How To Unmat Cat Hair – Tips for Getting Out Matting in Cat Fur


Have you found a severe mat in your cat’s hair and are unsure of how to get it it? Well look no further. This is the complete guide on how to safely remove any hard to get rid of mats, without damaging your cat’s skin. I have included a few different ways in which you can remove mats from your cat’s fur, so you can choose the one which suits you best!

How To Unmat Cat Hair

Table of Contents

How To Get Matted Hair Off A Cat?

Have you just found some of your cat’s fur has become matted? There are only a few ways in which you can remove it. It needs to either be shaved out of their fur or needs to be combed out.

Cat mats are formed from oily skin cells and clumps of dead hair. They can also just be formed from little things they rubbed up against and picked up from their surroundings.

Unfortunately, because the mat is mostly made up of dead hair, this makes it very difficult to detangle. It could be compared to trying to detangle a scouring pad!

Even if you were to cut through the mat, this won’t make the mat any easier to detangle. This is why it is not recommended to cut through cat mats with scissors. Sometimes their skin can also get stuck within the mat so be careful of this.

How To Get Mats/Tangles Out of Cat Hair

Most shorter haired cats should be able to look after their coat themselves. Though sometimes their fur can become a little unruly.

Long-haired cats, or cats that are growing old or sick might find it more difficult. They may need some extra help to keep their coat in check. These cats may need a bit more assistance from their owners.

Small mats can grow over time and become bigger, forming dreadlock-looking mats. They can even cause your feline friend some pain and suffering. In more extreme cases, these mats can even become breeding grounds for parasites in your cats coat, such as worms or mites.

How To Unmat Cat Hair

Should I Cut Out My Cat’s Matted Hair?

If the mat is too big to be teased out, you may need to cut out the mat from their fur. In this instance, it is best to use a clippers.

Do NOT use scissors, de-matting rakes, seam rippers, or other tools which are sharp. These can severely damage your cat’s skin and can cause cuts.

How to Comb Out Small Cat Mats

Firstly, we’ll start by going through how to deal with small mats which you think could be combed out. If the mat is roughly the size of a nickel or smaller, there is a high probability that it could be combed out without needing to use a clippers.

Using a sturdy metal comb, or wide toothed comb that is roughly 6-8″, this should suffice in removing these mats from your cats coat safely. Smaller combs with fine toothing may be more difficult because the teeth are too close together and can end up pulling out too much of the hair at the same tine and cause your cat serious discomfort.

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Removing The Hair With A Wide-Toothed Comb

  1. Get Your Cat Ready

    Get your cat sitting in a comfortable position and locate where they have a mat. Gently move away any hair that is nearby and not stuck in the mat.

  2. Get The Comb Under The Mat

    Slip you comb underneath the mat, while trying to avoid getting too much of the hairs around the comb.

  3. Gently Pull The Mat

    Following these steps, you should be able to give one swift tug at the comb, while avoiding as much pain to your cat as possible. Most cats tend to become agitated if you do not hold their skin while ‘picking’ apart the mat. You can easily compare this to if someone was brushing your own hair and theres a knot in it. If you don’t hold the hair close to the root or at least the skin, its going to hurt.

You might find some areas on your cats body are more difficult that others, particularly if you have a cat that gets agitated quite easily. These knots may need to be shaved out even if they fit the size of a nickel or smaller. Commonly these areas include the genitals, armpits, ears, or any other area on your cats body which is sensitive.

How Do I Get Knots Out Of My Cats Fur? – Product Recommendations

Below is a list of extra products which you can use to remove mats from your cats fur. These products will help prevent the need for using clippers and save your cats fur.

Matted Cat Hair Removal Spray

TropiClean Sweet Pea Tangle Remover Spray for Pets, 16oz - Made in USA - Dog Detangler and Dematting Spray - Naturally Derived Ingredients - No-Rinse Formula - Alcohol Free - Paraben Free - Dye Free
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Another method which will help to manually remove mats from your cats fur is using a detangling spray. Like detangling spray you would use in long human hair, these sprays are specifically designed to remove any tangles or mats within your pets fur.

These products are usually produced with a naturally hypoallergenic formula. These products are great for breaking down stubborn mats in no time, and have no harmful effect on your pets skin.

For best use, It is recommended that you spray this directly onto the mat in your cats fur and let it soak into the mat for fifteen minutes. After the allocated time, follow the steps above again on how to remove a mat with a wide tooth comb.

Detangler Comb for Cat Hair

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs, Cats - The Ultimate Dog Brush for Shedding Hair, Fur - Comb for Grooming Long Haired & Short Haired Dogs, Cats, Rabbits & More, Deshedding Tool, Cat Brush
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There are many different combs on the market for removing mats from cats hair, but not all combs were created equally. The Hertzko Self Cleaning Brush is highly recommended by vets and has proven itself time and time again. It can gently remove any mats from your cats fur, while causing your cat minimal pain. It is excellent for removing mats, tangles, build-up of dirt, and knots with excellent results.

This brush has fine bristles which are designed to tease through your pets hair, and even grooming their undercoat. It can remove these mats while causing little to no pain.

This brush is even super easy to clean. It has a button which retracts the bristles, making cleaning of the brush itself super easy. This feature helps to avoid adding any old hair to a mat which could occur if exsisting hair is present on the brush.

Homemade Remedies For Removing Cat Mats

There are also a few home remedies you can try out before making any big purchases. These products are usually household products you migt already have, or are super cheap which you can buy from your local grocery store. Lets take a look:

Olive Oil for un-matting Cat Fur

Olive oil is a super effective product which can remove mats and tangles within your cats fur. It is very likely you’ll have this product at home already and if you practice patience, can provide some excellent results.

Just add a teaspoon of olive oil you each mat within your cats fur and let it sit before trying to tease out the mat. If the mat has not fallen out after three days, but you think it has made an improvement, repeat the process.

Un-matting Cat Fur With Baby Oil

Baby oil is another common household item that you may already have and can use to treat cat mats. In a similar way to olive oil, baby oil works as a lubricant for the hair and can help to remove the large mat.

Just like with olive oil, you only need a teaspoon amount for each mat. Rub the area between your thumb and your forefinger. You can let it settle into the mat for a little while, or you can start teasing it with a wide-toothed comb depending on how bad the mat is.

Though you might give your cat fish oil, baby oil is different. Baby oil is safe to use on cat’s skin, but it can cause them to become sick from an upset stomach if they ingest it. They may try to lick at their fur and then ingest the baby oil. It is recommended to leave the baby oil in their fur overnight. You can use an E-collar to prevent ingestion.

How To Unmat Cat Hair

Removing a Cat Mat with Clippers

Below I have listed a few different ways in which clippers could be used to remove your cat’s mat. You can either do it yourself or get a professional to do it. This is dependent on a few different factors:

  • The size of the mat
  • The temperament of your cat, their age, and the condition of their skin
  • The location of the mat

Doing It Yourself

If the mat on your cats fur is too big, in a sensitive area, or your cat is too easily agitated, then unfortunately, a clippers may be your only choice. This may be the more humane option for your cat if the mat is big because all the pulling and tugging at mats can really hurt their skin.

It is best to use a professional pet clipper with a no. 10 blade. This is the best size for cats and can easily remove mats from your cats skin without the painful tugging on their skin.

Safety is the most important thing when operating sharp blades like clippers. These can do serious damage to delicate areas of their skin. Even if you have lots of experience with these blades, animals are unpredictable.

Wahl Professional Animal Purple ARCO SE Cordless Pet Clipper Kit
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Go To A Groomer

You may not be confident with using clippers. You may also find that the clippers are too expensive to buy yourself. In this case, you could always take your cat to the groomer. These are trained professionals who have a wealth of experience in cutting mats from cat’s and dog’s skin.

Groomers will also be able to evaluate the temperament of your cat. They can judge the severity of the mat, and the condition of your cats skin and fur. Using all this information they will be able to determine the best course of action. This will include how much the whole procedure is going to cost. This option may be cheaper than if you were to buy clippers outright.

Going To The Veterinarian

In some cases, the mat may be a severe one. If your cat’s temperament is too wild, your groomer may refer your cat to the vet. There they will need to undergo grooming under anesthesia. This may cost a bit more because the procedure with be done by a vet.

If you go to a large practice, they may have veterinary nurses trained to carry out this procedure. This will help to reduce the price.

How To Unmat Cat Hair

How To Unmat Cat Hair – Detangling Matted Cat Hair Debunked!

Hopefully, this will help you to detangle the mat in your cat’s fur safely. It is hopeful that the wide tooth comb would be able to tease it out. Or that you could get it out with a natural remedy. You will probably want to save their fur from being cut out!

It may be the only option for your cat but sometimes you may need to cut their fur out. The best way to avoid this from happening is by regularly grooming your cat. This is especially important if you have a long-haired cat.

How To Unmat Cat Hair – FAQs

Does Olive Oil Remove Mats From Cats?

Olive oil is good to remove mats from cats’ fur, especially if they have dry skin. The mat may be mostly made up of dry skin and the olive oil will help to dissolve some of the dry skin. If you apply a teaspoon amount

How Do You Remove Matted Cat Hair Without Removing It?

You can use talcum powder or cornstarch on the area of the mat. This needs to be massaged into the mat and gently worked around. Try to pull the mat away from your cat’s skin, using a soothing voice and praise to soothe your cat.