Do cats need to be sedated for grooming?
Most cats do very well with grooming when it is done in a low-stress environment, using calm and gentle handling techniques. Even the ones with a reputation for being difficult! Extremely fearful or feral cats may benefit from a sedative, but most can be done quite easily without it.
My cat is short haired, does he need to be groomed?
Short haired cats can develop matts if their coat gets dirty or if they are not cleaning themselves properly. The best solution to these matts is to shave them off, as combing them out is painful, and cutting them off is very dangerous. Short haired cats also benefit from regular brushing to keep their coat healthy, and regular nail trims.
Cats groom themselves - why would a cat require grooming?
Long haired cats often need help keeping their coat in good condition. They can develop matts and tangles easily, and their coat can become dirty from food, water, or using the litterbox. Regular combing will prevent matts from forming, remove dead hair, and keep the coat healthy. Short haired cats also benefit from regular brushing, this will cut down on shedding, and keep the coat nice and shiny. Regular grooming will also help to prevent hairballs, as your cat will not be ingesting as much hair! I recommend starting to groom your cat as young as possible, as this will help them to understand that grooming is a positive experience, and isn't scary. You can pair the grooming with rewards such as treats, to help create a positive association for your cat.
My cat used to keep himself well groomed, but has suddenly developed matts. Why would this happen?
The age of your cat likely plays a role in this. Kittens often will suddenly matt when they are around a year old. This is when they change from a kitten coat to an adult coat. Kittens have much softer, finer fur, and it tends to matt when the adult fur comes in. This is when it pays to be diligent about combing - often these matts can seem to appear overnight! I also see a lot of cats who suddenly start to matt when they become seniors. This can be due to stiffness, especially in their back, making it difficult for them to reach certain areas. It can also be due to size, if they start to put on weight as they get older it can be more difficult for them to reach some areas, most commonly their back. There can be other health issues that can contribute to a poor coat quality - if you think that it might be something like that it's best to check with your vet to be sure.
Are cats difficult for nail trimming?
Many cats don't mind nail trimming at all! Even those who are nervous about it can learn to relax with a little practice. I recommend starting from a kitten if possible, but if your cat is no longer a kitten, you can still help them to see nail trimming as a positive thing! Handle their paws gently, and reward them with praise and treats for calm behaviour. When you trim their nails, it helps to have someone to help you by holding the cat. Use lots of praise and reward them for being calm - at first you may need to reward them after each nail, and that's ok. You can also do the nails in stages, such as doing one paw per day, rather than doing them all at once, which might be too much to start with. If you do this regularly, and always focus on keeping it positive, you will see that your cat will become more relaxed about it!
Will my cat be mad at me or stop trusting me if I get him groomed?
I am happy to report that this is not the case! Even if the cat is stressed during grooming, once they are done, they usually just lick themselves and then look for something to eat. It's very rare that a cat will run and hide - they usually just seem really curious to check themselves over and see what was done!
Will my cat will be uncomfortable or unhappy if he is shaved?
Without fail, when I follow up with my clients, they report that their cat is more playful, has more energy, and enjoys being petted more after grooming. They tell me that their cat cuddles more, struts around proudly, and often acts like a kitten again! I sometimes think that it must be like the way we feel in the spring when we can finally shed all the layers and go outside in a t-shirt! Besides, it's probably like a vacation for the cat - they don't have to deal with grooming all that hair for a while!
My cat has a lot of dander, what can I do about that?
Cats can develop excessive amounts of dander for a number of reasons. If your cat is matted, or is having trouble keeping his fur clean, you will notice more dander. If your cat is very overweight you will often see greasy fur with dander on their lower back, because they can't reach that area easily. Diet can be a factor as well. They also develop dander when they are very stressed - during a car ride for example. Grooming him to remove the matts will help if that is the reason for the dander. If you can't see any obvious reason for the dander, it's best to schedule a checkup with your vet, as there could be a medical issue that is causing it.
Does my cat need to be bathed?
Most cats don't really need bathing, they do a great job of keeping themselves clean, and if you help them out with some brushing and combing, they will stay shiny and clean! Some cats, however, may need to be bathed from time to time - cats who don't clean themselves, or who have very long, full coats, or who may have gotten something in their fur. If you need to bathe your cat, I advise that you use a gentle shampoo made for cats, and be sure to rinse very, very thoroughly. Most cats don't love bathing, but they usually tolerate it quite well. Just remember to be patient with them, reassure them, and give them lots of love and treats when they're done! If you have a kitten that you think will need bathing throughout it's life, like a persian or himalayan, I recommend getting them used to it while they are little - it will make things much easier when they are older!
I found a matt on my cat, what can I do?
If the matt is pretty new, and feels kind of soft and cottony, you can try to work it out with your fingers. You can pull it apart bit by bit and you should be able to get it out. If the matt seems to be tight, close to the skin, or hard, it will likely not come out this way. Brushing or combing a matt like this out will be quite painful for your cat, as it will involve a lot of pulling and tugging on their skin. Please don't try to cut it out with scissors, that is very dangerous! Cats have very thin, stretchy skin - it's almost impossible to know where the matt stops and their skin begins. I have had many people call me in tears because they tried to remove a matt and cut their cat, often quite seriously. If your cat has a matt that you can't pull apart, please get it shaved off safely.