Did you know that even the fur of short haired cats can get matted? Although it is more common in long-haired varieties, all cats can get mats in their fur. Here’s how to treat a cat for matted fur:
- Prevent mats. Prevent mats by keeping your cat indoors and grooming them frequently. Some cats’ fur may mat quicker than others, so pay attention to your cat’s particular needs when determining how much care their coat requires and how much you should let them roam outside.
- Brush your cat’s fur. Groom your cat regularly with a brush or comb specifically designed for cats. Start grooming your kitten from a young age so that they will get used to it; older cats may hate to be groomed if it was not done from the time they were a kitten. Do not give your cat a bath before brushing, because this can create tangles that are difficult to remove. If you must bathe a cat, comb out the hair first, and then give your cat a bath. If your cat has mats and you plan to bathe the cat, use a little hair conditioner directly on the mats.
- Remain calm. If your cat hates to be groomed, stay calm. Cats can sense your anxiety. Wait until your cat is relaxed and sleepy, rather than trying to remove mats when your cat wants to eat or play.
- Work out the mats. If you find mats when brushing out your cat’s fur, carefully work at them with your fingers. Be careful not to pull the mats too far from your cat’s skin as you work at them. This would hurt the cat as much as if someone were to pull your hair.
- Use scissors. If your cat has small mats in their fur, you may need to cut them out if a brush or your fingers won’t work. Start far away from the skin, and carefully snip down the middle of the fur mat. Then, try again to work it out with your fingers before making any more cuts. Be very careful not to cut your cat’s skin.
- Take a break. If your cat is becoming irritated as you keep working out the fur mats, take a break. Return to the task later, when you’re both relaxed. You don’t have to work out the mats all at once.
- Visit a groomer. If your cat’s mats are too difficult for you to care for on your own, take your cat to a groomer who can care for their fur properly. Large mats or uncooperative cats can make the job too difficult to do safely without grooming experience. In the worst cases, the groomer may even need to shave your cat to get rid of the mats.
Mats can actually be quite uncomfortable for the cat. They pull at the surrounding hair, and may even irritate the skin. It is very important to treat a cat for matted fur as soon as you see them so that they don’t grow larger or more uncomfortable.