How to Deal With Matted Hair on Your Dog or Cat

If you do not keep your dog and cat well-groomed, sooner or later you may have to deal with matted fur.

It is truly difficult, time-consuming and frustrating for both you as well as your pet when it comes to dealing with matted fur. In some cases, thick matting can be very painful and uncomfortable for your pet, especially when it is located behind the ear or on the flank or rear end.

Ignoring matted fur on your pet can lead to hygiene problems and even increase the risk of health problems due to parasitic infestations, skin infections and being a breeding ground for bacteria.

Pets with a long coat and those who shed heavily are more prone to matted hair. Matted hair often develops in areas of friction, such as under the collar, behind the ears and in the armpits.

Some pets get matted hair on the lower legs, where the legs rub together or where they come into with grass. Also, pets who sit a lot, or are right-hipped or left-hipped when they sit, are also prone to get mats from the fur being compacted in that spot.

If your pet has developed matted hair, do not panic. You can deal with the problem with a bit of patience and some simple and effective solutions.

Here are some of the best ways to deal with matted hair on dogs and cats.

1. Brush Their Fur Regularly

Neglect and lack of grooming can lead to tangles and knots. So, the best way to deal with mats is to prevent them, which can be done with proper grooming.

To take proper care of your pet’s coat, regular brushing is a must. Brushing will prevent static electricity and dryness that can foster tangles.

Before brushing the fur, add a little moisture by spraying just a light mist of water on it. You can use a brush with teeth or a wide-toothed comb.

Also, use the right brushing technique. When you come across a mat, hold the fur closest to the skin with your fingers before brushing or pulling at the mat. This method allows you to thoroughly brush the fur and find any tangles hidden under the top coat with minimal pain to your pet.

Depending on the breed, you may have to brush your pet anywhere from once every couple of weeks to daily.

2. Spray Coconut Oil on the Mats

To untangle stubborn mats, you can use coconut oil. The oil will help loosen the knots and untangle the fur. Baby oil is also safe for your pet, even if they tend to lick the oil off their skin and fur.

  1. Cover the matted area liberally with coconut oil.
  2. Allow the oil to sit for some time.
  3. Use your fingers to try to work out the knots of the mat. Remove as much of the mat as possible with your hands.
  4. Later in the day, you can brush out the fur without causing any discomfort to your pet.

3. Sprinkle Cornstarch on the Mats

For matted hair, cornstarch is very beneficial. It is important to deal with the matted fur as soon as you notice them, or the dirty, tangled fur may even lead to the growth of manges.

The oil-absorbing quality of cornstarch makes it a great home remedy for matted hair in pets. Its alkaline nature helps balance the pH level of the skin and will reduce any foul smell.

  1. Brush the matted fur as best you can and make sure there are no wounds or irritation under the mats.
  2. Try to divide the fur into small sections with a metal comb.
  3. Sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch on the mats.
  4. Work it through the fur with your fingers.
  5. Finish up with a greyhound comb.

4. Use Clippers

For large mats that are impossible to untangle, you can use clippers to get rid of them. Clippers help remove matting from your pet’s fur with a minimum amount of pulling or pain.

Also, clippers are much safer than scissors, which could easily cut your pet since mats are often stuck close to the skin’s surface.

Use good quality clippers to remove the matted hair. Hold the clippers at the correct angle. Getting under the mat to remove most of it at once is ideal.

Afterward, shampoo and condition your pet’s coat, let it dry thoroughly and finally comb out the entire coat again to prevent a recurrence.

5. Use a Detangler

Water can make matted fur set even tighter. So, avoid using water to untangle matted hair.

Instead, you can use a detangling product or antistatic spray, specially designed for pets.

Consult your vet regarding which product will suit your pet. Use it as directed by the manufacturer or your vet.

6. Find a Groomer

Sometimes, your pet may be too stubborn and fail to cooperate with you as you work to untangle the matted hair.

In such cases, it is best to visit a professional groomer. Using their expertise, professional groomers know how to deal with mats in the best possible manner.

Many experts prefer to use a mat comb, also called a razor comb. It has recessed blades that will cut the hair. Because there is a high chance of harming your pet; if you don’t use it correctly, leave this tool for the experts.

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