We acquired the neighbors cat several years ago, as for some reason she preferred being at our house and the owners were agreeable in letting us take her when we moved, as they never got along with her. She has her own way of doing things and has specific jobs she expects from specific people in the family (i.e. she only wants me to feed her, my husband is required to pet her a certain time of evening every evening, etc.) We aren't sure of her age, but she has to be at least 17 or 18 years old. This year she has started to pull out matted fur and has a large bald spot on her chest and one beside her right ear. She is not cooperative in being brushed, but my husband has been doing some brushing, on her terms almost everyday. She does not want to be held or cornered and will allow us to do a little brushing, walk away, a little more, walk away. I keep hearing she needs to be combed, but I don't see this as happening and I can't imagine trying to take her a groomer. Will these bald spots grow back in and will they hurt her in anyway? if we are not able to get her to allow more thorough grooming, what should we do?
grooming long fur for a cat is very important for two reasons, firstly matted fur hurts as it pulls on the fur, secondly it can cause hairballs to form when the cat washes themselves.
the trouble is with your cat being so old she will find it difficult to adjust to regular brushing if not used to it. Going to a groomers will help as they are able to handle all sorts of difficult cats etc. but this will have to be done regularly.
You could try to get your cat used to brushing yourself my slowly introducing the brushing when she is being patted. Allowing her to see and get used to the brushes being left lying around for her to sniff, rubbing the non brush side on her fur so that she does not feel afraid. etc see my pages about grooming cats for more info here /cat-grooming.html.
If she already has mats in her fur she may not want you to groom her as it hurts when you do, i would suggest that you get her professionally groomed first and then start your own regular grooming routine.
Hope this has helped
best wishes Kate