The coats of long-haired cats can become matted quite easily, and become uncomfortable for the cat. Mats can usually be removed with mat-removing tools, slicker brushes and combs. But sometimes mats can be so thick that they need to be removed with an electric razor or grooming clippers. Most of the time you can remove the mats yourself, but there are times you should consult a professional groomer or veterinarian.
Inspect your cat's coat and determine how severely it is matted. A cat can sometimes be difficult to handle and restrain for grooming, and its skin is looser and more delicate than a dog's, so you need to be gentle and patient to avoid seriously injuring the cat. If the cat's coat is severely matted and the skin is damaged or covered in sores, you will need to consult a veterinarian who can sedate the cat to safely shave its coat and treat its skin. If you can handle your cat, and its coat is not severely matted and its skin is in good condition, you can try using a pair of clippers to remove the matted fur yourself. But only use electric clippers designed for pets.
Acclimate the cat to the pair of clippers you will use to remove the mats. Start by bringing the clippers close to your cat, eventually touching your cat with them. Once your cat is comfortable, turn the clippers on and bring them close to your cat. Do this until your cat is comfortable around the clippers.
Prepare the clippers for grooming your cat by attaching a short clipping guard, and a number 10 blade, which will be good for all except the tightest and most difficult mats.
Hold the cat on your lap and remove the smaller, looser mats with a mat-removing tool, slicker brush and steel wide-tooth comb. Avoid pulling and tugging on the mats, which will cause pain, and make the cat less cooperative. If you are having trouble restraining the cat and removing mats at the same time, have someone hold the cat.
Use the clippers to remove the worst mats. Locate the mats one at time, hold each mat away from the cat's skin and hold the clippers steady and move them against its coat. Do not try this if your cat is struggling violently as it could lead to you and the cat getting hurt. Give the cat some space and resume grooming the next day.
Brush cats regularly to keep the mats from reoccurring.
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