ASK THE EXPERT: GROOMING
Do you have a question about your cat for our cat grooming expert? Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our grooming experts regret that they cannot answer all individual questions. We will post a selection on this page.
NOTE: Please consult your veterinarian if you believe your cat is ill or in need of medical care. This forum is for general information only and should not be considered a substitute for professional veterinary care.
Senior Kitty Needs Grooming But Hates the Car!
Q: Just a quick question and I hope you can help me. My almost 13 year old tabby cat is all of a sudden getting mats in her fur. She hates going in the car, so I am reluctant about taking her to the vet or to the groomer. Is there any way I avoid putting her thru a stressful car ride to the vet clinic? Thank you in advance for your assistance.
A: Hi Briget -In addition to the fact your cat hates car rides, at her age you don't want to put her under undue physical and emotional stress. Check with a local pet grooming shop or mobile pet grooming service to see about a groomer coming to you and working on your girl in the comfort of familiar surroundings, or at least in a mobile grooming van just steps from your front door. Depending on the severity of the matting, she may need to be shaved so her fur has a chance to grow in tangle-free, but then you will need to be sure she is brushed and combed every day as the coat returns.
Nail Clipping: Winning the Battle
Q: I guess I've already been pushed around by my cat! He is no longer a kitten so I hope it is not too late to break old patterns. I can only manage to clip a few claws at a time before he runs off and am usually only successful when he's half asleep. I'm very careful about how much I'm clipping and need to keep a constant watch because he has extra claws that could grow inward. Any suggestions?
A: Hi Matilda- You point out that it is best to start "good habits" at an early age, and now your adult cat has the upper paw (so to speak!) when having his nails clipped. If you have someone who can help you, the best way to do this is by putting him on his back on your lap between your thighs. With his head at your knees, have your assistant hold the cat firmly by the nape or "scruff" of his neck with one hand and the front paws with the other hand while you trim the back claws first. If your assistant is talented with restraint, s/he might be able to hold three legs at a time! Switch holds accordingly as you finish each paw.
Ouch! My Longhaired Cat Has Mats in Her Fur!
Q: My longhaired cat has places all over her where the hair has clumped into big lumpy mats. I've tried cutting them off, but some of them seem attached to her skin. Sometimes we'll find one or two that have fallen out on the floor.
A: Hi Eva - You have gotten good advice about your longhaired cat. With clumpy hair all over her body, she should be taken to a professional groomer and be shaved. This is much safer than trying to remove the clumps yourself with scissors. Shaving doesn't hurt the cat at all ... if your cat has a calm nature, a groomer should be able to work with her very well to remove the clumps and make her body smooth all over. She will also get a bath and be clean and comfortable afterwards. If she is upset or threatening, she may need to be lightly sedated. Check with your veterinarian if this is the case.
What Are the Black Dots on My Cat's Chin?Q: What is the tiny, grainy black stuff under my cat Chui's chin? Is it just dirt, bacteria or...? I know it's not flea eggs. How can I clean it or get it off?
A: Hi Don -
About Our Grooming Expert: Susan Cook Henry has shown Persian cats under the cattery name "Jadon" since 1965. "Persians have been part of my life since I was born," Susan says. "My mother purchased a Blue Persian as a young girl when living in London, where her Air Force father and family were stationed after the war. A friend introduced Mom to the world of show cats in 1960. She took me to my first cat show that year, and I was fascinated!" Since the mid-1960's, Susan and her mother, Donna Cook, have shown nearly 100 grand champions, and their Persians have earned multiple national titles. To date, "Jadon" is the only cattery to have bred and shown cats to Kitten of the Year, Premier of the Year and Cat of the Year honors. Another top achievement was garnered in 2006 when a Jadon blue Persian was named "Best-in-Show" at the prestigious CFA International "Cat-Minster" show.
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