Knots in Misty's fur

Misty's Guardian

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Does anyone know what would cause knots in Misty's fur? She has several knots around her neck and more than one has two or three on/ in the same hairs of her fur. On previous vet visit , the vet cut a couple of knots out of her fur, but did not tell me what could cause the knots. Can any of you tell me how or why she would have these? And on another question ---does anyone know about a poster from a couple that helped me his "handle" was onecatovertheline ?? Thanks to all for any help and comments.
 

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Hi. Do you brush Misty? Is she long haired? Does she wear a collar? How old is Misty? Does she groom herself otherwise? All of the answers to these questions might help.

Regarding "1catovertheline" - I did a search and it would seem they are no longer active on this site. Sorry. The last post I could find for this person is dated back in Nov 2018. Here is a link to their previous posts, in case that helps any.
TheCatSite
 
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Misty's Guardian

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Thank you FeebysOwner. Regarding your questions: I do brush Misty usually when she "asks" (& to get her treat(s), she does have long hair, she is an inside cat only -no collar, I estimate her age as 4 years next month. She came to our patio in mid-sept. 2016, she has been with us ever since that time. When she showed up she was just " a little thing" , maybe 8-12 weeks as a guess. She does groom herself. And seems to be a very clean cat otherwise. And she is a bi-color --- black and white fur only. Hope my answers can help you. One other thing, if I was to try to brush her frequently, I think I would get more bites. I say that Misty is "her own cat". If my agenda & her's are the same or very similar then things are OK, but if not, that's not so good. And she will tell me the brushing session is over by biting me or trying to. But having said that she is a very affectionate kitty and a lap cat. Really a joy to be around!! Sorry to be too long winded.
 

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I learned a long time ago, especially with a long haired cat, that 'training' them to be brushed frequently is about the only way to avoid the 'objections'!!! Have you tried one of those gloves (see link below to an example of one), rather than a brush? Not so much as a permanent way to brush, but perhaps to help desensitize her to being brushed. The neck might just be an area that is harder for her to groom herself. If she will let you, you can also use your fingers to gently separate the hairs before they get to true knots.

She might also be one of those cats that you can only brush so much at one time, in case it causes over-stimulation (hence the biting response). So, that might mean brushing a portion of her each day over the course of a week, then repeat each week.

https://www.amazon.com/Remover-Furniture-Grooming-Function-Deshedding/dp/B088876888
 
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Misty's Guardian

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Thank you for your advice and info. I do use the glove and she really likes that and will purr during the first couple of minuets. Maybe I can get her to like more frequent brushing as a way to reduce the knots, and not trying to brush all of her at one time. I see I forgot to say where they are on her. They are on her neck just under her ears and slightly behind them. And of course that's where her fur is the thickest, it looks like a lions main around her chest and neck. Again thank you for your suggestions.
 

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The knots are caused by oily coat. Ideally a bath would help (only after removing the knots) but if that isn't possible, use cornstartch worked into the coat. It will help with the oiliness. Also on a long haired cat I would never use a brush - only a comb. A brush does not get down to the skin and so the coat will felt underneath while looking neat and brushed on top.. Keeping a short grooming routine everyday should help with treats and loving afterwards. As she gets used to it extend the time but never express stress or frustration with her.
 
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Misty's Guardian

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Thank you Posiepurrs for your info. Assuming we can give her a bath, is there a proper bath shampoo and method you would recommend to bathe her? And how frequent should she have a bath? Also is there a comb that we can use to help avoid knots in her fur? What is the best way to remove the knots before we give her a bath? Any advice is most appreciated, and I can see that even though I thought of myself as a cat person, I need to learn a lot more.
 

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Assuming we can give her a bath, is there a proper bath shampoo and method you would recommend to bathe her?
Method: Carefully!:flail:Seriously, if you decide to try, clip her nails beforehand. Have everything where you will need it. I suggest shutting the bathroom door too - nothing like having to chase a soapy, wet cat through the house (been there, done that!). Keep her facing away from you the entire time so she can't climb you. I usually keep a hand on the shoulders, with my forefinger and thumb on one side of the neck and the rest of my hand on the other side - it is easy to feel them getting ready to jump that way plus it gives you more control. Have someone help if needed. As for shampoo, since it is just to get her clean not into show condition, any gentle pet shampoo would do, but be certain it is for cats and also be careful of any herbal shampoos. Cats are very sensitive. She may do best with a sprayer held against her so she can't hear the water. I never put mine in a tub of standing water - they tend to panic. I would suggest doing it at least monthly - she may not need it but it will keep her accustomed to it. A greyhound style comb is best. See the attached photo. As for removing the knots before bathing, combing (or taking her to be clipped down) is the only option. To make it easier to remove the knots, try the cornstarch. Work it in and then using just the corner of the comb, gently try to tease the knot out starting at the point farthest away from her body and working in. PLEASE do not use scissors to cut it out - a cats skin stretches' and it is easy to cut them. Be careful about scrubbing or when drying with a towel not to do it to vigorously or you will create more knots. I usually scrub and dry with the direction coat grows. You should check out this sites articles on bathing.
How To Safely Bathe A Cat: The Complete Guide
One other suggestion, if she is a biter while grooming, get an E-collar (also known as the cone of shame) from your vet or pet store. That suggestion came from a certified cat groomer/CFA judge that I am friends with. She saved me from getting bitten many times with that hint. Most of all, keep at it - by grooming everyday, extending the time just a tiny bit each day, even if she doesn't need it. Remember make it rewarding for her and try to make it fun.
 

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FeebysOwner

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The key as noted above is to remove any mats before a bath. And, therefore once that is done, I am not at all sure what the bath is going to accomplish. Brushing will not only disperse oils throughout all the hair, it will also reduce matting. Odds are if her hair is oily in the neck area, it is likely oily everywhere else. The difference is that she is better able to groom the rest of her than she is her neck area, so if you take over that area for her, there is no need for a bath.

Most cats, unless they are 'show cats' or constantly getting dirty outside, do NOT need baths. You could even risk the chance of going in the complete opposite direction by drying out her skin if you bathe too often.

Use your hands to gently separate the mats, and brush - with whatever tool she will allow you to use - often.
 
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posiepurrs

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I disagree. Long haired cats benefit from occasional baths. If a coat is dirty or oily it WILL mat even if combed . You do not brush a long haired cat as the brush will not get to the skin and you will end up with a felted mess. Bathing also helps remove dead and loose hair.
 

FeebysOwner

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I disagree. Long haired cats benefit from occasional baths. If a coat is dirty or oily it WILL mat even if combed . You do not brush a long haired cat as the brush will not get to the skin and you will end up with a felted mess. Bathing also helps remove dead and loose hair.
Guess I just got lucky then! :) Had two long haired cats who were brushed almost daily, never had baths, and never had mats!
 

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They may not have had a lot of undercoat- some don’t. Depends on coat texture too. You are LUCKY!
Tawny (RIP) had hair that was fairly thick, but not nearly as much as I thought after I got Gracie (RIP). Hers was crazy, crazy thick!! I think the routine brushings made all the difference for both of them!
 
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Misty's Guardian

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Thank you both for your wise counsel. I will get after this shortly. I am scared to death to cut her nails. I so far let the vet do it. She has a couple of knots that are two and in one case three knots on the same hair groups. Where she has these knots is on her neck and I guess that will take some time to remove them all. I am of the "no baths needed for a cat" thinking, but perhaps a "dry" bath may be better than a wet bath. I will check out the How to safely bathe a cat and whatever other sources I can find. about that. I will report my hoped for success when achieved. Thank you both for your help!!
 
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Misty's Guardian

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Another question if I may. Do any of you use a Mat Remover comb? I see one on amazon the Hertzko Mat Remover Grooming Comb. Have you had any experience with these types of combs? And for Posiepurrs where can I get one of the combs shown on your post above?
 

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Another question if I may. Do any of you use a Mat Remover comb? I see one on amazon the Hertzko Mat Remover Grooming Comb. Have you had any experience with these types of combs? And for Posiepurrs where can I get one of the combs shown on your post above?
I used to groom both cats and dogs, and rarely used the mat remover/mat rake, mats were either gotten out with a comb and brush or shaved out. On the mat rake the curled inside edges are a little sharp, they cut through the hair. If the mat is too close to the skin it likely won't work much at all, or you could risk cutting the cat (at the end of the day, not the worst thing in the world, but still something to avoid!) Working the mat out will take some time and some practice, especially as your cat doesn't appreciate brushing much in the first place. It'll tug her and feel uncomfortable when you're working at it (whether you use a mat rake or not) so expect her to react a little.

The combs you're referencing, the regular ones, can be found in any pet store or any online retailer. You might have to check the dog grooming aisle if the particular store you're in doesn't have a cat grooming aisle.
 

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And for Posiepurrs where can I get one of the combs shown on your post above?
Any pet store with grooming supplies (usually as said above in the dog aisle), order on line through Amazon, PetEdge, Cherrybrook, or any other groomer/pet supply site. You will probably get the best price from a local store though. If you have a dog show near you the vendors would carry it. I think they are still having dog shows (cat shows are pretty much cancelled right now due to corona virus).
 
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