How To Groom A Cat With Matted Hair

How To Groom A Cat With Matted Hair
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Are you looking for information on how to groom a cat with matted hair?

Do you have difficulty grooming your cat when her fur gets matted?

Are you frustrated and looking for tricks on how to groom a cat that hates it?

Brushing a difficult cat is not easy and even though cats have earned a reputation as effective self-groomers, this does not mean that they don’t need your help in staying clean and healthy.

Older, overweight, and long-haired cats, in particular, are more susceptible to tangled fur which can become clumped mats or knotted dreadlocks. Check this article on seven steps to help your cat lose weight if you have an overweight cat. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Please note as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However all the information provided on this site are my own honest opinions.

These tangles are not only unsightly, but they can also cause discomfort, facilitate skin disorders, harbor worms, mites, or other pests.

While preventing tangles through regular brushing and examinations are the best preventive way to go, there are options for removing matted fur at home. See our list of the best cat clippers for matted fur to see good clippers that can cut out mats and tangles without harming your pet.

If you try these options and they are unsuccessful or if you are unsure of your ability to remove the tangles safely, I advise that you consult a professional groomer or veterinarian to help you in removing tangles and mats.


Here are some tricks you can do at home to help you groom a cat with matted hair painlessly from the comfort of your home. Also, check out 25 cat facts all cat owners need to know.

Keep Your Cat Calm 

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The first suggestion is that you need to keep your cat calm during the process.

Cat usually hate it when you remove matter fur as it can take a long time and can be a painful process and many cats will be against you when you do it.

It is essential that your cat starts out calm such as after a hearty meal and remains as calm as possible as you remove the knots and tangles.

It is advised that you stop and put a pause on the removal process and continue later rather than insisting or trying to make the frustrated or scared cat continue the grooming process.

Start early with kittens to avoid having this problem later. If you start out grooming on a regular basis, your cat will be more accepting of the mat removing procedure.

If your cat still refuses to allow the process without clawing at you, scratching, or running away, it may be best to turn things over to a professional groomer or veterinarian.


Locate And Examine All Mats

The next trick is to make sure you locate all the mats each time you detangle your cat.

Some tangles like the dreadlock type can appear on the back or sides which is an easily visible location.

Others, however, can be lurking in concealed areas.

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Therefore it is important easy time you do this to look for tangles in hidden areas such as:

  • Behind the ears
  • Around the groin area
  • Between the back legs
  • Behind the front legs
  • Under the collar and
  • Around the anus

If the tangle or mat is very large say bigger than the end of your thumb, it can be riskier to remove and you may need a specialized tool like these or may need to leave it to a veterinarian or groomer to handle the removal.

Also, if there are any signs of irritation or injury to the adjacent skin, do contact the cat’s veterinarian.


Work Out The Tangles With Your Fingers

Another tool to try and removing tangles is conveniently located at the end of each of your arms.

Use your fingers to detangle minor knots.

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Loosen larger tangles and separate mats into smaller more manageable pieces with your fingers.

Working with your fingers also has the added benefit of being less painful and stressful for your cat when it is done properly and patiently.

Using a detangler in the form of a shampoo or a spray as advised by several experts, can help remove tangles easier and faster.

If you choose to use them make sure to use detanglers meant specifically for pets not humans like these.


Try Cornstarch or Talcum Powder

Sprinkling a little cornstarch or talcum powder on the knotted area may help in the detangling process.


Brush Out The Cats Tangles

Another thing to try is to brush out the tangles using a good cat’s brush.

This is an easy thing you can test at home before using more specialized equipment.


How To Brush A Cat

The procedure here will be to use your fingers, then brush out remaining mats and knots with a regular cat brush or a wide-tooth comb.

Hold on to the area of the fur nearest to the skin underneath the area with the tangle. Do this with your other free hand. This will help reduce the pulling on the cat’s skin.

Use short and quick but gentle brushing motions.

Brush toward the end of the hairs and away from the skin.

Start brushing at the end of the mat farthest from the cat skin and work your way back into it.

Don’t force the matter if it gets too difficult for your cat.

Yanking at the matted fur with a brush will not make your cat happy and your cat will, in turn, make sure you are not happy by clawing and scratching at you.


Use Specialized Tools

You may need to purchase specialized tools for stubborn mats if your fingers or your normal brushes can’t work through the tangles.

There is a wide range of options available to you to help with the tangles.


Specialized Cat Detangling Brushes

Different people swear by different tools, for instance, the furminator to name one popular branded brush which you can pick up here, comes highly recommended. Try it out and see, it may just solve your tangling problem.

Mat Breakers / Mat Splitters

Mat breakers or mat splitters like these can help break up large areas of matting into smaller more manageable pieces.

They have a sharp edge in between the teeth and require a sawing motion to work through the mat.

They are generally safer than other cutting options because the sharp edges are not exposed, however, care should still be taken when handling these tools.

Once you’ve reduced the mat to smaller pieces go back to using your fingers and/or brushes and combs to remove the mats.


Cutting Out The Mat Entirely

When all else fails, the most certain way to get rid of a stubborn tangle or mat would be cutting.


Cut It Out

This should usually be your last option.

Not only does it give your cat a bald spot that may take months to fill in completely, but you also run the risk of injuring your cat.

Cats have thinner, softer skin than humans and can easily be cut by scissors blades or even the friction from clippers.

If you are at all hesitant or unsure of your skills in this area, take your cat to a professional.


Razor Comb

You can also use a razor comb also known as a Matt comb which you can find here.

Mat combs work like a regular comb but have recessed blades that shave away the hair.

Use the same kind of short quick motion you would normally use with a regular comb.

Make sure you counter any tugging with your free hand and always brush away from the cat’s skin.


Hair Clippers

Using clippers for the hair can be another option as it can quickly devour mats but you would need to take extra care here to ensure it does not come into contact with the cat’s skin.

If it does, the heat of the device and even the slightest friction can seriously ruin and damage your cat’s skin.



While scissors seem like the obvious choice, they’re not usually recommended for non-professionals as the risk of cuts or punctures is simply too great.

If you do use them, always make sure you have a comb or your fingers between the scissor blades and the cat skin.

If you have any doubt about your ability to remove a tangle or mat without harming your cat do not attempt to do so

Matt’s often occur in sensitive areas such as on the abdomen under the neck or around the genitalia.

Don’t risk a mistake that could have serious consequences

Any good pet groomer that deals with tangled fur on a daily basis and should be able to take care of the problem.

Veterinarians are also excellent at dealing with mats as they generally remove them daily when they handle animals. You should reach out to one if you notice any skin issues or changes around the tangled area.

I hope you have learned some new ways on how to groom a cat with matter hair.

It is essential you start out with your cat calm, also start grooming at an earlier age so your kitten will get used to it faster.

Make sure you locate all mats and try working them out with your fingers or using tools such as pet detanglers, specialized cat brushes, mat splitters, mat breakers, razor combs and more, to make it an easy and painless experience for your cat.

Also, seek out a groomer or a vet to help with stubborn and dangerously placed mats.

Let’s keep our cats happy, healthy, and safe.

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As found on youtube.

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How To Groom A Cat With Matted Hair
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