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What causes hair matting?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Our oldest 6yr old male cat doesn't have any issues at all, but the 4 yr old (younger) female seems to get matts or knots in her hair all the time. What can we do to help prevent this. We groom them a few times a week, but the matting still persits.

Any suggestions?
post #2 of 12
If she is a long haired cat which I presume from the matting issues, you need to brush her daily. That will help !
post #3 of 12
Yes, brush her once a day. I actually know people who get their cats shaved (Persians) because of the matting issue. It's not a matter of how the cat looks, mats can be very painful. If they're serious knots, I'd cut them out, but not in a big chunk. A shaving about every 6-12 months should do the trick.
post #4 of 12
Most people who do shave do so in the summer and its a bit late for it now - I would cut out the knots and matted fur and keep up on the brushing.

Feeding a high quality food and adding oils (flaxseed & omega 3 & 6) can help keep the fur shiny and less matted
post #5 of 12
Originally Posted by friskie View Post
If they're serious knots, I'd cut them out, but not in a big chunk.
Use a comb to slide under the knot and cut along the comb so you don't cut her skin.

I brush my long hairs daily using a wide tooth comb, does the trick for us.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
She's not a long-haired cat. She's basically a Medium Haired Tabby of some sort, but gets knots in her hair frequently. (we) may take a pair of clippers to her because she's an indoor cat. She only see's the outdoor screened-in Gazeebo when it's warm outside. I'll take the Flaxseed and Omega Oils into consideration...thank you!! She probably needs those anyway.

Thanks for the replies!
post #7 of 12
My oldest cat gets mats in her fur too. She's a short hair cat, but not as short hair as some cats I've seen.

I find that if I don't brush her daily she will have mats in her fur at the lower end of her back near her tail. There was a period where I was quite sick and it was all I could do to feed them and keep their litter box cleaned, so they didn't get groomed for several months. Chynna (the oldest) had knots and her fur looked greasy in the area.

Holding the knot at the base next to the skin, I gently worked the knot with my fingers and kind of spread it apart a bit and brushed with my wire slicker brush at the very end of the knot, while still holding it tight against the skin. It only took me 3 days to get all of her mats out and I didn't have to cut any of her fur off either.

I found that each time I worked at the knot and spread it apart as I could and then brushed it gently, that the matted dead hair gradually came out.

However, if your cat doesn't like to be brushed, that may not work for you. Chynna loves to be brushed and will lay there all day and let me brush her.

I also found that once I got the knots out and brushed her daily that the greasy feel and look of her fur disappeared and her fur returned to feeling and looking silky soft like goose down.
post #8 of 12
Marc, what are you feeding her? Maybe an upgrade in food will help her, without having to add additional supplements. Many of the "holistic" foods have Omega oils added (with fish) and flaxseed, plus a higher meat/lower grain content often improves the coat too.
post #9 of 12
Some cats, especially persians, tend to get matted very quickly. DAILY combing is in order. Brushing a few times a week is ineffective. You'll need to comb your cat every day.

Its rare for a short hair cat to get mats - so combing them every day will help. Also the food you are feeding might be a cause.
post #10 of 12
Bathing also helps. Oils that build up can keep the shedding hair from falling away naturally.
post #11 of 12
Is she overweight? Older and/or overweight cats can't bend to clean themselves as well, and tend to get matted more where their tongues can't reach.
post #12 of 12
Grizzly is a medium haired more chubby cat. She also gets mats in her back area by her tail. Plus dandruff. I cut the mats out if they are bad but she does like being brushed. When I took her to vet in Sept he mentioned that she actually has some syndrome thingy. When he petted/scratchd her by the base of her tail she goes on flexs and likes her front paws. I can't remember what he called it. It could be treated by medication but I am trying (well haven't done it yet) bathing her with a special type of shampoo. He recommended 2-3 times a week!!!
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