Long-haired cat can't bear brushing!(9 Posts)
Earlier this year I acquired a Maine Coon, taken from a home where he'd been left after a relationship breakdown. He spent the first six weeks here hiding, but has come out of his shell to the point where he feels free to roam the house and surrounding land, goes outside, catches things, he's ok with the dog now and is calm around men. However he is very choosy about touch - sometimes he welcomes it, on his own terms, ie under the chin is ok, but mostly slinks away from contact, and if I push it I WILL get a slashing. He has feet like a Labrador and doesn't hesitate to use his claws. He's getting matted now, so does anyone have recommendations for a grooming mitt or similar that might feel pleasant to him rather than just using hands? He won't tolerate s brush, and when I try to tease it a mat he takes it for s while snd then attacks! Any ideas?
Have you got a zoom groom? they are meant to be gentle. There's no shame in asking the vets to trim out mats under sedation.
You could always offer dreamies or chew sticks afterwards so he knows it's not all bad.
You could do a little bit every night and build up his confidence
I used to have a longhaired cat who was a bit Maine Coon-like in size & appearance, she also absolutely hated being groomed. Zoom Grooms are not much use when coat really matted but they are great for getting the cat used to be g groomed & they will remove any loose hairs. I also used to give treats as Fluffy suggested, so that grooming had some positive associations.
I have this problem with my two MC. And to be honest, my previous MC..and he was the most docile lovely cat ever...but he still didn't like it!
I have three items I use. A knot spltter ..(google them) which is shaped like a comma with a fine blade that slices through the matts but won't cut the skin.. this loosens them from the flesh. Then I snip off the mats with hairdresser's scissors..with my fingers on the skin so they can;t be cut. Then I tease out the rest with a furminator comb and a gentler comb.
Ophie will tolerate 10 mins at a time.. Obie about two so he had to be dematted at the vets recently. I give dreamies.
However realistically we have also gone for force.. DH dons motor cycle gloves and holds cat like a baby and I trim and comb at high speed! They usually forgive us after about an hour....
I try and do a little every day.. it keeps the worst at bay, but the hind flanks and bum are the worst!
Our old girl hated grooming. Until I offered her catnip! Turns out spaced out cats are easier to groom! She also liked to rub her face on the comb
on anything really
Oh wow so I am in for an adventure! Interesting to hear about other MCs - we've got suede gauntlets for the stoves, I can see them coming in handy! Thanks for all advice, I had quite missed the obvious thing about giving treats afterwards - off to google knot splitters now.
You've talked in your OP about you pushing it and also him taking it for a while and then attacking. It doesn't sound as if he's deeply averse to being groomed but given his history and his current coat situation, I think you're probably taking it a little too fast. I'd be looking at this as a long term thing with just a few seconds to start off with every night as part of his love-in and building up to a full groom of a few minutes. (Doing it at the beginning on those areas which aren't matted is probably best because pulling at a mat can actually be painful - and even if it's not, it's certainly time consuming for you and irritating for him.)
It sounds as if you'll need a sedated clip in the early stages to make some quick headway for him, but he shouldn't associate that with his coat and with grooming - and with any luck, you'll keep on top of it after that.
This is a long term thing I'm afraid so likely no quick fixes if it's going to work over time.
You could clip your MC's claws to make the process easier. If your cat is food driven, after a while he should calm down when he realises that grooming means food. Our previous cat's nemesis was the clipping, but after she understood it meant tuna she relaxed quite a bit. Present cat is attention driven and only minds grooming, a lot of fuss while furminating and she is starting to relax.
We had the same problem with our Maine Coon, she used to be shaved under general anaesthetic when it got really bad.
If you can cut through the mat, you sometimes end up with a sort of clump that you can then pull apart. As the hair is shorter after it's been cut it will pull less.
We tried a furminator, and it worked - up to a point, but bought a cheapie cat groomer that was similar to a furminator from ALdi and that seemd to work better on her fur. We got a comb with widely-spaced teeth that revolved, and all that happened with that was that the teeth bent.
Best of luck!
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