I have a 3.5 year-old Persian who only allows grooming on his own terms. Combing him is not optional, especially in the winter, because he gets mats all the way down to the roots of his fur, and obviously doesn't let us cut those either. I have had him since he was eight weeks old, and started grooming him early on. He puts up a big fight every time, and does not let me comb him anywhere on the stomach, armpits, or chest - the exact places where he needs the combing. We have tried every type of comb, and many different tricks. He is not having it. We have Feliway diffusers. I tried music. I sweet talk him throughout and offer treats. Nothing works. It has reached the point where I consulted our vet. The two options that had occurred to me were a grooming bag and muzzle, or a mild sedative. He advised against the bag and muzzle and said that it may seriously damage the cat's relationship with me. He suggested gabapentin. We tried it last night, at the half-tablet (50 mg) dose. Kitty proceeded to chill out under the bed. I coaxed him out with treats and tried to comb him, but he wasn't having it. Our vet said I could go up to a full 100 mg tablet, but I am really reluctant to medicate the cat if there are other options. Any ideas? It's worth mentioning that I am very gentle with our cat, he is normally very sweet and gentle, and our vet believes that his aversion to being combed is not indicative of an underlying medical problem. Our cat is very healthy and has a gorgeous coat that rarely mats in the summer, but gets out of hand in the winter. My husband and I put on long-sleeved sweatshirts and pants. He holds our cat, I comb him. Both of us usually end up getting scratched before he manages to wriggle away. He puts up such a fight that I worry about hurting him if we hold him down any harder. This is our paradoxical dog-kitty. He is so friendly and sociable that all of our friends say that he acts like a dog. There are three occasions when he goes from sweet puppy to feral alley cat: when we take him to the vet, and when we try to brush or bathe him. We almost never need to bathe him because his coat doesn't get greasy or dirty. He was fine at the vet and known as the "gorgeous sweet kitty" until they neutered him. He seems to have remembered that, and every vet visit is a nightmare now. I asked for a sanitary cut yesterday, and our vet said that he would do it only under sedation. Bear in mind that this is a wonderful practice where our vet and all of his staff are animal lovers to the core. Our little tiger seems to be one of few cats who gives them this much trouble. None of the groomers in town accept cats. I am out of ideas and would appreciate advice.