How to Groom a Cat with Matted hair

Table of Contents

If you’ve ever seen a cat with matted hair, you know how uncomfortable it can be for them. Matted hair can be painful and cause skin irritations and infections. It can also be difficult to remove, and it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

In this article, we’ll discuss what matted hair is, why it happens, and how to safely remove it. We’ll also discuss how to prevent matted hair in the future because prevention is better than cure.

What Exactly is Matted Hair?

how to groom a cat with matted hair

Matted hair is when the fur of a cat or other animal becomes tangled and knotted. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor grooming, lack of brushing, and long fur. Matted hair can be uncomfortable and painful for cats, and it can lead to skin irritations and infections.

Why Do Cats hair Get Matted?

There are several reasons why cats can get matted hair. The most common reason is poor grooming.

If a cat isn’t groomed regularly, their fur can become tangled and knotted.

Long fur is more prone to matting, as it’s more likely to get tangled.

Other reasons include lack of brushing, infrequent baths, and underlying medical conditions.

Does Matted Fur Cause Pain?

Yes, matted fur can cause pain for cats. When a cat’s fur becomes matted, it can tug on the skin, creating discomfort and even pain. If the mats are left unattended, they can become tighter, potentially causing skin irritations, hot spots, or infections. Additionally, mats can trap dirt, debris, and even fecal matter, creating unhygienic conditions that can lead to further health issues.

Infections and Irritations

In addition to causing pain, matted hair can cause skin irritations and infections. Matted hair can also lead to other health problems, such as flea infestations and skin allergies.

So, how do we remove matted hair? Continue reading.

Preparing to Groom Your Cat

Deshedding a cat's coat
Credit: furminator.net

In order to groom your cat properly and remove matted hair, you’ll need to do some preparation. Here’s what you’ll need:

Grooming Tools

Before you start grooming your cat, it’s important to choose the right tools. You’ll need a brush, comb, scissors, and a towel.

It’s also a good idea to have a detangling spray and a conditioner on hand. Make sure the tools you choose are designed specifically for cats!

Find a Quiet, Comfortable Place

Make sure the area is free of distractions and noise. You want your cat to feel relaxed and safe. You should also make sure the area is well-lit so you can see what you’re doing.

Treats

A cat gets treats from its owner
Credit: Temptations

Treats are a great way to reward your cat for being cooperative during the grooming process. You can use treats to encourage your cat to stay still and to reward them for good behavior.

Assessing the Matted Hair

Since different cat breeds can suffer from different levels of matted hair, it’s important to do a visual assessment first.

Checking for Skin Irritations or Injuries

Before you start grooming your cat, it’s important to check for any skin irritations or injuries. Look for any redness, swelling, or scabs. If you find any, it’s best to take your cat to the vet before attempting to groom them.

Identifying the Matted Areas

Dematting a cat's fur
Credit: The Spruce Pets

Once you’ve checked for any skin irritations or injuries, you can start to identify the matted areas. Use your fingers to feel for any knots or tangles. It’s important to be gentle and take your time.

Preparing your Cat’s Coat

1- Spraying the Coat with Detangling Spray

Once you’ve identified the matted areas, you can start to prepare the coat. Start by spraying the coat with a detangling spray. This will help to loosen the knots and make it easier to remove the mats.

2. Applying Conditioner to the Matted Areas

Apply conditioner to matted hair

Once you’ve sprayed the coat with detangling spray, you can apply conditioner to the matted areas. This will help to soften the fur and make it easier to remove the mats.

Removing the Matted Hair

Starting with the Outermost Layer

When removing the mats, it’s important to start with the outermost layer. This will help to prevent the mats from becoming more tangled. Use your fingers to gently separate the fur and then use a comb to remove the mat.

Using a Dematting Tool

dematting a cat's hair

If the mat is too tight to remove with your fingers and comb, you can use a dematting tool. A dematting tool is a special tool designed to safely remove mats. It has a comb on one end and a blade on the other.

Brushing Out the Mat

Once you’ve removed the outermost layer of the mat, you can start to brush out the mat. Use a brush designed specifically for cats and brush in the direction of the fur. This will help to loosen the mat and make it easier to remove.

Using Scissors to Trim the Mat

cat fur trimming

If the mat is still too tight to remove, you can use scissors to trim the mat. Make sure to use scissors designed specifically for cats and be very careful not to cut the skin. Start by trimming the tips of the fur and then work your way up.

Cutting Only the Tips of the Fur

When using scissors to trim the mat, it’s important to only cut the tips of the fur. This will help to prevent the mat from becoming more tangled. Be very careful not to cut the skin.

Trim the Fur Around the Face and Feet

When trimming the fur, it’s important to be extra careful around the face and feet. These areas are more sensitive and can be easily injured. Make sure to use a gentle touch and be very careful not to cut the skin.

Avoid Cutting the Skin

It’s important to be very careful not to cut the skin when trimming the fur. Make sure to use scissors designed specifically for cats and be extra careful around the face and feet. If you do accidentally cut the skin, take your cat to the vet immediately.

Finishing Up

It’s time for some aftercare. Do NOT skip this step. Proper aftercare can help prevent formation of matted hair and make it easier to groom your cat in the future.

Give Your Cat a Bath

Once you’ve removed the mats, it’s time to give your cat a bath. Use a shampoo and conditioner designed specifically for cats and make sure to rinse thoroughly. This will help to remove any remaining debris and help to prevent future mats.

Apply a Conditioner to the Fur

After you’ve given your cat a bath, you can apply a conditioner to the fur. This will help to soften the fur and make it easier to brush.

Dry the Fur

Once you’ve applied the conditioner, you can start to dry the fur. Use a towel to gently pat the fur dry and then use a blow dryer on the lowest setting. Make sure to keep the blow dryer at least 6 inches away from the fur.

Brushing the Cat’s Coat

Brushing a cat's hair
Credit: Cottonbro Studio

Once the fur is dry, you can start to brush the cat’s coat. Use a brush designed specifically for cats and brush in the direction of the fur. This will help to remove any remaining debris and help to prevent future mats.

Rewarding Your Cat with Treats

It’s important to reward your cat for being cooperative during the grooming process. Give your cat a treat and let them know they did a good job. This will help to reinforce good behavior and make it easier to groom them in the future.

How to Prevent Cat Hair Matting

The best way to prevent matted hair is to groom your cat regularly.

Brush your cat’s fur at least once a week and make sure to give them regular baths. This will help to keep their fur tangle-free and make it easier to remove any mats that do form. We recently published a full guide on how often you should groom your cat.

Trimming Your Cat’s Fur Regularly

If your cat has long fur, it’s a good idea to trim it regularly. This will help to prevent the fur from becoming tangled and knotted. Make sure to use scissors designed specifically for cats and be very careful not to cut the skin.

Why Do Indoor Cats Get Matted Fur?

Indoor cats can get matted fur due to shedding or movement.

When a cat sheds, hair can tangle with the intact hairs and form knots. On the other hand, frequent movement can cause the fur to mat as well. However, keep in mind that some breeds are more prone to getting matted hair than others.