Dealing with Long Haired Cats

Today I am turning over the reins of the blog to Husband! He recently put together some comprehensive information regarding the challenges that come with having cats with SO MUCH fur. While they are so beautiful, it has taken us some trial and error to learn what needs to be done to keep them healthy and beautiful. ~Lori


Our niece recently asked me what brush we used to brush our long haired Ragdoll cats. There isn’t a simple answer for that question. Our cat Bella has already had two surgeries to remove blockage in her intestine. She has the longest and sharpest hairs on her tongue that I have ever seen or felt in a cat. She and her sister Bailey both have the same long hair, but only Bella has blockage trouble because of that tongue and the fact that she licks everything. Bella’s surgeries were both in the later days of spring, so we learned we had to take preventive measures before that time each year. While Bailey has not had any issues, she unfortunately gets the same treatments as her sister. The irony is she handles the treatments much better than Bella does.


The main thing we do in late April or whenever it starts getting warmer out is shave the girls. I want to get a bunch of that long winter hair off before it gets ingested. I ended up buying professional grooming clippers hoping that since they are much more quiet, that the girls would tolerate them better. No such luck, they still run at the first sign of the clippers. Having said that, they work really well, especially since Ragdolls have the softest, lightest hair I have ever felt in cats. Their hair will actually float through the air. We make sure to take a bunch of pictures before we shave them, because I am not a good pet groomer, and the girls do not like being shaved.

Post Shave Cats
Post Shave Cats

I set the shaver at the longest setting (without using the guide combs) and get to work. For us, it is a two person job. We end up taking them one at a time into the bathroom and shut the door so there is no escape. I shave as fast as I can to limit the stress time. We do a second round of shaving a day or so later to help clean up missed spots.

I do end up shaving their manes a bit throughout the year when they end up getting all mane when the try to groom.


We also give them cat laxative twice a week. I spread about 3/4 inch of the laxative on their front paws above their wrist bones. Try not to go any lower since the laxative is really sticky and will attract cat litter. Again, Bailey tolerates this more than Bella does. Bailey will lick it off immediately, where Bella tends to leave it on for a while.


Unfortunately, we don’t brush them enough. We have a variety of brushes, but grooming gloves seem to be the most successful. I typically just use one at a time, brushing for a bit until the glove has a bunch of hair. At that point, I swirl the glove in a circle motion for a while against the carpet or other cloth surface. This balls up the hair against the glove making it easier to remove. I came up with this approach after using the Dyson Tangle-Free Turbine Tool which does basically the same thing to ball up the hair.


Of course hair is all over the place that needs to be vacuumed up. We found the Dyson Tangle-Free Turbine Tool to be the best way to get the hair up. It’s expensive but well worth it in the time it saves since I never have to clean the tool after using it. Unfortunately the cats are afraid of the vacuum, otherwise I would just vacuum them directly.

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