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F.A.Q.

Want to know more about our CAT GROOMING services? We've got a whole FAQ page dedicated to answering your questions! Take a look and see if we've already answered what you're curious about. And if you still have more questions, just fill out the form at the bottom of the page, and we'll get back to you super fast. Thanks for considering us!

sedated cat

  Why Won't You Groom My Sedated Cat? 

When we humans take a sedative, we know what to expect. When a cat is sedated, it doesn't understand why it feels different, and 9/10 times, the cat will go from flight mode, to fight mode. A cat who feels "out of it" is going to be dangerous to handle. If you show up to your cat's groom with a cat who has been given gabapentin or any other sedative, we will send you back home and re-schedule for another day. If your cat is so severely stressed about car rides, that you feel sedation is the only option, please reach out to us. There are always ways to work around any situation. We can come up with a solution to safely help your cat in a way that doesn't cause it unnecessary stress.

  What does "matted coat" mean?  

Matted cat hair is a condition where clumps of a cat’s fur become severely knotted and entangled. Initially, these tangles will start loose, but over time they will get both tighter and larger, pulling in more hair and the skin along with it, becoming near impossible to come loose. The mats can become uncomfortable and even painful for your cat. Some mats will develop with regular movement (at top of legs), and others build up over time without grooming. They also cause skin irritation and infection. Some mats will come out with gentle teasing & brushing, but more extensive, hard mats should not be brushed, as they won't brush out, and attempting to do so will cause unnecessary pain and will traumatize the cat. Removal of these type of mats are a delicate process.

heavily matted cat
de sheding a cat is important for the cats health

 

  What is Causing My Cats' Coat to Mat? 

There are a couple of things that could be causing your cat’s coat to clump and tangle.

  1. Shedding of Their Undercoat 

Cats are more likely to become matted when they are shedding their undercoat. This is normal and healthy behavior and helps your cat adapt to the temperature changes that come along with the changes in season. In the winter, your cat’s coat will be at its thickest but come spring this will be shed in preparation for summer.

Long-haired cats shed their fur a lot more often than short-haired cats, which is partially why long-haired breeds are more prone to matted fur. Also, if you have a cat that is predominantly an indoor-only pet, they will shed a little all year round, rather than in one go. Therefore, indoor cats may be less prone to matting because of consistently shedding a little, rather than a lot.

While it is normal for cats to shed their fur, the undercoat can become caught in the topcoat during the process and become tangled, leading to matting.

  2. Frequent Movement 

Matted clumps of fur also form when the fur is rubbed together through movement. This explains why the most common places on your cat’s body for the fur to mat is in areas that have a lot of high friction, such as:

  • Between their hind legs. This area rubs together when your cat walks, so if you have a long-haired outdoor cat, you may find matted fur here. Their chest may also become matted for the same reason.

  • Under the collar. Matted fur under the collar often goes unnoticed as it is covered up, but your cat’s collar will be gently rubbing on the fur underneath it which could cause matted hair over time.

​The longer the cat hair in these high friction areas, the more likely it is that it will tangle and mat. This again helps to explain why long-haired cats are more likely to become matted than short hair cats. But remember, short-haired cats are not exempt!


  3. Lack of Self-Grooming 

Although shedding their undercoat and frequent movement can both cause cat hair to become matted, the most common reason for matted fur in cats is changes in their grooming habits. This is especially likely if your cat doesn’t usually have matted fur but has developed it suddenly or when cats become older.

Usually, cats will use the bristles on their tongues to comb through their fur and remove any dirt and excess oils. However, if your cat stops or reduces the time spent grooming, their hair will become matted. It is essentially like us not brushing our hair for weeks on ends – pretty quickly it will become a matted and tangled mess.

  Why Has My Cat Stopped Self-Grooming?  

There is a clear link between personal hygiene and a beautiful coat of fur. Cats are naturally fantastic self-groomers and will use their tongue and flexibility to their advantage to ensure that no spot goes unclean. However, when your cat stops self-grooming, its fur can become dirty, entangled, and matted.

Regardless of whether you have a long-haired cat or a short-haired cat, the question we really want to know the answer to is why has my cat stopped self-grooming? There are actually several reasons why self-grooming has taken a back seat, causing your cat’s fur to become matted.

  1. They're Obese or Overweight

Cats are flexible creatures, which hugely works to their advantage when it comes to grooming. It means they can configure themselves into all kinds of unimaginable positions and successfully clean themselves from the tip of their nose to their tail.

However, cats that are overweight or obese may have lost some of their flexibility and are too chubby to be able to reach all parts of their body. It’s not that they don’t want to self-groom, just that their weight means it’s not physically possible.

If your cat is overweight, you will want to help them lose weight by putting them on a diet and encouraging them to be active. Always do this with the advice from your vet as any drastic changes could cause other issues. There could also be an underlying health condition causing the increase in weight, so always speak to your vet first.

  2. They Have Dental Issues

Your cat relies on its mouth and its tongue to self-groom. Therefore, if your cat is suffering from any dental issues, they may avoid cleaning themselves.

There is a huge range of dental issues that could cause your cat to stop grooming. It could be down to infection of inflammation of the mouth or gums, or tooth and gum disease. If your cat has oral tumors, these are also a common source of oral pain and frequently go unnoticed by owners as they often develop underneath the tongue.

Even something like a sore jaw could also deter your cat from grooming and be the reason why they have matted fur. They won’t want to lick their fur, detangle their hair, and clean up matted hair if it hurts them each time they open their mouth!

You will likely notice other symptoms if your cat does have dental issues, such as a reduction in appetite and drooling. Again, a trip to the vet is advised so they can determine the condition causing mouth pain and prescribe an effective treatment. Once your cat is feeling better, their grooming habits will likely return, and they will be able to help manage their coat helping avoid reoccurring matted cat fur.

  3. They Suffer from Arthritis

If you have an older cat that has matted fur, they may have stopped self-grooming because of pain, such as pain caused by arthritis. Arthritis is common in older cats, especially obese senior cats. This is where they have painful and swollen joints that become sore and stiff, and in felines, it commonly affects the spine.

If you notice matted hair on your cat’s rear only, arthritis in the spine is the most likely cause. Because of the pain in your cat’s joints when they try to self-groom, they avoid it. This can lead to excess dirt becoming lodged in their fur and increased tangling.

There is no cure for arthritis, so the best way to keep your cat’s fur smooth, silky, and clean is to use a wide-tooth comb for cats and take over the grooming responsibilities for your feline.

  4. They're Feeling Stressed Out

It is also possible that stress can make your cat self-groom less, but this does depend on each individual cat. Some cats will groom excessively if they are stressed, which will cause bald patches in their fur and lead to hair loss. However, some cats will stop grooming altogether.

If you think the changes in your cat’s grooming habits could be stress-related, think about anything that has changed recently. This could be something as small as there being a new person or pet in your home, loud noises such as a fireworks display or building work, or even just a tweak to their usual routine.

Cats are sensitive creatures, and whereas a change may feel small and insignificant to you, it can trigger anxiety in our furry friends! Try reassuring your cat and sticking to a routine so that they can relax. Having plenty of places for them to hide if they are feeling vulnerable can also be a huge help.

  5. They're Feeling Under the Weather

It is also possible that there is no major issue with your cat, such as ongoing arthritis or obesity, but rather that your feline is just feeling a little under the weather. Just as when we feel sick, we might lose interest in activities we usually enjoy, so do your cats. Self-grooming is one of the first things to go.

If your cat is feeling nauseous or sick, you will probably notice other symptoms too such as:

  • Loss of appetite and weight loss

  • Increased thirst

  • Larger puddles of urine in their litter box

  • Sickness or diarrhea

  • Changes to mood or behavior

A whole host of things could be causing your cat to be sick. They could have simply eaten something that disagreed with them, or there could be a more serious underlying condition. Either way, take your cat for a check-up so that the cause of sickness can be treated. Once your cat is feeling its usual self again, it’ll be self-grooming and helping to maintain its own fur again in no time.

white cat with undercoat mats

  What Are the Dangers of Matted Cat Hair? 

A cat’s coat needs to be kept in good condition and any matted fur has to be removed as soon as possible. Yes, matted fur looks unsightly, but there are also several dangers of having matted and tangled fur which can cause pain, discomfort, and health issues for your cat.

When the fur first starts to become matted, it causes little harm. However, if clumps are left in their coats, they will trap more dirt and become more entangled, causing the clump to become larger and harder to remove. Once the matted clump reached this stage, it can:

  • Pull on the skin and cause pain and discomfort. The more tightly knotted the fur gets, the more it tugs on the surrounding skin. While initially the pain will be mild, it will get worse as the matted cat fur worsens, potentially leading to mood and behavioral changes, such as increased stress and anxiety, loss of appetite, and not using their litter box.

  • Cause sores and bleeding of the skin, leading to abscesses and bacterial infection. As the skin continues to be tugged on, sores may develop, or the skin may split. If bacteria enter these open wounds, your cat can develop a pocket of pus under the skin called an abscess which can allow the infection to spread around the body with serious consequences.

  • Act as a breeding ground for parasites. Fleas and ticks will love hiding in your cat’s matted fur, and it acts as the ideal place for them to breed. These parasites will continually bite your pet, causing discomfort and itching. Untreated bites can also become infected and make your cat sick. Any feces or urine that gets trapped deep within the matted clump will attract flies, which can also breed in the matted hair. This will cause irritation, itching, and in worse cases an insect infestation.

  • Affect circulation and cause bruising. While the clumps become more matted and tangled, the skin below may also become twisted and blood vessels can become squashed. This can affect your cat’s circulation, which can make it hard for them to control their internal temperature and affect their extremities such as their tail and ears. You may also notice bruising of the surrounding skin.

  • Cause difficulty when moving, depending on where the matted clumps are. If your pet has a large and hard clump of matted fur in between, or under their legs, it may make walking, moving, or even going to the bathroom more challenging and painful. Matted fur on your cat’s face, neck or rib cage could also prevent them from eating or breathing properly.

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