Arbitrary Sunday Kitteh Blogging




Puddle o’ Kitteh

Originally uploaded by feminaerecta

Jill maintains that her sleek little kittens are the cream of the ketteh crop, but nothing completes a chilly Sunday afternoon such as this one like snuggling up with this fat, whiny muppet.

If you look closely, you can locate his face and his flurfy toes.

Fidelio, unfortunately, does not like having his belly touched, and doing so causes a flurry of violence that leaves one lacerated and bleeding. Part of this is the collection of big, dense, and gnarly nubbins located on his belly, the one part of him I’m not brave enough to brush.

Cat people, help me. Is there any way to get rid of the nubbins without getting him professionally groomed or losing a limb?

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Lauren founded this blog in 2001.
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22 Responses

  1. Leslie
    Leslie November 23, 2008 at 3:13 pm |

    How about welding gloves and a brush? My long haired cat loves to be brushed although he’s not a big fan of having his tummy brushed but he’s mellow. Maybe start out by brushing Fidelio’s upper body and when he gets to like it and be mellow (er) about it you can turn him over – wear heavy gloves if necessary but it’s not good for him to have mats.

  2. bongobunny
    bongobunny November 23, 2008 at 3:29 pm |

    Sorry, but kitty needs professional help at this point. :-) Once the mats are this hard (you said “nubbins,” right?) they cannot be brushed out. They must be removed with scissors or shaved out, which it sounds like he is not going to let you do. Mats can be painful for him, too, as they pull on the skin underneath. A groomer is your only option at this point, and possibly a kitty sedative.

  3. Leigh
    Leigh November 23, 2008 at 3:30 pm |

    Does the cat have matts? I’d put him on my lap, on his back, grasp the front paws together with my left hand, and use my right hand (with scissors) to carefully cut them away. Or at least cut into them, so the fur doesnt wind tighter and tighter, with the matts getting bigger. Or it may be a 2 person job–one holds front paws, (possibly giving treats), one person snips and brushes a little on the tummy. It may take a few days and several sessions. Also–I would consider trimming as much fur as possible (even unmatted) off the tummy/bottom area so it prevents the problem for a while. Hope this helps!

  4. bongobunny
    bongobunny November 23, 2008 at 3:32 pm |

    BTW, he is a lovely kitteh!

  5. Emily
    Emily November 23, 2008 at 3:48 pm |

    I have a Norwegian Forest Cat who has claws that would make a Velociraptor whimper in embarrassment and a temper when miffed that makes a cornered tiger look like a kitten.

    The problem with Norwegian Forest Cats is that they have two layers of coat, a super-fine undercoat and a waterproof over coat, which means knots galore. My Vilma Velociraptor-in-trainee hates me brushing her stomach (but the rest she loves hugely) and the only way I’ve found to get her to enjoy a stomach brush is by stoning her out with catnip.

    I give her some, she runs around for ten minutes playing with anything she can find and then comes to my lap for a hug where I could tie bows on her paws and ears and she wouldn’t be bothered! :)

    It doesn’t work for all cats, but if it does, it can be a good way to reduce cat stress and a way to allow you to do things which would stress them normally. With animals such as cats living with humans, I think one of the most important things is to reduce their stress.

  6. Molly
    Molly November 23, 2008 at 3:50 pm |

    In the short term, I agree with those above about getting rid of the mats ASAP. I’d be mad about people touching my tummy, too, if I had painful mats pulling at them! In the long term, you can probably get him to allow tummy-brushing. Try short brushing sessions with his favorite treat held in front of his nose where he can lick at it (or, if your fingers are in danger, keep giving him tiny bits). Keep the sessions under five minutes, and stop giving treats when he’s freaking out or getting angry. Try to end on a good note (brushing his back, purring, giving a treat for good behavior). Over time, don’t give treats unless he’s letting you brush his belly. No treats for easy stuff! But don’t rush it, either; it’ll probably take a few weeks, maybe even a few months if he’s really adamant.

  7. Leigh
    Leigh November 23, 2008 at 3:55 pm |

    Oops–I mean “mats.” I knew that didn’t look right. Send me a check for 5K and I’ll fly to you and do it myself. lol

  8. Lauren
    Lauren November 23, 2008 at 4:01 pm |

    Leigh: In lieu of payment, please accept this drawing of a spider. I value it at approximately $5000 so I trust this settles the matter.

  9. DaisyDeadhead
    DaisyDeadhead November 23, 2008 at 4:44 pm |

    No, I know of no other way than a total belly shave. :( And you should let an EXPERT do it, most assuredly.

    Beautiful kitty!!!!!!

  10. Leigh
    Leigh November 23, 2008 at 5:25 pm |

    Thank you. I’m just glad it wasn’t a drawing of a stink bug or a roach. I am unable to accept those as payment.

  11. Black Cat Rescue
    Black Cat Rescue November 23, 2008 at 5:34 pm |

    Weighing in just for a second on the cat v. kitten battle with Jill- November just happens to be Adopt a Senior Cat Month! So, those of you who have been on the fence and thinking of adopting a cat, get out there. November is almost over!

  12. Lauren
    Lauren November 23, 2008 at 5:37 pm |

    BCR, we adopted all of our cats as adults, and they’re wonderful, loving with us and one another, and generally awesome. Thanks for the PSA!

  13. Elaine Vigneault
    Elaine Vigneault November 23, 2008 at 5:49 pm |

    Suggestions:
    a) get the current mats professionally removed
    b) brush him every day very slowly giving him treats between each brush stroke
    Oh, Molly said the same thing. :)
    I do this with my little dog. He hates getting groomed, but he’s warmed up to it a bit since we give him peanut butter during the grooming sessions. That, and we just keep his fur short enough that it can’t get too matted too easily.

  14. Anna
    Anna November 23, 2008 at 7:55 pm |

    I used to be really afraid of my cat scratching me, so when I would cut her nails, I would put a big sock over her head. Not a tight sock, but a big loose sock that would cover her eyes and stay on her head even if she moves around. I would pet her the whole time and make soothing noises, so she would be less freaked out, but when she couldn’t see me, she wouldn’t try to scratch me. Maybe something like that would work?

  15. Starfoxy
    Starfoxy November 23, 2008 at 8:03 pm |

    When I have to trim my cat’s claws I wrap him up in a towel (with his head open, but still surrounded by towel, burrito style) and then get out one foot at a time to clip. I imagine you might be able to do something similar, but you’d need a second person around to help if there are a bunch of knots to cut out.
    Good luck.

  16. James
    James November 23, 2008 at 9:02 pm |

    Aww, I love the sunday cat posts. I’m away at college and missing my kittehs, so keep ‘em coming.

    Also, am I the only one who thinks that “Gnarly Nubbins” would be a great band name?

  17. misskate7511
    misskate7511 November 24, 2008 at 12:01 am |

    I think you’ve hit the point where you call the professionals. Unless getting your cat loaded on catnip will knock ‘em out, in which case, get catnip and a person to hold the cat while you snip the mats away (in case Stoned Kitteh magically becomes PO’ed Psychotic Velociraptor Kitteh mid-snipping — it happens, man). If doesn’t knock your cat senseless, either get the vet to prescribe a very mild sedative to give the kitteh so you can do snipping, or get hire someone to do the snipping of mats for you.

    Or, just have someone with a high pain threshold hold the cat down while you snip the mats (whilst kitteh is in normal, don’t-touch-tummy-or-DIE! mode). That’s what we did when I was a kid [yeah, I was the Holder-of-Angrified-Pets]. Just give insane treats post-snipping, and all should end well. ‘Til next snipping…

    Oh, and Gnarly Nubbins as a band name? Fabulous! Now I have an excuse to go learn how to play guitar!

  18. Mhorag
    Mhorag November 24, 2008 at 11:25 am |

    Pay the groomer to remove the belly mats. They knew the job was dangerous when they took it! :)

    Next, invest in a darling little tool known as a “mat breaker.” It’s sort of a comb with a razor blade in it. Use it when the mat is *just starting*. 3-4 swipes with this baby, and the would-be mat is toast.

    Actually, once the mats are gone, your baby kitteh may not hate having belly grooming quite so much. At this point, it’s probably painful.

    Good luck!

  19. Dreamweasel
    Dreamweasel November 24, 2008 at 4:19 pm |

    I sometimes use a cat muzzle when I trim my cat’s nails. Your cat probably won’t like it very much, but it should minimize the risk in grooming-related activities.

  20. Ashley
    Ashley November 24, 2008 at 6:38 pm |

    I agree that it’s time for the professionals to get involved. I brush my medium-hair kitty every day, and she’s gotten so fond of it she’ll jump up on the refrigerator by the cupboard where the kitty brushes (and toothbrushes and steroids for my sick kitty) are kept and just wait. If you brush every day and gradually build up the length of time you do so, they’ll get better. For trimming kitteh/velociraptor claws, we do a slow build-up with our kitties. When we are petting kittehs, we make sure we play with their paws a little each time, separating the toes and playing with the claws. Gradually they’ll get better about that, too. Teeth-brushing is more complicated. The only way I can do it with my two really bad kittehs is to sit on the kitteh so they can’t back away, yank open a mouth and scrub as fast as I can. Any tips for making them better? And by the by, I have four kittehs, so I am a really truly insane kitteh person.

  21. J.
    J. November 24, 2008 at 10:37 pm |

    What a fluff-bomb. He’s gorgeous. I have a part Maine Coon and she has the same problem, but I usually leave it go for a year and then take her in every spring to get completely shaved. Yeah, she growls through the whole visit and looks ridiculous for a while, but it lets all her fur grow back nice and new. Depending where you go, you should be able to have it done for like $25.

    Otherwise, I recommend having someone come over and manually restrain him for you. :o)

  22. Katie
    Katie November 25, 2008 at 11:56 am |

    You have got to come over and meet our new kitty addition! His name is Lionel Richie!!

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