how to get rid of knots in cats fur

During an appointment for professional cat grooming, these mats are being removed. The elderly cat has thin, sensitive skin and was covered in matting. Only a veterinarian or a professional groomer should remove matting to this extent.

Many mats, whether used for shaving or combing, leave a bald spot behind when removed. The matted hair is to blame for this, as it tugs at and damages the skin. When the mat is being removed, there may even be spots that become red, irritated, or even bruised. All of this is typical, and it will go away on its own without the need for further care. In rare instances of severe matting, lesions, open wounds, fleas or other parasites, or other skin problems may be hidden beneath the matting and only become visible when it is clipped off. For treatment, any of these ought to be examined by a veterinarian.

It’s likely possible to comb them out without the need for clippers if the matting is tiny—roughly the size of a nickel or less. The ideal tool for this task will be a strong metal comb that is at least 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Too close together teeth on tiny combs or flea combs make it difficult to remove the matting without simultaneously removing an excessive amount of hair.

Because they can seriously cut and harm your cat’s skin, NEVER use scissors, seam rippers, dematting rakes, or other sharp objects on its skin.

If you are looking for a professional cat groomer, we recommend Certified Feline Master Groomers (CFMGs) with the National Cat Groomers Institute. They have a map of both members and CFMGs available by clicking this link.

Using the Comb

To prevent the comb from pulling hair out of the mat, start with a different area and use your non-dominant hand to hold the mat’s base down with your thumb and forefinger. Beginning at the very tip of the hairs, carefully begin combing through the mat piece. As you work, move down into the mat; for particularly difficult areas, use only the first three or four comb pegs at times.

For cats with short hair, you can use a small slicker brush to gently and slowly brush through any remaining tangles.

After giving your cat one last treat, call it a day. Don’t try to tackle the mats all at once; it may take several days to get them all done, depending on how bad they are. You also need your cat’s cooperation and patience.

how to get rid of knots in cats fur

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

how to get rid of knots in cats fur

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

What Causes Matted Cat Fur?

Grooming typically keeps the fur tidy and keeps fleas from becoming established. However, mats can occasionally form, especially if a cat fails to properly groom itself or gets something stuck in its fur. Additionally, in some places, mats may form as a result of friction or surface contact.

Due to disease or behavioral issues, cats may cease grooming entirely or only partially. Senior or overweight cats may find it difficult to reach specific parts of their bodies, which can result in mats that frequently form along the lower back.

Due to the nature of their coats, some cat breeds—such as Persians, Maine Coons, and other long-haired breeds—are more prone to develop matting.