Believe it or not, there are a few secrets to grooming a long haired cat. Cats with longer fur tend to matt and tangle and become terrible unruly in a very short period of time. This makes for grooming difficulties, and a very unhappy kitty. After all, the same way a human’s hair feels terrible when it is all tangled and lumped, a cat’s fur can feel horribly uncomfortable when it is all slathered up against the skin in balls of tangles and fragments of old fur. Grooming a cat with particularly long hair is quite important for not only the comfort of the cat, but for his safety as well.
Cats with terrible tangles and matts are at a much higher risk of infection. With all that discomfort going on against their skin, the natural inclination is to scratch and gnaw at them, which of course has him scratching and gnawing at his skin as much as the ball of fur. This often leads to open sores which, hidden under the skin, can easily develop infections that escape a human’s notice. These infections can become quite severe by the time the human discovers them, usually as a result from the horrific odor they eventually ooze along with other infected material.
Grooming a long haired cat is only as easy as the cat wishes to make it. Some cats make the process so difficult that the human involved is tempted to simply give up. If you’re going to give up, pick up the phone and get them to a groomer right away. The small cost of paying a professional groomer is trite considering the cost of the vet bills when the skin becomes infected. Some cats, however, love the process, and will even assist the human by rolling over, stretching out, and giving the human nice cooperative surface to work with. Most cats fall somewhere in between.
Some human bathe their cats, which may in fact be necessary, depending on the cat, his aroma, and other factors. However, never ever ever bathe a long haired cat and then follow up his grooming experience with any type of cat comb or brush. Brushing the cat’s long tendrils while they are wet can be torturous for the cat. Pulling and yanking against the wet fur makes for a painful experience. Always comb out the knotted messes with a specialized comb once the fur has completely dried, and then follow up with a cat brush.
Perhaps it need not be said, but using the vacuum cleaner on a long haired cat is not a good idea. Some cats love to be vacuumed. Cats with long hair are likely to get their locks caught in the roller brush, which can be very painful. Even attachments without roller brushes can cause pain when used on a long haired cat. This is usually evident by the way the long haired kitty will run as though their life is at stake when the vacuum cleaner appears from the depths of its hidden space within the creepy closet. Cats who enjoy the process will stretch out waiting for their fair maiden to come and service their vacuuming needs.
There are specially designed combs and brushes to help in the process of grooming a long haired cat. A cat with long hair is a commitment, a commitment to the chronic daily brushings that are necessary to keep their long curls under control. If you are not willing to make such a commitment, you probably should opt for a short haired cat. Short haired kitties still require grooming, but they do not require the same type of time commitment as the longer haired counter parts.
It is, in fact, more important to keep a regular grooming schedule than anything else. The perfect cat brush won’t make much of a difference if the grooming schedule is ruefully ignored. If you try to groom your long haired cat only once a month, nothing short of scissors will make the job tolerable. If you reach the stage where scissors are becoming an option, you either need to step up your grooming schedule or seek out some professional help. Sometimes a professional cat groomer can offer invaluable advice, checking out your equipment and being able to recommend something more appropriate, something more useful, or some great suggestion on how to get your cat to sit still while you take care of his mountains of cat dreck.
Cats are not ones who enjoy the unwanted attention of humans. Unlike dogs, who are so needy of human attention that even a good grooming can feel like a treat, cats are more willing to be neglected if it means not having to endure countless strokes with the magic brush. Yet most cats who were routinely groomed as kittens will ultimately surrender to the long loving strokes of the hairbrush without so much scuttling. Even though most kittens show very little difference in their fur in their earliest stages of life, those with future long haired cats should start the grooming practices early. Those who have no idea how long their cat’s fur will be in a few short months should also start the grooming practices early in life.
If you are adept at grooming a long haired cat and your long haired cat is adept at being groomed, the likelihood of all the nastiness that can stem from an unkempt long haired kitty is very slim. While chronic grooming is useless against the battle of the flea, the practice can easily help you catch an infestation when it is only three fleas rather than when it grown to an uncontrollable five hundred. It can help catch that tick before it spreads its inhumane lyme disease to your feline friend, and of course, your kitty and your home will be spared those nasty clumped balls of fur that fall out the inevitable scratching once they have tormented the sweet kitty. These grooming concerns are highly appropriate to consider before tucking a future long hair cat under your arm to head home, calling him yours.