I think I made a huge mistake by shaving my cat

Meimaar

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My Skittles is a 9 year old female Persian, spayed, and strictly indoors. Confirmed to be the most aggressive cat ever by every single vet she saw.

She despises any grooming or handling and quickly resorts to scratching or biting (no health issues or disorders, she's just kind of a cute hellspawn), and so for the last couple years she had severely matted hair and today I decided that she's gonna get shaved no matter what. Since vet visits stress her out, I had a professional come to my house to shave her, and it didn't go smoothly.. at all. We had a very hard time catching her and after an hour of failing to pin her down she wouldn't give up and kept fighting. Eventually she jumped on my hand and bit me and kept hanging in the air didn't let go so I had to visit ER for a very deep and ugly puncture wound. The vet's assistant was bitten on his finger and bled a ton, and after multiple other injuries, we managed to sedate and shave her. They were completely convinced she actually had rabies from the way she was acting.

Found bugs, red skin and fungal infections under those mats so I'd hoped it was worth it, but I'm very conflicted, she was *extremely* scared and stressed out during the whole process and given her age I don't know what's going to happen next. Because of the sedative she bit her tongue, and as side effects she threw up a few times, peed herself and now she just looks tired and very sad. Part of me says I'm a ****ing idiot but I also feel it had to be done. Did I do the right thing? How do I get her to cheer up again?
 

FeebysOwner

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Just give her time to get over the ordeal she feels she has been through. It might take a few days, but she will likely come around. You know her best, so do what you would normally do when in the past she has been upset/on edge.

If she doesn't perk up in a couple of days, then given her age, a vet visit might be in order. Since all the vets she has seen think she is a handful, I am sure you can get some sedative in advance. If you cannot get a brushing/combing regimen set up with her, then regularly scheduled grooming sessions - with a sedative as needed - might be in order down the road.

I presume you are treating all the conditions found when she was shaved? Some of those might be in part what caused such a reaction from her.
 

Furballsmom

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Found bugs, red skin and fungal infections under those mats so I'd hoped it was worth it,
Hi
You absolutely had to do this. I repeat, you had to, for her health.

Now that she's shaved, see if as time goes forward you can find a way to keep up with things.

For now, I would wait for her to approach you so that it's on her terms. It might take a little while but she will.

Try some Cat Music.
 
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Meimaar

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Just give her time to get over the ordeal she feels she has been through. It might take a few days, but she will likely come around. You know her best, so do what you would normally do when in the past she has been upset/on edge.

If she doesn't perk up in a couple of days, then given her age, a vet visit might be in order. Since all the vets she has seen think she is a handful, I am sure you can get some sedative in advance. If you cannot get a brushing/combing regimen set up with her, then regularly scheduled grooming sessions - with a sedative as needed - might be in order down the road.

I presume you are treating all the conditions found when she was shaved? Some of those might be in part what caused such a reaction from her.
I really hope she sparks up with treats and time and I will make sure to watch her closely in case anything feels off. She has a very majestic personality and wasn't socialized at all when she was a kitty because I didn't know any better back then, so she's very sweet normally but if stressed she turns into an absolute nightmare, but the mats may have played a part. The vet prescribed her antifungal spray and the bugs are gone with the coat.

Thank you very much for your advice and going forward I will have sedative to -literally- backstab her when I have to groom her.
 
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Meimaar

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Hi
You absolutely had to do this. I repeat, you had to, for her health.

Now that she's shaved, see if as time goes forward you can find a way to keep up with things.

For now, I would wait for her to approach you so that it's on her terms. It might take a little while but she will.

Try some Cat Music.
You might have no idea how much this means to me, thank you. Another kind person adviced me to prepare sedatives when the time comes to groom her again and I think it might work.
 

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If anyo ne is going to accuse me of abuse please refrain because I already feel like a garbage human being.
Not likely. We all know about cattitude. Cats are totally without shame, and it is therefore inexplicable how they manage to make us feel so guilty so easily. But trust me on this - the guilt is coming from a manipulative cat, not from your actual conscience. You did what you needed to do, for the good of your cat. Sometimes we just have to be the adults and do the hard jobs, because the fact is the cat is never going to be sensible about it. So feel the guilt if you must, but remind yourself that it's just a feeling; it isn't rational.

Margret
 

iPappy

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I've been working in the grooming industry for 25 years, so I've seen some stuff. You absolutely DID need to shave this cat, and you were not abusive doing so and I'll rally around you against anyone who says you are. We groomers all unite in saying "humanity before vanity" for a reason. :) Also, the fact that she has a fungal infection (it happens, I promise) means being shaved was necessary as that's considered a medical reason, so it can be treated.
Despite the work I have been doing for my entire adult life, I had a long haired cat that matted up very easily. He hated being brushed. If he developed a mat that I couldn't remove gently with a brush, it got shaved. He was older, too, and had some health issues that worsened with stress, so those mats were shaved with a #10 blade as cats are VERY easy to accidentally cut or nick.
Hair grows back. I've seen tons of long haired cats that get shaved that grow back just fine, but it doesn't happen overnight. Focus on getting her skin healthy. When her problems clear up, buy a VERY soft brush (a bristle brush would be fine until she has some coat) and see if you can try re-training her to accept being brushed when she has no mats, little coat to snag, and healthy skin. Emulate petting with long, gentle strokes vs. short, choppy ones.
You are a GOOD owner for getting this taken care of, not a crap one.
 

posiepurrs

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Do NOT beat yourself up over this! It had to be done. I have a psycho cat too. I used to sedate her prior to shaving her, but when I lost her brother to a heart condition , I stopped. Now I just do a little at a time. I shave until she gets to the point I think she is dangerous, then we stop for the day. She never really looks good but as long as I get her done I don’t care.
 

Alldara

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You 100% had to and find out what was going on. I'm so glad you did and she can now get treated! Great job. Sometimes, we have to do things and they don't realize it will make them feel better.

I got my first cat young and 16 years later he still hates being handled for things. (Except nails, I taught him well with that) I've also had to go to emergency.

I agree with iPappy iPappy . I also have high reward treats to Nobel to resocialize him to a new brush. He still gets to growling and fussing but at least I can maintain him without baths now.

Keep us posted and let us know what's working and what isn't so we can provide further advice if needed.
 

Kflowers

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If you're worried about the sedation, let the vet sedate her, they can use more than the groomer, and they can shave her. I had two that had to be shaved every spring for mats. the vet did it. It wasn't a glamorous shave, but it did the job. Mats are terrible and with her temperament not really something you can deal with. I did buy 'baby' scissors that are made to use on human babies and have rounded tips, to cut the mats out. An example: I cut one mat that was four inches long about as wide as my forefinger. The amount of skin twisted under that mat was enough to cover the size of my hand. The cat was in pain every minute from that. It didn't stop him from fighting to keep me from cutting that mat out, but he didn't understand.

Without the mats your cat maybe better tempered as well as healthier. No doubt the mats made your cat feel she couldn't protect herself since her legs weren't free to move, which would make her fight more.

Some cats never learn how to chew out mats. Those that due tend to throw up hair balls or get blocked. Not much choice.

If someone tells you that you should have started brushing the cat when she was younger to make her like brushing, they don't know what they're talking about. The one mentioned above was two weeks early when I got him to raise. He had no fur for several weeks. When it started to come in, I began brushing him with a baby brush, which is like a powder puff. Brushing went fine until he was about three months old and started fighting it. If they don't like brushing, they don't like and there is NOTHING you can do or could have done to make them like it.
 
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