Thomas is a 13 year old Domestic Medium hair male cat. Over the past year or so, Thomas’s owners have noticed that he has been grooming himself much less than usual, for what reason we cannot be sure. Often with older cats, it is either arthritis and stiffness or being overweight that prevents them from grooming properly. Due to grooming less, Thomas’s owners have had to get out the clippers themselves and try to keep the hair matts at bay. This worked for a short time however Thomas only allows 5 minutes of grooming time each session, meaning that the matts were forming quicker than his owners were able to clip him.
Thomas was left with the vet nurses at our Raglan clinic for the morning so that he was able to be given a light sedation to allow for a proper clip and thorough groom. The reason sedation was required for Thomas was simply because he would only tolerate 5 minutes of handling before becoming fed-up, and also as you can imagine, having large matts close to the skin is quite uncomfortable to have clipped off as it does cause some tension and pulling on the skin.
Thomas was given his sedation by our vet, before the vet nurse set to work with the clippers. A large, thick matted area over Thomas’s mid to lower back and partially down each side (hind legs and abdomen) had to be clipped off as one piece as it was all well attached. The rest of Thomas’s entire body, minus his head, feet, and half of his tail also required clipping due to multiple matts spread throughout these areas. Underneath the matts, Thomas’s skin was very dry and flaky with dandruff, and despite being under sedation, Thomas was very itchy whilst being clipped.
Thomas went home later that morning looking a bit like a poodle. Luckily, his parents had thought ahead and purchased a little kitty jersey for Thomas to keep him snug and warm once he was home to keep him warm over the next few weeks until his coat was long enough. His owners have agreed that Thomas requires grooming regularly to prevent matts forming (at least twice per week), and will also book Thomas in for another clip and groom with the nurses as required.
For cats, not being able to sufficiently groom and keep themselves matt/dirt free is often very stressful and upsetting to cats as they are very cleanly creatures. A matted coat not only stops your cat from being able to clean their coat and skin in that area, (causing dry, flaky, itchy skin), but they also pull on the area of skin, causing discomfort. Matted fur can also hide fleas and cause unnecessary irritation to your cat. For owners of medium or long haired cats, it is important to regularly groom your cat with a special type of brush (available at your local Anexa FVC clinic) to help prevent the formation of matts and keep your cat happy. If you notice your cat is developing matts in his/her fur then it is important to either comb or carefully clip this out yourself where safe to do so, or speak to the nurses at your Anexa clinic and book an appointment for a clip or groom.
For more information or advice on grooming your cat, or to book in with a nurse for a groom and clip, speak to one of our friendly nurses or receptionists at your local Anexa FVC clinic.