Thursday 20 October 2011

Cat grooming removing mats

A lot of us, who care for cats will at some stage be presented with a cat's coat that is matted to varying degrees. Single cat coats never mat. It is double coats, cats with an undercoat of fine downy fur, that get matted because the cat is too old to get to all of the coat or ill or too fat!

Some mats will be impossible to brush out and you should never brush so hard that it hurts the cat because your cat will learn not to like being groomed, making matters worse in the long run.

Cat lion cut - matting solved at a stroke (err..cut) - Photo by moohaha

We are therefore presented with the decision to ask a veterinarian or a professional cat groomer to deal with the problem or deal with it ourselves.

Scissors come to mind to cut out the matting. Common sense says that this is dangerous for the cat because of the likelihood of cutting the cat's skin.

Cutting out mats with scissors requires extreme care. This is because the cat's skin, not being attached to the muscle underneath will "tent up" (be pulled up with the fur) making it easy to cut.

If you try and slide the scissors between the skin and the matting to cut out all of the mat in one decisive action you are liable to cut the skin bearing in mind the lack of visibility and the cat's movement.

The advice given is to slide a comb beneath the mat to protect the skin from the scissors. You then hold the scissors perpendicular to the comb and body (this means at right angles to the skin) and snip at the matting with the end of the scissors. This breaks up the mat allowing you to tease the bits out with your fingers. When this part of the process is completed the bits of mat left can be combed out.

Very bad matting really has to be done professionally.

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