If you want to show your Maine Coon, then you need to get the cat professionally groomed or become a cat groomer yourself. However, the majority of Maine Coons are not show cats, but beloved pets. These pets do not need to keep the heavy and laborious tangle-magnets that are their coats. You can still have a beautiful and healthy Maine Coon pet cat with these grooming tips.
You need to get nail clippers, a fine toothed comb made for cats or rabbits and a pin brush, at the very least. Depending on how thick you want to keep the coat and how cooperative your Maine Coon is, you also could get a grooming glove, a slicker brush, scissors and combs of differing widths.
Unless your Maine Coon gets into a lot of odiferous organic matter or gets parasites like fleas, the chances are that they will only need a bath less than once a year. This is, of course, if you keep regular grooming sessions and keep the coat mat-free. The coat will loose its protective grease if bathed too often and then your Maine Coon will look more like a Maine Dust Bunny.
Special Treats For Grooming Only
Pay attention to your Maine Coon’s likes and dislikes. Grooming has to be pleasant for the cat, otherwise you are in for a hellish relationship. You need to equate grooming with pleasure, adoration and good times in your cat’s mind. This can be accomplished by being patient with the cat and saving a special treat that you only give the cat at the end of a grooming session.
Mats and Knots
In a Maine Coon, a small tangle very quickly becomes a feline equivelent of a Gordian knot. These cannot be left alone. If you can’t comb them out, then you must cut them out as carefully as you can with scissors. Matted hair attracts dirt and soon the skin under it itches. The dirt also contains bacteia or even mold which can soon become an infection. A Maine Coon can get very ill and stressed from a matted coat.
Brush the coat first with your hands in order to feel any knots. Then, bring out the comb. If you do find a knot or mat, be sure to hold the hair between the skin and the comb as close to the skin as possible in order to deaden the nerves. Finish the session with a soft brush or the pin brush. Clip the tips of the nails whenever needed.
“Kitten Clip” Every Summer
If you live in an area where the summer gets stiflingly hot with high humidity, then the kindest thing you can do is get your Maine Coon clipped in late spring. You should have a professional groomer do this if you have never clipped a cat or a dog before. The head and tail should be left alone, but the belly, back and sides would get the long, thick hair clipped off.
Don’t believe anyone, even progessional groomers, that may tell you that a Maine Coon “will go into shock” if you shave the coat to a soft buzz cut for the summer. This author has lived with pet Maine Coons for many years and they always picked up in health, appetite and spirits after their shave.
“ASPCA Complete Guide to Cats.” James R. Richards, DVM. Chronicle Books; 1999.
Pet Place. “How to Get the Mats Out from Your Cat!” http://www.petplace.com/cats/how-to-get-the-mats-out-from-your-cat/page1.aspx