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 Post subject: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:26 am 
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My feisty one has mats in her fur! She's a shorthair cat, so I never thought that would be an issue. Why would this even happen? Is it because they're shedding so much right now? More importantly...how do I solve this? She's...well. Picking her up seems to traumatize her, and it definitely traumatizes me. I can't imagine her holding still long enough for me to cut them out. Would brushing work, or would that just pull on them and hurt her?

I mean, she doesn't seem to give two shiitakes about having mats, but I feel like a crappy kitty mama if I leave them in. (Also, taking her to the vet/groomer for something that isn't medical is not an option right now, so this needs to be an at-home fix, please!)

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:51 am 
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ugh. get that shiitake sorted NOW.
a certain loved one of mine has a shorthaired cat that suffered a broken jaw as a baby. she is traumatized and doesn't let anyone near her. what started as a small mat on her back [because of her jaw she doesn't clean herself] has turned into what i can only call a tumor that goes the whole length of her body. it's bigger than she is, and the response is always "she would probably die if we caught her" so this thing is never going away. if they had tried to socialize her a little bit then they could have figured out ways to address her issues.
get her used to brushing and handling, even if you can't get the mat off entirely, because it will not "just fall off" (which is what everyone always says. it's been YEARS and that is not going to fall off. the cat in this situation isn't mine and the situation is a bit more complicated than i've let on, but not getting her used to handling has made the whole scenario much worse in so many ways.).
sorry if this sounds nasty, i don't mean it towards you in any way. the situation here is really sad, i think the cat here is suffering, and i don't think there's really anything i can do about it and i'm spilling out my powerless squirming here (and I haven't been able to share it with anyone who would understand why it bothers me)

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:03 am 
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Oh, I don't take it as nasty, torque. My cat has been socialized and nothing bad has ever happened to her, she's just kind of bad tempered when it comes to being held. I might be able to trick her into letting me brush her if I let her dolphin into the brush. (That's what I call it when she wants to be petted, but the only way to not end up in the teeth and claw trap is to hold my hand above her and let her, well, dolphin up into the flat of my hand.) I appreciate the sense of urgency, though, and will pick up a brush today. My cats are 6 years old and are always grooming themselves (thus, this has never been a problem before), but the shedding seems extra bad this year for whatever reason. We'll get this sorted!

ETA: Also, that is sad about your loved one's cat. If Ghostface ever got that bad, I would definitely take her to a vet or groomer to take care of the problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:53 am 
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Allularpunk, can T help you? The only way we can cut Fuzzbutt's nails is for one of us to hold her neck/head while the other one holds her down and clips the nails. She hates it and makes unhappy/whining noises, and if I didn't hold her head, she'd certainly bite my partner, but it needs to be done and it's so much easier with two of us.

Even if she hates it, guaranteed she'll be much happier without those mats.

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:26 am 
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A brush may not work at this point. Look for something called a mat breaker at the pet store - it's basically a comb made of blades so you can get through it without hurting the animal or ending up with a big bald spot. After you get the mat out regular brushings should stop them from forming.


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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:44 am 
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yeah, brushing will probably just pull on them and make her angry without making any meaningful dent in the matting. cutting them out is the fastest and most direct way to deal with them, but it usually takes more than one set of hands. my short-haired cat doesn't groom as much as she used to now that she's old, and she gets mats here and there. i can touch them without her reacting, but it's hard to get her to hold still long enough for me to cut them, and she tries to leave if i pull on them at all (usually accidentally), so the problem is ongoing. i do my best to stay on top of it, though, because like torque said, it can get really bad really fast. she'll let me work at them with my hands to try to tease the fur apart at the base of the mat (she's really fine with any sort of touching or handling as long as i don't try to involve tools--scissors, clippers, combs, etc.), but for the stubborn ones, i have to kind of sneak up on her while she's sleeping and try to snip really fast before she wakes up and realizes what's happening. if you can get someone to help you, take advantage of it and try to get all the mats and cat rage dealt with at once.

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:50 am 
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Clippers make it a lot easier to get the mat out. That's what we use at the rescue.

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:55 am 
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blondiefk wrote:
Clippers make it a lot easier to get the mat out.


Also so much safer. The mat will bunch up the cat's skin and with scissors it would be too easy to cut too close and leave a gaping wound requiring stitches.


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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:55 am 
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What about a buzzer with a #1 blade?


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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:57 pm 
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Oh, man. My cat is not going to like being shaved. I'll try to coax T into helping. He's not a cat person, but he will hopefully be down with helping my cat out. It's grown already, by the way. I tried brushing and it didn't help. Clippers are next!

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:24 pm 
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Can you ask your vet for a sedative? We had a really badly matted long hair and we gave him some acepromazine to calm him down. (He was also very scared coming out of the shelter.)

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:46 pm 
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Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this about your kitty. It's so weird that a short hair can get so matted, but sometimes they have a dense undercoat that can get matted.

Personally, I think you should try and get her used to combing and attention, but save your pennies for a professional shave. A bad mat needs to be cut out VERY carefully, because you can tear the cat's skin if you make a wrong move. I personally would not try to do much to remove a large mat that is close to the skin; it's too dangerous.

In my area, in a smallish town in northern California, it costs me $60 to have my longhair shaved. And it's worth every penny. He is a semiferal, sorta wild cat who will not tolerate any combing (hence he gets mats). The groomer (who is a regular dog groomer) seems to be rather magical with kitties, using a hood on his head so he does not freak out and does not require anesthetia or sedation. I give her instructions that she can stop in mid-procedure if things get difficult, but so far she has been able to complete the shave without any trouble. If you don't have anyone like that in your area, then your vet will have to do it and she might need to anesthetize your kitty, since vets are not usually expert cat-whisperer groomers. That will be more expensive, but maybe you can combine it with teeth cleaning.

IF the mat is not too hard (and sometimes they are), you can see if you can break up the tension of the mat by making cuts into it perpendicular to the skin. This will let the mat flex and make the cat a bit more comfortable.

If you try to shave her yourself, maybe just go for small bits and take your time? Definitely go for clippers over scissors. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:05 pm 
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My partner definitely has to help me by holding cat's feet, but yes, cut the matted fur out! My older cat can't maintain the area near her tail/back, so I have to snip every so often.


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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:56 pm 
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Does anyone have a rec for cat clippers? Our big cat Veto (24lbs!) gets really matted and hot, and a lion cut here costs $180 because he has to be sedated (vet visit for sedative then trip to the groomers for $90 shave). I really would like to save that money and he generally lets me handle him well (though he will murder anyone else).

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:34 am 
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Yeah I've accidentally cut my dog trying to cut out a mat. Ugh I felt so bad, but luckily it was a really small cut. The hard knot just gets so close to the skin, that I really felt like I hadn't yet got close to her skin! So now I definitely just pick at it with a brush until it relents enough for clippers with a guard on. I don't want a bald patch on her so that's why I use a guard, but if you want to be as fast as possible with less risk to her, guardless clippers would make a little baldish dent but at least it'd be done.

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:04 am 
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Our clippers are Oster pet clippers.

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:15 am 
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I asked T to help me and he was like, 'duh, of course', so that's our project for this evening. Wish us luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:21 pm 
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Good luck! And hopefully there will be no scratching/biting!


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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:30 pm 
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It didn't work! She spazzed. I made an appointment with a groomer for Monday, but the lady said that they only shaved cats 'if they let' them. A bit worried about that part, since Ghostface doesn't 'let' people do much of anything to her. I'm hoping I don't get charged if she doesn't get shaved. Well, I'm hoping she lets them shave her! But she probably won't. Maybe the vet will do it, in that case.

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:58 pm 
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Ugh, this sounds like what happened with our kitty a few years ago! We tried shaving (multiple times), brushing everyday, soothing shampoos (she had dandruff too), ect. and nothing worked. What finally helped was when she was switched to a food that had fish oil in it. Maybe try adding that to her diet? Or switching her to a food that has it? Flaxseed oil should work, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:30 pm 
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Vets can do it too because they can sedate them. I had a particularly nasty Persian as a foster and we had to do that.

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:46 am 
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Yeah, the vet will be my next try if this doesn't work. I just don't get it. She's 6, has always groomed well...and this just all of a sudden happened! My other cat is her littermate, and they're identical in all ways except for personality and color (matted kitty is white, non matted and friendly kitty is black), so what the heck?

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:40 am 
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sometimes cats slack on grooming when they have a health problem, so i guess if you're taking her to the vet anyway, have them give her a once-over.

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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:55 pm 
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Please don't use a dematting comb on a cat! It has to pull their hair to make enough pressure to cut through the matt, and cats' skin tears super easily. You're best off going to a groomer or a vet, if she won't let you cut them out, which would be the best option. In the future though, brushing when they're shedding heavily is your best bet.

You might want to find a groomer who is more confident handling cats though, or go to a vet's office that has a groomer on staff. "If they'll let me" is what I used to say when I was still open to trying. I don't groom cats anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Cat with matted fur.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:44 pm 
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I took my feisty cat to a groomer to get shaved and was charged their minimum amount even though they didn't even get her out of her carrier. She managed to draw blood on their "experienced with cats lady" who idiotically reached into the carrier to pull the cat out. If I had a chill cat, I'd try a groomer but with a fighter I'd say go straight for the vet. Or make sure the groomer won't charge you!

Good luck! I ended up holding her down and using an electric trimmer... it took a week or so of doing a bit every day. And I would pull apart the mats by hand as much as possible first. It wasn't fun and I never let her go very long without being brushed again (she mats easily but I left her with a roommate for two months and he didn't brush her).


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