Why Has My Cats Fur Gone Lumpy?

Youre petting your cat and you realize that her silky coat is not so silky anymore. Whether your attention has been grabbed by small knots, large deep-seated mats, or thick patches throughout the coat, your cats coat requires some human intervention to get it back up to snuff.

Since the head and neck arent accessible to the tongue, this is where mats often are seen first, says William Miller, VMD, DACVD, Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Section of Dermatology. If you notice a thick spot when petting your cat, make a note to monitor that area on a regular basis.

Your veterinarian will start by doing a physical exam, checking the skin in the problematic areas for indications of parasites, and the mouth for signs of dental issues. Your cats veterinary team likely will get him cleaned up before you head home, but maintaining his coat until he is adequately grooming himself is up to you.

How do I fix my cats clumpy fur?

Use a metal mat comb for cats to detach the smaller tangles. Start by holding the hair below the mat, close to the skin, and separate the tangled fur into smaller pieces. Be as gentle as possible and apply short, fast strokes so there’s less pulling of the skin. Never try to cut out a mat.

Why does my cat have matted fur all of a sudden?

Actually, although there are some cats who never learned to take care of their coat properly, for most, matting is a sign of disease. … It is your cat’s way of showing you he/she isn’t feeling well. Stress will also influence grooming habits. Some cats will hyper groom when stressed and create bald spots.

Why has my cats fur change texture?

Fur can change in texture and become greasy or oily, often appearing spiky or clumped together. This is due to an increase or lack of distribution of the natural oils in the cat’s fur. … Hyperthyroidism causes hormone imbalances; this can change your pet’s fur texture.

Did you know a single cat has about 130,000 hairs per square inch of their body? Imagine keeping all that fur under control! For the most part, cats do a great job on their own since they are excellent self-groomers. But every once in a while, their hair gets tangled or matted. When this happens, its important to remove the matted cat fur before it causes serious health problems.

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Matted fur is a condition that occurs mostly in longhaired cats when their fur becomes knotted and entangled. There are several reasons this can happen. When a cat sheds their undercoat, the fur can become caught in the top coat. If a cats fur becomes dirty or oily, it can also become entwined and matted. Matting can also occur in places on the cats body that involves a lot of movement such as between the legs, under the chest, and around the collar. The longer matted fur is left unattended, the more problematic it becomes, as the knots will grow tighter and cause discomfort and possibly health issues for your cat.

If your cats fur seems to be problematic, talk to your veterinarian about changing her diet to one that, for example, includes more vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids, which are very beneficial to a healthy coat. If not kept under control, what can start as a minor nuisance can eventually lead to great discomfort and then health issues for your cat.

If you notice that your once fastidious groomer cat is being a little lackluster in their grooming habits, it may be time for a visit with your veterinarian to make sure there are no underlying health issues preventing them from self-grooming properly.

Cats are naturally fastidious animals, and their meticulous grooming habits make them a favored pet for many cultures and people. Some cats need daily or weekly grooming sessions from their owners to maintain coat health and avoid fur clumps.

Excessive shedders are susceptible to hard, clumpy hair, and short-haired cats are not exempt from matting. Senior cats also have difficulty grooming themselves due to stiffness that naturally comes with advancing age.

Sometimes your cat will hyper groom when stressed and create bald spots. These cats have severe anxiety and are constantly surveying their environment for danger signs. The best way to help prevent your cats fur from clumping is to comb them every day.

Its important to establish a regular routine for grooming, so your cat becomes accustomed to the process and does not get frightened by it. Most cats enjoy being groomed, but you should start slowly to avoid scaring them. Youll want to comb down to the cats undercoat to remove the shedding fur that gets tangled in the topcoat.

You can introduce kibble and freeze-dried food containing these nutrients to keep your cats fur shiny and healthy. You wont want to remove a mat during playtime suddenly, or youll suffer damage from claws. Start separating the mats with your fingers, and youll notice loose pieces pull away.

If you choose to go to a professional, you can ask for advice about the correct detangling conditioners, shampoo, and sprays to use at home. Incorporate these supplies into your regular grooming routine to keep your matted cat fur at bay. The technique used depends on the cats skin condition and tolerance to the grooming process.

Longhaired Cats

If your cat has a long, luxurious coat, check him at least once a week for developing knots. A brush or comb is often sufficient to brush out small knots and areas where the dead hair has clumped together, or you can very carefully trim knots with scissors (go slowly, as it’s easy to cut skin, too, especially if the mat is close to the skin). Catching knots early will prevent them from developing into full mats, which are more difficult to remove. Some cats may need to be inspected more often.“A longhaired cat can get mats despite its best grooming efforts at any time, but especially around the yearly shed periods. Since the head and neck aren’t accessible to the tongue, this is where mats often are seen first,” says William Miller, VMD, DACVD, Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Section of Dermatology.Shorthaired cats can get clumps and mats, too. If you notice a thick spot when petting your cat, make a note to monitor that area on a regular basis.If your cat’s bad hair day seems to be a bit more than a mild grooming issue, consider other potential reasons. “Although people talk of the lazy groomer, those cats seem to be very uncommon, so one needs to look for the reason why the cat isn’t grooming as well or at all,” Dr. Miller says.

Topical Concerns

“Are any topicals (shampoos, flea and tick products, etc.) being applied?” asks Dr. Miller. “These items have a taste, and the cat may not like them.” You can give your cat a bath to help remove the bad taste (unless of course the shampoo was the problem) or brush your cat daily for a few days until he starts grooming himself again.

Check the Mouth

“Next, the mouth needs a good look. Any significant degree of gingivitis or glossitis (inflammation of the tongue) can make grooming uncomfortable,” says Dr. Miller. Red gums are a sure sign of dental health issues, along with calculus buildup and bad breath. Calicivirus is a feline respiratory disease known for causing ulcers on the tongue that you may be able to see when your cat opens his mouth. In addition to not wanting to groom, cats with oral discomfort may also eat less, chew abnormally, or drool when eating.

Internal Disease

Any systemic illness that causes your cat to feel ill can result in poor grooming habits. Think about when you are sick—do you go through your normal routine of brushing and styling your hair? Nope. Cats are the same way and don’t expend energy on grooming when they are feeling poorly.If your cat has a persistently unkempt coat, it is time to visit the veterinarian. A wide range of conditions can cause your cat to have a poor coat or not feel well. Dr. Miller says, “The internal disease can be something simple like intestinal parasites or hairballs or something very serious like diabetes or cancer.”Your veterinarian will start by doing a physical exam, checking the skin in the problematic areas for indications of parasites, and the mouth for signs of dental issues. Between the exam and the health and behavior history that you provide, your vet will narrow down possible causes. The next step might include bloodwork to check for metabolic abnormalities, a fecal exam to check for parasites, and/or radiographs (x-rays) to check for hairballs, an obstruction, or tumors.

Why Matted Cat Fur is Bad

Healthy and tangle-free cat fur allows for a continuous air flow to your cat’s skin. Matted cat fur, on the other hand, damages tissue by preventing oxygen and moisture from reaching it. This can lead to dry, scaly, and sometimes irritated skin. When your cat notices this change, they start to groom more which could increase the amount of hair they ingest and cause other health problems.Another issue that you should take care of right away are mats that form on the back of your cat’s legs. Because of their location, they can trap urine and feces, leading to a skin infection. Neglected mats can also become a breeding ground for parasites.

How to Prevent Matted Cat Fur

The longer your cat’s hair, the more likely it is to mat. To stop mats from forming, add regular brushing and combing into your pet’s routine. During this time, run your fingers through your their coat. This will help you feel any clumps of fur below the surface that need immediate attention.

Matting in Cats

Matted fur is a condition that occurs mostly in longhaired cats when their fur becomes knotted and entangled. There are several reasons this can happen. When a cat sheds their undercoat, the fur can become caught in the top coat. If a cat’s fur becomes dirty or oily, it can also become entwined and matted. Matting can also occur in places on the cat’s body that involves a lot of movement such as between the legs, under the chest, and around the collar. The longer matted fur is left unattended, the more problematic it becomes, as the knots will grow tighter and cause discomfort and possibly health issues for your cat.

How do Cats Self-Groom?

Cats are fantastic self-groomers, spending much of their day on personal grooming. Their tongues have tiny backward-facing barbs called papillae, which are great for removing dirt and loose hair. These barbs also promote circulation to the skin. A cat’s flexibility is another asset to their ability to groom themselves.

Regular Brushing

The best way to help prevent your cat’s fur from becoming matted is to comb them every day, especially if they are a longhaired cat. It’s important to establish a routine for grooming so your cat becomes accustomed to the process and does not get stressed by it. Most cats will enjoy being groomed, but it’s a good idea to start slowly so they don’t get scared by the brush or feel that they’re in an uncomfortable situation. You can start with a soft bristle brush at first just to get them used to being brushed.Once your cat will sit calmly and allow you to brush them, you can switch to a comb or brush that is appropriate for your cat’s fur. If they are a longhaired cat you want to make sure you’re using a comb or brush designed for that fur type. You’ll want to brush down to the under coat to remove the shedding fur that can get tangled in the top coat.Be thorough and brush all of your cat’s body. Daily brushes are much more effective than a big brush after several days have passed.

Professional Grooming

You may want to consider getting some professional grooming help if your cat has difficult fur that is more prone to matting, or if they dislike and resist brushing at home. The grooming staff will also be able to provide you grooming tips.

Diet and Nutrition

Diet plays a significant role in the health of your cat’s coat. If your cat’s fur seems to be problematic, talk to your veterinarian about changing her diet to one that, for example, includes more vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids, which are very beneficial to a healthy coat.

Causes of Fur Clumps (Matting)

Matted or Clumped Fur is a condition that occurs in long-haired cats. It’s when the cat’s fur becomes knotted and entangled. Here are the main reasons this can happen:

Shedding

When a cat sheds its undercoat, the fur can become caught in the topcoat. Dirty and oily fur can also become entwined and matted. The longer matted fur remains unattended, the more problematic it becomes. Knots will grow tighter and cause health issues for your cat.

Eosinophilic plaques

The itchy, hard clumps your cats have on their backs can also be eosinophilic plaques. These patches occur due to allergies to fleas. Even a single flea can cause an allergic reaction.

Ringworms

Ringworm is another reason for matted hair. This fungal infection can affect cats and spreads quickly in the same household. It usually affects the skin on the back.

Obesity

Obesity can also cause matted hair problems in cats. It makes it hard for cats to turn around and groom themselves. You’ll often notice short-haired obese cats with hard mats forming in the lower-back fur – an area impossible for an obese cat to reach.

All Cats are Susceptible to Clumping

The luxurious coat of long-haired cats requires more grooming. You have to maintain their lustrous locks with regular brushing and combing. Excessive shedders are susceptible to hard, clumpy hair, and short-haired cats are not exempt from matting. Senior cats also have difficulty grooming themselves due to stiffness that naturally comes with advancing age. The coat and skin health in senior cats deteriorates as, and their skin produces excess oils. Overweight cats are prone to matting because they can’t reach most parts of their bodies.Health issues are another big factor that impedes a cat’s ability to self-groom. Sickness can make your cat lazy and not have enough energy for grooming. Fur clumps may be your first indicator that your cat is suffering.Stress can also influence your cat’s grooming habits. Sometimes your cat will hyper groom when stressed and create bald spots. This helps release endorphins in their brain to reduce their anxiety. In other cases, stressed cats feel too scared to groom. These cats have severe anxiety and are constantly surveying their environment for danger signs. They can’t take time away from over-analyzing their environment to attend to their grooming needs.Grooming is essential for your cat’s health. Matting can occur despite their ability to self-groom. Any cats with oral injury may resist grooming themselves. It’s important to groom your cat regularly to avoid matting.

How to prevent matting

Despite cats’ ability to self-groom, matting can occur on their back. Here’s how you can prevent this from happening:

Regular Brushing

The best way to help prevent your cat’s fur from clumping is to comb them every day. It’s important to establish a regular routine for grooming, so your cat becomes accustomed to the process and does not get frightened by it. Most cats enjoy being groomed, but you should start slowly to avoid scaring them. You can use a soft bristle brush to make them comfortable.Once your cat sits calmly and lets you brush them, you can switch to a comb that is appropriate for your cat’s fur type. Long-haired and short-haired cats have different combs designed to suit their fur type. You’ll want to comb down to the cat’s undercoat to remove the shedding fur that gets tangled in the topcoat.Be thorough and brush all of your pet’s body. Daily brushes are more effective than a big brush after weeks.

Diet and Nutrition

Diet plays a massive role in your cat’s coat health. If your cat’s fur seems problematic, talk to your veterinarian about changing their diet. Vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for a healthy coat. You can introduce kibble and freeze-dried food containing these nutrients to keep your cat’s fur shiny and healthy.

Prepare the Matted Area

De-matting is possible, and here’s what you need:Start with a relaxed, comfortable cat. You won’t want to remove a mat during playtime suddenly, or you’ll suffer damage from claws. Gather a few tools before you begin:

Cut the Mat

Hold sharp blunt-nosed scissors perpendicular to the skin, and carefully slide the scissors into the mat. Make a clean cut and try not to pull the fur while cutting. Give your cat a small treat and praise it for its patience.Move the scissors over half an inch and cut again. Start separating the mats with your fingers, and you’ll notice loose pieces pull away.

Comb the Mat

Use a fine-toothed flea comb and gently comb through the mat piece. Start from the tip of the hairs and move down into the stubborn mat. You can use three or four pegs of the comb for stubborn sections.

Seeking Professional Help

Not all matted cat fur is easy to cut and remove. Sometimes shaving your cat’s entire coat is the only solution. It’s best to see a veterinarian or a professional pet stylist because they have the right tools and knowledge. They know how to remove matted fur without stressing or injuring your cat.If you’ve done your best and followed a stringent grooming routine, chances are your cat may still get mats. It’s important to remove them quickly, but the severity can get overwhelming for pet owners. Some people are frequent travelers and can’t keep up with a regular grooming routine.If you choose to go to a professional, you can ask for advice about the correct detangling conditioners, shampoo, and sprays to use at home. Incorporate these supplies into your regular grooming routine to keep your matted cat fur at bay.Professionals know different ways to remove mats. The technique used depends on the cat’s skin condition and tolerance to the grooming process. You can comb smaller mats at home, but larger, severe mats need professional intervention. Always hire an experienced groomer to shave your cat’s fur safely. Cat skin is delicate and can be cut easily with sharp tools.

Does clumped hair hurt cats?

Clumped hair or mats can become uncomfortable and even painful for your cat. They also cause severe skin irritation and infection.

Will matted hair grow out?

Matted hair won’t grow out without regular grooming. You can remove most mats with gentle brushing and teasing, but hard mats can require extra work.