Cat hates being brushed in sensitive areas

LaylaB

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Hi all,
I need some advice on how to brush my long-haired cat. She likes being brushed on her face and straight down the top of her back, but any time I go near her legs, flanks, stomach, or tail, she immediately yowls and attacks me. The problem is, she isn’t able to clean these areas and develops mats, bringing anything from pollen to slugs into the house via her hair. I’ve held her by the scruff of her neck to keep her from hurting me when I have to get the hair off but it just seems cruel and she absolutely hates it, meowing, hissing, and tensing up. I haven’t seen anything online about how to brush sensitive areas, just to get them to like being brushed. Don’t get me wrong; she loves being brushed, but only in very specific areas.
Thanks for your help!

-Layla
 

susanm9006

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You can purchase a grooming bag, which is a sack with a cutout for the cats head with multiple zippers. You can unzip the areas you need to groom and the cat isn’t able to do too much about it.
 

neely

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Instead of a brush have you tried using the greyhound stainless steel comb? It's preferable for long-haired cats and also the grooming tool many breeders recommend. GE SS Greyhound Combs
Have you tried giving her a bath prior to grooming? This helps break up the mats, therefore, easier to comb.
 
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LaylaB

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Hi!
Thank you all for your help, we got her a comb with rounded points so that it won’t scratch her skin as much. We also ordered a grooming/bathing bag. These haven’t come yet, so I’ll see how it goes when they get here!
 

Cat McCannon

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...she isn’t able to clean these areas...
Cannot? Or will not? Unless there is some form of limited mobility, a cat should be able to groom the majority of its body. Is it possible those areas are so sensitive, self grooming causes discomfort?
 
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LaylaB

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Hi, she is physically able to groom herself, but those areas of long hair on the backs of her legs have various things from the yard (pollen, flowers, sticks, insects) caught in them after every time she goes outside. Since she goes in and out of the house multiple times throughout the day, I’m curious if she is just tired of having to constantly remove these items. She seems to walk around with them stuck to her legs with no discomfort of any sort, and she has no problem sitting on these areas. From what I see, I think the problem is more a lack of wanting to groom and more of a mental rather than physical sensitivity.
 
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LaylaB

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Oh, and something I forgot to mention, I’ve been using the comb and she seems to like it more. But it’s like a switch goes off in her brain or something after being brushed for awhile- the other day, I was brushing her and she was letting me comb through most parts of her fur with no problem. However, after a while, she started to get aggressive. She would even attack me if I tried to brush what were considered her non-sensitive areas. We were short on time and I needed her to be clean to get into the house so I held the scruff of her neck and brushed her. She kept meowing like it was extremely uncomfortable or painful, even when I used the comb extremely gently on her non-sensitive areas, places where she had no problem before. I let her go, expecting her to run away or be hostile to me, but she just rubbed up against me all friendly! I feel like it must be a mental thing- I can’t see how I’m inflicting pain or discomfort on her skin unless it gets more sensitive after being brushed over time.
 

sivyaleah

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She's getting over stimulated. She just has a lower threshold for being touched. Try paying attention to her body cues and you'll be able to tell when it's more than enough for her; switching tail, ears slightly laid back, slight kicks, etc. Keep it quick and tackle the worst parts first and stop when she indicates she's had enough. There's always tomorrow to finish more.

Do not scruff. This is not a good technique and really isn't meant for adult cats. It will just make them more annoyed usually.

My younger one is very much the same as your is. Our vet will prescribe gabapentin which pretty much knocks them out for a few hours so you can do a more thorough grooming. Caveat being it takes about 2 hours to kick in so you need to keep an eye on the cat to be sure they don't jump and fall. It keeps my girl pretty complacent for at least a couple of hours and she tends to come out of it pretty fast.

I haven't had to dose her in a long while since she's somewhat better now that she's older and I've learned the best ways to approach her. when she's sleepy is best; I can usually get under her arm pits to get to any mats that might be there though she still isn't thrilled if I touch her back area anywhere. I do think some cats have more sensitive skin and I know mine has allergies so that may be the reason she dislikes it.

ADDED: I also can comb her out almost completely when she's drinking out of the bathroom faucet LOL. She's utterly obsessed with it, and apparently drinking is more important than me grooming her :D
 

MeowHiss

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My grandma had a long hair cat that would pick up all kinds of stuff outside. He needed frequent brushing and hated it most of the time.

I used a flea comb, temptation cat treats, and sometimes a snippers for when the burdock was too tangled.

As soon as he started to get growly, I'd stop, let him walk around, offer a treat, then continue. It took a while to brush him, but I rarely got scratched.
 

kittenmittens84

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Have you ever tried brushing her while she’s eating? Sometimes that works, it distracts them from being overstimulated by the brush because they’re busy thinking about food.
 

maggie101

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Hi all,
I need some advice on how to brush my long-haired cat. She likes being brushed on her face and straight down the top of her back, but any time I go near her legs, flanks, stomach, or tail, she immediately yowls and attacks me. The problem is, she isn’t able to clean these areas and develops mats, bringing anything from pollen to slugs into the house via her hair. I’ve held her by the scruff of her neck to keep her from hurting me when I have to get the hair off but it just seems cruel and she absolutely hates it, meowing, hissing, and tensing up. I haven’t seen anything online about how to brush sensitive areas, just to get them to like being brushed. Don’t get me wrong; she loves being brushed, but only in very specific areas.
Thanks for your help!

-Layla
She could be over stimulated by brushing so only a little bit at a time. All those other areas you mentioned,none of my cats like. Coco does not trim her claws. Maybe because she was taken away 5 weeks old?
 
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