Fur Issues

The_littlest_cat

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This wasn’t originally an issue but for the last month or so Mr. Fluff has been getting tons of mats on his belly and around the front of his neck. We’ve been combing them out, which has been difficult as he cries the whole time and tries to bite but they just keep coming back. They’re especially bad on his lower belly between his hind legs. Does anyone know why this would suddenly develop?
 

christfawk

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Hello! I can probably help you pinpoint the cause but I need to ask a few questions. How old is Mr. Fluff, is he long haired or short haired, and is he overweight or has he been gaining weight recently? Also, what kind of comb specifically are you using? Cats coats are "greasy" and usually if its compacted undercoat the hair will pull out easily and without much discomfort, so either he is getting legitimate mats or he's dramatic about it. My own long hair cat screams bloody murder for the comb but hes a real drama queen diva!
 
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The_littlest_cat

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Hello! I can probably help you pinpoint the cause but I need to ask a few questions. How old is Mr. Fluff, is he long haired or short haired, and is he overweight or has he been gaining weight recently? Also, what kind of comb specifically are you using? Cats coats are "greasy" and usually if its compacted undercoat the hair will pull out easily and without much discomfort, so either he is getting legitimate mats or he's dramatic about it. My own long hair cat screams bloody murder for the comb but hes a real drama queen diva!
When we adopted Mr. Fluff, ( back in March of this year) we were told he was approximately two years old. He is long haired and the fur around his neck is especially long and fluffy. When we first adopted him he seemed maybe a tiny bit underweight but he seems to be at a healthy weight now. The comb we are using is just a basic one from petsmart that said it was for long haired cats. I should also add that most of the mats seem to come out relatively easily but the ones near his hind legs seems to be across almost his whole lower belly and we haven’t been able to fully get them out.
 

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Hmmmm okay. A lot of the times when I see matting in cats that previously did not have it before it's an issue with not being able to properly groom themselves such as arthritis or being overweight. Depending on the climate you live in it's the time if year for the undercoat to be thickening, and that could add a lot to the situation. A lot of people confuse the soft undercoat coming out with matting of the top coat and unfortunately I can't tell you which it is without feeling it.

The comb you use for him should look similar to this:
Screenshot_20191009-235339_Samsung Internet.jpg

Has anything else in his surroundings changed recently that could cause him to not want to groom? Its definitely a little off for a slim cat of that age to not take care of themselves and to mat that quickly.
 

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I am not sure what others think about this but, I was told years ago by a breeder that when they start matting, it is time for a bath. I would probably not recommend this with your cat tho because it seems he is not used to the comb and this most likely means never been bathed. My Theo has been bathed every 2 weeks by the breeder before I got him and every 4-5 weeks by me since I got him so he is used to it and purrs while I bathe him. He is even pretty good about the blow dryer.

These cats are a LOT of work but, the rewards are immense. The combing/bathing bonds the cat to you. The combing is like a body massage to Theodore. I have 4 Greyhound combs. I bought 2 of them and breeders have given me the other 2 with the cats I got from them.

Here is Theo. Is your cat like him?
DSCN7448.png
 
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The_littlest_cat

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I am not sure what others think about this but, I was told years ago by a breeder that when they start matting, it is time for a bath. I would probably not recommend this with your cat tho because it seems he is not used to the comb and this most likely means never been bathed. My Theo has been bathed every 2 weeks by the breeder before I got him and every 4-5 weeks by me since I got him so he is used to it and purrs while I bathe him. He is even pretty good about the blow dryer.

These cats are a LOT of work but, the rewards are immense. The combing/bathing bonds the cat to you. The combing is like a body massage to Theodore. I have 4 Greyhound combs. I bought 2 of them and breeders have given me the other 2 with the cats I got from them.

Here is Theo. Is your cat like him?
View attachment 303199
I included a picture of Mr. Fluff, since we aren't sure what type of cat he is. Strangely enough we have bathed him before. When we first got him from the shelter they told us he liked to spend his days hiding in the litter box and he smelled incredibly bad. He seemed relatively okay being bathed, my boyfriend got in the tub with him and used a cup to soap him up. He didn't really like it but he didn't really fight it or try to run out.

IXV79mwuSXa7aj27FLuAfw.jpg
 
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The_littlest_cat

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Hmmmm okay. A lot of the times when I see matting in cats that previously did not have it before it's an issue with not being able to properly groom themselves such as arthritis or being overweight. Depending on the climate you live in it's the time if year for the undercoat to be thickening, and that could add a lot to the situation. A lot of people confuse the soft undercoat coming out with matting of the top coat and unfortunately I can't tell you which it is without feeling it.

The comb you use for him should look similar to this:
View attachment 302870

Has anything else in his surroundings changed recently that could cause him to not want to groom? Its definitely a little off for a slim cat of that age to not take care of themselves and to mat that quickly.
The brush looks similar to ours though ours has a handle. The only thing that has changed is that in July we moved back to the midwest, but he is strictly indoors and the issue of his fur has only happened within the last month.
 

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Brushes, if not the right kind, can charge the fur up and make it stick together and matts start. Right from the beginning, I was always told to only use a stainless Greyhound comb. During the dry months I keep a small spritze bottle filled with mostly water. I add a drop or 2 of my hair conditioner and that helps. With Theo I spray my hands and pet him to get the stuff on him and then I comb it in. It stops the static build up.
 

christfawk

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Sorry for the late reply. If you can't pull out those mats I would see if your vet could shave them out, a lot of longhaired cats get a belly and butt shave just because those areas can be hard to maintain. If you have a trustworthy groomer in the area you could call and speak with them as well, but if he's a very high stress cat for brushing a vet is a better way to go for both the safety of your cat and the groomer. It is possible the stuff of his belly and rear can be combed out but if hes fighting you I would leave it to a professional. It isn't going to be pretty if you send him to a vet to spot shave mats but it will be safer. Of you think he's calm enough call a groomer and it should take all of 10 minutes to just pull out or shave out those areas.

On a side note please DO NOT try to cut those mats out yourself, cat skin is extremely thin and easy to slice!
 

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Something I discovered when one of my cats developed mats. He has medium long fur. To cut the mats, don't try to cut the fur down near the skin, parallel (along) the body.

Instead, cut down into the mat. Make several cuts into the mat. Then, usually, you can actually comb out the mat without too much distress to your cat. This avoids any cuts close to the skin. Good luck!

The_littlest_cat The_littlest_cat Keep us up dated! Mr. fluff is a very nice Tuxedo! GaryT GaryT -- Theo -- Avery handsome Persian (?)!
 

GaryT

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Something I discovered when one of my cats developed mats. He has medium long fur. To cut the mats, don't try to cut the fur down near the skin, parallel (along) the body.

Instead, cut down into the mat. Make several cuts into the mat. Then, usually, you can actually comb out the mat without too much distress to your cat. This avoids any cuts close to the skin. Good luck!

The_littlest_cat The_littlest_cat Keep us up dated! Mr. fluff is a very nice Tuxedo! GaryT GaryT -- Theo -- Avery handsome Persian (?)!
yes, he is basically a Persian but, if you want to get technical, he is a seal lynx point Himalayan. He turned 1 year old this past June
 
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