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How Do I Detangle Matted Cat Fur?

When it comes to matted cat fur, even the most meticulous grooming habits can’t compete. If your cat’s been having bad hair days, follow these tips to detangle matted fur and learn how to prevent matted fur.

A cats grooming instinct is to use their tongue, teeth, and paws to keep their coat and skin feeling and looking good. However, small tangles and knots can form at any time, particularly for long-haired cat breeds.

What Causes Matted Hair in Cats?

And, for all breeds, several variables can contribute to matting in the cats fur, including:

  • Accumulation of excess fur in the undercoat

  • changes in weight

  • less attentive grooming habits in older cats

  • medical conditions such as infection

  • medication changes

  • change in diet

  • change of season (changes in amount rain, humidity, temperature)

How to Prevent Matted Cat Fur

Regular At-Home Grooming. In addition to your cat’s own grooming habits, cat owners plan at-home grooming on a set schedule, depending on the breed. Your local pet groomer or veterinarian can make advise you on the at home grooming schedule that best suits your cat’s breed. For most cats without long locks, a brushing session of about 5-10 minutes, 2-3 times a week should do wonders for the cat’s fur (and your relationship!).

Professional Grooming As Needed. Two to three times a year cats will benefit from professional grooming. This is especially good for long-haired breeds as it can be difficult for the pet owner to the loosen fur from the undercoat.

Keep the Cat Clean. After being out in the rain, playing outdoors or rough housing with other cats, take a few minutes to dry off your cat, brush her gently, and treat her coat to a mild coat conditioner, if needed, and one that is pet and vet approved.

You might also consider feeding you cat a diet rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids. For both cats and humans, these fatty acids sup[ort skin and hair health. Talk to your vet about foods rich in Omega Fatty Acids or adding a supplement to the cat’s diet.

3 Things You Should NOT Do to Untangle Matted Cat Fur

#1. If you can’t be gentle and your cat is showing signs of agitation or aggression—STOP and schedule a professional grooming. The last thing you want to do is make your cat fearful of being groomed by you.

#2. Do not cut or shave the mats in your cats fur. You risk injuring your cat…it’s very hard to see what is beneath a matted clump of cat fur. You can easily stap or cut your cat’s skin with scissors or a razor. And if you cut too much, you will interfere with the protectiveness that fur gives to your cat’s skin, not to mention the cat winds up with a very bad haircut!

#3. Don’t Use Oil. Oils actually promote clumping, making the matting worse. Don’t use oils and don’t try to bathe and massage out the matting in the fur.

How to Untangle Matted Cat Fur

If your cat has small or relatively few mats in the fur, you can try to release the mat with you fingers. For larger mats, you need a special brush, such as a slicker brush. If you are unsure what tool to use, inquire with a pet store professional or veterinarian.

When working the mat out of your cat’s fur, you and the cat both need to be relaxed and patient with the process. The best way to learn how to release mats in a cat’s fur is to watch your vet demonstrate and have them observe you, as well. In generally, you will slip the teeth of the comb from the underside of the matted clump, and gradually loosen the fur.

When in doubt…. Call a professional groomer for help with you cat’s matted

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