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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Matted fur

I've had Missy with me for about a year. When she came she had matted fur clumps on the bottom third of her back. For various reasons I did nothing about it then, but just recently I've started to cut chunks of it away with a pair of scissors.

I know that the ideal would be to get the vet to shave it, but without going into details, I don't want to do that.

She gets mildly alarmed at my touching the clumps, but seems to like them being gone, because, I think the brush can get to the areas below. (pur, pur, pur). A big part of the problem is that in parts the matted hair is close to the skin. I do have a hair cutter, but trying to use that would terrify her. (The noise)

When I started brushing her, I limited myself to her jaws, head and neck. Later when I started brushing her back she was a trifle concerned but now enjoys it.

I plan to continue to snip away when the oportunity arises with the hope that the hair will grow out normally in time.

Any comments?

JusJim

Last edited by jusjim; 06-10-2011 at 08:51 PM. Reason: addition
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 09:18 PM
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I would not recommend using shears to cut out mats. There is a HUGE risk involved when using them for this purpose. Cat skin is extremely thin and delicate, even a small snip can turn into a large gash when the cat moves. Mats either need to be combed out or shaved out. The clippers I use on cats are incredibly quiet and I haven't had any cats give me issue with them when shaving out mats. However, the mats need to come out sooner rather than later, they will only get worse. They are incredibly uncomfortable and can even cause skin issues. The hair will grow back once shaved. If you could take a picture of them and post it, I'd be able to tell if they can possibly be combed out.

I'm not sure why you wouldn't want to have a vet (or even a groomer) shave them out, however scissors is not a good idea. You are setting yourself up for an even larger vet bill if you cut the skin. Besides being very close to the skin, all the cat needs to do is jerk its head/body/limb while you are trying to snip, and disaster! Also, mats block the view of the entire area of skin, so skin can even be caught up inside the mat. Once the mats are entirely removed, regular combing will prevent any future matting and you'll be able to enjoy your soft and fluffy kitty
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 09:19 PM
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Stick a comb between the matt and her skin to safely cut the matt off. But be careful, because if you pull the matt, some skin can come up between the teeth of the comb.

Quote:
but seems to like them being gone
Because matts that bad are painful to cats, so the sooner you can get to them, the better.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 10:23 PM
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My Maine Coon would get mat on her britches, my ex used to hold her while I gave her a butt shave.
When my ex left I wasn't able to do this alone, she didn't even like me combing her britches.
Luckily I found a groomer close to my home, Samantha cries all the way there.
They love her and schedule me before the dogs and would demat her. trim her britches and give her a bath.
She come home all sweet smelling.
She was very good there, girls said she didn't cry at all until I walk into the shop, once she heard her Papa she would start to cry until we got home.
Then I'd give her pets and treats.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NJgroomer View Post
If you could take a picture of them and post it, I'd be able to tell if they can possibly be combed out.
I'm sure they can't be combed out. They're quite solid, but for the most part not stuck to the skin. Maybe I can find a groomer who makes home visits. I'm really, really careful with the scissors, that's why I'm only doing a little bit at a time.

JusJim
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Supplementary question

Why and how do these matts form in the first place?

JusJim
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jusjim View Post
Why and how do these matts form in the first place?
That's the $64,000 question.
They seem to form on long haired cats that have soft fine under coats.
I know this once one starts it will just keep getting bigger, once they're tight against the skin they are painful for the cat and difficult to remove.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jusjim View Post
Why and how do these matts form in the first place?
Greasy skin and coat combined with natural shedding causes matting. And once a small tangle or mat forms, it grows very quickly. I have also seen matting form on short-haired cats: one had a huge rock-hard mat on his back, from spending a lot of time under a sofa where there was a rough-side piece of velcro! (that mat I was able to comb out without causing any pain to kitty). If you have a long-haired cat, they should be combed daily to make sure no mats or tangles are forming. Short-haired cats need maybe weekly combing to help with shedding. Bringing your kitty to a professional groomer every 4-6 weeks (long-haired) and 6-8 weeks (short-haired) to receive a full de-greasing bath, blow dry and comb out can eliminate the need for you to do any maintenance at home while keeping them in top condition.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 12:55 AM
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Jim, Missy will feel so much better when they're all gone. If you can possibly have someone come to your house, maybe that would be the best thing.

Ordinarily, I don't see any reason to bring your cat to a professional groomer unless they hate being brushed, or the matts get out of control. My twins have never been professionally groomed, no need at all. And I'm staying on top of Gigi's daily brushings since I got her back so, fingers crossed, no more unnecessary grooming visits. Cleo doesn't seem to have any issues anymore, either, thank goodness.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Jim, Missy will feel so much better when they're all gone. If you can possibly have someone come to your house, maybe that would be the best thing.
Thanks Marie. I'm going to be looking into trying to find somebody who can come in.

Missy isn't longhaired, more like a short medium hair. From her shoulders about two thirds down, she's what I'd call a regular length. Lower down, where the matts are, she seems to be medium length. Her underbelly is light and fluffy with no matts.

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