Cat grooming, help!

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.


Kitty Wampus
Purred: Mon Jun 1, '09 10:51am PST 
I usually brush my sisters longhaired cat (she is the "author" for this post, but not my cat) when I am here.
So, I was wondering how to groom her. She has pretty bad mats, not big ones, just a lot of little ones like her whole undercoat is matted. The only way I can get them out is by cutting them out, she is pretty good but doesn't like to have her stomach/paws/tail etc touched, she won't bite or scratch but I don't want her to be uncomfortable. I spent a good 20 minutes, at least, *trying* to de-mat her before I bathed her. After the bath she felt okay, but now she has this huge mat again!
So, what kinds of brushes would be good for getting out/preventing mats? All she currently has is a slicker brush. She has been to a groomer before, but she hated it and it wasn't a very good groomer either, she came back with nicks and cuts. frown


I am so cute,- scratch my belly- mol
Purred: Tue Jun 2, '09 2:40am PST 
you need what is called a "greyhound" comb. On that has teeth that are both close together and some that are farther apart. Also get a long toothed comb. With the 2 of them u should have not ans many problems. Glad to hear you r trying to get them out before the bath...


Kitty Wampus
Purred: Tue Jun 2, '09 5:27am PST 
Where would I find a greyhound comb? Would they have it at PetSmart? The only pet stores that are really close (in Kansas City) are PetSmart and a local pet shop, Brookside Barkery and Bath. Would it be sold there since it doubles as a groomer?
Also, would it work to cut out all the mats first, then brush? Most of the mats are so bad I can hardly CUT them out, much less brush them. I'm sure it would help if she were brushed everyday too...confused


I'm Mommy's- favorite- gotta love me!
Purred: Tue Jun 2, '09 6:33am PST 
For my Persians, I use a metal cat comb and an undercoat rake. Both from Petsmart. Brushes are useless on long haired cats. Cutting mats with scissors is extremely dangerous because when you pull up on the mat, you cause the skin to form a tent and you can cut the skin by mistake. This happened with Bailey's tail when I was still learning how NOT to care for my persians and it cost me $450 for emergency surgery at the vet and I still feel guilty a year ans a half later. WHat I usually do when they get a bunch of mats on their bellies is to do just a little bit at a time so the kitty doesn't get too mad about it. I have trouble with everybody but Bailey when it's grooming time. A few knots, a few yowls and then let them go until next time.
Also, at Petsmart, near the back there is a HUGE section of grooming tools. There are a few in the cat aisle but there is tons of stuff for dogs and cats at the back of the dog section. I am sure they would have the "greyhound comb" described above.

Edited by author Tue Jun 2, '09 6:36am PST



Kitty Wampus
Purred: Tue Jun 2, '09 7:01am PST 
I know its dangerous to cut the mats out, but I don't think there is any way I could brush, brush and brush most of them out. I double and triple check before I cut, not just haphazardly cutting fur.
Thanks for the tips! I'll be off to PetSmart as soon as I can! big grin


wooly bully
Purred: Tue Jun 2, '09 2:54pm PST 
If you must cut a mat out, use a envelope opener. The kind with the enclosed blade is what I mean (this is a good example http://www.officeworld.com/Worlds-Biggest-Selection/WEVCOA12/09Q1/).

With something like this, the only way you'll cut skin is if you're pulling the skin out. In that case, the cat will already be mad so it's highly unlikely. It might take a little longer but it's worth not hurting the cat that you're grooming.

And I have to agree about brushes. My first cat was a Himalayan and only a comb would work for her. Since I was the only one with the patience to do it, I got grooming duty and it easily took up to 20 minutes a day since she really did not like people grooming her. My current longhair is a MC mix but he has the same aversion to grooming. At least in his case I can get away with grooming him only once a week.

Although metal combs are ideal, they don't work very well for cats with sensitive skin. I found out that Adonis has very delicate skin a while ago when I noticed that he gets scabs from scratching himself... Because of this, I have to use plastic combs on him. It's a pain but I'd rather use a less than ideal comb than see him have small cuts all over from a metal comb.


RESPECT The- Star!
Purred: Wed Jun 3, '09 3:48am PST 
LH show cats, "cannot", get mats, we cannot cut or clip them out, so the
key is, to prevent them. big grin

Do not use brushes, they are usless with a LH cat, you need a metal comb,
which you can get at Petsmart. Different coats, need different width
teeth. Start with the different size plastic combs you can get at the dollor
store, to see which one works best for your cat, then get the metal comb.
Not familiar with the "greyhound" comb, but it sounds like what I use
also. Bumpurr's coat requires one type of comb, and the kittens use

Comb every day, and especially the areas where mats are likely to form,
like under their arms, between their back legs, and the bushy part of their
back legs.

Mats form, because the coat is greasy and/or the cat is not grooming
himself properly. A greasy coat is usually caused by diet, and an
overweight cat does not properly groom himself.

Show cats get more baths, than the average pet cat, which also helps.

If the fur is greasy, look at what the cat is being fed.
If the cat is overweight, the cat needs to lose weight, with the help of
a vet. This must be done properly, as an overweight cat cannot lose to
much weigh, to fast, or they can develope liver issues.

Once you get the mats out, the key is to prevent them from coming back,
you just have to figure out, why they are forming, what is the cat being
fed, and/or is the cat overweight.

What breed is the cat? What type fur does the cat have?

Not sure if the cat we are talking about, is the cat in the picture, or
another cat.

big grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grin


Kitty Wampus
Purred: Wed Jun 3, '09 6:06am PST 
Yes it is the cat in the pic, this just isn't her real owner! laugh out loud
I looked up the "greyhound" comb and it looks just like your regular metal comb. When I am visiting I try and brush her everyday, but she doesn't get it as often when I'm not here.
She isn't overweight, I'm not great with cats she might be slightly pudgy but she isn't fat. She only gets bathed every 2-6 months, she eats a pretty low quality food as its the only thing she will touch but her coat is not greasy or anything, still fluffy and shiny.
I'm going to PetSmart probably this week so I will look for a metal comb and an undercoat rake. smile


CFA Regional- Winner 2009-2010
Purred: Wed Jun 3, '09 2:36pm PST 
I have 2 show quality persians, so I'm familiar with grooming. I do have greyhound combs, each of them cost around $45, so they are expensive. You can get non-original greyhound combs on e-bay cheaper. You also need "flea" comb - to get litter out of their fur, sometimes to deal with little knots etc. - those are just a few dollars and you can find them everywhere in pets sections.

I can't afford matts on my cats because they are show cats. If they get a mat, I do my best to work it through with my fingers, then I use greyhound comb or flea comb to make sure there is no more mat.

I do bath my cats twice a week or sometimes once a week. I use GOOP and Dawn as degreasers and after shampooing I use hair conditioner and then I rinse-rinse-rinse and then I soak a cat in a water with vinegar and then I rinse him again. And then I blowdry a cat with Metro Air Force Commander hair dryer, and if there are any knots left I'll see them during drying and take care of them.


I am so cute,- scratch my belly- mol
Purred: Fri Jun 5, '09 8:18pm PST 
ok I am sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you on this. Here is one of the best things I have ever used and own.
B amboo Dematting Rake - PetSmart
and here is an example of a Grteyhound comb
G roomax® Stainless Steel Dog Comb
There are a few to chose from so check the one you like the best. Most of the best combs are for dogs, such as chows and collies. The one you need is one that has the 2 different teeth settings, close together and farther apart. But by far the best one I have used was the one by Bamboo! You can buy the one you want, try it out and if it is not doing the job, take it back with your receipt for a refund. Like what has been said here, just go slowly and take your time. There are also a few Rake Combs that will work . That is what the Bamboo comb is along with a dematter that will NOT cut skin.
Good luck and please let me know how things go ,

way to go