How To Deal With Matted Fur On Your Cat

Matted fur is a common problem that many cat owners face. Cats are meticulous groomers, but sometimes their fur can become tangled and matted, especially in long-haired breeds. Matted fur not only looks unkempt but can also be uncomfortable and even painful for your feline friend. The mats usually consist of tufts of dead hair, dead skin cells, outdoor residue and any other dirt that the cat has rubbed against. Mats made of cat hair are not only unsightly, but they can also be painful for your cat. If you want to know more about cat health issues, follow “Puainta Health Guide”.

What Causes Matted Cat Fur?

  • Cats are usually meticulous groomers, but if due to factors such as obesity, arthritis or disease. Cats may stop or reduce grooming.
  • Cats with long or dense undercoats are more prone to matting. If not groomed regularly, the hair can easily become clumped and form mats. (Persian cats, Maine cats)
  • Certain medical conditions, such as allergies, skin infections or parasites, may cause itching and discomfort, leading to excessive fur scratching and potential clumping.

Why Is Matted Cat Fur Bad?

Matted clumps can be extremely painful for cats. Over time, matted fur can tug on the skin, causing irritation, sores, and even skin infections. Matting can create an environment conducive to skin problems. Moisture, dirt, and debris can get trapped within the mats, leading to skin irritation, itching, and potential bacterial or fungal infections.

A cat’s fur acts as insulation, helping to regulate body temperature. When the fur becomes matted, it loses its insulating properties, leaving the cat vulnerable to both cold and heat. 

It is important to remove mats from your cat’s fur in a timely manner to avoid skin pain and irritation. If there are one or two stubborn bits of tangled fur and your cat seems to be grooming normally, you should be able to look after them at home. If there is a lot of matting, or if your cat seems particularly uncomfortable, seek professional help.

How to Deal With Matted Fur on Your Cat?

Small mats that are not too close to the skin can usually be carefully groomed by hand. Removing the mat from the cat requires a steady hand and a lot of patience, sometimes even more than one person to keep the cat calm.

If the mats are small, about the size of a nickel or smaller, then there is a good chance that they can be groomed out without scissors. When you have the cat sitting comfortably, find the mat and gently move the fur around it so you can focus on the mat itself. You can start by gently moving the surrounding fur away from the mat, making it easier to access. Use a slicker brush or a comb with wide teeth to slowly and carefully work through the mat, starting from the outer edges and gradually moving closer to the base. 

For stubborn mats, you can try using a detangling spray or a cat-specific conditioner. Apply a small amount to the mat and gently work it through with your fingers. This can help soften the fur and make it easier to comb out.

When the mat is too large, too tight or too sensitive an area, shaving may be a better option than grooming.  In such cases, it’s best to consult a professional groomer or a veterinarian. They have the expertise and proper tools to safely shave or trim the matted fur without hurting your cat.

Matted fur can sometimes be a sign of an underlying health issue. If you notice excessive matting or a sudden increase in matting, it’s essential to monitor your cat’s overall health and behavior. 


In conclusion, dealing with matted fur on your cat requires a combination of prevention, regular grooming, and gentle care. Establish a grooming routine, use cat-friendly products, and be patient and gentle while addressing mats. Remember, the comfort and well-being of your cat should be the top priority, so if the matting is severe or causing distress, seek professional help. With proper care and attention, you can keep your cat’s fur tangle-free, healthy, and beautiful.

Jessica Stone

Jessica is a passionate pet lover and veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. Her blog serves as a reliable source for pet health advice, ranging from preventive care to handling emergencies.