Help! My Persian hates being groomed!

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Does your cat try anything in his power to escape when he sees his brush? Groomer Alison Rogers shares her advice.

(Q) How do you groom a Persian cat who hates being groomed? In particular, how do you brush under the chin and on the tummy when they won't let you touch them there? The grooming parlour left her skin sore and red last time so I won't be taking her back there, but she gets nasty knots which I need to get out before I can try to use the deshedder on her. She hisses, spits, scratches and struggles after a few minutes. Can you help?

(A) Groomer Alison Rogers says: I wouldn't use a deshedder on a longhaired cat as you need to remove the matts - you're better off using a slicker brush which has a soft and hard pin side. But use a comb to VERY gently remove knots first.

Sometimes the skin can be left red and sore from the knots themselves, not always from the grooming. But if you aren't happy with your groomer, I would first ring them and ask why this happened. You may still need to go to a grooming professional as it may be impossible to groom at home considering your cat's behaviour. If your cat is professionally groomed every four weeks, the matts won't become so bad and your cat may become more tolerant of it.

If you need help finding a good cat groomer, contact the Pet Industry Federation (www.petcare.org.uk) and get a list of members in your area. These groomers have been audited and abide by safety rules and training standards.