Q. My daughters long haired cat has never had a bath or been groomed. Is a haircut in his future or is there some other way to turn him "human" again?
LINDSEY EDWARDS MVB, BSC, IVCA
A. Regular combing will keep a long haired cats coat in perfect condition but some cats can be very resentful of a new grooming routine, especially if the coat has become matted and painful before you start. If he was previously able to keep his coat well and has now developed issues with matting etc, it can indicate that his mobility is reduced from arthritis and diets, supplements and medications as prescribed by your vet can all help to promote self grooming. Gentle combing of the head/neck/shoulders will allow you to assess his tolerance but be very aware that even placid cats can lash out when they feel they are being interfered with and in some cases mild sedation can be required to remove severe matting.
DAVID ELBEZE, DVM, MRCVS
A. it's not recommended to bath a cat unless he got extremely dirty which is rare. Long haired cats need grooming every now and then, especially if not brushed regularly. They tend to develop matted hair which is extremely difficult to brush, the best way to get rid of it is take him to a cat groomer to get rid of most of the fur.