Cats are always known to be licking and cleaning themselves, which often leads to the question, why should you even bother grooming your cat? However, as much the cats groom themselves most of the time, you should be aware that your cat needs to be groomed regularly. While short haired cats do not require a lot of brushing. Long haired cats, on the other hand, require being brushed at least daily so as to help keep mats at bay. Without regular combing, long haired cats will develop the uncomfortable mats from all the hair that will curl itself.
Fur mats are knots that form on the fur of the cat when a particle of dust or litter is attached to the fur of the cat, and the cat tries to lick it away while grooming itself and ends up spreading the fur around it hence tangling it in the hair. Matted hair is common to long haired cats, but it can also occur on short haired cats.
When a mat develops, it has the following adverse side effects on your cat:
- It causes skin irritation
- It causes extensive pain to your cat
- It can lead to inflammation
- It leads to anxiety
- Excessive mats may result in intestinal blockage to the cat
- It can lead to skin infection
Small mats are likely to cause skin irritation to your cat, but larger mats can cause excruciating pain. In addition to that, large mats can cause difficulty for the cat to lie down using some positions, causing sleep disturbances. The mats that form at the back of the legs can pick up faecal matter or urine when the cat releases itself. These wastes can easily create a breeding ground for bacteria which will lead to infection.
Mats commonly form in the following areas behind the ears, at the rear end of the legs, under the arms, around the collar and around the groin.
Cutting The Mat
If the mat is large, you can cut it with the help of any of the following tools: small scissors, shears, clippers, electric razor or eyebrow trimmer. When you are cutting the mat, be extra careful so that you do not get too close to the skin since you might end up hurting your pet.
You should only consider cutting the mat if the mat is too dense for any other removing procedure. When cutting the mat, you should use purpose end brushes such as mat comb which have inbuilt razors which will cut your cat’s hair as you brush.
Remember that your cat’s skin is susceptible and if you are using an electric razor, press the blade against your skin to be sure that it is warm so that you do not irritate the skin of your cat. Continue checking the temperature as you continue shaving the mat. To avoid any injuries to your cat, you can consult a trained pet groomer to show you how to do it or better still, leave it to the professionals, have him do it for you.
If you are not sure about what you are supposed to do when your cat develops a mat, seek professional help from a pet groomer. A trained groomer can easily take care of a mat by either cutting it off or combing it.
Removing a badly matted fur can be very painful to your cat, and if the mat is too bad, it will require the complete shaving of the fur of your cat. This is without a doubt the work of a groomer who has both the know-how and tools to remove the mat effectively with minimum side effects to your cat.
You can use oil to remove the mat. The most commonly used oils to loosen the mat include olive oil or coconut oil. Just apply the oil on the mat to loosen it up and then comb the mat slowly.
You can remove a mat from your cat’s fur with the help of a mat remover. A mat remover helps you to slowly and carefully separate from the sides of the mat. You should be careful to work on a little hair at a time until you shrink the whole mat to the point where you can be able to either comb the hair or cut it out.
Most of the tangled hair can be untangled easily by combing them out. Remember that regular combing of your cat’s long hair is the best grooming solution the mat problem. If the mat is too thick and tight for you to comb with a regular comb, try combing it with a wide toothed brush/comb. For you to get the best results when removing the mat through combing, begin brushing at the base of the tangled hair and then follow it to the root of the knot.
If your cat has a thick undercoat, try to use a comb that has a double set of teeth of multiple lengths. As you brush, ensure that you hold on to the fur that is closest to the skin before brushing so as to avoid pulling your cat’s hair.
If you are not sure how to comb the mat without hurting your cat; seek help from a professional pet groomer. Regular combing is known to be the only method of keeping the mats at bay. So ensure that you comb your cat on a regular basis or if you are too busy to do it yourself, seek help from a groomer.
Keep The Fur Dry
If you leave the hair of your cat to get wet, it will lead to the mat getting tighter which will prove difficult to remove. If you decide to use a de-matting product, be sure to choose a product that is designed for this purpose only.
You can visit a pet groomer and seek for advice on which de-tangling product is ideal to use for your cat. This is because some products might contain some harmful chemical which might irritate the skin of your cat.