Matted Cat Hair- Causes And Cures

It wouldn’t be very difficult to imagine the high risk of matted cat hair upon knowing that there can be as many as 130000 hairs in every square inch of a cat’s body. It is a tough job to keep all those hair groomed but the right steps can make it possible surely. Learn more about matted cut fur and cat pelt and how one could turn into another.


Cat Matting

matted cat hair

Matting in cats essentially refers to a condition which involves the knotting and intertwining of the fur or hair. This sounds like a minor problem but can turn into big trouble if left unattended for long. Cats are the beings that don’t let out their discomfort and pain to be visible and thus it becomes even more important for the owner to closely observe any unusual change in the cat’s behavior and check if there is anything unusual.

It is usually the long hair cats that are most prone to matting. The body areas that are most involved in movements like the collar area, under-chest, and between legs mostly see matting. Look for these signs to spot any matting:

  • Hardening of the fur-hair
  • Fur sticking in the tufts
  • Mats appearing on the isolated body areas
  • Cat showing signs of pain upon movement

Threats posed by matting in cats

Matted cat hair can become a cause for severe health issues in the cat too along with huge discomfort. The following conditions might emerge:

  • Itchier mat as it gets tighter
  • Extreme heating of the cat’s skin
  • Inflammation and irritation
  • Severe infections
  • Tissue damage due to the inability of the skin to breather
  • The severe pelting of the fur
  • More self-grooming by the cat leading to hair ingestion
  • Parasites breeding in the coat

Causes for fur matting in cats

These issues might be the cause behind the matted cat fur:

  • Too much hair is difficult to comb through and some minor matting may go unnoticed to become a problem later.
  • Shedding of the undercoat causes the fur to get stuck in the upper coat.
  • Dirt in the coat or oiliness also causes the entangling of the coat and matting further.
  • Lack of self-grooming by sick cats can also cause matting. Cats with health issues like arthritis and overweight cannot flex much to do the licking. Oral diseases may also prevent the cat from self-grooming.

Self-grooming by cats

This is one of the greatest preventive measures that the cats carry out themselves. They do it most effectively and spent a big part of their day on it.

A cat’s tongue has tiny barbs known as the Papillae that do the job of removing the loose hair and dirt by pulling them out backwardly. These unique structures also help circulation in the cat’s skin. Cats are super flexible too which helps them to groom even the most difficult parts of their body.

Prevention of matting in cats

Your cat does the self-grooming mostly but that doesn’t mean you are relieved of your part. De-matting isn’t quite nice an experience for both the cat and its human. Here are some things that you need to take care to prevent matted cat fur:

Regular brushing of the fur

Include daily combing in the cat’s grooming schedule and keep it regularly so that the cat adjusts to it easily. Use soft brushes and starts brushing slowly so that it doesn’t put any tension on the fur. You can later switch to the right comb once the cat gets at ease with the process.

Focus on the troubled areas more and thoroughly brush the entire body coat. Always begin the process on a dry cat. Use pump-spray conditioners to soften the tiny tangles. Don’t push the process if the cat becomes uncomfortable and end it with treating the feline for the cooperation.

Keep a check on the nutrient take

A healthy diet plays a key role in keeping the cat fur healthy. Make sure that the cat is getting the right nutrition for her and contact the vet in case any dietary issue happens. Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin E are great for the coat.

Try professional groomers

If the fur on your cat’s coat is too thick or the cat does not like your grooming method, get them to the experts who will give the best tips while also cleaning the cat. They wash, condition, shave with electric tools, etc. that will relieve the cat.

Treatment for matted cat hair

Early diagnosis acts as the best help in such conditions where you should get the feline checked as soon as you notice that they aren’t self-grooming the way they used to. This can be an indication of a serious health issue because cats always self-groom meticulously.

  • Use products that are certified to be pet-safe. Don’t go by common notions.
  • Try combing the fur with your fingers regularly or just use a matt breaker for the grooming sessions. These are special combs that easily and closely detangle all the mats.
  • Don’t use scissors to cut the matted cat fur just like that. If the comb slides easily through the matt lump and the skin, then only cut it. Use the comb teeth to create a barrier and cut the lunging matt so that you don’t end up hurting or cutting the cat’s skin.
  • You can also get the help of a grooming professional to get the mats removed if they are only fur deep.
  • If the mat has gotten skin deep, get a vet to remove them as there might be a risk of serious irritation and skin inflammation.
  • Never lie to the vets about any mistake that you committed while removing the mats. Tell about it right so that the cat can get proper treatment.

Cat pelt

If the cat matting continues to get worse without any grooming treatment, it can soon turn into a pelt. So for those who want to know exactly what is cat pelt, it is the extremely hardened fur knots or matt that are formed when the matts start clinging to each other and become very tight, even causing a pull on the skin. These pelts attract even more dirt, fur, debris, and other unwanted objects to get stuck and enlarge them even more.

Pelting can happen in any area of the body, both in the visible and hidden areas. Other than the troublesome parts, pelting can happen on an otherwise fine-looking coat too.

It can happen in almost any cat breed ranging from long-haired to the curly ones. The shorthair cats are the ones with the most common pelt length. Due to their short fur, the owners mostly ignore their grooming needs and this leads to some of the worst cases of pelted cats.

Treatment for matter fur hair turned pelt

The worst thing about pelts is that they cannot be treated in any way but shaved completely. This is the only humane cure you can do to a cat that is in immense pain. However, shaving is not a quick fix for the cat pelt problem that you can resort to for an easy way out.

Shaving a pelted cat requires skills, concentration, time, and calm feline otherwise the whole thing can turn into a nightmare. The sick or older cats get very stressed about grooming and cannot be controlled easily for the removal of the pelt.

Lion cut shave

This is a particular type of fur shaving in the pelted cats where all the hair except on the legs, arms, mane, and head are removed. However, even these areas are also shaved off in the worst cases of cat pelt. The hair shaved this way take around four to six months to re-grow back to the natural length.

Final words

This was all about how matted cat hair can turn into the nightmarish cat pelt if not given the right treatment and preventive cure. You surely cannot imagine any pain for your feline friend, so if you are suspecting any such situation, get on your toes right away.

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Luna Tran

My name is Luna and I am a great cat lover and a cat owner of three lovely cats. I have owned many cats till now and have dedicated many years to nurturing and caring cats. Through this blog, I am here to share my knowledge and experience about cats.