine with brushes, start slowly brushing her until she understands that they are ok. Try having someone play with her or give her treats while you brush her so she isn't focused on being brushed.

I hope this helps!

Edited by author Wed Jan 21, '09 5:45pm PST



Don't breed or- buy when shelter- pets die
Purred: Thu Jan 22, '09 2:49am PST 
Do you have a Zoom Groom? Not only do they work really, really well, but they're so very gentle. It feels like being stroked by fingers.

A good way to lessen anxiety about the brush is to first just have it around. Leave it places where she can see it and smell it and touch it. Leave it by her nap spots or food dish. Let her see that it's just a part of the scenery. Then after a while when the sight of the brush isn't at all a cause for concern try bringing it over to her while she's relaxing, let her sniff it and then just touch her with it. Don't try to get any brushing done, just touch her somewhere that she likes being petted and then let her sniff it again. Let her guide you as to how fast you can progress. Once it seems that she might tolerate some actual brushing put down a plate of something tasty smeared all over it like baby food or canned food. While she's working to lick up all the yummy stuff just start slowly brushing her. Always heaps of praise and baby talk and all that. Eventually she'll at least tolerate being groomed if not enjoy it. Just go slow and let her tell you how she wants to proceed. Forcing her to be brushed when she probably fears it for some unknown reason is only going to make everybody upset. Save that type of treatment for life or death situations.

Good luck to you!


RESPECT The- Star!
Purred: Thu Jan 22, '09 3:39pm PST 
Being that she is LH, it is something she should be taught to do. But
being that she has a fear of the brush or comb, its just going to be a very
long process, and just be very patient with her.

Ellie and Khina gave some great advice. Just keep the grooming sessions
very short, and end on a positive note.

If your home allows it, pick a spot to always groom her, a table is best.
Set her on the table, give her a treat. This way she associates being put
on the table, with something positive. Keep the sessions very very short,
and always end on a positive note. Pet her, praise her, talk to her. Give her
a treat when she is done.

I start my show kittens with a human baby brush, it is very soft, and only
a few brushes/swipes, at a time, then let them go. I also distract them with
a toy.

They associate being groomed with positive things, the treat, the toy, and
not being forced.

As she gets more comfortable with this, and again, its going to be a long
process, you can work up to the combs and brushes.

Remember lots of patience and praise. Best of luck. big grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grin


I didn't do it!
Purred: Tue Jan 27, '09 4:53am PST 
Thanks for all the advice. I will be looking into getting a zoom groom.


Purred: Wed Jan 28, '09 1:17pm PST 
But i am an old cat, and as i am a longhaired boy, i really should be getting brushed alot. I don't mean to get agressive, but it just plain hurts, even with a cat brushing glove. I don't look scruffy, apart from under my chin, but i know i need a good old brush.