Cat Matted Fur - How To Unmat Hair Clumps

Published on October 09, 2020


Matted fur is a condition that may be caused due to the knots and tangles that form in a cat's fur. There are various reasons that result in matted fur, such as the upper coat of a cat's fur getting stuck in the lower coat, causing the fur to entangle  Similarly, matted fur mostly occurs in the parts of a cats body which are involved in excessive movement throughout the day such as the limbs and the lower chest area. If the matted fur is left unattended, it may lead to various types of skin allergies and could also affect the cat's health and could be a threat to their life.  
Cats often tend to self-groom themselves in order to avoid any knots from forming in their fur. This is a naturally developed way that cats use to clean themselves from the dust that may have settled on their coat.

HOW DO CATS SELF-GROOM?

When it comes to personal hygiene, cats are the epitome of cleanliness. They are naturally gifted with implements to groom themselves. Their tongues have tiny backward-facing barbs which they use to lick their forepaws and coat in order to remove any dirt that may have accumulated in them. Cats often use a highly stereotyped manner to groom themselves. They first apply saliva to the inside of one of their paws and then, using a circular motion, they start rubbing their nose to the inside of that paw. They then repeat this process for the back of their ear, forehead and over their eyes. After cleaning their head, they move onto the lower parts of the body such as the legs, anogenital area and the tail, for which they use the long-stroke method with the help of their tongues. This helps to eliminate parasites, smoothen and clean the cats’ fur, cool it down when its hot and also helps stimulate the glands that are attached to the hair roots that secrete substances in order to keep the fur water-proofed.

Related: Gift Ideas For Someone Who Successfully Unmat Their Cat's Hair

However, at times, the dirt and dust from the surrounding gets stuck deep in the cats’ fur and if not cleaned for days, it may lead to knot formation causing the cat to have matted fur.

HOW CAN YOU HELP PREVENT MATTING IN YOUR CAT?            

Despite the amazing ability of cats to groom themselves, matting may still occur, especially in long-haired cats. Some of the cats have a lot of hair and despite being excellent groomers, they may still not be able to catch everything, especially those areas which involve excessive movement. 
Health issues are another reason your cat may resist from grooming itself. For example, old or overweight cats may not be flexible enough to reach all the areas of her body. Cats also tend to avoid self-grooming when they may be suffering from an oral injury or disease. In situations like these, you may have to ensure no matting occurs, by using various methods and techniques.

REGULAR BRUSHING 

The best and the most common way used to help prevent a cat from matting is to comb its hair daily. A daily brush with the appropriate brush type for your cat’s hair length can help to remove any dead hair as well as prevent any tangles or knots from forming. However, it is essential to establish a daily grooming routine for your cat in order to get it accustomed to the process and not get anxious or stressed by it. You can start by using a soft bristle brush until your cat gets used to it and remains calm when you brush its hair. Then you can shift onto using a brush that may be more appropriate according to the length and type of your cat’s hair.
Be very thorough while brushing your cat’s hair and on daily basis as, an everyday brush is more effective than a brush after a long period of time.

PROFESSIONAL GROOMING 

You may also try getting some professional help if your cat has difficult fur that is more prone to matting or if they feel uncomfortable when you brush them at home. Cat groomers use various professional techniques to groom a cat and they not only tackle matted fur and knots, but also help with trimming your cat’s hair if it needs a little maintenance. They are well aware of the main areas which might be most affected by matting and therefore, can help avoid the fur from tangling.
They may also be able to give your cat a safe bath without your cat hurting itself or the groomer, which  be beneficial to remove any dirt or mud that may not be cleaned by just brushing. Not only this, professional groomers also help to release your cat from any possible stress that it may be under which improves its health conditions.   This not only helps to improve your cat’s hygiene, but also keeps you aware of any health issues or allergies that your cat may be facing.   

DIET AND NUTRITION

Diet plays a major role in the health of your cat’s coat. For most cats, virtually all of the skin is covered with hair that is shed and replaced with a new coat several times per year. Due to lack of essential nutrients such as high-quality carbohydrates, fats and digestible proteins, your cat may start facing stress and various types of illnesses such as arthritis and obesity which causes serious skin problems and may lead to dandruff and matting in your cat’s coat. Your cat may also start shedding excessively, which may cause the upper coat to get stuck in the lower coat which is a major cause of matting. 
Therefore, it is very important to make sure your cat has a proper balanced and healthy diet in order to avoid any severe issue arising in the future.

DANGERS OF MATTING

Matting may start off as a minor nuisance but if ignored for a long time, it may eventually lead to serious health issues for your cat. Cats are notorious for concealing their discomfort. They don’t often tell their owners about their sufferings so it is up to the owner to beware of any such behavior that may be pointing towards a pain they may be going through.  
With the passage of time, the mats start growing tighter and itchy and become hot on the cat’s skin which may cause severe inflammation on the skin. In extreme cases, the cat may have to be injected with anesthesia and shaved in order to get rid of the mats. This could even endanger the cats’ life. 
If you notice your cat may have stopped self-grooming and may feel uncomfortable when you groom it, it may be a sign that you need to visit the veterinarian because your cat may be suffering from an ailment that is stopping it from grooming itself and may have caused  knots and tangles in your cats fur that need to be treated immediately.  

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