Bloomer trimming

satsumasryummy

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Lux is a long-haired cat and since I've had him since he was 1.5 years, and he's soon to be 4. I haven't trimmed his bloomers even though they were badly in need of it, but yesterday because he was leaving poo bits everywhere (including my roommate's room) and smelling like poo and that was going on this morning as well, I gave him a bath and brushed his bloomers and trimmed them. He was so distresses! I don't think I've ever seen him so panicked, even though I was gentle and gave him treats. Now he is walking around the house with his tail down. Is this because he isn't used to having the fur trimmed off there? I thought he'd be feeling better. He is affectionate still though, and responds to me, so I know he isn't doing terribly. Anyway, I was wondering whether there was something I could do to make the experience less traumatizing for him when trimming down there. I wanted to take him to the groomer but it's too expensive so I need to do it myself. I would appreciate input. Thanks!
 

red top rescue

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It's called a "sanitary clip" when you trim his bloomers so they don't catch dingleberries, and it's odd how cats seem to have nerves in their hairs, but trimming when they are not used to it is frequently traumatic.  Now that it's done and he's bathed, he will probably get over it soon.  Right now, not having the weight of the hair probably feels odd to him, perhaps even a little drafty, so he's keeping his tail down to keep himself warm and covered.  He will get used to it in awhile, and when he gets all happy because you are scratching his back, the tail will pop up into the air again and he will start to get used to the gentle breezes in places he is not used to feeling breezes.

If you don't wait so long before clipping again, i.e. get him used to having the hair in that area rather short, there will be no more trauma.
 

faeleen

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Haha! I had to do a tiny bit of 'bloomer trimming' on my 8 week old kitten when I first brought her home. Between the UTI and dewormer, she had bad diarrhea the first few days. She is a long haired domestic and would 'go', then take off running down the house dragging her wet dingleberries along everything [emoji]128565[/emoji].
 
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satsumasryummy

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@Red Top Rescue  - I don't quite know what you mean by nerves in their hair - are you speaking literally? I've never heard of something like that. It would almost seem fitting because he was just so incredibly panicked and freaked out being brushed at all towards his back end, I have no idea why. He's generally happy even letting me brush his tummy, he'll roll over on his side and stretch out so I can get to it. But his legs and even on his back towards his butt...well, with the latter he gets tense and fidgety, and with the former he starts making demonic noises and eventually thrashing. Luckily my BF who I enlist to help hold him is strong enough to hold him firmly without hurting him. Today though he was thrashing so hard he almost hurt himself trying to get out of the grip. But I am really happy to hear that good point you have there. I never considered the added insulation being taken away. So cute that he'd be keeping himself warm there! I do find that his tail pops up for a little bit when I give him affectionate attention, even if it's just a few cute words from far away. Soon after though he is slinking around with his tail down again. I will for sure make a new routine of trimming regularly, as I want to avoid traumatizing him like that as much as possible. I was pretty drained after the whole necessary evil of an ordeal, I can't imagine how he must have felt. Might you have any idea how often to do the trimming? I was thinking once a month but I'm not sure. Maybe I'll just have to watch and see how quickly the fur grows out. 

@Faeleen  - oh well, at least since she is so young hopefully you can get her used to it before it's a real struggle :)
 
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faeleen

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Yes, I need to keep up with it to desensitized her. My mom had to hold Fae while I trimmed it up a little bit, but she howled like she was in pain and tried to tuck her butt. It only took less then a minute (with her being so small) and she took off and continued playing like nothing fazed her.
 

red top rescue

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Regarding "nerves in the hair" @satsumasryummy I d not think there are any real nerves IN the hairs, but evidently the base of those hairs is in a sensitive place so even just touching the ends of the hairs sets off a reaction in some cats.  Also, since Lux was 1.5 years when he came to you, there's a good chance he got poop in the hairs before which may have caused mats and which some people may have combed out causing him great pain.  Just as with us, there are some places you can pull our hair and there is no pain, and others where just the slightest pull causes excruciating pain.  I do believe Lux has had some bad experiences in the past related to that area.  It would be good if between clippings you could try petting and handling that area more until he gets used to it and doesn't have so much fear attached to it.  I have seen some declawed cats react that way when people try to touch their feet even year after they were declawed, so either the pain memory is still strong or else they have ongoing nerve problems they can't tell us about. 
 

nansiludie

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I would recommend that you do not trim the fur any more, only comb it if he will allow it and see if he, himself can keep the area clean. I say this as I found it, slightly alarming that you and your helper had to pretty much restrain him quite a bit. I would be worried that I would trim something too short or catch the skin during such a struggle. I agree very much with red top rescue as I thought the same thing as I read your post.
 
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