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Removing Mats from a Cat

Category Grooming
Long haired cats can have mats that are tough to get rid of. This is a guide about removing mats from cats.


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By 10 found this helpful
July 12, 2011

Take a comb and put it teeth down between the mat and the animal's skin, then cut the mat away. Then brush the remaining hair out. This keeps you from clipping the skin on your pet.

By Danialle from Polson, MT

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July 12, 20110 found this helpful

Mine bites me. Any ideas?

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By 3 found this helpful
January 7, 2014

For anyone that has a long haired kitty, I use this product and it works great. No need to shave kitty down anymore. Use this on your kitty every other day and the mats/knots will come out. I had to search for something that didn't have blades and this has "no" blades.


Four Paws Ultimate Touch Instant Mat and Tangle Remover shows it is for dogs, but it works great on long hair cats. :)

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By 3 found this helpful
October 23, 2009

If your dog is matted, before bathing them, use cornstarch and a wide tooth comb to un-mat them. The cornstarch absorbs the oil that sticks to the dirt and creates the mat. Trim all fur once doggy is dry.

By Tami from Auburn, GA

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 5, 20000 found this helpful

Does anyone have any good ideas for dematting a cat? Is my only option getting her shaved? Thanks in advance for the help!

By Grace from NV

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December 1, 20000 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had the same problem, and was a bit "skittish" about taking on the task myself, because my cat is so "squirm". I did it, though! With the help of a kindly pet store salesperson who recommended a mat removing comb. It has little blades that break up the mat. You need to be careful, but the comb comes with good instructions. Just be firm when holding your cat and let him or her know who's boss!


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December 1, 20000 found this helpful
Best Answer

I work in a Veterinarian's office and we just take a sturdy wire-type comb and comb them out. It might seem that it would be painful to just pull out the hair but the cats do not seem to mind it and you are less likely to cut skin by shaving than by combing. Sometimes we have clients who come in that have tried to cut out the matts with haircutting scissors and have actually cut their cats skin resulting in a hole in the skin or infection. We recommend DO NOT do this! If it ever gets bad enough, take the cat to the groomers or vet.

Danielle R. - Phoenix, AZ

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December 1, 20000 found this helpful

Have you tried "No more tangles" from Johnson & Johnson?


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December 1, 20000 found this helpful

We have a long-haired cat that is also very susceptible to getting matted up. We just have to sit down with the cat and cut her hair 3 or 4 times a year; she hates it, but it's the only way to keep her hair from getting too long and out of control. One of us holds her down real good and the other starts cutting off hair with a regular scissors under all of her legs, chest, tummy, and private parts; you have to be careful where you cut, but it's not difficult. It beats the cost of taking the cat to a vet or grooming place to get the job done, and it only takes about 10 minutes if the other person has good control of the cat. Good luck!


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December 1, 20000 found this helpful

I have used a special comb/rake made by a company ? It is called a Rakom-2 and it gets out heavy mats. If your cat has huge mats over a large part of its body it probably would be best to shave.


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December 1, 20000 found this helpful

I've had long-haired cats as well as long-haired dogs, and matted hair was a constant problem. The best solution is prevention. For me, shaving is a last resort. If your cat (or dog) will sit still long enough and doesn't mind being groomed, make sure to comb/brush every few days. Park yourself and the animal in front of the TV and get to combing! For big mats, try cutting out the mat and **only** the mat, with very sharp, pointy scissors. Try pulling the mat apart with your fingers (longer nails are a blessing in this situation). The hair will grow back, trust me. For smaller mats, you can use Johnson & Johnson Detangler for Kids (or whatever it's called) and comb/brush through. You may want to dilute it somewhat, but it should be okay unless the animal has some weird allergies (check with the vet). Again, I would resort to shaving only as a last resort if nothing else worked.


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June 6, 20040 found this helpful

I had a gorgeous tortise shell long hair cat and she loved to get her her trimmed for summer. Using my husband's shaver I would do it on bathroom counter and cat would actually relax during this. I also bathed her as a tiny kitten and she LOVED water and baths and would sit in sink with her cat soap bubble bath and would howl when it got cold then I would add more warm water, she always tried to join us in shower... good luck

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 9, 20040 found this helpful

I've got a longhaired tortoiseshell that gets mats, gum from spruce trees I think. What I've been doing since I let them go too long, is to cut them in half. I don't try to get too close to the skin for fear of pinching or cutting her.

If the mat is well separated from the skin, then I'll cut it right off, but if it's worked its way tightly to the skin, I just cut it through the mat about 1/4" or 1/3" away from the skin. That way the mat is then cut "open", and easier to get rid of. Some of them I think she has finished off herself by licking them, but I'm thinking about just rubbing some olive oil into the other cut mats to help loosen them.

The reason for that is because I've heard that peanut butter is a good remedy for getting gum out of kids' hair - it's the oil that does it. Stands to reason that it would work on animal fur.

I'd be careful about using Johnson&Johnson, because cats lick themselves. Olive oil won't hurt them at all, or just a peanut oil, and it might help them to have the oil on the fur while they're trying to get rid of mats themselves.

Mats work closer and closer to the skin and become painful, and they also spread. Brushing regularly is the best prevention, but you still have to be ready to get them out when you've got a mess.

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