Grooming Tips for Preventing Matted Cat Hair

Matted cat hair is entangled hair that ends up in tight knots. Long haired breeds are more susceptible to the condition than other pets. Cat hair is divided into three categories as each type of hair performs a certain role. The types of cat hair include awn hair, down hair and guard hair. The various function of cat hair involves protection from environmental contaminants, heat and cold. The uppermost layer of cat hair also determines the color of individual pets.

Cat Hair Conditions

Cats shed their fur during specific periods. However, fur loss that's caused due to skin conditions such as alopecia, dermatitis or skin allergy needs medical treatment. Although cats routinely groom themselves to maintain their fur coats, pets also develop conditions such as cat hairball due to the ingestion of hair during routine grooming. Pet owners should thus groom the cat with a brush to avoid excessive self-grooming and cat hairballs. Cats that appear sick or lethargic may avoid their routine grooming which in turn leads to matted hair. Thick knots are difficult to detangle with a comb and may cause the pet pain, if the mats are located towards sensitive areas of the body.

Tips to Separate Matted Cat Hair 

Cats should be groomed for matted hair when they're relaxed and in a happy state of mind. It's best to talk to the pet with affection and gently stroke the cat before grooming her. A scissors works effectively to cut a little of the fur mat if it's too thick. Pet owners may also apply cornstarch to the matted fur to loosen hair with the fingers. Brushes don't work well to separate matted hair as they may tug hard at the mat and cause pain. A wide toothed comb is handy, particularly for long haired cats. Pet owners should exert caution when cutting out parts of matted hair as the cats skin could get accidentally cut due to sudden movement. If the pet appears restless or aggressive it's best to stop the grooming process and return to it at a later time.

Other Tips

Cats should be rewarded both during and after the process of grooming. It's important to reassure the pet during the process and avoid separation of more than one tangled mass at a time. Large areas of matted hair should be gently shaved to avoid discomfort. However, pet owners unsure of shaving the cat should seek professional grooming services to avoid accidental injury to the pet.

Techniques to Separate Matted Fur:

  • Shorten the hair before separating it, if the mat is too thick.
  • Don't pull the hair with a comb. Instead pick at the matted hair gently.
  • Use pet friendly sprays to soften and detangle thick mats.
  • Always point the scissors away from the pet's skin and cut up through the mat.

In order to prevent cat hair from matting, pet owners should bathe cats occasionally and routinely brush or comb the hair to remove excess fur. It may also be necessary to trim longer haired cats at least once a year to keep the skin and coat healthy.