Porky and Buddy Pet Health – Grooming Tips For Long-Haired Cats

Porky and Buddy

Dear Porky and Buddy,
A stray cat showed up at my door last week, very pretty, very friendly.

I posted her on Facebook, let all the local groomers and vets know and checked with all the nearby neighbors to see if I could find her owner, but no luck so far.

She can stay with me, if no one ever claims her, and I will take her to my vet soon for a health check.

But in the meantime, there is one issue that I need help with.

She is long-haired and I have never had the “pleasure” of a long-haired cat.

Honestly, her coat looks a little scruffy.

But I don’t know where to begin with dealing with it.


P. S. Her name is Rapunzel.

Dear Carol,
Begin at the beginning.

Will Rapunzel allow you to brush her?

Brushing not only removes dirt, grease and dead hair from her coat, but it helps to remove skin flakes and stimulates blood circulation, improving the overall condition of her skin.

One or two brushings per week will help her look better and feel better, too.

Long-haired cats who live indoors shed throughout the year and need regular grooming sessions to prevent tangles.

Start with her abdomen and legs, gently combing the fur upward toward her head.

Comb the neck fur upward, toward her chin.

Make a part down the middle of her tail and gently brush out the fur on either side.

You can sprinkle talcum powder over knots and gently use your fingers to tease them apart.

If the knots don’t come out by hand, try using a mat-splitter.

Neglecting to brush your Rapunzel’s coat can lead to painful tangles and a bellyful of hair.

(You’ll know if Rapunzel is suffering from hairballs when she coughs them up onto the floor, usually when you have company or in the middle of the night in your bedroom.)

If, despite regular brushing, Rapunzel continues to suffer from hairballs, there are several remedies available.

Please ask your vet to recommend a solution.

All of this assumes that Rapunzel allows you to brush her.

If she has never seen a brush before or if she already has painful matted tangles, you may have to start very slowly to introduce her to the idea.

Don’t let her become afraid of the brush and don’t try to fix all the “scruffiness” in the first grooming session.

Stop when she seems to be annoyed or fearful and wait for a better time.

Grooming sessions should be pleasurable for both of you, but that may take time.

If Rapunzel really fights the grooming process, and there is some potential that injury could occur to her or yourself, please make an appointment with a professional groomer or a veterinarian to have her groomed.

DO NOT try to shave her or cut out matted fur with scissors on your own.

Any money you save that way will be eaten up by the anti-anxiety medications and the vet fees that result.

And thank you so much for giving Rapunzel a home!

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Located at 29 W. Seneca St., Oswego, NY.

Phone: 315-207-1070.

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.

New York State Registered Shelter/Rescue-Registration No. RR239