Some cats need extra special attention because of their fur type. However, we’ve found that all cats should be groomed. It’s good for the cat’s health as she will swallow less fur when she grooms herself, it’s a great bonding activity, and you’ll notice less fur on your clothes when you leave the house and clinging to your furniture, carpets, lampshades, floating around under the bed and dressers… those of you with cats know what I’m saying.
Sophie is a shorthair tortie. She does not get tangles or mats. Niiiiiice. She’s an easy maintenance cat. And of course, she loves to be groomed. Well, yeah, there are no tangles, so there’s no pain. Grooming is a lovely experience for Sophie. And we groom her often with a fine-tooth comb to remove her constantly shedding undercoat. I’m always surprised at how much fur comes out of her when she seems practically bald to start with.
Then there are the long-hair cats. Some of them have nice fur that doesn’t mat, so combing/brushing isn’t highly necessary, except for the reasons mentioned above. Then there are cats like Olivia. Yup, she’s prone to mats. Darn it. And, like most long-hairs who are prone to mats, she HATES being combed or brushed.
I thought she might be a fluffy cat, so I started grooming her when she was quite young. She hated it then and she dislikes it now. I’ve tried a variety of grooming tools and she kicks and bites each one of them. So I’ve had to make some decisions and try some new tactics. I comb her when she’s happily resting in my lap—nothing invasive, just a comfortable combing.
The other day I managed to work on a mat while she lay on my desktop. Little by little.
There are many grooming tools advertised, but I’ve found that not all tools work with all types of fur. Sophie’s fine-tooth comb pulls too much for Olivia, but the wide-tooth comb works pretty well on her fur and it is a good tool for working out the mats and tangles. I use scissors when I have to, but only when Olivia is super relaxed and then I’m super careful. You sure don’t want the cat to bolt and someone to get cut. Holding Olivia down and forcing the issue is out of the questions. Her feral beginnings still live fiercely inside her. I find that if I work with her mood we can get somewhere whether I’m trimming her claws or combing her.
Lily was a dream cat—such a sweet and relaxed and trusting cat, but we had to hold her down to trim her nails. We hated the fight so much that we’d sometimes make appointments with our vet just to have her claws trimmed. Already, though, I can trim Olivia’s claws without issue—if we do things her way. It takes time, but it works and it doesn’t terrorize Olivia (or me).
I am absolutely no authority on cat grooming, although I enjoy watching the cat groom herself. I think we all learn various techniques and methods with each of our cats. As we discussed, the tools for each cat may also vary. But here’s a site with great tips and pictures. https://www.wikihow.pet/Groom-a-Cat