Our cat Samantha is our first long-haired cat, and only our third to live past the age of 15. Senior cats can bring challenges; though I don’t remember my first senior, Concha, having the same issues as our cat Conrad did and now Samantha does. One of the differences might be that Concha was an outdoor cat (it was many years ago we had her). Conrad started out as an outdoor cat but once we learned how much safer it is for them to be indoors, we kept him in. One of the issues both Conrad and Sam had/have is with using the litter box. However, I also remember other cats having that issue that were outdoor cats.
But what I wanted to write about today is grooming. Conrad stopped grooming himself at one point, and he ended up with a lot of mats that we just couldn’t get out. We tried to brush him, but he would not put up with it and he’d bite us. He was kind of a mess at the end, and I’m doing my best to not let Samantha get that way as well. She doesn’t seem to be grooming herself as much anymore either, or at least not enough to keep those darn mats away. Her long hair complicates that I’m sure. As I’m working on this, I’m learning things along the way.
- Have the right tools, and don’t be afraid to have more than one! The V-rake on the far left is great for pulling mats out, and really works best for that. But Sam doesn’t like it much, so we have to use it in moderation. There are other tools for de-matting but so far I’ve liked this one best. The green one, the Furbliss* (read our full review here) is great for smoothing out her fur and she enjoys that one more since it’s gentle. The slicker brush is also good at smoothing out the fur, and can be used to tease the mats away from the skin. They make self-cleaning ones as well, which make life easier. Then if I need to, I can use the round point scissors to very carefully cut them off.
- Be consistent! I’ve never been good about that, but I am trying to do better. Brushing Sam daily can go a long way towards keeping those mats away, though some still seem to show up when I’m doing well. But they’re easier to get out before they get larger!
- Keep your cat comfortable. Sam doesn’t really like to be brushed, she doesn’t want to stand still for it, and she will sometimes bite at the brush (unlike Conrad, who would bite ME). So I try to keep her sessions short, and I do it either before I feed her, or I give her treats afterwards. I’m always telling her….”just let me get one more mat, and then you get your supper”! 🙂
Does your senior cat enjoy being brushed? What’s your favorite tool?