Our regular grooming kit

(clockwise from far left)

  • wide-tooth stainless-steel comb 1-inch teeth

  • fine-tooth stainless-steel comb (aka "flea" comb) for combing on the face

  • wide-tooth stainless-steel comb 1/2-inch teeth

  • A brush that won't snag. Pictured is a Hartz Cat Slicker Brush; it's got nylon bristles with plastic safety tips. It doesn't tear the fur and actually gets down to the undercoat. See below for other recommendations, depending on coat type.

  • A scissors-style nail trimmer - we prefer the model made by Four Paws; it has a plastic coated (comfort) grip and sharp blades.

  • A razor-style letter opener for cutting through occasional knots and small mats in fur. Although Maine Coons don't mat easily, they do get knots, especially in their armpits. We used to use a wonderful (no-longer-available) device called a Pet Pic. Some of the razor-style letter openers work just as well - look for Presto Letter Openers at your office supply store.

For tougher knots, mats, and "cotton coat"

For the occasional heavier knots, mats, and "cotton coat", we also use a wonderful tool called a Matbreaker, manufactured by APC2000, Inc and available online from Cat Claws. The Matbreaker looks like a comb with 6 curved stainless steel teeth with sharpened edges. The teeth can be removed and reversed for left-handed use. We recommend buying two and setting one for left, one for right, so you can work on any mat! Replacement teeth are also available.

Get down to the undercoat

For cats with very fluffy coats, try an undercoat rake to remove the stubborn "fluff" after you've cut any mats or knots. On smooth coats, a rake just slides thropugh. But if your cat needs one of these, it can works wonders.

For cats with smoother coats, try the Furminator. It's excellent for many cats. (Unfortunately, on our very fluffiest cat, this just sslides over the top.)