Even though cats meticulously groom themselves, their hair can get mats. The help of a pet parent is often required to remove tangled, bunched up hair. Because mats can lead to conditions such as skin lesions, skin infections and dirt, debris and bacteria buildup, its best to remove them as soon as you notice them. The correct tools, proper de-matting technique and hair conditioner, can help make the grooming process easier.
Wait for the right time to groom your cat's coat. Feed your cat and play with it before the grooming session. A tired cat is less likely to protest.
Set out all the grooming materials you need in a small room. Close the door to the room. Play soft music to help sooth your cat.
Run your fingertips through your pet's coat to look for hair that's clumped together. Feel around your cat's legs, under its chin, below its tail, on its tummy and on the sides of its body.
Isolate the matted clump of hair from your cat's coat. Hold it in one hand, and use your fingers to loosen and pull away as many hairs as you can from the tangled ball of fur.
Saturate the matted hair with hair conditioner. Use a commercial hair conditioner made for cats. Rub the conditioner into the matted hair with the tips of your fingers. The conditioner softens the hair and creates a slippery surface, making it easier to untangle.
Hold onto the twig of hair below the mat, right above your cat's skin. This protects your cat from any harsh tugging and pulling motions you will be making.
Break up the matted fur with a metal cat comb or flea comb. Comb the tip of the mat to loosen the hair and work your way down. Untangle little sections at a time to gradually reduce the size of the mat.
Brush over the untangled hair with a slicker brush.
Wet a washcloth with lukewarm water and wipe it over the de-matted section of hair to get rid of any hair conditioner residue. Give the hair a final brushing. Skip this step, if you used a leave-in hair conditioner.
Reward your cat with a cat treat and praise it for its good behavior.