Matted hair on cats is an ongoing problem for cat owners. This is especially true if your cat is Persian or a long haired domestic cat. Some cats just don’t seem to have any problems and take good care of themselves, but some just develop these hard as rock matts.
So, just how do you get rid of it? There are a few ways that will help, but keep in mind that your cat will get tired of being picked at, and you need to realize that you may not get rid of all of these matts in one day. Take your time and build up each session of grooming with treats and pettings so that they come to enjoy it and before you know it their fur will be shining and matt free.
Here are five ways to get rid of it:
Manual separation – What this means, is that you gentle take your cat on your knee if you can, or simply sit down on the floor with him, and after some serious petting that will probably get him purring, gently take one of the matts in your hand and see if you can separate it easily without pulling. If not, then you need to take a pair of small nail scissors, and do about 4 quick cuts into the matt as if you are making fringe. Try to resist simply hacking it off, try and split it.
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Once you have split it into 4 little sections or more of fringe, gently try to work them apart in your fingers. If the matt has not been there for a super long time, I find this method works really well. Then take your cat comb and comb it out. The wide tooth cat combs work best on small areas such as this.
Just work on the one or maybe two if your cat is patient, then let him go with some pettings and try again for some more tomorrow. Build up the time, and don’t forget the treats so he knows this is a special time.
You can also try using a children’s gentle hair detangler. The type you simply spray on and then brush out, these help to soften and separate the hair. Try to avoid using straight water, as that just seems to make them harder.
Another great homemade way to do this is to take a little bit of baby oil on a piece of cotton and soak it into the matt. I have found that when the baby oil seeps into the matt it just seems to help it “unglue” itself. Just remember to take a “kitty wipe” of some kind to try and wash the baby oil off the area, then give the fur a good brushing or you are going to have grease spots in the house or find your cat with dirt attaching to him!
Special Combs – You can get combs that have a blade built in that are good at slicing through matted hair on cats, these also thin the fur a bit too. You will need to check your local pet supply store to find these, they also sell them for dogs.
Brushing and Cutting – If your cat is covered in little matts all over, such as what you might get from picking out burrs or debris, then giving him a really good brushing should clear up a lot of the problems. Even little crusty matts will respond to a good brushing. You could dab a bit of baby oil on the bigger matts and then brush it through.
But if you feel you have no choice but to cut out some of the bigger matts, brush as much of them as you can and then using nail scissors cut at the base of the matt being careful of their skin (you might need some help holding the cat for this one), then brush well.
Groomers – If you are faced with giving your cat a checkerboard hair cut because of all the matts, you can take your cat to a groomer who specializes in cats and they will simply shave your cat. This works well for the warmer months. I know some people who get this done every summer anyways to keep their cats cool. They make look funny but they will feel better. Then simply keep up a nice coat with lots of brushing. Something you could do while watching TV. Get into the habit of brushing your cat, and you can stop matted hair on cats before they form.
Sometimes just having a second pair of hands to be petting and brushing the rest of the cat while you work on the matts is a good way to get rid of a lot of them. If they don’t feel pampered then they tire of it quickly and leave.