Cats with Tangles and Burrs
Kitty is spending more time outdoors now that the weather is warmer. The problem is that he comes back in with burrs and tangles in his coat. Then he won't stand still while I try to repair the damage. Do you have any suggestions?
I understand because grooming a cat can be frustrating until they get used to the routine. But regular grooming is important for many reasons. It allows cooling air to circulate through the coat and skin and helps prevent hairballs. In addition, it reduces shedding and discourages fleas (which like to burrow into matted fur). Brushing does the job for short-haired cats. A steel comb, especially for cats, should be used daily on long-haired cats. Fortunately, cats are very fastidious and rarely need bathing or anything more than grooming. Some cats like Kitty, who dislike combing, will tolerate shedding blades. There are also products like lanolin that minimize static electricity and tangling and make grooming easier. They also give a nice smell and shine to the coat. Grooming also may be easier if you start the job when Kitty is settled and calm. Be as gentle as possible and talk to him as you work. Claw trimming is an important part of grooming that some cat owners overlook. Without regular attention, nails can grow around into the pad and cause an infection. Like brushing and combing, it also can make a cat skittish until it becomes accustomed to the process. So again, move slowly and patiently and pick a time when Kitty is at ease. Start by stroking gently down the leg. Pick up the paw and extend the claw by pushing down on the nail and up on the toe. Clip the tip of the claw where the excess nail curves down. Avoid cutting into the pink area or "quick" near its root. Don't panic if you accidentally nick the quick. Kitty will feel only a pinch. There may be a little bleeding which will last only a few minutes. Also, you can stop it with a styptic pencil or dab of corn starch. Eventually Kitty will get used to the grooming and trimming -- and may even appreciate how much better he feels after the job is done.