Long-haired cats, such as Himalayans, dazzle us with their lush fur, but it is a bit of a chore to maintain that smooth, fluffy look. While bathing is required only a few times a month, daily combings are the best way to avoid tangles and mats in your kitty's coat.
Get your Himalayan into a comfortable position for both of you—whether you have her lie on the floor or stand on a table. Run your hands gently from the top of her head to her tail, down both sides, and under her belly. While this helps to relax her, it gives you an opportunity to look for matted hair or knots in the long fur.
Place the comb in the fur at the back of your Himalayan's neck, holding it at a right angle to her body. Smooth the tines down her back gently, running it to the tail.
Return the comb to her neck, but place it slightly lower on one side and repeat the motion down a strip of fur. Use your free hand to move ahead of the comb and watch for protruding bones to avoid. Continue down both sides of your kitty's back until her fur is completely smoothed out.
Smooth the comb through the fur on one of her sides. Finish up at her rear end, combing through the long hair to the side of the tail, and toward the rear leg. When that side is completely combed out, move to the other side and repeat the action. You may need to shift Kitty around if she is lying on one side during the combing.
Comb down each leg gently. If possible, have a second person lift the Himalayan so that her legs are hanging down. Hold a paw in your free hand while smoothing the comb down the leg, being careful to avoid any bony protrusions.
Smooth out her fluffy tail with the comb, taking care not to pull on any tangles. If you come across one, start at the tip of the fur and gently work the tangle out with the comb's tines, moving toward the skin until the tangle is removed.
Stroke her chest and belly gently with the comb to avoid pulling the skin. Have a second person help hold her up on her back legs, or move her over to lie on her back while you comb down the front if she is comfortable in that position.
- Start combing your Himalayan daily when he is a kitten to establish an easy routine.
- Himalayans and Persians have similar coats, requiring similar combing and grooming techniques.
- Mats are best removed during bathing, when the fur is wet and conditioner can be rubbed into it to make the fur slick.
Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."