Stray Maine Coon cat arrived full of matted fur -- UPDATED PICS!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chickenannie, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    This Maine Coon stray is now living in my sunroom and she's super friendly -- obviously was a housecat at one time. We couldn't find the owner (did everything like called the police, checked with neighbors etc).

    I've been brushing her for hours for the past 2 days and barely making a dent in the filth (and 1 tick so far) trapped in her long hair. Does anyone know how to deal with this kind of problem? I may try to find a home for her but don't think anyone's gonna want her in this condition. I don't exactly want to pay a lot for a professional groomer but i've been calling around and nobody does cats. [​IMG]

    Someone said to shave her fur. Is this ok to do with cats? Will it mess up her fur permanently to get shaved? I'm not sure anyone will want a shaved cat either.

    Also, when I researched Maine Coon cats on google, it seems to imply they are badly behaved. Anyone know about their characteristics. She sure is a cutey, though a dirty one! she is tiger with a white blaze in front and a 4 white feet and she loves people.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I'd just shave her... I did that to part of one of my outdoor cat when I was little, she was none the worse for it since it was summer. Of course the shave job was terrible when I was like 8 so you can do a better job! I wanted to know what color cat skin was....

    If she's all matted, wonder how long she's been outside.
  3. Love my Critters!

    Love my Critters! Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Carlsbad, NM
    When I worked at the vet I shaved that cats all the time. You will need to have electric clippers that are made for dogs and cats. You do not want to cut the hair too short because they will get sunburned. Under the mats the hair has probably been pulled out already and will be short. Thats okay. Shave with the grain of the hair from head to tail, do not go against the grain. Be careful around the tummy and legs as sometimes the clippers will grab skin. You can give her what is called the lion clip, it is a very popular haircut for cats. You might be able to google it and see pictures. She must have the mats removed, if moisture gets underneath them it will cause a moist-dermatitis and will start to "rot" the skin underneath and you will have a whole other issue on your hands. Just write back if you have questions, I'll help you the best I can. Good Luck! Sounds like the cat is lucky too.[​IMG]
  4. JustChicky

    JustChicky Songster

    Feb 14, 2008
    East Texas
    My mother-in-law has two Maine Coons. They are very nice and sweet, they don't do anything wrong.

    The two cats are brothers and they always knead eachother. One time the darker cat got really matted from this. She took a short pair of curved cuticle scissors and trimmed them off, then shaved his fur even. His fur grew back beautiful. You have to brush them a lot and they still get a mat every once in a while, usually on their belly.

    She sounds adorable![​IMG]
  5. hensdeliverthegoods

    hensdeliverthegoods Songster

    Dec 18, 2007
    Catawba County, NC
    Maine Coon cats are wonderful!! They have tons of personality, and in many ways act more like dogs than cats. They are not the super-cuddly type, but do really love being around their people. They are not nearly as aloof as some cats are. If you want a good cat, consider yourself lucky to have found this little girl. They also tend to be healthy and live long lives.

    Its absolutely ok to shave her, although she's probably not going to like it one bit! [​IMG] Our MCC gets mats in his belly fur all the time, and he's a house cat. We just cut them out. After you get her cleaned up, get a spot-on flea and tick treatment either from the vet or pet supply store. Good luck with her, and keep us posted on her progress. [​IMG]

  6. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Thanks everyone, this is great info. I just finished brushing her again, I have about a gallon of fur from all the brushing, but it's just too much, I'm realizing, for me to do. I got out the scissors to cut a burr matt out of her tail and she got very annoyed by that. she won't let me touch her tail or all the matts on her hindquarters. Also there are tiny mats all over her belly but she won't let me brush there at all. So far her head, neck and lion's mane are pretty much untangled.

    None of the animal rescues have returned my calls about grooming her, shots, etc. The 1 cat groomer I found is a 40 minute drive and would charge $75-80 to shave and wash her. I'm not sure which way to go, but I sure do like her personality and am trying to decide whether to keep her or find a home for her.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    As others have said, you MUST remove ALL of the mats. A large number of unsavory and in some cases eventually serious problems can develop as a result of them, plsu it is really unpleasant for the cat.

    If the mats are limited in area, you can try manual removal. Rather than working from the edges, my suggestion (having done this with a variety of longhaired neglected barn cats over the years) is to try to split the mats in half, either by pulling them in half with your fingers (if they're far enough from the skin and the cat doesn't object) or with blunt-ended sharp scissors and a LOT of care, and keep splitting the halves down til you have a bunche of manageably small mats that can be cut or pulled off. Don't necessairly try to do it all in one session.

    If there's too much to remove manually, or if removing just the mats would leave her too patchy and weird looking, then definitely she would need to be clipped. Cats are not especially easy to clip, however, and it is possible you may need to think about a vet and possibly even some degree of sedation. Certainly try it yourself if you are experienced with clippers (if not, a cat is NOT the thing to learn on!) but if you run into difficulties, either technical or behavioral, it may be necessary to bite the bullet and see a vet.

    Be quite careful, as cats' skin is pretty delicate and if the mat goes right thru the roots and against the skin, it can take considerable skill and experience to remove the mat without cutting into the skin.

    One advantage of having her shaved by a vet clinic is that they can look for signs of a spay scar, so you know whether she's been fixed yet.

    Maine Coons, or really any sort of largebodied non-flat-faced longhair mix either, are WONDERFUL cats. They are not 'badly behaved', although they are not office furniture either [​IMG] Keep her around for a while and you may find that it isn't quite so important to you whether shaving will decrease her chances of getting adopted by someone else [​IMG]

    Good on you for taking her in,

  8. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Check out They are a New England based rescue group specific to this breed, but they network with other places all over the country. They should be able to give you good advice.
    Good luck! Poor kitty, and poor you - it's no fun to shave or detangle even the most well-behaved cat!
  9. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    I've had to shave cats before for the same reasons.

    If you shave her yourself be very careful around the tummy, it is very easy to cut a nipple.
  10. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    One question: once a Maine Coon cat is clean and
    de-matted -- do they leave hair all over your house? I read you have to brush them 1-2 times a week, but how much difference does that make in the amount of hair left on carpet, sofas etc.?

    Also, she has her claws and clawed my sofa yesterday -- has anyone heard of those stick-on clawtips that you can put overtop of cat's claws. The stick-ons are dull at the ends, so they can still claw, but they're not sharp and so it doesn't ruin furniture. I think they are glued on and last for a couple of weeks each time. They come in different colors!

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