My cat has matted fur. How do I go about grooming matted cat fur?

My cat has matted fur. How do I go about grooming matted cat fur?

by Mary
(Nottingham, UK)

Old cats can tend to groom less and leave the door open for matting - Photo copyright Helmi Flick - please respect copyright

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Old cats can tend to groom less and leave the door open for matting - Photo copyright Helmi Flick - please respect copyright

My cat has matted fur. How do I go about grooming matted cat fur? She is a medium long haired cat and is old with a bit of excess weight. She always gets matted fur on her backside which she sits on and squirms about on when she is grooming the other parts of her body!

I'd appreciate some tips on this as I have always fought with this problem.


Hi Mary... thanks for popping by and asking. I like visitors and questions even though I can't always answer them and this is a slightly difficult one or at least there are no easy answers.

It really depends on how matted the fur is. If is is bad I would get it done professionally and I wouldn't leave the people (in the UK they might be assistants to vets at a veterinarian's surgery) to decide how to do it as they might just manhandle your cat and groom through the matting upsetting your cat, maybe even traumatizing her.

I think the best way for bad or lots of matting is to have the fur shaved out professionally. It looks like a bad haircut afterwards but after the shaving the key it to consistently groom your cat every day, perhaps twice a day, to ensure that matting doesn't reoccur.

As for less bad matting, Drs Carlson and Giffin, two well known veterinarians in America (who I hope don't declaw) recommend the following:

Clumps of hair should be removed they say. Incidentally, it is worth asking ourselves if matting should be removed. Are we doing it for the cat our ourselves? This is a valid question. We don't like matting as it feels horrible and we like the feel of stroking a cat (particularly the dense silky coat of a British Shorthair) but this is not a reason to clear out matting. Anyway that said, it is usually advisable to remove them as it makes the coat more efficient as a protector for the cat if it is in good condition (although cats don't mind matting).

Drs Carlson and Giffin recommend tangle removal liquids and sprays that may soften the clumps which makes it easier to remove them. A wide toothed comb should be used to remove matting but it may not if the matting is tough.

Under these circumstances the matting or clumps of hair has to be removed and anything we have in the house in the way of a shaver won't do it. They recommend using sharp scissors with great care cutting away from the skin into the hair clump in narrow strips. A comb can be slid under the clump to protect the skin.

The single danger is cutting skin and the single obstacle is keeping your cat still to allow you to exercise some precision during the cutting. Take time and don't take chances.

Leave some of the clump there (that is nearest the skin). Wait a few days for the hair to grow some more, which leaves the clump further from the skin. Then do some more judicious trimming. At a point in time the remainder of the clump can be teased out between the fingers and/or combed out in the usual way say with a Furminator which is a heavy weight and highly effective grooming tool.

Some people who keep Persians, a very long haired cat, give the cat a "lion cut" to get rid of the matting and give the cat a new look. Not sure about that but it is an option.

After all that it might be worth considering how to take proactive preventative steps. As mentioned consistent grooming by us given to our cats will prevent it. Also finding a diet that allows for some loss of weight without losing enjoyment of eating might be worth looking at. Although if your cat is old a bit of fun eating is not worth taking away from the cat. Exercise may also assist to burn some calories.

I found that dry food can put on weight as it is made palatable but contains carbohydrates that help to pile on the pounds.

Grooming matted cat fur -- Associated pages:

How old is my cat

Elderly cat health problems

How to look after an old cat

How to Minimise Cat Hair

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My cat has matted fur. How do I go about grooming matted cat fur? to Cat Health Problems

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My cat has matted fur. How do I go about grooming matted cat fur?

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Mar 24, 2012 Matted Cat Fur NEW
by: Brenda

slowly get your kitty used to having the scissors...let him or her sniff them...once they are comfortable with this new tool...start snipping away a bit a careful not to be too close to the skin...slow but sure is the way to cut those matts away...good luck...

2 thoughts on “My cat has matted fur. How do I go about grooming matted cat fur?”

  1. I recommend that anyone with a long haired cat spend a few minutes daily with a wide tooth comb on your cat’s fur. I have a medium long haired cat, and I comb and brush her every day. That way I can feel if a mat is starting, and take care of it right away.

    I’ve read that mats are painful to cats, as they might be to us when we groom our own hair. I think some people believe that since cats groom themselves, they take care of the mats. This is not true. If it was, we wouldn’t see so many matted cats.

    I have a method for removing small mats that are just starting. I use a flea comb every day, that enables me to know when mats are present. I also go all over my cat with my hands while petting her, and as soon as I feel a mat, I go at it.

    I GENTLY try to separate the mat, as I would a tangle in my own hair, rather than just pulling at it. OUCH! It takes patience, but it just adds to the bonding with our cat. I’m sure my cat appreciates this.

    My method is kind of unusual because I use a box cutter to cut it away. I hold on to the end of the mat, and very gently and carefully cut the mat off. I do this when my cat is relaxed in my lap from petting.

    I don’t trust scizzors to be sharp enough, and I don’t want to take a chance at cutting her. It works well for me.

    There are certain times of the year when she’s prone to a few mats, but I don’t really know the cause.

    Taking daily time to groom my cat includes using the flea comb and baby swabs to clean her ears using a bit of coconut oil. By inspsecting the comb, I can find any fleas easily. I have other grooming tools that reduce the amount of excess fur. One is the Shed Monster, which she really prefers of all those I’ve tried. I like it because it works!

    I used to find fur in her stools, but hardly ever now. And since she’s been on raw food, she’s not constipated anymore. I think it’s a good combination.

    I watch her litter box so I know how she’s doing. If she has runny stools, I think about what she’s eaten if I’ve changed foods.

    Paying attention to your cat’s coat is a basic way to detect

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