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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'll try not to write a book about my problem. In May I adopted a 8 1/2 year old spayed Russian Blue/DSH from the shelter where I do volunteer work. From what I know of Tabatha, she was a one owner/only cat ... cat. She was brought into the shelter in March after the person that she owned passed away and no one in the family wanted her :-( Their lose, my gain. She was what we at the shelter would call a "top shelf" cat. You all probably know how it goes, everyone wants kittens, no one wants seniors. My husband and I already had 2 dogs and 2 cats, the perfect little family. I fell in love with Tabs the first day I started working at the shelter, actually found her and the shelter on petfinder after a friend of mine in Canada lost her RB. The dogs could care less if we bring another family member home, the cats tolerate her, she barely tolerates them. Problem is she gets along with the cats better than she does my husband or me...she hates us, and I'm not aggravating much, but that's OK, I know she is in her furever home, the shelter is No-Kill so she would have lived out her life there if not adopted. None of the cats are in cages( that's good) and the room she was in has anywhere from 20-30 cats at a time. Oh my, see what I mean, I've already written a mini novel and I haven't even gotten to the problem.

Tabs has some, but I suspect not much RB in her, she does have the double coat, the mauve pads, but her eyes are more yellowish/green than the green associated with RB's. We pretty much leave her be, we have a room in our home that is strictly for the cats...they have just about everything kittehs could want. My problem is Tabs needs to be brushed, she is starting to get some matts. I've tried the calming sprays, lose doses of benadryl, and calming treats, so far nothing has worked. I can wrestle with her and I have gotten most of the matts out, but it is stressful for her and me. I hate what this doing to her. Back in the day I worked at a vet clinic and I had a long haired cat that always slept on her back, she would get matts and I would have to shave her. I could get acepromazine that would calm her enough to shave her. I don't want to take Tabs to the vet, no sense in stressing her more than necessary. I'm not sure if Feliway would work and I don't need to calm the other two cats. Does anyone have any experience with a furry that doesn't like to be held, petted, brushed? Sorry for the long post. I will try to not do that ...... much :001_smile:
 

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Have not got any experience with cats not liking to be brushed but bumping this up a little.

If my cat does not want to be brushed I stand no chance tbh. I normally take him to his favourite spot and stroke him until he purrs, relaxes and lies down. I then start brushing him gently on the back of the neck and top of the head as these are the places he likes it most. When he is completely relaxed I am able to push him on to his side and brush his belly.

I do think it is difficult to brush a cat that does not even like to be touched though :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If she was a Russian Blue X DSH, then surely her coat would be too short to get matted?? :confused:[/QUO

Thank You Treaclesmum....if you had short hair and it hadn't been brushed in 5 months your hair would matt also.

"f you are looking for a gentle, quiet, intelligent cat, you may have found your match. It’s easy to see the appeal of the Russian Blue. His long, graceful, slim body is topped by a short, plush double coat tipped with silver. Round green eyes gaze out from his triangular head. He also comes in a longhaired variety known as the Nebelung, which means “creature of the mist.”

I'm not looking for opinions on whether I own a RB or not, I'm looking for advice on how to calm her to let me groom her. I'm sorry if that sounds rude, that isn't my intention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Have not got any experience with cats not liking to be brushed but bumping this up a little.

If my cat does not want to be brushed I stand no chance tbh. I normally take him to his favourite spot and stroke him until he purrs, relaxes and lies down. I then start brushing him gently on the back of the neck and top of the head as these are the places he likes it most. When he is completely relaxed I am able to push him on to his side and brush his belly.

I do think it is difficult to brush a cat that does not even like to be touched though :eek:
Thank You for your reply nightkitten and for bumping this thread up. TBH I have never heard Tabs purr, even when she was at the shelter, she obviously was a one person cat and I'm not sure she will ever accept me as her one and only. I could accept that, as I know she is better off in a home than in the shelter, no matter how wonderful this particular shelter is. She eats very good, takes treats out of our hands, uses the little box. She is a great cat, except for not liking to be brushed, and she needs it...I know she would feel better brushed but I haven't figured out how to convince her of that. :001_smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well none of my shorthaired cats have ever got matts, their fur isn't long enough... :confused:
Well alrighty then Treaclesmum...it is apparent that you are going to right and I am going to be wrong. My 5 year old short haired cat gets brushed weekly and he doesn't get mats, my 14 year old long haired doesn't get mats, she is also brushed weekly. I think the fact that I believe Tabatha has some RB blue in her makes it impossible according to you for her to get mats and it has absolutely nothing do with the fact that she hasn't been brushed in over 5 months. I guess just because YOUR short haired cats have never got mats, other short haired cats can never get mats...like I said earlier, Thank You for your opinion but so far you have not offered me advice on how to brush my cat. I didn't join this forum or start this thread to argue with anyone about what, if any, breed, my cat is. I have also stated in my introduction post that is doesn't matter to me whether she has any RB in her or not, I adopted her because I fell in Love with her the minute I seen her at the shelter and at her age - over 8 years old, she would not get adopted as easily as kittens would. Now tell me, do you argue with all new people or did I somehow set you off???
 

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Hi 2012tabs:)

Just to say -- Treaclesmum is just commenting it is unusual for a short-haired cat to get matted, as they are so good at self-grooming. I am certain she is not implying Tabitha does not have RB in her. :)

However, there are certain situations I have found where some short-haired cats can get matts in their fur. These seem to be caused when fur is moulting (or has moulted) but is not removed from the coat either by the cat itself grooming, or by a human brushing. The loosened fur becomes dry and becomes 'packed' as it were.

As it is difficult for you to touch the cat I do sympathise, as it is certainly not going to be a walk in the park getting her coat in good condition. I would suggest it might be necessary to gently cut out the worst of the matts, as although this won't look aesthetically pleasing while the fur regrows, it will be less stressful for Tabitha than trying to tease them out with a comb.

Any grooming with an unco-operative cat requires 2 people. One to do the grooming and the other to distract the cat by feeding tasty treats (or pieces of chicken) one piece at a time whilst the grooming is going on.

Grooming should be done in very short sessions -- start with a few minutes at a time. Reward afterwards with a pinch of powdered catmint (or valerian).

The other thing is, it is good to improve the natural oils in the cat's coat by feeding her a high meat protein diet, and avoiding all dry food. Also, if you can get her to take a few drops of Salmon Oil in her food every day , it is very good for the coat. If the coat is more naturally sleek it is less likely
matts will develop in the future. Though I think she will always need help with her grooming during moulting season.

Btw, I adopted a senior cat 18 mths ago who is an oriental cross, and had only ever lived with one owner, who had died. The cat had been in the Shelter for 4 mths and not one person had show any interest in him. The staff feared he would end his days there. I could not stand that thought. I would say for the first year he was with us (my OH and me) he hated us, hated being touched etc, It is only in the past few months he has finally started to allow us to stroke him a bit, and he is actually showing signs of affection. :) So you never know, Tabitha may come round to you eventually.:)
 

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I have to say I am also surprised at a short-haired matting; do you think once you got the mats out she could manage to groom herself and you wouldn't need to do it again? I ask as in this situation it may be kinder to simply cut the mats out and then let her groom herself in future if you think she can "keep on top of it"? I know that some cats when very stressed over-groom but I have also been told that some fail to groom when something is wrong and I wonder if that might be what's happened here? (You said her owner died and no one wanted her)

I would expect brushing the mats out to be uncomfortable, maybe even painful and in that case she will always associate grooming with that sensation; in which case I would opt for clipping first to make it manageable or to see if she even needs grooming with a brush after the mats are gone.

If you think she need she needs regular grooming then I wonder how you have tried to introduce the brush? I found my cat very interested; we put the brush on the floor, let him sniff and head bump it, rub against it, and also associate it with food. The first time we used it we simply rubbed it once down his back, then put it on the floor, let him inspect, gave a treat, and then another gentle stroke with the brush. Just build up very slowly.

My cat does not tolerate being handled, so it's really important to let him wander off when he's had enough and let him come to the brush rather than chase him round.

Definitely choose a time when she is chilled to start.

Good luck! :)

(Incidentally I found your posts a bit OTT, treaclesmum was simply expressing surprise at a short haired cat matting as they usually are able to groom themselves, it seemed a reasonable observation.)
 

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My DSH Woody came to me after several months in a rescue....now he really WAS on the top shelf...., and along with several real health issues, he had greasy matted fur around his back end and along his tail.
I think when they are in a rescue, even a nice one, they become depressed and do not groom properly (or some might over - groom) Also, they are fed a fairly low quality diet in those places so this too can cause poor coat. Once mats form they are not easy for the cat to deal with alone.
He is a powerful cat, late-neutered at around the age of 10 so full of muscle....and he was initially prone to quite aggressive fits, so grooming was a bit of a challenge!
I started off with a soft rubber brush called a Zoom Groom which most cats seem to tolerate, and I would just draw the brush along his back when he was distracted by food. He loves food:p. I pulled masses of clumped, greasy hair out this way over a week or so. Once the hair had been removed it has not matted again...but now he loves being brushed or combed just for the sake of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi 2012tabs:)

Just to say -- Treaclesmum is just commenting it is unusual for a short-haired cat to get matted, as they are so good at self-grooming. I am certain she is not implying Tabitha does not have RB in her. :)

However, there are certain situations I have found where some short-haired cats can get matts in their fur. These seem to be caused when fur is moulting (or has moulted) but is not removed from the coat either by the cat itself grooming, or by a human brushing. The loosened fur becomes dry and becomes 'packed' as it were.

As it is difficult for you to touch the cat I do sympathise, as it is certainly not going to be a walk in the park getting her coat in good condition. I would suggest it might be necessary to gently cut out the worst of the matts, as although this won't look aesthetically pleasing while the fur regrows, it will be less stressful for Tabitha than trying to tease them out with a comb.

Any grooming with an unco-operative cat requires 2 people. One to do the grooming and the other to distract the cat by feeding tasty treats (or pieces of chicken) one piece at a time whilst the grooming is going on.

Grooming should be done in very short sessions -- start with a few minutes at a time. Reward afterwards with a pinch of powdered catmint (or valerian).

The other thing is, it is good to improve the natural oils in the cat's coat by feeding her a high meat protein diet, and avoiding all dry food. Also, if you can get her to take a few drops of Salmon Oil in her food every day , it is very good for the coat. If the coat is more naturally sleek it is less likely
matts will develop in the future. Though I think she will always need help with her grooming during moulting season.

Btw, I adopted a senior cat 18 mths ago who is an oriental cross, and had only ever lived with one owner, who had died. The cat had been in the Shelter for 4 mths and not one person had show any interest in him. The staff feared he would end his days there. I could not stand that thought. I would say for the first year he was with us (my OH and me) he hated us, hated being touched etc, It is only in the past few months he has finally started to allow us to stroke him a bit, and he is actually showing signs of affection. :) So you never know, Tabitha may come round to you eventually.:)
Chillminx, I understand what you are saying concerning about Treaclesmum and it is possible that my posts were a bit OTT...but I will say again, I came here looking for ADVICE...I was not getting that from her :-( I'm glad she has never had a problem with HER short haired cats matting. I can't say the same with Tabatha. You have given me some things to think about, especially about adding a bit of salmon oil to her food, I add fish oil to my cocker spaniel's food in the winter, so it only makes sense to add salmon/fish oil to all our cats food. My husband and I have tried to do the dbl brushing, but she feels ganged up on and it seems to make it worse. I have found that if I groom her myself, she is a bit better and she always gets a treat or two afterward. And yes, I can only do it for a minute or two. I hadn't thought about trying to cut the matts out, but that makes sense, doesn't matter to me what she looks like afterward, it is her comfort and well-being that I am concerned with. I will be trying your suggestions and getting back on here to let you all know how it goes.

I was especially happy after reading your story about the senior furry you adopted - echos Tabs story - I keep telling myself that she will come around but after 5ish months I was getting discouraged, but after reading how it took your baby almost a year to warm up to you, I am very encouraged. Thank You !!! <3
 

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Wow, some people really love to argue... it was simply a question I was asking as to how did she get matted, I was in fact trying to help you, in case you were thinking you should be brushing her more, and I just wanted to say I don't find that shorthaired cats need a lot of brushing. I didn't think it would be possible for a shorthaired cat to matt, but maybe with a thick coat, especially if she has longer fur in places, like maybe on her belly, I guess it could matt? The Russian Blues I have seen on this forum look quite sleek to me though.

However, if she already has matts then there must be a reason for it, I'm terribly sorry I could not figure out what that might be!! :eek:

Why don't you save your snide remarks for people who actually deserve them - we often see such posts on here as it is (but I usually bite my tongue!! )
 

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Hi

my very long haired Persian Bibi (in pic) wouldnt let me groom her at first when I got her a year ago, but I have persevered with short bursts of grooming, plus lots of treats. She is on a food that contains Zylkene, and that has made her more relaxed, but she is fairly happy about brushing now.

What brush/comb are you using? I have had good success with a different brush to the one I used on my previous Persian lad. It is a Karlie long hair brush - if you google short hair cat brush it may come up with suggestions (I got the brush from Amazon) A 'zoom groom' has nobbly bristles and may be a good option.

I did have to get Bibi shaved under her tummy and brushed out under sedation earlier in the year - well worth it, and has made it easier to maintain
 

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I appreciate that it won't help with the already existing matts in her fur, but have you tried using a grooming glove/mitt? My baby Flo hates being brushed, but her longer fur really needs it especially at moulting time, I bought a 'Love Glove' a while ago and it works a treat and what's more, Flo loves it as to her it's just like her being stroked. May be worth a try?
 
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