Cat shedding. What to do.

Cats shed more in the spring. Generally a true statement. Maine Coons shed enough fur to make another Maine Coon.

Based on observation . . .

Most common place for largest mats — along the side of body.

Most common place for smaller mats — behind ears, under chin.

Tools to use: rakes, metal combs, slicker brushes, and other tools reaching to the skin, not just skimming surface.

How often to comb/brush: Daily until shedding season is over.

How to know when shedding season is over: Less fur removed than during previous brushings/combings.

For your de-shedding toolkit . . . many types of rakes and slicker brushes will work.

To buy:

Rake: Evolution W6110 Grooming Undercoat Rake with Rotating Teeth, Double Row

Slicker brush: Four Paws Magic Coat Gentle Slicker Wire Brush for Cats

But wait, there's more!
But wait, there’s more!

Lush new fur coats now in season for your cat.

Longer days and less sunlight mean it’s time to change fur coats. Your cat does not need to have a winter fur coat delivered from the fur vault. Their coat change is “do-it-yourself.”

Telltale signs that the feline coat change is underway . . .

Tufts of dull-looking fur poking out here and there.

More strands of fur decorating your sofa.

Increased puffiness of coat.

Increased licking and grooming, followed by increased fur balls on the carpet.

If your cat is shedding more, a grooming session will keep that fur under control. In nature, your cat would frolic and scamper through bushes and grass. Excess fur would be snagged on branches. Since cats now live indoors, we have to help them get rid of extra fur.

To buy tools for deshedding:

Four Paws Purple Love Glove Cat Grooming Mitt

Evolution W6110 Grooming Undercoat Rake with Rotating Teeth, Double Row

Andis Pet 7-1/2-Inch Steel Comb (65730)

Lion Cut + Old, skinny cat = Blood + Stitches

Bad human!
Yep. You don’t want to be the one who did this.

There’s a heap of denial among cat-loving humans who have skinny, old cats.

Is a cute-looking haircut and less fur on the sofa worth blood and stitches? If you say HECK YEAH! then go to it. Fire up that clipper.

I’m of the opinion that the answer is HECK NO.  I won’t do a lion cut if the cat is likely to be nicked during the shaving process.

I do make an exception for old cats who are so matted that they are uncomfortable. Their comfort is important, so it’s worth the risk.

Long-haired old cats stay dirtier and can’t deal with their own fur. Their tongue is worn out, I guess, not to mention the arthritis. They’re like that uncle who drinks too much and can’t remember to comb his hair . . . . you know, the uncle with the shirts covered with stains? You won’t do his laundry because who knows what he’s gotten into?

Cat skin is as thick as your eyelid. Think about that. You want me to come over and shave your eyelid?

The technical, boring discussion is below. You can skip it, unless you’re deeply interested in shaving cat’s privates.

1. Cat clippers work best on a flat plane. They zip along a flat surface and get every last hair off quickly and safely.

2. Cat clippers on an angle aim the blade at tender skin.  The blade isn’t parallel to the skin.  It’s going INTO the skin.  DANGER ZONES: clipping the fur in the underarms or between the rear legs. “I can’t believe what I’m seeing” thin skin combined with peaks and valleys. DANGER.

3. The thinner the cat, the more peaks and valleys, and the harder it is to shave safely. Shaving a fat cat is like shaving a balloon. It’s much easier to  shave a fat cat than a skinny cat.

4. The older the cat, the thinner and looser the skin.

Comb your cat every day, gently work on the mats with a comb, or maybe a round-tip scissor. If you’re a butterfingers be patient.  Spend some money on my services if you can’t do it yourself.

Awwww. Kisses.
Awwww. Kisses.

 

 

 

 

“My cat sheds too much!”

I’m going to lay it out straight, because I get too many calls from really sweet, really smart people who didn’t get the memo that the animal you adopted BECAUSE IT IS SOFT AND FLUFFY is an animal that is covered in fur. You want the kitty but no fur? There are cats for that.

Are you my new mom? I luvs you!
Are you my new mom? I luvs you!

If you didn’t get one, don’t blame the cat, don’t get frustrated, just figure out a way to live without a haze of cat fur. It can be done. Don’t fight reality. Work with reality.

I know a lot of you are much, much smarter than I am, so if I can figure out a way to deal with fur, you should be able to do it while you’re sleeping.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I haz fur and I haz cute. Deal with it.

In short, since this is a LIVE animal, not a stuffed animal, that furs got to come off, so suck it up. Literally. Suck that stuff up with a slicker brush and a fully functional vacuum. Take pride in your tools, ladies and gents. Make common sense furniture/bedding purchases. See below for details.

Cats shed year-round. Shedding increases when days get longer. Shedding relates to light, not temperature. No artificial light, less shedding.

Apart from living like Abe Lincoln in darkness from the moment the sun goes down to the moment the sun goes up, how do you decrease shedding?

You don’t decrease shedding. They just keep on shedding. What you do is get better at scooping up the dead fur.

1. Run a metal comb through your cat’s fur a few times a week. Use a cheap metal comb. (Furminator shmurminator, I hate that thing. Costs too much, does too little.) Takes all of 2 minutes. Give your cat a treat while you’re doing it. Eat some potato chips while you do it. You’ll both be better for the experience. Fatter, but better. If your cat wiggles, hold on to the cat. You can do it. You’re a New Yorker! You ride the 6 train during rush hour! This is nothing compared to that.

2. Use a slicker brush, gently brushing your cat’s surface once a day. Takes all of a minute. Do it while you’re watching cat videos. You know you watch those videos, don’t even try to hide it. I’ll check your laptop history next time I visit, and all will be revealed.

3. Get yourself a quality vacuum, and keep that thing clean and functional. Don’t show me some sad-looking vacuum with fur and dust jamming it up every which way. That’s not a tool. That’s an embarrassment. Take pride in your tools!

4. Buy smart. You know you’re going to be crazy over fur if you buy yourself one of those suede-type couches that are so popular. Fur magnets is what they are. Don’t buy a fuzzy bed cover. Get one with a slick surface that can be shaken to get dead fur off, or else just put a cute sheet over your bed in the morning before you run out the door.

5. Give your cat his own furniture, which your cat will be perfectly happy to hang out on and adorn with shedding fur. Cat shelves, cat tree houses, cat beds on window sills. Lots of possibilities. Order them online. Spend a few dollars. If it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. Try something else. You probably spent that much money on fancy drinks last week without thinking twice.

6. Put your clothes in a closet. If you have a white cat, think about your all-black wardrobe. You should have thought about that before you bought a white cat, so now you either switch it up and buy some light-colored clothes or keep a pail of sticky brushes by the door. Or you can dye the cat black. No, not really.

Have me come over every so often to do a complete comb-out, bath, drying. You’ll still have fur left over that sheds, because I’m a groomer, not a magician, BUT that fur will be clean, won’t be greasy, and there’ll be less of it.76y76 (Those last letters were typed by my black cat, Emma. She’s a professional writer.)

Go on now. You can do it. If you can’t, make regular grooming appointments and off-load the work to me.

 

What do cats and onions have in common?

Answer:  Skin that tears like paper. 

If you use scissors to cut out mats, think “onion” as you snip. Don’t think “orange” or even “pear”, because those fruits have thicker skins than your cat. 

OnionSkinCatSkin

The skin is the largest organ in the body.  Feline skin thickness ranges from 0.02″ to 0.14″.