QUESTION: Hi! I took my long haired white cat to the vet today and he gave him the lion cut since the cat was so matted up. I need to be reassured that his hair will grow back? Also about how long before I see a little growth? I have read so many different stories about this on the internet. Need to stop this. On one side there is a patch of pink, I am sure this is where there was a huge Matt that the skin was showing. Is this a problem?
I promise you, your cat's fur will grow back in time. Depending on how short he had to be clipped it can take months, but it will grow back. The pink patch is most likely irritated skin from where the mat pulled at his skin. Keep an eye on it, if it seems to worsen or there is discharge from it of any kind take your little guy back to the vet to ensure that he doesn't have a skin infection as sometimes yeast and nasty bacteria can hide under mats close to the skin. Again, I promise you that his fur will grow back, give it time, you'll slowly start to see growth in a few weeks. If it helps to reassure yourself take a picture now, then take one 2-3 weeks from now and compare them. I would also like to suggest that since your cat is now clipped short and mat free that you try getting him comfortable with being brushed so that all that will be required in future for routine grooming will be hygienic clips around his back end to prevent accidental litterbox hitchhikers. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me again at any time. I'm more than happy to help in any way that I can.
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QUESTION: Hi Ali, Thank you so much for the reassurance. I look forward to seeing some hair growth soon. Maybe you can help again. How do I get him used to me brushing him? Should I be using a brush or a comb? Can you suggest one that will not hurt him but does the job. This little guy is very very special to me, he is the sweetest most adorable pet. He has never hissed in his life and I have had him since he was 4 months, he is now 9 years.
Also I know that you have cats of your own. Can I ask what canned food you are feeding them? I have been feeding mine Wellness canned food and Blue Buffalo Dry. They love the dry, but are pretty finicky when it comes to the wet. They would really prefer Fancy Feast or the other garbage from the supermarket, unless I am wrong and it is not garbage. Oh, by the way, I have 3 domestic short haired cats. Total 4 cats.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
You're so welcome. I understand that you were worried. Getting him comfortable with brushing will involve plenty of treats, and since he is now naked try starting him off with a soft rubber brush like the Kong type or the curry comb type that you can purchase at your local pet supply store. Short, frequent sessions while he's relaxed reinforced with plenty of treats and since he's bald remember that his skin is sensitive which means you'll need to be gentle. Once he understands that with time, patience, love and cookies grooming is a nice thing he should calm down. Once his coat is full length a steel comb and a pin cushion type brush, again ones you can purchase from your pet supply store locally are ideal since they're meant for the longer haired kitties - you may also want to invest in a de-shedding tool such as a Furminator (they do come in other name brands for far less cost, but you have to look for them). I do my ragdoll who is a long haired kitty with the de-shedding tool seasonally but he gets brushed a couple of times a week with his steel comb and pin cushion type brush.
This is what I'd recommend starting his grooming training sessions with:
This is what I'd recommend continuing with as his coat grows to be full length again:
This is a de-shedding tool:
Please keep in mind, the products that I've posted links to aren't the actual products I use, I've just posted the links to give you an idea of what to look for. I would suggest going with tools that feel comfortable in your hands both weight and material wise AND that aren't too big or too small to be effective.
Another thing that you may want to consider is to develop a relationship with a cat groomer - not a pet groomer, someone who specializes in cats so that you can regularly have hygienic clips done around your little guy's back end so that he doesn't bring unintentional litter box hitchhikers around your house with him.
As for nutrition, I tend to do a combination of different canned foods, I actually don't feed kibble because it's really not recommended for cats as they need all of the moisture they can reasonably get in their diet since they don't have the same drive to drink water that other mammals do. I use the Wellness grain free canned formulas, I also use Weruva grain free formulas and occasionally my guys will get BFF (Best Feline Friend) canned foods to, but those are strictly a treat as they are heavily tuna based which in my opinion is fine as a treat, just not as long term nutrition. I also give my guys cooked human meat such as chicken breast without the skin, salmon, the occasional bit of steak... My own personal rule for people food is that I never feed my cats scraps, if I won't eat it, it's not good enough for them. My crew also gets homemade and commercially prepared raw diets as well - I follow the advice of Dr. Lisa Pierson when it comes to making my own and her website is www.catinfo.org - she explains feline nutrition beautifully for pet parents.
Overall I don't recommend feeding any food that has byproducts, meat byproduct meals, grains, cereals, dyes, sugar or salt in it. What you save in pet food costs today by doing so will cost you in medical bills tomorrow and it just isn't worth it. Read your ingredient list, other than your vitamins and minerals you should be able to easily understand everything on it. If you can't then you probably aren't looking at quality food. A decent commercially prepared cat food always has an identifiable meat first - let's use the Wellness Grain Free Turkey canned formula as an example:
Turkey - a high quality meat protein that is easily identified.
Chicken Liver - organ meats provide a source of taurine. Since it's difficult to guage how much is lost in cooking cat foods also contain additional supplementation, but that's further down the ingredient list.
Chicken - another high quality meat protein that is easily identified. Notice that there aren't any byproducts, byproduct meals or mystery meats in this list.
Chicken broth - Because this is a canned food moisture is needed. The nice thing about chicken broth is that it offers flavor and more nutrition than plain water.
carrots - cats need fiber in their diets. The carrots have nutritional value, yes, but they also offer natural fiber to send hairballs through and keep the cat's intestinal tract working well.
natural chicken flavor - I'm assuming that this is probably chicken fat which has a lot of flavor. After all, cats can be like little children preferring to eat junk food to nutritious food so it's important that they enjoy their food.
sweet potatoes - sweet potatoes contain a specific kind of fiber that helps with things like constipation as well as nice nutrition for our furry buddies.
squash - the squash has the same kind of fiber in it as the sweet potatoes do, again it also offers nutritional value
zucchini - more fiber for our furry kiddos!
cranberries - an important ingredient for bladder and urinary tract health. Cats need every opportunity that we can give them to keep their bladder and kidneys healthy and every little bit helps.
blueberries - these are antioxidant rich.
guar gum - this is a common food based thickener even in people food, otherwise instead of a pate type texture it'd be sloppy coming out of the can.
carrageenan - this is a seaweed often added to human foods like milkshakes to thicken them.
ground flaxseed - fiber and omega fatty acids!!
The remainder of the ingredient list is essentially about vitamins and minerals to ensure a balanced diet.
I am a big fan of using variety to keep our guys interested in their food. Foods like Prowl, Grace, and other dehydrated raw foods can serve as a special treat. I know my guys love certain formulations, others aren't as popular.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me again at any time - I'm more than happy to help in any way that I can.