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How to detangle bad hair mats myself.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey there, guys.

I'm having some trouble with our DLH, Sophie. We haven't kept up on her brushing (it's not the easiest things to do with her, since she can become VERY grouchy, though that's still no excuse..) and now quite a bit of the hair on her back is tangled and matted, and she won't let us sit down and work on the mats for more than five minutes. We've recently had a few people and cats go to the ER's, and so we're still finacially recovering from that and don't -really- want to take her into the vet, since our vet charges....a lot. =x

My mom has a -human- hair clipper, which she wants to use, but I am very wary of us doing it ourselves with this ancient thing. I've suggested many times that we just go out and buy one from Petsmart or somewhere similar, but the parents keep balking at the thought of spending more than $30.

Then I went online to find maybe an even cheaper, but nice, clipper. I found some brushes that claim to be mat detanglers or mat removers.

Here's some of the products I found and was interested in:

"Instant Mat and Tangle Remover"
http://www.petsupply-store.com/4-paw...er-p-2653.html

"Mat Remover Rake Mini"
http://www.petsupply-store.com/mille...ni-p-1145.html

Can anyone tell me if these types of tools really work?

THANKS.
~Kat
post #2 of 12
Well, I'm not familiar with either product. I use a wire-toothed, rubber-backed slicker brush and a fine-toothed flea comb for our grooming. I recently bought a shedding grooming tool and paid quite a lot, but haven't been satisfied with it. Time, patience, and simple, fine-toothed grooming tools that are low-tech seem to do the trick for us. If your beauty won't tolerate long grooming sessions and you are able to do so, you might clip the mats with fingernail scissors, making absolutely sure you put your finger between the mat and her skin, and cutting above the finger so you don't cut her. This is a last resort for mats, and I would try several short grooming sessions each day with the comb and brush before giving up and clipping. It should not be necessary to have a vet's help unless she absolutely won't let any of this take place and is REALLY severely matted. In that case, I might try calling some cat groomers first, and pricing them, making sure you only use one who is GENTLE and PATIENT with cats. GOOD LUCK, and keep us posted, won't you?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah, we've been trying to make some head way with the mats by clipping out one or two a day, but some of them are getting to be so big...I can't see how she can sleep comfortably with them!

I feel so bad. But I will see if we can get a nice fine-toothed comb, and maybe I can sit on her for a few minutes. Thank you!
post #4 of 12
The rakes do work but I caution you to be very careful with them.

For big mats and an unwilling cat - do NOT use the clipper first. That will hurt the cat and frankly with winter here you want the cat to keep as much coat as possible.

You need a medium wide metal comb (teflon coated if you can find it) and a pair of sharp, blunt pointed scissors (hairdresser's scissors).

Here's what I usually do when faced with a badly matted cat:


1. You want to try and comb through the coat. Use your fingers to try and break up the smaller mats.
2. If that proves impossible, break the mat up by cutting down the mat - not right to left but from the root of the hair to the end. You can use the rake to help with this.
3. Once you done that a few times you should be able to comb out the mat easier.
4. Then comb through the whole coat with a fine toothed comb.

I would also bathe the cat after the combing session - shampoo AND condition to avoid new mats occurring.

I hope this helps.
post #5 of 12
If the mats are that big I don't recommend trying to comb them out. I also don't recommend shaving her yourself. If you have a hard time combing her out then your going to have a hard time shaving her. Can you look for a groomer in your area to shave her for you? They usually only charge $30-40. Doesn't have to be a vet. And they are usually much better for a groomer then they are for their owners! Bathing should not be done until all mats are out. If the mats are not out, it will make them worse.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
We can -look- for a groomer, but most of the cheap ones (like the shelters, who I -think- do simple grooming like this) would be far away, and we only have the car for two out of the seven days (my dad has it), so that makes things a bit harder, but I'll try convincing them again...I really don't want to do it ourselves, for fear of hurting her or getting ourselves hurt.

And...she's WAY worse with strangers. The last time we had to get her clipped, a few years ago, she had to be anesthetized, because they couldn't touch her much, apparently. Then again, they "had" to do the same with our old cat, RIP, who was the sweetest and most loviest thing ever. She was probably trying to love on them too much for them to get any work done. =p

The largest mats are about 1 to 1 1/2 inches across. Are those big to you guys? v_v
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry for the double post.

I'm VERY angry right now. My mother is -still- convinced that we should do this clipping with her human razor clippers, and just bitched me out (pardon) for looking up groomers in the Yellow pages and calling numbers. She said that Sophie is -her- cat (true), so I shouldn't be doing anything that takes the controls over the cat away from her. She considers my trying to find a good price taking her control over the situation away. I don't understand this at all; it's not as if I am scheduling the cat an appointment, ffs. I'm simply calling around to get estimates, so I can present them to my father once we have some money.

I told her that I'll have nothing to do with this. If she is so determined to do this to Sophie, I will NOT help her in anyway whatsoever.
post #8 of 12
I had a persian cat many years ago & used to try & brush him every day. When he did get mats I used to cut them out with a pair of babies scissors. Having a long coat it didn't show. I've done the same thing when my border collie has mats & won't let me comb them out.
When your mum calms down try & explain that if something isn't done soon Sophie will be in pain from the mats tightening on her skin. Also fleas & the like get in them causing irritation.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalikat View Post
I had a persian cat many years ago & used to try & brush him every day. When he did get mats I used to cut them out with a pair of babies scissors. Having a long coat it didn't show. I've done the same thing when my border collie has mats & won't let me comb them out.
When your mum calms down try & explain that if something isn't done soon Sophie will be in pain from the mats tightening on her skin. Also fleas & the like get in them causing irritation.
Thankfully, we don't have fleas here or any little buggers, really, but we both know she needs to have SOMETHING done very soon.

We can't cut them out. She simply won't sit still enough for us to do it for very long. My sister has some Acepromazine I'm trying to get my hands on, but until then, we can't do anything but take teeny baby steps with Sophie, which isn't helping Sophie at all, but rushing things would help even less.

You can bet that once we -do- finally get her taken care of right, she'll be brushed everyday. I'm not going to allow this to happen again.

I'll go see if Sophie is sleeping, and try to brush and/or clip some mats out. Thank you, everyone.

EDIT~~I got two mats out. ._. Let me tell you; holding that cat down with one hand, while trying to isolate and clip out the mat without nicking that skin is a chore. I'm sore. =3 Thankfully, Sophie isn't a biter.
post #10 of 12
Well you are in a tough spot. Can you explain to your mother that mats can be very painful to cats? Especially when they are close knit to the skin. Once they get to the point of being like a shell over the cat they really become painful. Luckily it sounds like your mom's cat isn't to that point yet. At any rate, I hope you get the problem resolved quickly. For the cat's sake!
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
It's not that she doesn't understand that the mats need to be removed, it's that she doesn't understand that I'm not willing to take a chance with the human hair shaver she has, and wants to use. She's all for taking the cat to a groomer so we personally don't have to worry about hurting her, but we just don't have the money, as I've said. Mom knows about mats, and how painful it is for Sophie. We just don't have money.

I got some Ace from my sister, and I'm gonna dose her up tomorrow, after school. Hopefully, that'll relax her enough that we can get some real mats off.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzyn View Post
It's not that she doesn't understand that the mats need to be removed, it's that she doesn't understand that I'm not willing to take a chance with the human hair shaver she has, and wants to use. She's all for taking the cat to a groomer so we personally don't have to worry about hurting her, but we just don't have the money, as I've said. Mom knows about mats, and how painful it is for Sophie. We just don't have money.

I got some Ace from my sister, and I'm gonna dose her up tomorrow, after school. Hopefully, that'll relax her enough that we can get some real mats off.
Sorry. I thought you said mom got mad when she saw you looking up groomers and complained that it was her cat and she wanted to maintain control. Guess I was confused and misunderstood that.

It's not so much about using human clippers. Seriously, there isn't a huge difference, although it may ruin her clippers since matts are so dense. It puts stress on the motor and dulls the blades. It's more about clipping to close to the skin and tearing some of those tissue paper thin layers of skin and opening the cat up to infection. It's very hard to tell where the matts end and the skin begins. That's the only reason I always suggest a groomer. But if you can't do it then you'll just have to keep doing what you're doing a little at a time. Good luck.
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