Many people are drawn to long haired cats because of their long fluffy (or "floofy", check out local icon, Charlene!) fur which begs for them to be pet and cuddled.  Some people overlook the importance of assisting long haired cats with their grooming duties and proactively avoiding matted fur.

Daily brushing is recommended and just a few minutes a day can help keep the fur soft, clean and free of tangles.  Brushing your cat daily also helps reduce the amount of shedding and hair that would otherwise end up on your furniture, carpet and clothes - or even in hairballs!  Some cats (long and short haired) who are prone to hairballs can be given a daily dose of preventative hairball-control gel or treats.  We have the gel form available at our hospital in a tasty flavor that most cats love. 

Supplementing your cat's diet with a product containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can help keep your cat's fur soft, shiny and healthy (also available over-the-counter at our hospital).

Use a wide-tooth metal comb to locate mats in your long-haired cat's fur. Hold the mat at the base, and gently use the comb to detangle it. Special mat-breaker brushes, available in pet supply stores, can easily work through the mats. If necessary, cut the mat from the hair with electric clippers. Follow with a slicker brush to smooth and fluff the fur.

Trim your kitty's hindquarters with electric clippers to prevent fecal matter and litter from sticking to her fur. If that is not an option you can also brush your cat twice daily, concentrating on the fur around the genitals. A gentle wipe with a damp washcloth or paper towel will also help to keep her clean and stain-free.

Long Haired Cat Pet Tips:

  • Keep long-haired cats indoors to prevent the hair from getting matted and dirty
  • If your cat appears upset during grooming sessions, brush her for a minute or two at a time, gradually increasing the length of the sessions over time
  • Provide plenty of treats to positively reinforce the experience of daily grooming
  • Grooming time can be very enjoyable, and you should use every opportunity possible to kiss and cuddle your cat
  • Mats are most likely to form in the armpits and abdomen, so don’t neglect these areas when you brush and comb your cat.

You may also consider giving your long haired cat a "lion cut" to help deal with some of the issues long fur can bring. Lion cuts are a method of shaving a cat's body, but leaving her face and neck fur intact, giving her the appearance of a lion.  Check out 50 cats with lion cuts!

Below is a great six minute YouTube clip on guidelines to grooming a long-haired cat: