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Grooming, too!

Grooming, too!

Postby panthera » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:45 pm

I keep chiming in on dog threads. And just now I tried to turn a dog thread into a cat thread! So I've deleted that post & started a cat grooming thread.

So Dugan recommended using a letter-opener, among other things. Brilliant! How well does this work with cats? I kind of doubt that I could pull Goldy's fur up far enough to get underneath the mat. Panthimo uses regular scissors and cuts as much of the mat as he can easily, so it's less likely to cut his skin, but it doesn't get it all. Sometimes I can comb it out, then, but only if I'm lucky & get in swipes here & there. I'm too scared to use scissors.

And what about nails, for long-haired cats? I can't even see Goldy's nails w/o manipulating them, and he wakes right up when I do that. Am I doomed to the "touch his paw & reward for two weeks, then touch his paw & find his nail for two weeks, then etc."?
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Re: Grooming, too!

Postby Dugan » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:47 am

The key with mats is to cut away from the skin. That's why I like that letter opener style - draw the point along the skin, then lift and the blade cuts as you pull away. It's pretty much impossible to cut the animal. I do the same with scissors - try to get a point in the base of the mat, then cut up through the mat away from the skin. Another tip is to cut lengthwise rather than across, and to work from the edges in.

Touching the paw and rewarding is a good plan.
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Re: Grooming, too!

Postby Miso Vegan » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:38 am

Does Goldy use his claws inappropriately? I clip Misha M'koo's nails because she kneads on me and will strop furniture. But I don't trim Rupert's claws because he doesn't use them for anything at all. Lucky for him, since he hates having his paws touched.
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Re: Grooming, too!

Postby debiguity » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:42 am

I don't have matting issues with my cats - two are short-haired, the other is medium-haired and so far no mats.

I do cut their toenails periodically. they have scratching posts and use them all the time, but their nails still grow quite long. They'll end up scratching me just by walking on my lap, and Tempest has a habit of telling me it's breakfast time by patting my face...this is painful when her nails are long! Jake gets so impatient for his food that he tries to pull on my pant legs...again, painful when his nails are long!

But the biggest issue with their nails, imo, is that when they are long, they get stuck in the carpet. It makes me worry that they're going to hurt themselves, wrenching a toe, things like that. And it can't be fun for them when they're trying to play and keep getting stuck in the carpet! (I have a feeling my carpet must be especially bad for trapping cats nails!)

Lucky for me, all three put up with the nail trimming with relative ease. Tempest is actually my biggest complainer, but not anything major. I have had Tempest and Tristan since they were each about 12 weeks old, and I made sure to get them used to trimming their nails from the start, so I guess it doesn't surprise me. Jake though, the squirmy little daredevil, surprises me, because he's actually the most passive when I am cutting his nails or cleaning his ears! (He needs his ears cleaned often, especially one is always bothering him. It is likely related on some level to his deafness.)

I always give them a treat when I'm done, and I always make them eat it while sitting in my lap. I want them to have a good association immediately after their "torture".
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Re: Grooming, too!

Postby panthera » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:22 am

Yeah, Goldy kneads painfully, and he gets stuck in my clothing or blankets sometimes. When he does, he has no sense that he needs to stop pulling, so he can retract. He just hisses & bats. Of course, now he doesn't like for me to pick him up at all. He likes his scratching post a lot, but he ignores the rest of the scratching boards. Not that they would help much.

I raised Karma from when her eyes were just opening, so she tolerated my clipping her nails. I started it by crouching over her as she was eating, and eventually we got to where she actually stopped eating, waited for a paw or maybe two, then wriggled around so I'd have to chase her around the food bowl. :D So I'd stop then and get another paw another time. That is, if I remembered which ones I'd already done.

So Dugan, are you talking about positioning the cutting blade at a perpendicular angle to the animal's skin and cutting the mat into smaller pieces? I don't see how that would work with cat mats.
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