If you’re lucky enough to own a cat as a pet, you’ll 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 doesn’t 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.
Why You Should Get Rid of Matted Cat Fur
A matted cat fur is a situation where the fur of a cat becomes entangled. This condition, when left unattended, poses a danger to your cat. Amongst the dangers are skin irritation, discomfort, and other health issues. And it’s worth mentioning a cat with healthy fur and proper grooming, is a happy and lively cat.
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 it’s 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: It’s 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 cat’s skin. With the cat’s skin known to be soft and thin, this leads to a high level of discomfort. Consequently, irritation sets in and the skin become inflamed.
In extreme cases, you might need to take your cat to a veterinarian for total shaving. What is worse than losing the beauty of your lovely pet? To avoid this, follow the step by step methods below on how to get rid of matted cat fur.
How to Get Rid of Matted Cat Fur
There are various ways through which mats can be removed. The methods depend on the seriousness of the mat. The following are the major methods that can be employed in removing mats.
Using Your Hands
This is probably the easiest method of eliminating mats. It’s suitable for shorthaired cats with little mats. It involves using your hand to untangle the knots in its fur. Also, It’s important you de-mat at a time when your cat is at ease. This can be done by de-matting with care to avoid pulling of your cat’s skin.
Lastly, if your cat is feeling unease, then you should let it go and continue the de-matting some other time.
Use of Regular Brush and Comb
It’s enough as a mode of care to comb your cat’s fur often. With this, mats can be eliminated before they become tighter. In the case of a thick mat, you should handle it with ease to avoid hurting your cat. Ensure you hold the fur close to the skin. This eliminates the effects of pulling on the cat skin.
If the mats on your cat cannot be untangled by the above methods, you should use a mat comb. A mat comb is a kind of brush that cuts the fur as you brush. It incorporates recessed blades for cutting.
It is easier to use if you can get it under the mat. As mentioned earlier, make sure you hold the cat’s fur in a way that prevents pulling. Start at the tip and work your way up.
Use of Clippers
This is ideal when the mats are very extended. And it’s majorly performed by professional groomers and veterinarians. Because the cat’s skin is sensitive to heat. Also, if care isn’t taken, you’re likely to hurt your cat. However, If you’re good enough to de-mat with your clipper, make sure you feel the temperature before using it.
Lastly, note that the use of scissors and razor blades for de-matting packs in lots of risks. It’s easy to cut your cat with these. In a case when you don’t have the time or any of the above methods prove futile, you should consult a veterinarian.
Now that you’ve understood the methods needed to get rid of matted fur in your cat, we’ve explained below how to prevent the formation of mats on your cat next time.
How to Prevent the Formation of Mats on Cats
The easiest and straightforward way of preventing mats is regular combing. For longhaired cats, you should try combing their fur at least once every day. If your cat is the medium-haired type, it’s good enough to comb the fur twice or thrice a week. For the shorthaired cat, brushing once a week is enough to keep them healthy.
It’s essential you get your cat used to combing from a very young age. This makes the cat tolerable while remaining calm during the combing session as it grows.
Finally, make sure you use a suitable comb for your cat. For longhaired cats, a metal toothbrush or soft wire brush should get the job done. This can be followed with a steel comb with rounded tips for a perfect finish.
A rubber card is recommended for shorthaired cats. This helps in removing dead hair without damaging the skin. After the rigors of combing, do remember to give your cat a treat.