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What is Matted Hair?
Matted hair is a common problem for many cats and kittens, especially long haired cats such as Persians. Not only are these matted clumps of hair unsightly, they can become quite painful for your pet and may even cause skin irritations or infection if they are not removed.
Grooming matted cat fur can be quite the task. Brushing your cat daily will help prevent knots and mats and regular bathing will keep your pets fur clean and tangle-free. However, if you pet already has matted hair, follow the following steps to get rid of them.
Step 1: Approach your cat when he is relaxed and try get him to lie in a comfortable position that allows you access to the matted spot for grooming. Apply some corn starch to the area and gently work your fingers into the mat as far as possible.
Step 2: It’s always easier to tackle smaller areas than one large clump, so if possible, break the large mat into smaller pieces. Very tight mats won’t separate easily so you may need to cut the clump with scissors to remove it. Be very careful that you do not nick your cat’s skin and do not even use scissors if you think the mat is too close to the skin.
Step 3: Once you have smaller more manageable pieces, you will need to use a comb and gently brush the matted fur out. This can be a timely process so do not expect to finish in one sitting.
Some matted hair is just too stubborn to be combed out. In these cases you can try to cut the mat out. Work the mat away from the skin and position the comb between the skin and the scissors so that you don't accidently cut your cat. A last resort is sending your cat to the vet or a professional groomer to be shaved. Rest assured – it will grow back!
More Information on Matted Hair
Tips for managing matted hair
- The best thing you could possibly do for cats prone to matting is regular grooming! Long-haired cats need to be brushed daily and short haired cats at least once a week. Even if your cat dislikes grooming, keep up the habit as your cat is bound to dislike de-matting even more than daily grooming.
- Brush your cat before bathing to loosen the excess hair, and brush again while the hair dries to prevent knots.
- Do not bath your cat before attempting de-matting. This often makes the process more difficult and may cause additional knots.
- If you notice small knots or areas of tangled hair, use a little hair conditioner to help brush these out before mats appear.
- Ask someone to help you if your cat gets particularly difficult to manage. Sometimes it takes one person to hold the cat and soothe them, while the other de-mats the hair.
- Be gently on your cat. Matted hair can be painful and the slightest tug or pull through of the comb can pull and pinch the skin.