Pet Grooming: How To Handle Matting In Dogs And Cats
Reviewed and updated on May 8, 2020, by Katie Grzyb, DVM
Try as you may to keep up with your pets grooming needs, chances are you may face a hairy situation from time to time: matted fur. Figuring out how to deal with matted fur can be stressful, especially for pet parents with long-haired animals.
Here are some tips for safe ways to remove and prevent matted furand when to seek professional help.
Causes Of Matting In A Cat
Generally, matting occurs in parts of a cat where there are lots of movement or rubbing. These parts include armpits, behind the chest, underneath the chest, behind the ears, and below the tail. It can also happen at the hindquarters as an effect of lying down.
Some of the significant causes of matted cat fur include:
- Shedding: When your cat sheds its fur, the loose hairs are likely to get caught in its coats. This in-turn causes entanglement and leads to matting.
- Overweight: The more the weight of your cat, the harder it becomes for it to groom. Cats with low weight tend to have more reach when grooming than overweight cats.
- Sickness: A cat stops self-grooming when its feeling unwell. Sometimes it might be due to dental problems or problems with the tongue, which is its main grooming organ. This results in the hair being dry and excessive loose hairs, which causes matting.
- Accumulation of dust and dander: Its a common thing with longhaired cats and shorthaired cats in stuffy places. When dust gathers on the fur of a cat, grooming might not be enough to eliminate it. Hence the forming of mats.
As stated earlier, a cat with a neat and oily fur is a healthy and happy cat, while a cat with a matted fur is the direct opposite.
When mats are left untreated, they tend to become itchy and gets hot on your cats skin. With the cats skin known to be soft and thin, this leads to a high level of discomfort. Consequently, irritation sets in and the skin become inflamed.
The Best Detangler For Cats With Matted Hair
The fine bristles of the brush have been designed to be able to seamlessly groom your pets undercoat without harming your pets skin. This is excellent if you have a long-haired cat with large mats in its fur as it can easily remove them without pain.
The brush has been designed to be easy to clean by clicking a single button to retract the bristles of the brush and remove any built up fur. This helps you prevent adding any old fur built up on the brush to any existing mats you are attempting to remove.
is the most popular product of its type on the market. It has managed to earn over 5250 positive reviews on Amazon with cat owners raving about it.
Preventing Mats In Cat Hair
Brushing your cat even just two times a week can drop the chances of your cats hair getting matted. Now all cats are different and you might find every other day brushing is better or just once a week. Just try to continuously be aware of brushing your cats hair to minimize the chances of matting.
What tricks or tips do you have for matted cat hair?
Step 6: Give Your Cat A Treat
Removing mats can be a somewhat stressful experience for your cat, especially if your cat’s got a lot of them. Although the relief from the itch and irritation is almost immediate, it’s still a great idea to give your cat a treat after this for being so well-behaved. If you have some witch hazel essential oil, this is also the best time to apply it on the skin of your cat. Witch hazel essential oil helps relieve itching and irritation on your cats skin, and helps heal any redness.Also, take a few moments to play and cuddle your cat. That way, your cat won’t feel traumatized by the discomfort when you remove your mats.
Tips To Deal With Matted Fur On Cats
See files for
Cats are possibly the cleanest animals you will ever meet. They use virtually all of their free time to preen themselves. This habit not only keeps them clean, but also helps to prevent bacteria and parasites and controls body temperature in hot environments.
No matter how well-groomed they are, some cats are prone to matted fur and to accumulate debris, knots and tangles. As their human companions, we shouldn’t simply trust our pets to look after their own hygiene; we should give them a hand so that they are always healthy and in perfect condition.
Matted fur is very common in cats, but there is a solution. Keep reading this AnimalWised article with our solutions and tips to deal with matted fur on cats.
What Causes Matted Hair In Dogs
Matting is dense or tangled clumps of hair in a pets coat. Mats are more prevalent in long-haired dogs , especially during shedding season. The extra fur needs to be adequately extracted via a brush or else matting will occur. Mats can also result from dogs scratching themselves and getting their fur wet in rain or snow.
Mats usually start with a small knot, but this can quickly turn in to a large clump. Left untreated, mats get larger and more difficult to remove. Sometimes, eliminating large mats involves pulling on the skin which is extremely painful for your pup. Thats why its important to understand the best way to remove them. You should seek a professionals assistance if the mats get unmanageable.
In addition, severe matting can lead to health problems, such as poor ventilation and blood flow. If mats start to turn pink or red , you should contact your vet right away this could be a sign of infection, which requires expert removal and treatment.
The Importance Of Keeping Your Senior Cat Well
If you notice your cat has stopped or lessened the amount of time they spend grooming themselves, your best course of action is to visit your veterinarian. Together, you can determine the underlying cause of the change in autogrooming habits.
Once you determine and address the cause of cat fur matting in an old cat it, such as with joint supplements for osteoarthritis, its important to also address the quality of the cats coat.
If left unkempt, a poor-quality coat mats easily, turning tiny tangles into tight knots. This is particularly painful for a senior cat who lacks excess fat and muscle tone. Cat skin becomes thinner and loses elasticity with age, according to Cornell Universitys College of Veterinary Medicine. This makes them more prone to injuries such as bruising and tearing. The stress of a matted coat pulling the skin tight can be avoided with simple, proactive measures that will greatly improve the cats quality of life.
Please dont put off grooming an old cat with matted fur because you dont want to make them uncomfortable. A few moments of minor discomfort or annoyance is far better than the excessive de-matting and intense grooming required for a neglected coat. Frequent, regular grooming is much easier on your cat and more enjoyable for both of you. If the task feels overwhelming, seek out the assistance of a cat groomer who specializes in working with older cats.
Jw Pet Gift Soft Slicker Brush Read Our Review Or Buy It Here
Trigg and Charlie hate being brushed. Lets just get that out of the way first. It doesnt matter what the brush is, they just dont like it. With that said, I like the very much and think it is a great brush for many reasons it had a rubber sheathed handle so that it doesnt slip in your hands. It also has finger fitting contours. It also comes with a 3-year guarantee that it will be replaced if it fails to perform as advertised.
Grooming Tools Needed For Matted Cat Hair
When it comes to matted cat hair removal, some tools are better than others. Bailey recommends slicker brushes to remove loose hair and wide- and fine-toothed combs for loosening and working through mats. If the mats are severe, remember to skip the scissors and use clippers to remove matted cat hair instead.
Clippers with an adjustable blade can help remove tightly matted hair close to the skin, Bailey says. Be sure to read the clipper instructions to get the best result and to prevent cutting the skin. And use quiet clippers to decrease the stress for the cat.
Part 2 Of 3:using Clippers On The Mats
How To Get Rid Of Matted Cat Fur Without Losing Its Beauty
If youre lucky enough to own a cat as a pet, youll understand how much cats put into grooming. They do this by using their tongue and legs to pick up loose fur and hair all over their body. This doesnt only keep them clean but also helps them prevent parasites and bacteria. And even control their body temperature in a tropical environment.
Despite this effort to keep themselves clean and healthy, they still need our help to remain free from trouble. Thus, the reason you should understand how to get rid of matted cat fur.
Preventing Problems With Your Cat While De
Give your cat a final treat and stop for the day. Depending on the severity of the mats, it could take several days to tackle them all, and you need your cat’s cooperation and patience, so don’t push it all at once.
With short-haired cats, a small slicker brush may be used next to slowly and gently brush through any remaining tangles.
Seriously matted cats require veterinary attention. Affected cats are lightly sedated and their hair coats are shaved to remove all affected mats. If this drastic step is necessary, be sure to maintain a regular program of brushing and combing when the coat grows back, to prevent future problems.
Why Does My Cat Get Mats
A human has approximately 800 to 1,290 hairs per square inch on their head. Seems like a lot? Now take cats: a single cat has about 130,000 hairs per square inch of their body. Its no wonder many cats have a difficult time keeping up with their fur. You may have stepped on the nasty hairball in the middle of the night or noticed your cat licking an area that seems dull and where the fur is close together. When this happens, its important to remove the matted cat fur before it causes serious health problems like obstructions and complications and pain from mats.
What are mats?
Mats are chunks of your cats fur that have become tangled and knotted. Over time, they become bigger clumps and can conjoin into one big mass . Mats are found on the ears and parts of your cats body where there is a lot of movement or where your cat licks. These areas include behind the ears, the collar, between the legs, under the chest and tail. Mats can also form on the shoulders, down the back and sides and hindquarters from the pressure of lying down.
For some cats that are overweight or unable to reach parts of their body due to arthritis and age, mats can occur along hips, stomach, legs, feet, neck and all over. These poor kitties just cant get to areas other cats can.
What causes matting?
Are some Cats more likely to get mats?
What Can I do If My Cat Has Mats?
Are Mats Painful to Cats?
What if there is a small tangle?
When to Seek Professional Help
Part 1 Of 2:removing Tangles And Mats
Spray Coconut Oil On The Mats
To untangle stubborn mats, you can use coconut oil. The oil will help loosen the knots and untangle the fur. Baby oil is also safe for your pet, even if they tend to lick the oil off their skin and fur.
Feed Your Cat A Healthy Diet
It is also important that you feed your cat a healthy balanced diet. This can help to keep your cat a healthy weight and lower the risk of obesity. As overweight cats are more prone to matting as they cannot self-groom well, ensuring your cat is fit and healthy can keep their fur coat looking clean and smooth for longer.
Obesity is also a major risk factor for arthritis. The more overweight your cat, the more pressure they on their joints, which will cause them to weaken more quickly than they would otherwise. While older cats are still prone to arthritis even at a healthy weight, ensuring your cat maintains a good weight can help prolong the onset.
The more balanced and nutritious the diet you feed your cat, the healthier their coat will be too. They especially need certain oils, Omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin E. These can help ensure healthy skin and a healthy fur coat. Speak to your vet if your cat has very problematic hair as you may be able to alter something in their diet to improve their coat.
While matted fur is down to a lack of self-grooming rather than an issue with the hair itself, healthy hair is more oiled and naturally smooth which can help to prevent knots from forming as much. If clumps of fur do get tangled, healthy hair will less likely become matted.
How To Groom An Old Cat With Matted Cat Hair
In the past several years, the life span of domestic cats has steadily increased. Many of our pampered cat companions are living well into their teens and even 20s now, according to a report in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. But longer lives bring age-related challenges, including those related to hygiene and grooming. Because some senior cats may need more help grooming than younger felines, pet parents may notice an increase in matted cat hair on their senior cats, and learning exactly how to groom an old cat becomes essential.
I currently share my home with three senior cats. At 14 years to 18 years , their ages are equivalent to people in their early 70s to late 80s. Like most senior and geriatric cats, my pets dont get around quite like they used to. And they dont have the luxurious coats of their younger glory days. Fortunately as a professional cat groomer and former veterinary technician assistant, I understand the steps in grooming a senior felineand why they might not be as apt to autogroom as they used to be.
If you have also noticed your cat isnt grooming themselves as much as they used to, or their coat appearing dull and scruffy, it could be due to one or more specific age-related matters.
What If I Accidentally Cut My Cat
Treatment for scissor wounds:
- Clean the wound with warm water or a little diluted hydrogen peroxide.
- Seek veterinary help if you see an open laceration and the muscle layer exposed beneath the cut.
- Your vet can assess whether the area will close on its own with topical treatment or if suturing or surgical glue is required. In our experience, the worst are the wounds behind the ear. These often need a bit of surgery and an Elizabethan collar until they heal.
Why Do Cats Get Mats In Their Fur
We should probably start by figuring out WHY cats get mats, right?
As experts at Petco explain, cats have a whopping 130,000 hairs per square inch of their body. Jeepers, and I thought I had a lot of hair!
While kitties are typically excellent at caring for that magnificent mane, matting can occur for several reasons, including:
- Friction and movement
- Pressure from lying down on a certain body part.
- Shedding- loose hairs get caught up in your cats fur.
- Illness or dental issues that prevent proper grooming.
- Poor diet and an unhealthy coat.
Jw Pet Shedding Blade For Cats Read Our Review Or Buy It Here
The .The GripSoft rubber-sheathed handle makes it easy to hold in your hand and the little teeth along the shedding blade arent too sharp that you fear you will be cut. The only warning I have is that I suggest you remove the hair outside or in your garage because it tends to get everywhere as you are removing it especially if your cats hair is as plush as Charlies.
How To Groom An Old Cat
To lessen the amount of cat fur matting on old cats, spend a few minutes every day on some form of assisted grooming. Follow the simple steps below to learn how to groom an old cat.
Other tools and products that can be useful when youre learning how to groom a cat are:
Natural Mat Loosening Treatments
Sometimes brushing or cutting mats out doesnt do the job, either because the mats are too dense or because your kitty simply wont tolerate it. If youre at this point, you can use things like coconut oil, baby powder, or a few other substances to loosen up mats before getting out the brush:
- ruffle the cats coat with a little extra virgin coconut oil on your hands, and then let it soak in for about an hour or so. This will make it easier to loosen mats, and the oil is perfectly safe for both cats and humans to ingest your cat might even like the taste and the healthy fats it contains!
- Baby powder sprinkle some baby powder onto the really tricky mats and gently work it in with your hands. Do it just a little at a time until the mats start to loosen.
- Humidifier this might help loosen up staticky fur during the winter.
- Good pet shampoo/conditioner sometimes a good shampoo and conditioning once a month with a quality product designed for detangling can help keep the mats away, for instance , a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner, or just a detangling spray like .
These treatments might not prevent mats entirely, but they might help make the brushing process a little less painful.
Shedmonster Read Our Review Or Buy It Here
When we were contacted by to do a product review for them, I was interested because I know people are always looking for a cat shedding solution. This cat de-shedding tool is of high quality. In fact, Caymus was my product tester on the ShedMonster and my dad was really impressed with the quality of the tool.
Solutions For Tackling Matted Cat Hair
Cats with longer hair tend to struggle with their hair getting matted if not brushed and maintained often. If you are struggling with matted cat hair on your cat, these tricks might save you time. These simple tips and tricks can really help loosen up the matted cat hair so you can work through it. The last thing you want is to buzz cut your cat because their hair is impossible to brush.
Over time matted cat hair can really become a headache for the owner and painful for your cat. That matted fur can begin to pull on the skin making it irritated and sore. Sometimes cats can even develop open sores if their hair is matted. Do your best to work through the matted hair and then you have a clean slate to keep up on brushing so less matting happens.