Secrets of grooming a longhaired cat - Dr. Marty Becker


Secrets of grooming a longhaired cat

Monday, Mar 30th, 2020 | By Dr. Marty Becker

White fluffy Persian cat

A reader asked about grooming “all that fur” on her Persian cat. I brought in an expert, and here are her tips!

Q: My Persian cat has so much fur! What’s the best way to groom and bathe her?

A: We went straight to an expert to get advice for you. Heike Hagenguth of Soliman and Dasht-E Lut catteries has owned and bred Persians for more than 40 years. Here are her tips.

  • Persians can’t groom themselves completely without some human assistance. Brushing and combing not only maintains the coat, but also removes loose hair and helps to prevent hairballs.
  • Age matters. Baby fur tangles easily, while adult hair is usually easier to care for. And Persians are individuals. Some need to be groomed daily, while others need brushing and combing only two or three times a week.
  • A daily grooming routine involves combing fur gently with a wide-toothed comb. Don’t pull, or you might tear out hair. Use a comb with finer teeth for areas beside ears, chin and cheeks. “If I find tangles during grooming, I open them carefully with my fingers and comb them out without tearing hair,” she says. “If the mat is too big or cannot be removed, cut carefully without nicking the skin.”
  • Check claws, and trim if needed. Then, before bathing, comb to remove any tangles, which worsen if they get wet. Apply degreasing shampoo, massage gently into the fur to avoid damaging hair and rinse well. Afterward, you may apply a whitening or color-enhancing shampoo or conditioner. Rinse well, squeeze out excess water from the ends of the fur, and wrap your cat in a towel. Blow dry on cool or warm setting to avoid burning the skin, or use a pet dryer that works with ambient air. As you blow dry, check skin for fleas or other parasites, injuries or signs of infection such as redness.

For more about grooming longhaired cats, go to

There’s more in Pet Connection, the weekly nationally syndicated pet feature I co-write with Kim Campbell Thornton and my daughter, trainer Mikkel Becker.