Severely Matted Cat Help

Paulmolive

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
9
Reaction score
19
Hello, My first post on here. Wondering if anyone can help me with my matted female cat. We rescued Alice last spring, she is approximately 2 years old. She was in horrible condition when she showed up at our house, but I'm happy to say she is now in good health. However, since she's been living in the house with us, she is constantly "clumpy". We have tried to stay on top of it, and purchased several different brushes but the mats are far too thick. She is very sweet and friendly but absolutely hates being brushed. I've lived with cats all my life, but have never had this problem. Also, her fur feels and looks different than any other cat I've been around. It's seems like there's 2 different layers? A fuzzy undercoat, plus a smooth longer top coat. I have rarely seen herself clean / groom anything other than her legs, paws, and face. She does not bother with her sides or her belly. I have seen some special de-matting tools online. Can anybody recommend a particular one? Also, possibly a safe & natural way to calm her? She is so sweet and I hate having to hold her down to brush her. Although she's pretty quick to forgive me lol. Thanks for your time

Paul
 

Attachments

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
23,096
Reaction score
31,032
Location
Colorado USA
Hi! Welcome!!
Depending on how bad the mats are, you may need to do as I have to with my boy, and use blunt end scissors to cut the mat down a bit until you can work it out with your fingers the rest of the way. I've read that cornstarch can help separate the hairs so that may work as well. I don't have any tools in particular other than this :)
 

sivyaleah

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
4,702
Reaction score
2,392
Location
New Jersey
Hi, and welcome!

Alice is lovely but I can see that her fur isn't in good condition. Since she is already suffering from being matted, my suggestion is to have her professionally groomed at this point, possibly shaved. The mats will drag her skin down causing pain which is most likely one of the reasons why she's balking at being groomed by you right now. It's really difficult to tackle that much tangled fur if you don't know what you're doing.

Once she's taken care of, it will be a lot better to start from scratch. The best tool for long haired cats is actually a comb. We use this one for our two long haired cats; one of which is a Maine Coon who has a different type of coat similar to the one you describe on Alice. It will reach through into the other layer.

Chris Christensen 000 7.5" Fine/Coarse Greyhound-Style Buttercomb

A good item to use that is very gentle on a cats skin, is the Kong Zoom Groom. It will pick up a decent amount of fur:

Cat ZoomGroom | KONG Company

We also like the Furminator deshedding tool, however, don't use it too frequently as it will pull out a bit too much. It is very effective, however!

Undercoat deShedding Tool Medium/Large Long Hair Cats | FURminator®

There are many other types of tools, everyone has favorites.

Also, it's good to have a dematting tool available. This is something that you need to be cautious with and it's better if the cat trusts you. You can also use a small scissor but again, only if you are sure of yourself and the cat being calm.

This is the one I use. I find it quite easy but I'm lucky that our older girl is very calm and so far, our MC kitten's fur hasn't gotten long enough to be a problem.

 

GoldyCat

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
Messages
12,818
Reaction score
2,021
Location
Arizona
Try using a comb instead of a brush. One with rounded metal teeth works best. Do a search for "combs" under pet supplies on amazon and you'll find a variety of styles. Personally, I prefer one with a handle because it's easier for me to hold onto it.

Samples
 

sivyaleah

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
4,702
Reaction score
2,392
Location
New Jersey
Adding: the other option, if you don't mind Alice looking a bit choppy for a while, is to try and cut out the mats little by little on your own. She may look a little funny, like a bad haircut until it all grows back but you can take it slowly over maybe a week or so until you get them all out.

I'd then start combing her every day in the areas you cleared, so she starts getting used to the process.
 

ArchyCat

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
1,645
Location
Texas
The few times I've had to deal with matting fur, I had better results using blunt tip scissors to cut into the mat, from the top down. This way, you keep the scissors' cutting edge away from the cat's skin. Just incase yogurt a sudden ' cat wiggle'. Make repeated cuts down into the mat and it will eventually start to disintegrate.

But long term, combing is your best bet.
 

Jemima Lucca

Forever a feline fan💕
Alpha Cat
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
687
Reaction score
1,480
Location
Bend Oregon
My cat Beju (who’s passed) was a ragdoll/Siamese mix who had very fine rabbit type fur. He was not a cat who groomed himself and he had a HUGE dislike of brushing! We had no choice but to have him shaved by our vet. Why? Because he would scratch, bite and claw anyone (including us) when we tried to groom him. The mats did hurt his skin and it had to be done. This is an option of last resort because it’s expensive and risky because he had to be anesthesised. Hope you find a good way to get rid of those mats 😉
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

Paulmolive

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
9
Reaction score
19
Thank you everyone for the responses! I have had some success with blunt tip scissors, but I have nightmares about injuring her. The mats are so close to her skin. She will let me work on the mats on her back side. But around her tail and belly no way.
 

Norachan

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
21,407
Reaction score
17,661
Location
Mount Fuji, Japan
If she's been fending for herself outside she probably wasn't on the best diet, which might be why her fur is in bad condition now. If you're thinking of shaving her I really recommend taking her to a professional groomer or asking your vet to do it. Cat's skin is very loose so it's easy to nick a squirming cat with a razor.

Forest Cat, in my banner below, goes for a full lion cut every spring. Our vet does it so he is lightly sedated for the procedure. They do all his annual blood work at the same time, so it's one less trip to the vet to worry about. He hates being groomed too, but he's gradually getting more tolerant of it. We do five minutes brushing with a greyhound comb every evening. One of us holding and petting him, the other working on his knots.

Hopefully with a good diet her fur will improve in time.
 

Purr-fect

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 20, 2017
Messages
1,443
Reaction score
4,373
Thank you all again for the advice. We were really hoping to avoid shaving her but it looks like it 's probably the best route. Spring seems like the best time to do it.
If the matts are close to her body, I would not wait till spring. They may be pulling on her skin now.

I work on my boys matts for a few minutes each time....no more....then they get a small treat. This helps them tolerate the dematting.

With a few minutes each day, you can make a difference over a week. But cut thru the matt by taking tiny chunks of it with scissors.

I never cut closer than half an inch from their skin and then gently tease the remainder matt apart.

One person craddles the cat (not holding it tightly), the other person trims.

Do not brush...it will make more matts....use one of the combs shown by others here.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16

Paulmolive

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
9
Reaction score
19
If the matts are close to her body, I would not wait till spring. They may be pulling on her skin now.

I work on my boys matts for a few minutes each time....no more....then they get a small treat. This helps them tolerate the dematting.

With a few minutes each day, you can make a difference over a week. But cut thru the matt by taking tiny chunks of it with scissors.

I never cut closer than half an inch from their skin and then gently tease the remainder matt apart.

One person craddles the cat (not holding it tightly), the other person trims.

Do not brush...it will make more matts....use one of the combs shown by others here.
Thank you. Just ordered a comb & de-matting tool on Amazon. Good reviews on both items. I am going to try a few things before resorting to a shave. I don't know if the matts are hurting her, but I don't think so. She has actually let me wiggle a few of them loose with no resistance from her.
 

lorie williams

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
33
Reaction score
36
Location
Michigan
A few years ago I had a female that had fur like that, I was even accused by a vet tech of not taking care of her! (she wasn't there long) I would try to clip myself, and then brush as much as I could, it was a constant battle. Finally the vet gave her a Lion Cut, she wasn't too happy with me but she sure felt better. After that, as it was growing back I was able to keep up with the matting with special combs etc. You really have to keep up with it though after. Good luck!!
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
4,612
Reaction score
6,774
I have used olive oil to get mats out of Krista’s hair to great success. It’s safe for her and it’s relatively quick (within a day for her. Might need to be reapplied for difficult mats.)
 

Meowmee

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
May 2, 2018
Messages
391
Reaction score
393
Hello, My first post on here. Wondering if anyone can help me with my matted female cat. We rescued Alice last spring, she is approximately 2 years old. She was in horrible condition when she showed up at our house, but I'm happy to say she is now in good health. However, since she's been living in the house with us, she is constantly "clumpy". We have tried to stay on top of it, and purchased several different brushes but the mats are far too thick. She is very sweet and friendly but absolutely hates being brushed. I've lived with cats all my life, but have never had this problem. Also, her fur feels and looks different than any other cat I've been around. It's seems like there's 2 different layers? A fuzzy undercoat, plus a smooth longer top coat. I have rarely seen herself clean / groom anything other than her legs, paws, and face. She does not bother with her sides or her belly. I have seen some special de-matting tools online. Can anybody recommend a particular one? Also, possibly a safe & natural way to calm her? She is so sweet and I hate having to hold her down to brush her. Although she's pretty quick to forgive me lol. Thanks for your time

Paul
Beautiful girl she is, like my Sybil...Syb was part Norwegian Forest cat part Siberian, ( see my profile pic) which your girl looks like too. Forest cats have two layers of thick fur and tend to have matt issues. Syb also hated brushing but she let me shave her so I recommend trying that, if the mats are very bad you may need to take her to the dvm to remove them. Be very, very careful if you try to cut them, use some vegetable oil, make sure a comb is placed against the skin and cut out what you can. If you have it done get someone experienced to do it. Don’t ever cut the fur without a comb against the skin you risk cutting the skin and it is too risky.

Even if she seems ok, I guarantee those mats are uncomfortable if not painful and she will be very glad they are gone however it happens.


I shaved Syb every spring and it controlled the mats and fleas. I gave her a lion cut leaving her poof end of tail, boots and face fluff. She let me brush her a bit with a slicker once a week but her fav was the furminator in later years. It removes the undercoat very well which is what causes the matting. The outer coat in nfc, guard coat long hairs, are oily and act as a waterproofing, so they can run around in snow etc and not get wet and cold, Syb loved snow💕

Norwegian Forest Cat - zooplus Magazine

Appearance
Like the Maine Coon and Ragdoll, the Norwegian Forest cat has semi-long fur. Its two-layer fur consists of water-repellent top hair with longer guard hairs and a thick undercoat. As with the Siberian cat, the Norwegian Forest cat changes its coat with the seasons: the winter coat with the thick underlayer is incredibly plushy and keeps the cat warm during the bitterly cold winter months in its homeland. As is the case with many long-haired cat breeds, there are even tufts of hair between the toes. The crown around the neck is prominently developed and very fluffy. In summer, the Norwegian Forest cat loses a significant amount of its undercoat, but maintains its bushy tail and “snowshoes”, or the tufts of hair between the paw pads.

By the way, the Norwegian's fur texture differs greatly compared to the Maine Coon, even though the two breeds look similar at first glance. The Norwegian Forest cat's water-repellent top hairs are often slightly oily and heavy, making the fur a little shaggy and less silky than the American wildcat's coat. The Norwegians are quite simply perfectly adapted to temperatures below 30 degrees Celsius and heavy rain!

How to Remove Mats From a Longhaired Cat (Vet-Approved Advice)

378CFDE8-F62C-44AF-8A87-3B73A0CA1871.jpeg
616123F2-FE61-4860-94C9-D7E89E778FC1.jpeg
76894BDE-1292-48DC-90D1-3554F9C1A733.jpeg
A0D03F53-C77E-4545-8CD1-7A2DC8BB4318.jpeg

933B10DE-F7D6-4697-97A4-D0154E58852E.jpeg
D3D55D70-D6C6-47F7-92FC-7252C958D8FF.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Festus Haggen

Puuurrr Love
Kitten
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
16
Reaction score
12
Location
Reading, PA
Hello, My first post on here. Wondering if anyone can help me with my matted female cat. We rescued Alice last spring, she is approximately 2 years old. She was in horrible condition when she showed up at our house, but I'm happy to say she is now in good health. However, since she's been living in the house with us, she is constantly "clumpy". We have tried to stay on top of it, and purchased several different brushes but the mats are far too thick. She is very sweet and friendly but absolutely hates being brushed. I've lived with cats all my life, but have never had this problem. Also, her fur feels and looks different than any other cat I've been around. It's seems like there's 2 different layers? A fuzzy undercoat, plus a smooth longer top coat. I have rarely seen herself clean / groom anything other than her legs, paws, and face. She does not bother with her sides or her belly. I have seen some special de-matting tools online. Can anybody recommend a particular one? Also, possibly a safe & natural way to calm her? She is so sweet and I hate having to hold her down to brush her. Although she's pretty quick to forgive me lol. Thanks for your time

Paul
Mayonnaise for fur and I got a I think it was segarents calming cat collar. In 3 days it almost completely stopped my mama cat from constant mean and nasty aggression. It is a blessed blessing to have. It's 20 $ but for 30 days I'll take it!
 
Top