Unmatting a long haired cat - how?

FeralHearts

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My friends cat is long haired. She's pretty matted and very well behaved letting us help her. Together we've managed to get a lot of them out, however, she still has quite a few and some are at her bottom and very, very close to the skin both there and her one side still. To the point that I can't even brush them to get them away from the skin in an effort to loosen them. We managed to get the one side and all around her neck freed.

I'm thinking vet, but she's never been taken and I'm not sure how open they will be to bringing her at this point. Although I think that might be the best course.

Before anyone reading this makes a judgement... the cat is well loved and looked out for by the owner. They we raised that indoor cats really don't need vets or shots. It's a case of education, not neglect, mistreatment or being unloved. This cat is very much their world. There was a move and lots of changes; including a death and now an illness (very serious) in their family - and the brushing got pushed aside and, well, here we are. If anything was really wrong they would definitely take her to a doctor and I have no doubts on this.

Also, before I make the suggestion, and try to convince them to get her up to a vet; as I don't think a groomer would be my first choice in this case - and to be honest the ones around my area - not sure I would 100% trust. The last one put my 120 pound rottweiler on a metal table to trim her nails, she fell, hurt her hip and they didn't even say a word until I notice an issue and called them on it. (Who put a big dog like that on a slippery table to trim nails?) The really great one I know is now a bit too far away sadly.

Does anyone have any ideas how we can try to loosen them up? Coconut oil massaged in? I've never had a long haired cat so other than what we are doing for her I have no clue as I have no experience to be able to share with them on this.


:runaround:
 
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FeebysOwner

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Hi. Any chance the groomer you like and trust would have a referral for you that is closer? If not that, look for a cat only vet as I expect they have a little more experience in dealing with long haired cats just because cats are all they take care of. A cat only vet might even have some groomer recommendations for you.

I had two long haired cats and did take out a few mats here and there. I always just started at the end of the mat and massaged it loose with my fingers while moving toward the skin as I untangled it. I never used anything because I always believed it is best to tackle the fur mat dry. Then I had a comb to comb through the untangled part while holding the still tangled part closer to the skin (to prevent pulling) and continued on massaging the mat toward the skin. The ones on her bottom that are close to the skin would be the ones to have a more experienced person take care of.

I don't know if these instructions might help in terms of different tools you could try using (including a dematting spray!!)
How to painlessly detangle matted cat fur, according to vets (betterpet.com) .
 
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FeralHearts

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Thanks so much FeebysOwner FeebysOwner I will call him. I never even thought of that but you're right, he might have a few colleagues still in this area he would trust. The cats caretaker doesn't drive but I would be willing to take them wherever was good.

Thank you for telling me what you did for yours. It's what we've been doing. I would comb a bit too so long as it wasn't pulling at her too much to get the lump away from her skin so they could cut it out. Her matts are quite bad. We've been having to cut them sadly out as brushing them out really is not an option as they are tight, tight, tight lumps. So tight that as much as I think she should be shaved at this point - it's not safe to do that.

I will read that article, thank you. I will send it to the caretaker to read as well. I'm also going to gently encourage a groomer or, preferably a vet. I say vet as I've noticed she has harsh breathing. It doesn't appear to impact her but It reminds me of when Charlies Asthma acts up, or potentially a heart issue. They said she has had it her whole life, but I still think a look would be prudent regardless.

We have one cat only clinic in the area and I've heard some pretty icky things. I do know two other clinics that run a very tight ship, and are experienced with cats. I could in good conscious recommend them.

P.S this kitty has been so amazingly good about lettings us help her too. Thankfully that's been on our side.
:redheartpump:
 
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Kris107

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What about a man's electric trimmer? They often have plastic guards on them too. Or little attachments for side burns. Another option could be a one-time summer cut!
 
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FeralHearts

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Thanks K Kris107 Sadly I think neither of us is comfortable with that given how tight the matts are and the location. Apparently they had done that once before for the kitty during the summer and apparently she looked like a lion with only fur on her paws, head, main and tail! I bet she looked cute. She's a lovely kitty.

I have a feeling calling in the professionals is going to be it. Looking more, it's so matted to the skin at her bottom I would be very concerned we're going to hurt her. It's tight tight. I can't tell where the folds of her skin are vs the matts.
:ohwell:
 

Kris107

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The lion cut cracks me up! 😆 My parents get that for their cat every summer. If hesitant and able, I think leaving it to the professionals is a good idea!
 

iPappy

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If you can find a groomer, tell them the cat is matted, and all you want is the mats removed. They should be able to get in with clippers and cut them out. An experienced cat groomer IMO won't try to talk you into a bath, or "grooming package", but will be able to get the mats removed and send the cat home in the minimum amount of time, with the least stress possible.
I'd suggest clipping them yourself, but, with mats that tight as you describe, it can be very easy to cut them. A groomer who knows cats will know how to maneuver the clippers and lightly "stretch" the skin so it doesn't get caught in the clipper blade. If she's good about being worked on to get some of the mats out, you could ask the groomer to asses her, and ask what tools they'd recommend for her coat type to keep the tangles from forming in the future.
I had a cat I loved very much. He was very sick, and very thin and frail and would get mats practically non stop. I am a groomer. I dreaded brushing him or clipping mats, because he hated it and it stressed him. It happens all the time even to very good owners when you're dealing with a cat with long, thick fur. And owners never want to hurt their cats by doing something that could cause them pain.
If the cat stresses in the car, you could consider calling a mobile groomer. I am not mobile, but have referred out to one before because they did a great job and it was a good fit for pets who were fearful of the car or carriers.
On your Rottweiler, I am sorry that happened. I don't put dogs that size on my table for anything anymore. Just today, I trimmed 3 large dogs on the floor. And a table shouldn't be slippery or metal on the top, it should have some form of cushion or non-slip padding to prevent those things from happening.
 
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FeralHearts

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iPappy iPappy thank you and thank you for the advice on what to say. Kitty is good about things. I really think she knows we are trying to help her. It didn't even occur to me they might say a bath and I don't think this cat would tolerate that as good as she is. So that is valuable information to go in with. Along with the things to ask for her coat. Thank you!

I'm not sure if we have any mobile groomers but certainly worth the ask around as I understand the move a few months ago was rough on kitty. I'll give my vet a call and see who they know.

Thanks on puppy. I could never understand why they did that, or why when they brought her back to me with an obvious limp and issue. They didn't say a word until I prodded on what happened to her. Rotties already are prone to hip issues so you can image she never went back to them. I learned how to get her to trust me to clip her nails. She was never happy about it - and made it known to me- but in time we developed a healthy respect for the ritual.

I called the groomer I know and they don't know anyone in the area anymore they could recommend. :-( The one they would trust has retired. GAH!

I'll let you all know how it goes. Maybe her caretaker will let me take a pic of her to pay the kitty tax here. She is a beauty.

PS - Bless you for doing that job. I image it can be quite harrowing sometimes.

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game misconduct

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mustache scissors they are usually sharp/pointed and meant for trimming in tight areas. my assumption is that you can trim bits and parts of the matted hair enough for a brush to loosen up more of the hair to trim off easiest is probably the vets for a full body shave for the summer
 

theyremine

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I have had sucess with olive oil. Use a small syringe to put a small amount at the base of the mat. The mat often comes loose and you can just sort of wiggle it off with your fingers in about 24 hours. Sometimes a second application is needed. i have used this method with out any issues with my former ferals.
 

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I regularly do this: put a drop of coconut oil on the mat and brush it out. But I am afraid the skin might get damaged, though it hasn't happened in the last two years since I started using this method on my 4-year-old. Though I must say, there is a nice sheen on Tom.
 

Lennybells

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For grooming advice, I love the YouTube channel The Girl With the Dogs. She is a prof groomer in Canada. She explains through her vids the individual animal client’s actions and how to safely groom cats. She is in Niagara Canada. She grooms for free!
 
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FeralHearts

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Looks like the caretaker wants to give it another go. So I think we will try a bit tomorrow. We have some detangler etc and we'll see if we can get anywhere with it. Kitties caretaker is a very intelligent person. If they weren't I think I'd be unhinged at the thought but I know they won't go too far with her and will accept if it's not possible.They are a wonderful human when it comes to people and animals. Kitty is lucky to have them. I'll let you know how we make out.

game misconduct game misconduct those are worth a look for sure. Thanks.

theyremine theyremine I can bring some of that and C CatPa and that. I was wondering about both of those items and how they might help. It's good to know you've both had success using those oils. Thanks.

Lennybells Lennybells Thanks. I absolutely know who you are referencing. I never even thought of her which is actually kind of sad I didn't considering lol. *facepalm*

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