Cats can generally do a good job of keeping themselves in a tidy and clean condition, but sometimes cats need extra help, especially if they're long-haired. If your cat is developing mats in its coat or has weeds or plant matter tangled up in its fur, it won't be able to get these unsightly problems out on its own. Read on to learn what you should and shouldn't do for your cat when they're in this condition.
Avoid Deep Combs and Brushes
One of the first things a pet parent might consider doing for their cat is to grab a comb that's designed to remove hair from the upper and undercoat. However, this would be a bad idea. These combs aren't designed to untangle fur, as they feature tightly spaced steel teeth. If you use a comb like this on your cat, you will be simply ripping the matted fur, which could be extremely painful. It might even leave your cat with bald patches where the clumps used to be, as you're essentially ripping the hair out at the root.
Another option you might be considering is cutting your cat's fur to remove the clumps. While this is a good idea, it would be best for you to not do it yourself. Your cat is likely to squirm and fidget while you're trying to trim their fur. Considering that most matted fur clumps begin at the root of the hair, you could potentially injure your cat or yourself if you try to cut out the clumps. Alternatively, even if you manage to cut out the clumps, if there's even a little fur left that's tangled, it will simply grow out and cause another bunch of matted fur later on.
See a Professional
Ideally, if your cat has this problem, you should see a professional pet groomer. Pet groomers are trained to handle a cat's squirming, and they can use a wide variety of tools to untangle and remove matted fur. Pet groomers are especially useful for getting foreign objects out of your cat's fur. In particular, foxtail weeds are often culprits of causing fur to clump, and they can be very dangerous for your cat. If your cat tries to bite the fur and pull out the foxtail, they might ingest it, where it could potentially cause serious stomach damage. Seeing a pet groomer when your cat develops matted fur could potentially save its life.
While it might seem like a minor issue, clumped or matted fur can be a serious danger to your cat's well-being if foxtails are involved. Even if they're not, trying to take on the issue yourself could be harmful or dangerous to the both of you. If your cat is having a problem with matted fur, visit a pet groomer such as Loving Care Animal Hospital.