Matted Cat Fur: Correctly Caring For Your Felines Fabulous Fur! | Kidadl


Matted Cat Fur: Correctly Caring For Your Felines Fabulous Fur!

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Matted fur is a very common phenomenon in cats, more so in cats with thick fur.

The body of a cat has two layers of fur namely, the undercoat which protects its body from harsh weather conditions and keeps it warm and the other one is the overcoat. The overcoat of a cat protects the fur present underneath from all the dirt and dust.

Matting usually takes place when cats tend to shed their inner layer of the fur, the undercoat, and get it entangled with the upper layer or the overcoat. There are a lot of factors such as dirt, dust, and cat litter that act as catalysts and make matters even worse. On top of that, cats have a habit of self-grooming by licking their fur and although this is a healthy practice for some reasons, it does not help the cause of mats. We see the issue of matted cat hair more so in cats that have long hair as it is relatively more difficult for them to shed their undercoat. Grooming is essential to avoid such conditions and at times seek professional help when the delicate skin of the cat is getting damaged due to mats. Some owners ignore the issue of matting and delay dealing with it. They might not realize it but they are harming their own cat by doing so. Cats are often shy and would hide the pain they experience from the matted hair and if delayed, it can cause health issues too. While some owners on the other hand tend to use scissors to cut the mats, one must never do this.

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Why is my older cat getting matted fur?

If a cat is old or overweight or sick for long periods of time and cannot move a lot, it can end up with matting issues. On the contrary, matting can also take place in certain body parts of a cat that experience a lot of movement such as in between their legs and on the chest. Some cats with oily skin suffer somewhat more than others from the issue of matted fur. A longhaired cat with oily skin and dead hair can get a lot of small debris such as dust and other materials entangled in its fur and harm its healthy coat.

The age of a cat plays a significant role in their depleting self-grooming habits which then leads to matting in a cat's fur. When a cat is young and playful, not only does it take better care of its fur by itself, but also has a better quality of skin. As the cat ages and progresses towards its teenage years, it does not quite resort to self-grooming like it did before and this is where cat owners need to play a significant role. Health issues ranging from dental problems to kidney and bladder issues massively impact a cat and we no longer get to see the cat groom itself.

Now, if a cat doesn't groom itself and keep its fur clean, the owners either need to contact a professional groomer or take a brush and a comb in their own hands. If you notice a cat's coat with mats all over, you must, first of all, find the health issue which is causing this problem at hand. Damaged gums and infected teeth are arguably the most common reasons among old cats for experiencing dental issues. Certain cats develop periodontal diseases at a very young age which only keep on worsening with time. Your best bet is to contact a vet immediately and resolve your cat's dental issue. At the same time, you can also have an entire checkup of your cat's body as there might perhaps be some other reasons such as joint issues or urinary, kidney issues which could be preventing your cat from undertaking self-grooming activities, and thus, leading to mats in your old cat's hair.

Causes Of Matted Hair In Cats

If your kitty has matted hair, do not take it lightly until you get to the root of the issue. At times it is just due to a lot of movement or perhaps lack of movement accompanied by some dusty conditions. At the same time, it isn't always laziness that can be blamed for mats on your cat's fur as issues such as arthritis, stress, and dental problems more often than not indirectly lead to mats. These health problems prevent a cat from practicing self-grooming activities which takes a toll on your cat's skin. Let us take a look at these causes in some more depth.

Toothache is undoubtedly the most common disease which leads to mats in a cat's fur. Infection in the tooth root or bleeding gums or a wobbly tooth are some of the most common problems which trouble the mouth of a cat. The reason why dental issues prevent most cats from following their self-grooming routine is, whether it is older cats or the younger ones, all of them lick their fur to keep them detangled. However, when their mouth hurts due to dental issues they would not resort to using their mouth for any reason, and this lack of natural conditioning oils on your cat's fur then leads to loose hair being entangled with the overcoat, and thus, mats. Next up is arthritis, a lot of cats suffer from this joint issue which prevents them from completely turning around their neck, causing pain in their spine. As your pet cannot turn around, it cannot groom its skin, and thus, it comes down to you to take a brush or a comb and groom the coat of your pet cat to prevent matting. A vet usually prevents the use of scissors for dealing with matting as you can unknowingly harm your cat's skin which in return is much more painful than just matting. Under severe conditions, you would have to trim some part of your cat's mats, you can then use the razor comb instead of scissors, they are safer and do the job well.

From time to time, run your fingers through your cat's coat to check for any mats that might have formed.

Removing Mats From A Longhaired Cat

There are several steps or ideas you can use to remove mats from a longhaired cat depending upon the severity of the matting. Instruments like brush and comb will be all you need if the matting isn't very serious and doesn't require a professional. Although, if your pet cat has very long hair and the strands are severely entangled, you might need to contact the vet.

If the mats aren't very tightly knit, using a simple brush you can remove mats from your cat's fur without any fuss. The best way to brush tight mats is by holding the fur closest to the skin with your fingers and running the brush through the mats with just enough force to untie the mats. Not only does this avoid hurting your cat's skin but helps remove mats. People at times use a comb with a wide-tooth when the mats are pretty tightly knotted. Other than these ordinary combs and brushes, you can also use a razor comb or as it is also known as the mat comb. This instrument will cut the hair of your cat as it runs through the fur, eliminating all mats from the coat. Professionals also use scissors or electric razors to trim mats of a cat but you must not resort to these techniques at home as you can cut your cat's inner coat without realizing it. It is thus better to take your kitty to a vet and remove all matting.

Grooming An Old Cat

When a cat is no longer able to groom itself due to aging or other health issues, it is the responsibility of its owner to keep their pet mat free and avoid any skin irritation. Although grooming an old cat to prevent or solve matting isn't very different from grooming a regular cat except for the fact that you need to be extra careful.

First of all, you need to run your fingers gently through your cat's body to check for mats, especially in areas such as its hind legs and hips. These areas of a cat are prone to matting so check these first but be gentle as these are sensitive parts of a cat. Next up, if it is a loose mat, you can easily run through a brush and untie the knots, but in the case of a tightly knotted mat, you can apply some cornstarch. The powder will help in untying the mat easily as you would be better able to grip its coat. In case you cannot manage to free the mat, consult a vet immediately as delaying will only stress your cat and increase its pain.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for matted cat fur, then why not take a look at how many cat breeds there are or Chausie cat facts?

Written By
Aryan Khanna

You don’t have to do or say much to make a noise. For Aryan, his hard work and efforts are enough to make the world notice. He’s not one to quit, no matter the hurdle in front of him. Currently pursuing his Bachelor’s in Management Studies (Hons. Marketing) from St. Xavier’s University, Kolkata, Aryan has taken up freelance work to help hone his skill and hain the corporate exposure he believes will bolster his credibility. A creative and talented individual, his work includes creating well-researched and SEO-friendly content that’s engaging and informative.

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