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Caring for Long Haired Cats

Friday, December 10, 2010

Long haired breeds of cats such as Maine Coons, Persians and Ragdolls need a little extra TLC from their owners than other short haired breeds. In the natural world it is unlikely that cats with coats too long for them to maintain themselves would have survived, however selective breeding of domestic cats over hundreds of years has allowed many breeds to develop long, flowing coats that require some human help to keep in tip top condition.

Brushing a Long Haired Cat by Jon Ross
Long haired cats should be groomed daily to keep their coats free from knots, matting and a build up of dead hair. This is a simple and quick process if done regularly before knots can build up, and you should be able to pass a brush through your cat's coat easily without causing any stress to your cat. You will need a high quality grooming kit which should consist of several brushes and combs for different purposes.

  • Long Toothed Comb - for general grooming. Work the comb from tip to root to untangle the hair.
  • Narrow Toothed Comb - for teasing out knots, or removing fleas.
  • Trimming Scissors - you may need scissors to remove stubborn knots or matting. To do this safely, place a comb underneath the knot to protect your cat's skin and cut out the knot. Trimming scissors can also be used to remove excess hair from around your cat's anus if it is interfering with their toilet habits.
  • Wire, Rubber or Bristle Brush - for removing dead hair and generally conditioning the coat. You should use this brush or the long toothed comb most often for grooming.
  • Soft Cloth - used damp to clean your cat's face, especially around the eye area.

There are also many other types of specialist grooming tools available, such as shedding blades, clippers and even hand held grooming vacuums that gently suck away dead hair and dander (dead skin). Different cats will tolerate or even enjoy different grooming tools, so you may have to experiment to find a method and routine that your cat is happy with.

You should start grooming your cat from as early as possible, to get them used to the tools and actions. If your cat really hates being brushed, try out a special grooming glove which can tease out dead hair simply while you stroke.

Some pet owners choose to keep long haired cats indoors, to prevent their hair from getting excessively dirty or knotted while outside. If your cat does get into a bit of a mess, give them a bath using a special cat shampoo, taking care to avoid getting soapy water in their ears, eyes, mouth or nose. After bathing, towel dry your cat to remove all excess water and then blow dry with a hairdryer set on a low heat.

Kitty's First Bath by Maggie Osterberg
Grooming your cat regularly isn't needed just to keep your cat looking great - it is also important for their health. Like all cats, long haired breeds spend a lot of time grooming themselves, however ingesting a large amount of hair can cause excessive hairballs and blockages in their digestive tract. Matted fur can also cause a great deal of discomfort to your cat, since the hair is pulled tighter as the knot worsens. Severe matting can result in skin irritation or even infection if not treated.

If you are grooming your cat at least twice a week it should take no more than a few minutes to restore your cat's coat to a silky soft sheen, which is highly preferably to wrestling with knots or tangles on a cat that hasn't been brushed in days or weeks. Take the time to groom your cat regularly to prevent serious problems building up.

Not only is spending time grooming your cat the responsible thing to do, but it can also be a great way to bond with your cat.

All cats needs a nutritious and balanced diet to keep them healthy, and good coat condition starts from the inside. There are some specialty cat foods available for long haired cats. These foods are high in the nutrients needed to keep your cat's coat looking healthy and shiny, as well as for aiding in the elimination of hairballs.

Shower your long haired cat with a little extra grooming attention and they will thank you for it by leaving less shed hair around your home, and letting you run your hands over their silky soft fur.

Author Resource:
Tom Woodcock is a cat Lover and regularly helps out a local rescue centers. To learn more about Cat Supplies Cat accessories and pet Cats visit him online.

Article Source: ArticleSnatch Free Article Directory


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