My baby girl is about 14 or 15 years old. I actually adopted her from an ex-roommate, as she became very attached to me, so I never had the chance to get her accustomed to being brushed by me at a young age. From what I was told she sustained an injury to her tail when she was young so she tends to get very sensitive around that area (lower back, base of her tail, and her sides). Because of her age she has also stopped grooming herself so she now has some naps that I just have to get out. I can't imagine she's comfortable. Now - I've tried holding her different ways, but never roughly and I get nervous when she begins to squirm. I don't want to hurt or force her. I've been using a small comb given to me by her vet (they said it would help best getting the naps out). Which it does but I can't get her to stay still long enough to get all the naps out. I use treats which keeps her still but only for a few minutes

I feel as though I'll be able to keep her coat under control if I could just get the suckers out in one sitting so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanking you in advance 😊

  • Sometimes there's no alternative to a gentle but firm grip and processing despite the objections. "Yow, yow, yow. Yes, I know the human is doing something weird and poking at tender bits and you aren't sure you trust that. This'll all be over quickly enough, and there'll be a treat afterward. Objection registered, but tough: I'm The Mama and it's good for you."
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


I've been Mama to many kitties in my lifetime. Helping to groom an older cat can be challenging; and I applaud you for giving her this attention and care. Her previous injury may still be tender or she anticipates that she'll feel pain. You may have to accept that several short grooming sessions every week will get her reasonably un-napped and by letting her "escape" on her own terms, she may eventually be calmer with grooming.


You are in a difficult situation because the normal aversion to being groomed in a cat unused to it is going to be enhanced by the presence of actual mats. The pulling of the skin is annoying to even the mildest animal.

A way you can get out of this trap is to get the cat shaved with a Lion cut by a groomer once, then use the time to get her used to you grooming her on a short, mat free coat. I did this with my cat, and a picture of him is still the first image on Google search for "shaved tuxedo cat".

In a similar vein you could just try cutting out some or all of the mat without worrying about how it looks, and then grooming what is left. I rescued a Persian that had to have about 80 percent of her body shaved and she had a combover of hair along the back covering up her bare belly.

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