Treating And Preventing Matted Fur In Cats

Posted on: 31 March 2015

Cats can sometimes be victims of having matted fur. Though all breeds can have matted fur, long-haired cats are the most susceptible. The mats can be large or small and are more common in sick or older cats who can't efficiently groom themselves. Here are some of the causes and solutions to dealing with matted fur in your cat:

What causes matted fur in cats?

Normally, cats shed their fur coats with the season. But, indoor cats shed all year-round. This means that it is much more likely for hair to become tangled as the loose pieces of fur get caught in the guard hairs. Combine that with cats naturally grooming themselves, dirt, water, and any other sticky substance and the fur gets matted. Matted fur is more likely to be found on the belly, behind the legs or ears, or near the genitals.

If not treated mats can cause the following issues:

  • Discomfort that can be so bad the cat can't lie down
  • Skin infections and skin ulcers
  • Inflamed skin
  • Trapped parasites

How are fur mats treated?

Small mats and tangles can usually be removed at home. Doing this involves using a brush and your thumb and forefinger to gently pull the mats apart. If your cat is not used to the brush, introduce him or her to it by gently brushing areas that are not matted. After the cat is used to being brushed, gently work on removing the mats.

A mat removal comb may be used as long as it can be kept away from the skin. Stop, immediately, if the cat is showing any discomfort or pain. Do not attempt to cut or shave the mats off yourself as it may cause injury to the skin. If the mat is bigger than a quarter, it is best to leave it to a professional groomer.

How can fur mats be prevented?

The easiest prevention is to brush your cat often. For long hair cats, it is recommended that a soft brush be used at least once a day. Short hair cats should be brushed once a week. Most cats enjoy brushing, but not all of them do. Older or sick cats may need more brushing. Nutrition also plays a role in keeping your cat's coat healthy and shedding at a normal rate.

Talk to your pet groomer about how to best take care of your cat's fur no matter what type of hair they have. They may be able to give you specific, personalized suggestions on what to do if your cat's fur gets matted again. 

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