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Old 08-29-2010, 12:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My cat hates to be brushed so how do I help keep the shedding to a minimum?

I have two cats Izzy and Cleo. Both DSH, front declawed females. Izzy loves to be brushed! She even likes to be brushed hard. She will actually hold the brush in her paws and brush her cheeks with it! Its pretty funny to watch. Her favorite brush is a slicker brush but she also has a zoom groom as well.

Our other cat Cleo HATES to be brushed. She is always walking/running away and we have to practically chase her around the house. I have even tried having my husband hold her while I brush her but she get hissy and growly and tries to get down. I have tried both brushes and she doesn't like either of them. The only thing she will tolerate is gloves that have these little grippy bumps on them to help pull the loose fur off but they don't help that much. I should also say that Cleo loves to be pet and cuddled so it's not a touching thing its a brush thing. Anyway, she sheds way more than Izzy since she doesn't get brushed regularly and the fur everywhere is getting annoying. Any suggestions on how to get her to tolerate a brush? Or something else that may work to help with the shedding?
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Cats are dropping coat now with the changing light levels. Cats that don't like those wire slicker brushes will often tolerate a comb much better. Get one of those steel pet combs that have finer teeth on one half than the other. In the beginning only do very little at a time. You want to train your cat that grooming is a pleasant thing. Give the cat a yummy treat, piece of cheese or some chicken, and while Cleo's eating, start combing very gently just at the back of the head and neck. Comb up the coat against the lie of the fur with short strokes, as this imitates the licking a moma cat would give. Stop if she really objects. Give another treat and try again. That's enough grooming for a first session. Try and extend the time a bit longer each day, until you're able to groom most of the cat. Leave the tummy area and inside of back legs last to do, as this is often the most sensitive or ticklish areas. Hopefully she will come to associate grooming with good things happening, and eventually you should be able to groom her and then give her a treat afterwards. Whenever any of my cats would just see a comb they would get excited to be groomed, so I hope you'll be able to get Cleo to that point too. Good luck!

A once a day combing does a lot to remove excess fur, and doesn't take that much time at all--just a minute or two. It should be part of a cat's routine training, ideally started when a kitten even though kitten coats don't shed but it's good to have cat used to having it done and makes it much easier.

Last edited by catloverami; 08-29-2010 at 09:36 AM. Reason: Additional thought.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When we adopted Skippyjon Jones into our household, he was a Shedding Machine! At his previous home, he was being fed McKittyCrack. When he came here, he got switched to Innova dry and EVO w/ Friskies canned and his shedding has STOPPED.
However ... (you knew one of these was coming, didn't you?) ... some cats just *are* shedders. Our BooBoo has shed since the day we brought him inside, in 2000. It doesn't matter how well he is fed, he is going to shed. *shrugs*
Try examining his diet and see if you could improve it dramatically and in turn help his haircoat stop shedding so much.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Bodhi isn't too crazy about being brushed either. That Furminator thing worked the best for me as far as removing the most hair with the least amount of brushing.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The furminator works great for my two cats. At first they did not like it too much but once they got used to it, they would chase after it whenever I walked away with it in my hands. I took that to be a good sign. You get so much fur when using the Furminator that you can roll the fur together into a little cigar toy for them. They enjoy playing with it after their combing session. Cat fur cigar toy pic below.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I used an approach similar to Ami's, and while it took some time, my kitten is now used to brushing. He even allowed me to roll him over to brush his tummy a few nights ago! Start small, remain positive & give lots of treats- I believe that approach has also helped me gain Simone's trust, and he now allows me to trim his nails with almost no fuss!
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Agreed, usually the issue is that even if they trust you, they do not trust that thing in your hands. As Heidi said, I would also examine his diet, but make sure to associate the grooming with good things. (: He needs to learn that the brush/comb will not hurt, its just a thing, nothing to be afraid of or angry at.

The key is patience and understanding, a little at a time.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My Muffin used to HATE being brushed and would always run away. I used the same approach as suggested by Ami. I always gave her treats, started brushing in the head/neck area first, kept her grooming sessions very short (only a few brush strokes at first), and lengthened them over time. These days, when I bring out the brush, she comes running up to me. She still won't stay too long, but she'll tolerate it for a few minutes, which is likely enough. Regrettably, despite regular brushings, she still sheds a lot!
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