When I got Pilchard, she had a small mat near her left ear. Val said to comb her every day and the mat would get worked out.
I tended to comb her every 2 to 3 days. She loves to be combed so I don't have an angry cat on my hands. Here she is last month. She looks so pretty.
Another small mat developed near her left "shoulder". Val gave me a comb so I've been using that pretty much every day in an attempt to comb out both of these. They aren't very big, maybe a half inch wide and a half inch long, but I know if I don't get rid of them, they can morph into something larger. Plus, I don't like feeling them when I pet her and I very much enjoy petting her. Both of them love to be petted, love ear and chin scratching.
Last week, I spent a good hour, several times an evening, combing Pilchard in an effort to break up the mats. Since she likes being combed, she was always cooperative, but I didn't seem to be getting anywhere.
So, I asked Jon, in the office, if he had a mat comb. I've seen it in catalogues. It's got a set of sharp teeth that shave the mat and break it apart so you can remove it or comb it out. He said, "Oh no. Don't use one of those. Get a metal-toothed comb and comb her. The plastic combs are for short-haired cats. Long-hairs need the metal teeth."
On Sunday, part of my shopping was to get a metal-toothed comb. I got the cheapest one I could find, brought it home and started combing.
Now, I need to remind you that Mija's motor can be heard in the next room. Pilchard has purred but not consistently. I start in combing and this cat reacts with what I would call "joy". Her motor starts and she wants me to comb and comb and comb. Obviously, she is loving this.
No, I still don't have the mats out although the newer of the two is smaller. I have to think this feels good to her. The smaller of the two mats has decreased in size for sure. The other one is the same size, but Pilchard lets me comb them in earnest, as long as I use the comb to scratch the chin. Combing the belly is problematic and I haven't gotten all of that combed, but we're working on it.
The side effect is that her coat just gleams and she is now incredibly soft. She was soft to the touch to begin with but this is a soft beyond that. I tell her she's beautiful when I comb her. Black satin is the closest thing I can equate her coat to. Pictures do not do justice to how this cat looks after I've combed her. And the fact that she loves it makes it so much easier to do. I think she also likes the interaction between me and her, the personal attention. I am thinking part of the hissing and charging and fighting I'm seeing is rooted in jealousy; one thinking the other is getting more attention. I tried combing Mija with the plastic comb, but she wasn't interested. Her fur is so short but soft, that a combing is a waste of time, although it would stimulate the skin.
So, I'll keep at this. It will probably take some combing but I think I can get both mats out. Jon said to cut them out and I was going to do that but when I got near Pilchard with scissors, she let out a very nasty growl that made me back up. "Okay, not gonna do that." If they are still there when I have to take her to the vet for a yearly check-up, Val can remove them.
The side effect of this is, when I got home last night, I just want to pick her up and cuddle her. "Ooooh there's my pretty girl," I said, when I walked into the living room. I had "that" tone in my voice, the tone that says, "Oh lord, here she comes and she wants to cuddle." Pilchard took off and went under the settee. "Nope, not gonna cuddle me." Mija saw me coming and took off into the bedroom. They have learned, very quickly, that to avoid being picked up and held except when they want to be, take off. I won't follow. I did get cat loves later.
Beverage: Huckleberry tea