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De-matting a cat (or dog, for that matter!)
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De-matting a cat (or dog, for that matter!)

Morning Alisa.
 
What is the best way to brush out matted down hair on the back of my cat? I don;t know what caused it. I hope it doesn't hurt him. It's matted on the dorsal coat and only there on the back, where the cat can't get to it.
 
Jim
 
Hey Jim; best way to deal with those is to get some blunt nosed scissors and some talcum powder or cornstarch. Put some starch/powder on the mat, and massage it gently into the mat - this tends to attract any dirt or grease that might be trapped into the fur, and makes the mat more 'slippery.' Gently pull up the mat away from the skin so you can see where the skin is. Holding the scissors perpendicular to the skin, slide the bottom part of the scissors against the skin, and cut up into the mat - try not to pull the hair while cutting. Repeat the above, moving the scissors a quarter inch or so over until you've cut into the entire mat. Separate the mat the best you can with your fingers, and then use a fine toothed comb to remove the rest of the mat. If it's a really bad mat, you may have to do this a few times, giving the cat a break, and not trying to tackle the mat all in one sitting - REALLY bad mats can take a couple of days.
 
The bottom line is to keep the cat as relaxed and de-stressed as possible.  So pick a time to do this when your cat is relaxed, and move slowly and gently as you work with the mat.  Mat's can and do hurt the animal, so they usually appreciate your attention to this painful, but common condition.  If your cat is a long-hair, regular brushing will keep most mats at bay; but sometimes you miss a developing mat despite your best efforts and intentions. 

How old is the kitty? Sometimes as they get older, they get arthritis and can't reach all the places that they used to be able to reach. A cat can pretty much reach every part of his body - so, if he's unable to reach a part of his body, I would recommend a natural food supplement to help with his flexibility and to keep arthritis at bay.

Keep me posted, and good luck!
 
Alisa

2 Comments to De-matting a cat (or dog, for that matter!):

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Jim Dunn on Friday, October 22, 2010 11:10 AM
Thank you very much, Alisa. The cat will thank you, too. Bootsie is a 7 year old male. He is in the house and doesn't go outside. He is, however, very afraid of people. It took me a long time to get his love and attention. He, just now, is cuddling up to Lenore. He was abused while an infant never will trust anyone. I'm glad we adopted him we did. He was on the wait list to be put down. The Vet suggested I pick another cat, and after thinking about it, we chose him. Now I have an addition to the family that has lasted most of his adult years. He eats well and plays with his toys. But the stress put on him when he was a kitten must have been terrible for him. I think we made a good choice. Thanks for everything. Set me up an account and I will get some good treats from you, to give to him. Thanks again, Jim Dunn
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Alisa on Friday, October 22, 2010 12:17 PM
I am so glad that Bootsie has you in his life - companion animals give us so much, and he is lucky to have you - I suspect you consider yourself lucky as well! We'll make arrangments to send you some food supplement - keep your eyes out for an e-mail from me :) Hugs to you and Lenore! Alisa
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