Cats are meticulous groomers, but sometimes, spots can get missed, and over time, hair can clump together. Mats can occur in all cat breeds, but for a long-haired cat, matted fur is a more common problem. If you're wondering how to unmat a cat's fur, the best way to remove these knots is through gentle brushing, using a cat matting comb, and using oil-based detangling products that are safe for cats.
For severe cat fur mats, the knotted hair itself may need to be removed. While it may be tempting to cut out a mat, this puts your cat at risk of injury since you could cut his skin. To prevent your cat from getting hurt, consult a professional groomer for assistance rather than trying to use scissors to do it yourself. Knowing how to unmat hair is important, but you should also take time to learn how to prevent it from happening again.
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Causes of cat fur matting
For a long-haired cat, fur matted into clumps can be a common problem, but there are ways to prevent it. Cat fur matting often happens when cats are not brushed frequently enough. From reducing hairballs to helping your cat's grooming routine, daily brushing is crucial to a cat's health for many reasons. Brushing your cat will reduce the occurrence of matting since mats are often caused by tangles. Cats are self-groomers, but if you don't brush them frequently enough, their routine may become more difficult, and they may ingest more fur while licking themselves, which can make them feel ill.
Your cat's diet can also contribute to the health of her fur. Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E help your cat maintain a healthy coat. Note that when cats are sick, they are also less likely to groom themselves or may even stop, so mats happen more often. Cats who are less active and overweight also tend to groom less since it may be harder for her to move and reach all of the body to clean it, so it's important to help your feline stay active and eat a balanced diet. Mats can also be due to dehydration or an allergy, so if your cat is not grooming and seems more tired and less active, schedule a veterinarian visit.
How to unmat cat fur
Mats can lead to skin irritation since they are thick and block air and moisture from reaching your cat's skin. When untreated, mats can increase in size and become heavy, causing your cat discomfort and pain since they decrease circulation to your cat's skin. This is why it's best to treat mats immediately and aim to prevent them from happening completely.
If you're wondering how to unmat cat hair, small mats can usually be combed out. A brush for matted cat hair, also known as a mat breaker, is a good investment if you have long-haired cats, and it's the best way to unmat cat fur. Prongs help this special comb break through even the thickest of mats to gently remove mats from a cat's coat. Gently use the brush and your fingers to separate sections of fur. Take extra care to avoid pulling your cat's skin in the process.
Detangler or conditioner made for cats or mild cooking oils, like olive oil, can also help loosen thick, knotted-up fur. It's also possible that rubbing a little corn starch on to the mats can help loosen them. To prevent mats in the future, brush your cat often and do gentle examinations of his coat on a regular basis to catch small tangles before they become matted fur.
Seeking professional help for mats
Don't attempt to cut a cat's matted fur on the back or on other parts of your cat's body on your own. Stubborn mats may require professional assistance. If you've tried loosening the knot with a mat breaker and have used products to no avail, visit a groomer or your cat's veterinarian, who will know how to safely remove the mat without hurting your cat.
Also, if you notice any skin irritation around the mat or after removing it, set up an appointment with your veterinarian. Your cat may need medication or topical treatment for the rash to help clear it up and prevent an infection.