With the decision to adopt a long-haired cat comes the responsibility of keeping her groomed daily, especially when it comes to her coat.
If you do not maintain daily grooming practices, health problems will occur that could lead to discomfort in your cat, infection–and possibly, even death if the infection spreads.
Thus you should prepare to groom this cat often. As the Pet Education website suggests, the best judge of that is you, the owner. You should watch how much she sheds.
If she sheds frequently, as long-haired cats tend to do–prepare to groom daily, to get rid of the dander that results, and to prevent tangling and matting because of the mere quantity of the hair.
As the Cat Health Guide website suggests, Persians should especially be groomed daily. Other long haired cat types, such as Birmans, Ragdolls, and Turkish Angoras, only need grooming two or three times a week.
Tools Necessary for the Job
According to the Catster.com website, most professional groomers recommend a wire slicker brush, as well as one for the undercoat, with both wide and narrow teeth.
Also needed for the task is a fine-toothed comb for the undercoat, plus a flea comb for places like the head. One of the most important items for this job, of course, is the mat splitter.
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Mats must be adressed promptly as they can lead to some serious skin issues. Mats are extremely uncomfortable for cats.
In fact, if you allow the hair to become extremely matted before addressing the situation, you could really irritate the cat’s skin, resulting in dermatitis.
At this point, anything you do to unmat your cat’s hair could result in pulling off the skin immediately under the mat.
This, indeed, is what makes the mat splitter an invaluable tool.
You may have all the right tools in the world. However, if you have not built rapport with your animal, it will all be pointless in the long run.
You must build a relationship with your animal, and create an atmosphere of mutual comfort. In addition, getting your cat accustomed to grooming starts very young.
That being said, it’s not best to try to groom the whole animal at once. Start gradually with one section of their body. It’s best to initiate them young–starting at about eight weeks or so. Stroke her gently, at first with your hand. Then slowly introduce the tools.
Other Grooming Considerations
As your feline grows to trust you more, she will begin letting you bathe her.
As the Cathealth website points out, bathing needs to happen every month or two to keep the long hair clean, and to prevent from the unpleasant waste products, such as litter and excrement, from attaching to the coat around the tail area.
Most grooming can be done at home. However, as veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker points out, if tangling is severe in long-haired cats, it’s best to consult a professional.