De-Mat That Cat! Sunday 16 April 2017 @ 08:55
Last month, we discussed some important parts of kitty care including combing and brushing your long-haired cat and keeping him calm during bathtime. These posts were prompted by one of the pets we supported through Hunter Animal Rescue - Russia, a 4kg Domestic Medium hair. This week, we’re going to continue our set of tips for caring for these fluffy superstars. It’s time to unmat that cat!
How do I remove mats from a long-haired cat?
Cats who are elderly, ill or overweight can struggle to reach certain parts of their bodies when grooming. However, these aren’t the only felines at risk of getting matted! Any cat, even those with shorter coats, can get matted hair as a result of a buildup of dander or dust. Most of the time a mat will come out with just a simple bit of brushing, but extra work can be required for harder mats.
For those new to kitty care, a mat is a clump of hair which has grown knotted or tangled over a period of time. Some of these mats form as a result of the everyday actions of your cat, while others build up over a longer timeframe on cats who aren’t groomed properly. If they are left without grooming, these mats can become sore or irritating to your cat’s skin, even causing an infection in some cases. This may cause your cat to emit an odor which could make you think about bathing it, but there’s a high chance this will only make the matting worse. Always check your cat for mats before bathing him, and try to remove these first to avoid worsening the tangle.
Keep your cat’s fur dry. Allowing the coat to get wet can result in the mat setting tighter, making it even more tricky to remove. If necessary, you can use an anti-static spray or purpose-bought detangling product. These, however, are not generally needed.
If you do decide to invest in a detangling product, it is vital that you remember only to use products which were specifically designed for the animal in question - not, for example, a children’s detangling spray. Unless the product was created with cats in mind, there’s a strong change it’ll contain something toxic to your furry friend, and it’s not worth taking that risk for the sake of a dollar!
Begin by trying to comb the mat out. Most mats and tangles can be removed by simple brushing, and regular brushing is important to the health of your cat’s coat anyway! If the mats are too thick or tight for your regular comb, try using a wide-toothed comb or a more gentle brush. Cats with thick undercoats can benefit from special undercoat combs, which have two sets of teeth which are of different lengths. Hold the fur that’s closest to your cat’s skin with your fingers before brushing out the mat to avoid pulling your cat’s hair and to maintain control.
For the best possible results, start at the bottom of the matted area and work your way up towards the roots. However, if the mat is simply too dense for regular combing, it may be time to cut the mat out. For this, you can use a razor comb or mat comb. These are purpose-made brushes with built-in blades which will cut your cat’s hair as you brush it. Razor combs work well if you’re able to get under the mat, but again remember to hold your cat’s fur carefully to avoid tugging.
If none of these methods help your cat’s matting problem, you could use an electric razor to carefully shave the mats away. If possible, pay a professional groomer to do this for you as you do not want to risk injuring your cat. If you have no choice but to do it yourself, be very careful and hold your cat’s skin tight and flat so you do not cut him.
Your cat’s skin is very fine and will be sensitive to the heat produced by an electric shaver. When removing mats, press the razor against your arm first to make sure it isn’t warm. Continue checking for heat every now and then until you are finished.
Above all else, our aim is to make sure as many pets as possible get to be with families who will love them and give them all the care they need no matter what, and this includes reuniting wandering animals with their worried parents. Here are just a few of our recent success stories!
“Along with the help of some locals who were alerted by LostPetFinders and a LOT of letterbox drops within a 1km radius, Millie was reported found to us by a lady to whom I dropped the third-last leaflet one km away :)
We are overjoyed.
She is injured and not eating yet, but we have only just come home from the vet moments ago.
My heart goes out to all those people who are missing their beloved animals. The pain for us was excruciating. Thank you Tony for your encouragement and your advice, and to the kind neighbours who phoned and texted me and urged me not to give up.”
“Your service was fantastic, thank you so so much. Thanks for all your alerts and all your tips.
She reappeared last night very skinny, quite injured and spent the night at the vet emergency clinic.
If anything, it has been a great moral support knowing your members were aware and on the lookout for her. Thank you once again”
“He came home on his within minutes of me listing with your site! But I did follow the advice to keep calling his name and he just answered and came home so happy”
“I was so glad that your service was available, I was about to send out an alert after Cleo was missing for 18 hours but she was found.”
“Great tips on what to do list to help find your loved ones eg poster, ring vets and put add in other sites.
Thank you for your help and great ideas.”