Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Just" a Shorthair Cat

One of things I hear all the time is, "I have just a shorthair cat. What grooming could they need!" Now, I could tell you all day long about why short haired cats need to have a little help taking care of their skin and hair. And of course, recently there was this post about common problems people have with their shorthaired kitties. But then I found a series of pictures of a very pretty little Snowshoe that came to me for some much needed help.

beginnings of a 'turtle shell'
(matted hair on the back that resembles - you guess it - a hard shell)

look at those clumps!
not an attractive look - or feel

Now, this looks pretty ugly. She has clumps of dead hair tangled into her coat and cemented in place with naturally occurring body oils and saliva, plus everyday dust and debris to really hold it all together. When she licks herself, she pushes loose, shedding hair along her body, adding fresh material to the clumps, making them larger. 

No matter how often she licks at herself, this cat will never be able to remove those clumps - she'll only be able to make them larger, tighter and harder. At some point, many cats will scratch or bite at themselves and can sometimes rip the mats out of their skin. This is painful and leaves angry red patches of hairless skin. Not pleasant for kitty! Although some cats will just suffer quietly, unable or unwilling to pull their hair out. 

45 minutes later...

Happily for this cat, the clumps were rather loosely attached to the living coat, which made removal much, much easier. In fact, she didn't mind having them removed at all. After they were off she twitched her back a bit, as if luxuriating in the sudden freedom she had. 

sleek and smooth,
all the clumps, dead hair and excess oils removed
leaving a plush, healthy coat 

one last look
I wish you could feel the difference!


  1. This has happened to an older cat that we took in. He is not real friendly so grooming is difficult and his back is just like that! I have never seen it on a short haired cat. Your photos give me hope. Thank you. I will attempt to very gently remove them by hand tomorrow. This cat lives in the office, I am the only person who can get near him.

  2. How did you remove them ,my miss kitty has them and I try and try she's 140 years,old