As cats get older, they often have trouble grooming themselves because they are less flexible than they were in their younger years.
That is according to vet Jo Inglis, who, writing for the Metro, said owners need to groom older cats regularly to keep them in good condition.
A reader, Iris Fairhurst, had contacted him as her elderly cat's coat had started matting and she was shedding a lot of fur. When Ms Fairhurst tried to brush her, the cat gets stressed.
Dr Inglis said that the best way to get around this problem is to use treats and pet toys to encourage the cat to allow being groomed.
He wrote: "I'd recommend persevering at home but start very gently, using treats to distract and herbal anti-anxiety preparations such as lavender oil on a toy or camomile in her water to calm her.
"Hopefully you can get her used to being brushed and keep her coat in good condition."
Domestic long-haird cats, such as the tabbie and tortoiseshell, often need grooming by a human as they are prone to matting because they cannot maintain their own coat.