Keeping Clean

Like all cats, Gus likes to keep himself neat but with advancing age it gets harder and harder.  His long fur and stiffening joints means it is a lot more difficult to get at his back and legs.  In the previous two years I had the vets shave him in a “lion cut” but this year the extractions took too long and they skipped it, so his fur is actually over long in spots instead of short.

This leads to mats.  I’ve combed out some recently, but just a bit ago I found what seems like a lot of them on his back legs where it gets tangled as he sleeps.  Could this mean…


Well, maybe so, if I can’t cut out the mats without one…

It could be worse – Gus isn’t afraid of water.  On the other hand, he gets annoyed at being man-handled like you have to when soaping and rinsing the body.

About Oldcat

Engineer with Cats
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10 Responses to Keeping Clean

  1. kerrycooks says:

    Such a cute picture of him licking his paw


  2. nadbugs says:

    Oh dear dear Gus. I wonder — StressStopper for the gentleman? Guster? Do you get the GENTLE part of gentleman? No? Parent-beans NEED their hands!


    • Oldcat says:

      Given his bad reaction to Feliway, I am reluctant to use any calming agents with him. And he didn’t wound me the previous times, but making him upset isn’t something that I like to do without good reason.


  3. littlemiao says:

    Bathing a kitty can be a risky job! Several years ago when our eldest Ramses was getting a bath, Ping (king of the household) heard his yeowling and came to his aid, biting my mother’s legs in an attempt to rescue him.

    I was not aware that bathing actually helped with the mats. Do you have to use a special shampoo?


    • Oldcat says:

      Well, it doesn’t help directly, but when the fir is wet you can distinguish the mats from just tangled fur and comb out the tangles better. Plus you have to see if he’s really getting greasy back there due to lack of grooming. And there’s also the fact of if I have to make him mad, why not get everything done all at once and only ruin one day.

      I haven’t had the rescue party happen to me, but I do have the other cats collect around the bathroom making inquisitive meows through the door while Gus complains. Since Gus gets more nervous if other cats are around when he is messed with, this doesn’t help.

      As it turned out, I was able to cut away the mats and comb out the tangles without going the whole bath route. Only a small amount of mayhem ensued, as a few warning snaps and claw wriggles actually gave me a scratch or two.


  4. Anne D says:

    My son just takes a scissors and cuts out chunks of fur where the mats are likely to occur.. Especially in the summer, Not good looking, but it keeps the mats away. Luckiy for me, my long haired cat does not mat.


    • Oldcat says:

      That’s what I ended up doing except I do it after the fact instead of before. The last two years I had him shaved in a lion cut when he was in the vet for other things. My Persian had some horriffic mats when I adopted her so I got her mostly shaved to remove them rather than poke around with scissors when she didn’t know me too well.


  5. Jennifer K. says:

    How often do you bathe your cats? Miaosie doesn’t smell bad, but she definitely doesn’t smell good. I’ve never bathed the cats though and I’ve had Miaosie for almost two years…


    • Oldcat says:

      Under normal circumstances, the short answer is ‘not at all’. Julius has never been bathed, and Calpurnia only during her first grooming after I adopted her, and she had been somewhat neglected so she needed huge mats shaved off and a flea bath.

      The extraordinary circumstances are that as a cat ages, they can’t do as good a job keeping clean, and this leads to an unhappy cat. Elderly cats have enough problems without being unhappy, so a bath is a net gain. I had had a cat who reached the age of twenty, so even with her short hair she got a bath now and then in the last five years or so of her life. Gus is showing a few signs of age – hesitation going up and down stairs and a little extra unkemptness. Until this last year, I had had him shaved each year, which helped. Last fall, I bought these cat ‘wet naps’ like cleaners that actually did a pretty good job. They are like baby wipes, and did a not bad job at a touch up cleaning. Since Gus was on valium then, he was cleaning himself even less than normal.

      When he didn’t get shaved this year, I gave him a bath, then a second one when I found I had failed to rinse him well that first time, and I think one more after that. He’s not that bad a bath subject, as he does not mind getting wet, just being poked and prodded.

      I have seen ‘dry shampoos’ in the pet stores but have never used them myself. Since Gus is a fearful cat, and snaps and bites, I am reluctant to try a groomer. Since your Meowsie seems to be more social, this could be a thing to try if you don’t want to do it yourself. Calla’s last grooming cost about 30 dollars. It was a cut and no wash. A wash and no cut might be similar for Meowsie.


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