okt 18, 2019 |

Engelse boekreview door katteneigenaar Eliza

'In Octobter 2018, two beautiful,14-week old kittens moved in with me: Beau and Noor. They’re full siblings, from a Maine Coon mom and an unknowd dad, but their looks couldn’t be more different.

Noor shares similarities with a European Shorthair and has the most wonderful coat: it looks like an abstract expressionist painting and it’s so easy to take care of. I check it regularly, but she doesn’t need any help from me.

Her brother Beau, on the other hand, looks like a full-fledged Maine Coon. His beautiful long hair and full mane make him a sight for sore eyes. My little lion. As he grew older, though, his hairs started to form knots (as it often does with longhair breeds). I was able to remove them myself at first, but I wanted to know where they came from and how I could prevent them from forming.

I started my search for answers by making an appointment with a cat-friendly groomer and by ordering the book ‘Klitvrije kat, zo doe je dat’. A book that came highly recommended by several cat-friendly groomers. The groomer removed the exisiting knots and shared information on how to take care of Beau’s coat. The book supported her theory and practices, and more.

‘Klitvrije kat, zo doe je dat’ shares detailed information on the effects the seasons have on a cat’s coat, what other factors influence the condition of their coat, how to take care of it and which tools to use (and which not).'

'Biggest lesson

The biggest lesson I’ve learned? Most cats can take really good care of their own coats and hardly need any help. Daily or weekly grooming sessions aren’t necessary at all. In fact, the book explains that combing the hair unnecessarily may actually lead to additional hair loss.

In short, cat hairs are built to detach easily. In case of a fight, stuck in the bushes, etc. Combing the hair also detaches it. Both loose and damaged hairs as well as good hair. New hair grows back which may be of a lower quality. They detach more easily and quickly than untouched healthy hair. Resulting in more hair loss throughout the year. So combing hair is not necessarily helpful in keeping your home hair free. In fact, it might result in a cat shedding a lot more hair throughout the year.

Removing knots

But when it comes to a cat’s coat, there is at least one thing they do need our help with: removing knots. The book explains how we can help and with which tools. I was happy to read that it requires only 4 tools and they are very affordable: hand(s), a combicomb, a microfibre cloth, and a small slicker brush.

Hand(s) are great for checking the cat’s skin and fur for knots during a cuddle. The combicomb, especially its bigger tooth spacing, is a good tool for gently combing out the knots. Both in a horizontal and vertical position. A microfibre cloth can be used to help pick up loose hairs from the coat. Use it dry, or wet: lukewarm water and wrung out. Simply use the cloth in a way that simulates a cat’s tongue. With short, soft movements. Finally, you can use a small slicker brush. It’s use is similar to the microfibre cloth. With an additional bonus of being a helpful tool for treating a greasy fur (combined with cornstarch or rice starch).

It turned out I already had the right tools available to me, as I had purchased a complete set months before reading the book. I just didn’t know enough to be able to (not) use them in the right way. You are able to find the set here [Link naar shop]. I just didn’t have the detailed information the book offers yet. Because what I’ve shared isn’t even half of what to book teaches! There is so much more.

Current status

After reading the book, my main focus has been on checking Beau’s (and Noor’s) skin and coat on a daily basis. Nothing intrusive, just a quick and soft check as he walks by or joins me on the couch. The number of knots have definitely decreased since I stopped the unnecessary combing sessions. On occasion, I still find small knots. Which I remove carefully with either my hands or the comb. This sometimes takes some time, as Beau isn’t always interested in staying still. But it’s OK if it takes a bit longer, as long as the knot is removed.

If you recognize yourself in my story, I can highly recommend reading “Klitvrije Kat, hoe doe je dat?” or contacting Wendy. It has been an eye opening read!

Please note: when in doubt, always contact a professional! A cat’s coat tells a lot about how a cat is doing. Depending on the situation, either contact a professional, cat-friendly groomer or your vet.'