Grooming a Persian/Long-haired cat

If you have a long-haired cat, then you know the work that goes into keeping that coat long if that's what you choose to do. Many owners get a persian, for example, with the intent of keeping their pet long-haired. However, one may later realize it does take too much work, daily work even. And so they choose to have it cut or given the lion cut. This is usually best if you don't have the time to groom your cat everyday.

The main problematic areas for matting and knots is the underarms (or underpaws if you will...) and between her hind legs. They will matt up like there is no tomorrow. Your cat/dog/pet will hate you combing that area from the very start, but don't let them get away with it, or you will both pay the price later.

1. COTTON PADS. These are used to clean her eyes. I usually will use warm water or boric acid.

2. BORIC ACID. I use a cotton pad with some boric acid and wipe her eyes. I make sure to not get any in her eyes, by just folding the cotton pad and dabbing at the inner corners of her eyes. She can keep them open this way and it doesnt bother her as much.

3. TOOTHBRUSH. This is just a kids one I got at the supermarket. I tried to find one with as small a head as possible your cat will have a smaller mouth than a human and a child even anyway.

4. TOOTHPASTE. I neglected doing this the first year I had her, as she hated it so much the first time I tried. However, she started having truly awful breath so we both had to brave learning and tolerating the teeth cleaning. I now do this everyday. To start off I would recommend putting some toothpaste on your finger and gently rubbing it on her teeth so they can get used to it.

5. FACE COMB. This is not something I use very often, just if she has food stuck in her face hair as it's much more gentle and she doesn't really mind it at all.

6. COMB. This would probably not be my first choice of comb, as it's double sided. I would recommend getting two instead, one slightly more wide-toothed and one less so. I mainly use the wide-toothed side, especially in the winter when there is just too much fur to even try using the more narrow-toothed side, as it will just rip out the hair and get stuck. It's very important to use a comb and not just a brush, as you want to make sure you brush through the undercoat, where it's finer and tends to matt much more easily. Removing any loose hair, so she swallows as little as possibly during her grooming.

7. BRUSH. I use this at the very end to make her look fluffed up and beautiful. Basically it adds the final touch.

8. SCISSORS. Now, you may need to learn to do this, but if not confident, I suggest taking your pet to a professional groomer to deal with. I don't even try brushing out the knots in Cindys coat once they have formed as it would simply pull at her skin too much and be very painful. However, it is quite a challenge to cut out the knots and matts, especially if your animal is moving. You by no means want to risk cutting their skin. If they won't stay still, try later or have someone help you keep them still. It is not a simple task and sometimes the matts will be extremely close to the skin or in awkward positions. I personally am comfortable cutting them out myself, but if you aren't then don't try. Just take your animal to the groomers. You don't want to leave it with knots and matts as it will pull at their skin, especially the underarms and between the hind legs as the skin is thinnest there. This is just my personal opinion, but I would consult with your groomer or vet on what to do with matts, as it's really a delicate and dangerous thing if you don't know what you are doing.

9. NAIL CLIPPERS. Having an indoor cat I have decided to keep her nails clipped. Initially it was a bit daunting and I had a friend (also vet student, but with practice doing it) help me. I know many people take their cats and dogs to the vets every couple weeks or so to the vets and they do it for a small fee. I clip a very small amount and just do it more often.

10. CAT MALT. This is especially important with a long-haired cat as they are at much higher risk of getting hairballs. I will give this to my cat every two or three days and she loves it. Although I have had to change the brand, as she stopped liking the pharmacy one. So it might be easiest to try a few as they usually are supposed to like it and that makes it much easier to give to them.

Finally this post wouldn't be complete without a debut of yours truly. It's not the best quality picture, but it's what I currently have on hand. For more pictures you can check her out on instagram (yes, I do realize just how crazy this makes me look)