Matting in Cats | Winslow Animal Hospital Dog & Cat

We all love petting our precious kitty when they let us. Their soft fur and the purring that results helps calm and relax us. But are you noticing some spots similar to human knots? But thicker and unable to brush it out? Well your cat’s fur is starting to matte. Matting typically occurs in long haired cats thanks to their double coats. What happens is loose undercoat fur gets trapped in top coat. Matting also occurs when the hair becomes dirty and oily and twists together. The longer the matte is left, the tighter it becomes and the more discomfort it causes.

Personal Grooming

Cats are great at self grooming. They learn at a very young age to groom themselves and nature has set them up for success. Their tongues contain papillae, which are like tiny barbs perfect for catching loosed hair and removing dirt. These barbs “massage” the skin and therefore promotes circulation. But sometimes, this simply isn’t enough. Health problems, such as arthritis or oral problems can prevent them from properly grooming themselves. 

Other Types of Grooming

Regular Brushing

You can help your furry friend out by brushing then daily. Make sure it is as stress free as possible. Don’t force them to sit still, ease into the situation so they are comfortable. Start off with a soft bristle brush until they are used to it and you have routine established. Once this happens, you should find a brush that matches their fur type. 

Professional Groomers

If you can’t get your cat used to being groomed at home, then a professional might be warranted. Especially, if your furry friend has difficult fur that easily mattes. 


Sometimes your cat’s diet can make their fur problematic. Check with your veterinarian to see if there is anything you can change about their diet to achieve a shiny, healthy coat.

What to do if Your Cat’s Fur is Matted

Matting could potentially become dangerous if left for too long. It can pull at the skin so much that it can become inflamed and/or infected. It’ is very important to take care of any matting right away.

If you notice minor matting, then you cant try brushing it out or using your fingers. You could also try a special type of comb called a matte breaker. However, if they are sever, outside help will be necessary. Check to see if the matting is effecting the skin first. If it’s not then take your furry friend to the groomers to have the matting shaved off. If it is effecting the skin, contact your veterinarian.  Depending on the severity, anesthesia may be required. 

As with anything, prevention is always the best policy. Make sure to notice if your cat isn’t grooming themselves as well or if their coat becomes dulled and changes in texture. These can be signs of an underlying health problem. Contact your veterinarian right away if your notice these or subtle behavior changes.


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