matted cat advice

susn_ksJune 28, 2007

Hi everyone. I'm new here and I hope someone can help me out. Our cat, Bitsey, is a part Siamese and almost 18 years old. She has stopped grooming herself and has become very matted. We've never had to groom her much before, and the mats got pretty bad before we realized there was a problem. Is there anything we can do besides take her to a groomer and have her shaved? We are in a rural area and the nearest groomer would be an hour away. She has anxiety issues and does not do well in the car. And I know it would really freak her out to be shaved. Is there anything else we can do to get rid of the mats? Thanks for any help.

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Congratulations on having an 18 year old cat! You must take good care of her.

I wonder if you can cut the mats out? Not sure if there is much else to do, cutting or shaving, and you are right, you don't want to stress her. Keep brushing her to stay on top of the mats, of course.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 9:50PM
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You can use a little corn starch or hair conditoner (rinse) to help detangle the fur while you work on the matts and cut them out.

I think doing the job yourself is better than putting her thru the stress of the trip. It may take several sessions but with patience and sharp scissors you'll do fine. Some people even use their seam ripper (sewing)! Whatever you use just be careful so that you don't cut the cat..........keep a comb or your fingers between her skin and the scissors..

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 1:23AM
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I know what you're going thru. I have an 18 year old who is not grooming himself and gets nasty when I try and comb him. He's a shorthair and not matted just ratty looking. Ocassionally I get a few swipes in before he runs. Maybe when your cat is sleeping you could cut away any mats. I wouldn't stress her by taking her to a groomer at her advanced age if she's anything like mine.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 1:32AM
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Definitely keep a comb or very sure fingers between the mat and her skin if you do cut them off. I think it is probably the best solution as the stress of you cutting the mats will be less than that of the travel to the groomer and strangers holding her down.
Just remember, she is an "old lady" at 18 and her skin is very thin and will tear, bruise, and cut very easily.
Take your time, let her down after a few snips into the mat if she's testy - you can always try again later.
Well wishes and scritches to Bitsey's ears and chin!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 2:53AM
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Same problem here, 18 year old long hair. I gave him a hair cut and worked the mats out a little bit each day over a couple weeks. He looks pretty scruffy, as the hair is uneven, but mat-less. Now that it is more manageable, he is doing a bit more grooming.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 3:19AM
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If you can get a hold of mustache scissors, they might be easier to work with to cut out the mats. They are short and have a very blunt/rounded end on the tips, so it would be harder to inadvertently cut the skin.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 10:00AM
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Welcome to this forum!

Ditto about the blunt/rounded scissors - similiar to what they use in hospitals to cut bandages. My 18 year old long-hair would like to groom herself, but has difficulty reaching certain places (and I think she forgets what was groomed and what wasn't). I tend to cut mats out when she is relaxed on my lap in the evenings - one or two mats at a time is about all she will tolerate, tho.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 10:42AM
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Older cats saliva becomes thicker and they mat when they groom themselves. I have an 18 year old cat and have to brush her or she gets bad mats. When she mats I do like sheltiemom and take a couple at a time with bunt scissors while having a pet session. I wouldn't take a cat to the groomer it would stress them so badly.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 1:24PM
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Also wrt scissors....round tipped curved surgical scissors if you can get hold of them. The upward curve helps protect the skin too. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 5:16PM
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Our 18 year old DSH cat never did groom himself, the only cat I've ever had who didn't. But his coat now doesn't respond to regular brushing. My husband discovered grooming rakes, which do help. And they work well with our Maine Coon, too. He does wash himself but gets mats anyway. Here's an example, but don't know where ours came from.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 12:50AM
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Removal Cream for Matted Pet Hair

No need to worry, we have the best solution to your matted pet fur. No more cutting or shaving!!

Matted fur happens to most dogs or cats. When you notice matted fur on your dog or cat, itÂs very important to remove the matted fur as soon as possible. It can be very ugly, and very uncomfortable for your pet.

The Take Down Removal Cream for Matted Pet Hair is specifically designed to remove all pet hair tangles-no matter the severity of your petÂs hair mats.

The most important thing to remember when de-matting your pet is bathing your pet before trying to remove the mats will make the matts worse.

This cream makes removing matts from your cat or dog easy, however it is not a speedy process, so be patient.

How to Remove Severely Matted Cat Fur

Remember to keep your pet calm as you brush.
 A steel comb
 Take Down Matted Pet Hair Removal Cream

First, let your pet get into a comfortable position on your lap, on the floor, on the sofa, or wherever he can get comfortable. You donÂt want to wrestle your pet during this. If your pet is matted in several places, start de-matting in the places where your pet is most comfortable lying down... Also, do your best to control the cat or dogÂs head. Control the head controls the pet.

Second, pour small amounts of the Take Down cream on each section of matted hair. Massage in to your pets fur. Pull the matted clumps of fur apart into small sections with your hands. The matts are easier to remove if they are smaller. Also this will reduce the amount of fur your pet loses.

Pick and comb through slowly each mat with the steel comb. Be sure to brush with the grain of the fur. Do not pull hard Âit will hurt your dog. Use the steel comb to slowly break up the clumps.

As the matts begin to break up, remove the tangles. Start at the end of the fur and work your way closer to the skin as the matts loosen up. If you try to start at the base of the fur, next to the skin, youÂll just end up compressing the matts even tighter.

Take your time. Be patient. Help your dog or cat to remain calm and comfortable. If youÂre sitting down to watch TV or a movie that would be a great time to work on the matts.
After all the matts are removed, plan on regular grooming times for your cat or dog

Here is a link that might be useful: Matted Pet Fur Remover

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 6:27PM
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You can go out and purchase a shaver, they are not that expensive, solution two, call the groomer and ask if they will come out - all they can say is no....I would be hesitant to use anything else since it will prolong the pain your cat is in. Good luck

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 8:30PM
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