Medium-haired and long-haired cats are a beautiful sight to behold, but it isn't always that way. Cats can develop mats in their fur that look like little clumps or lumps of hair. If these mats aren't dealt with, it can spell problems for your cats. Here's why you shouldn't overlook this condition.
How Fur Mats Get Formed
Fur mats can happen quite naturally. When a longer-haired cat moves around, the fur on their legs, belly, and sides tends to move. Over time, this can lead to multiple strands of hair becoming tangled together.
In other cases, cats can end up with fur mats because they've come into contact with something outside. For example, a weed getting caught in their fur can easily cause other pieces of fur to stick to it, and you'll end up with a mat in an otherwise lovely coat before you know it.
What Happens if They're Left Alone
If you've ever seen your cat trying to groom itself when it has fur mats, you know that a cat does its best to take care of them on its own. Unfortunately, cats aren't equipped to handle mats in the best way.
When mats aren't removed, they can cause skin irritation or even cause the skin to split open, which can easily lead to an infection. Basically, just imagine a huge tangle yanking on your scalp at all times and you'll know what it feels like.
To make matters worse, if your cat is successful in yanking out a mat, they may hurt themselves in the process. Ripping out fur can cause similar skin irritation and pain to having the mat in the first place, and if your cat swallows the fur mat after pulling it out, they could even develop a gastrointestinal blockage.
Getting rid of mats typically isn't a job that a simple cat grooming brush can take care of. Ideally, you should visit with a pet groomer as soon as possible.
Your pet groomer will use specialized tools to help untangle as much of the fur as they can. If the tangle is too close to the skin, trimming the fur to remove all of the tangle may be necessary. With long-haired cats, this typically isn't very noticeable, especially if your cat only has a few mats.
In the future, you can prevent this from happening by bringing your kitty in regularly for pet grooming. It will help to untangle any developing mats before they can become big and pronounced, and it'll protect your kitty from swallowing additional fur.
Matting is a big deal that shouldn't be ignored. While it might not feel pleasant to pet a cat who has these mats, you can be certain that the cat doesn't like it anymore than you do. Talk to a pet groomer and get your kitty's coat taken care of right away.