TNR cat grooming. Grooming a matted outdoor cat.

Got an email from a TNR (trap neuter return) group. One of their cats is pretty friendly and can be brushed for about ten minutes a sitting, but he’s matted. Here’s my reply.

“Look, cat grooming is simple because it’s 99% about handling and 1% about tools. If you can handle the cat, you’ve almost got it licked.

Throw away the darned Furminator. That thing is a piece of marketing crap. If you overdo it you tear the skin’s surface. If you use it gently, you’re not making progress. Junk. They should be ashamed of themselves. Cat skin is like our eyelids — super thin and tears like paper. Cats won’t react when you tear their skin, so you don’t even know you’re doing it until it rips all the way through which might not happen for a week or two.
This is the stuff to get — cheap, easy to use.
Also get a small ball-tip scissor so you don’t poke the cat when you trim. Should cost about $8.
Don’t brush and comb like a wussy. Most people brush like their hand is made of cotton candy and the cat is made of fairy dust. If you’re just doing the surface, don’t even bother doing it. Need to get to the skin, like when you’re late for work and brush your own hair. You use some energy then, right? Not hard or hurtful, but all the way to the skin.
As far as winter goes, shelters and heating pads are what counts, so not sure what you mean about his coat. Winter or summer, he needs to be free of mats because those mats are pulling on his skin and blocking flow of air to his skin. Usually there’s a bunch of dandruff under the mat, sometimes even an infection if the mat pulls hard enough.
If he’s really matted though, with solid mats up against his skin tight, then shaving needs to be done most likely. We call that  type of mat a “pelt”.
Good luck and good for you for doing TNR. I’m against putting outdoor cats in shelters because I’ve been there, done that.
You want to arrange a training session for your group, let me know.
$80 for a half hour. We could meet at my place on upper east side. I’ll show you tools, how to hold, answer questions.”

Drying and trimming claws Maine Coon cat

Bundle cat in a large, thick towel. Bath towels of good quality work best. You can use two towels if cat is irritable.
Bundle cat in a large, thick towel. Bath towels of good quality work best. You can use two towels if cat is irritable. This is a lovely, large cat who is sweet-natured, but due to hip sensitivity, can be irritable during grooming. He has swatted at me a few times, but I don’t take it personally. He’s just saying, “Be careful lady!” I have to always be aware of his hips to make sure that I don’t cause the big guy discomfort.
After bathing, I towel dry for several minutes, using one towel, then switching to another dry towel. Then I comb the head and neck. Most cats enjoy being combed there.
After bathing, I towel dry for several minutes, using one towel, then switching to another dry towel. Then I comb the head and neck. Most cats enjoy being combed there.
If I haven't already trimmed the claws, I pull out one paw at a time to trim them. In this situation, the cat is on the bathroom floor. I am sitting behind the cat, hovering over the cat.
If I haven’t already trimmed the claws, I pull out one paw at a time to trim them. In this photo, we are on the bathroom floor. The cat is on my lap. This is his rear paw. I am holding his upper body in my arms, close against me. Some cats seem to prefer being held close against my body instead of being on a table.
Now the cat has been towel dried. I am ready to blow dry. If the cat is jittery about blow drying, I keep his front area wrapped securely in the towel. I blow dry his rear. Then I stroke his face to calm him. Lastly, I blow dry his front area. In the photo, he is leaning against my leg, snuggling my foot.
Now the cat has been towel dried. I am ready to blow dry and de-shed. If the cat is jittery about blow drying, I keep his front area wrapped securely in the towel. I blow dry his rear. Then I stroke his face to calm him. Lastly, I blow dry his front area. In the photo, he is leaning against my leg, snuggling his face into my foot. Tickles!  You can see that even though he is well-cared for and often groomed, his coat does have shedded fur clumped in with fur that’s still attached. If he weren’t groomed monthly, he would develop mats and be carrying around a coat that is weighed down with shedded fur. Shedded fur keep air from circulating to the skin.  It’s just plain uncomfortable to be wearing a thick blanket of excess fur. I develop a lot of affection for the cats I groom, so I like to see them thriving and at ease in their body.

No more hairballs

Throwing up hairballs isn’t natural. If cats still lived outdoors, shedded fur would be blown off or pulled off. In the home, fur detaches, gets licked into the throat and is either vomited out, or accumulates enough to create an obstruction if it doesn’t pass through the body.  Everyone has time for 15 seconds of brushing a day. For a short-haired cat, 15 seconds can mean the difference between hairballs and no hairballs. The volume of shedding fur usually increases dramatically in spring and fall.

Love glove mitt briskly stroking fur.
Love Glove mitt briskly stroking fur. Cats enjoy this.
After 3 seconds.
After 3 seconds brushing my cat Emma.
After a few more seconds . . .
After a few more seconds . . .
Done for the day. 15 seconds of brushing.
Done for the day. 15 seconds of brushing.

To buy the grooming mitt – Four Paws Purple Love Glove Cat Grooming Mitt

Using a plastic comb or brush on cats?

A comb is doing the job if –> plenty of fur on the comb. Little or no fur on the comb –> not working.

Metal is better for combs. https://youtu.be/3QDm_7_T49Y

What about a plastic brush? Among other tools, I use a plastic brush for long-haired cats when I’m blow-drying them. I also use it on my hair. Double duty.

For your cat-bathing tool kit: The Wet Brush 2 Pack! Blue & Pink, Value Pack!

For your daily grooming tool kit: Andis Pet 7-1/2-Inch Steel Comb (65730)

So your long-haired cat needs to be groomed. Here’s what you need to buy.

I groom these two sweet-natured beauties once a month. (Jump to the middle of this post for links to grooming tools.) Even if your long-haired cat is another breed or a mix, you can use similar tools. If you are going to be grooming your cat monthly, it’s worth buying the tools and products. Grooming is a recurring part of the life of a long-haired cat. (If it’s not, it should be, because ungroomed cats lug around a lot of shedded fur and are coated with too much body oil.)

Chirp & Bambi’s owner is a responsible person who makes sure that her cats get the care they need to stay healthy, comfortable and happy. She combs them frequently, so that when I visit, I don’t have to subject them to intense de-matting. Lucky cats!

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Tools and products:
Four Paws Tearless Cat Grooming Shampoo, 12oz

Groomers Goop Creme For Oily Coats

Four Paws Cat Grooming Claw Clipper

Wahl 41870-0423 Bravura Lithium Purple Professional Cord/Cordless Pet Clipper Kit by Wahl Professional Animal

TINY TRIM ball tipped small pet grooming scissor 4.5″ EAR NOSE FACE PAW

Andis Pet 7-1/2-Inch Steel Comb (65730)

Li’l Pals Slicker Purple and Green Brush for Dogs, Extra Small

Safari Cat Shedding Comb, Wood Handle

The Wet Hair Brush, Metallic Purple

Oster Hi-Velocity Adjustable Table and Cage Dryer

The set up for home grooming
The set up for home grooming

Lush new fur coats now in season for your cat.

Longer days and less sunlight mean it’s time to change fur coats. Your cat does not need to have a winter fur coat delivered from the fur vault. Their coat change is “do-it-yourself.”

Telltale signs that the feline coat change is underway . . .

Tufts of dull-looking fur poking out here and there.

More strands of fur decorating your sofa.

Increased puffiness of coat.

Increased licking and grooming, followed by increased fur balls on the carpet.

If your cat is shedding more, a grooming session will keep that fur under control. In nature, your cat would frolic and scamper through bushes and grass. Excess fur would be snagged on branches. Since cats now live indoors, we have to help them get rid of extra fur.

To buy tools for deshedding:

Four Paws Purple Love Glove Cat Grooming Mitt

Evolution W6110 Grooming Undercoat Rake with Rotating Teeth, Double Row

Andis Pet 7-1/2-Inch Steel Comb (65730)