Matts Matts and more Matts!

Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,255 ✭✭
edited 25 June, 2010 in Grooming
I am hoping to get some advice on getting matts out. Sonny has such thick beautiful hair but is still at that kitten stage where he won't let me near him with a brush and when I try to cut them out he tries to play with the scissors. Any suggestions?
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Comments

  • Dawn HarmanDawn Harman SpeedwellMember Posts: 1,079
    edited 19 May, 2010
    I was a Pro groomer for 12 years, and I have found that using a plastic letter opener will help get through any hair knots or mats. This a a pic of what I am talking about; http://www.officeworld.com/Worlds-Biggest-Selection/WEVCOA12 /10Q1/ Just run it through and comb out with a metal comb . This way you will not cut little kitty toes or skin! Good Luck
  • Lynda SmithLynda Smith Member Posts: 25
    edited 19 May, 2010
    Use a greyhound type comb instead of a brush. A brush will not go through a long thick coat - just gets the top layer of fur. The underneath hair will mat and felt. You have to be consistent with combing for the cat to tolerate it. Offer some type of reward so the cat will link it with grooming. Mine all get a treat or some baby food.
  • Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,255 ✭✭
    edited 20 May, 2010
    Ok thanks I will check out the letter opener and try the treat deal with him. The hardest ones are going to be the ones between his legs. The only good thing if you call it that is that you can't see the matts but when you pet him they are like hard lumps. They don't seem to bother him but they sure bother me! :n:
  • Dawn HarmanDawn Harman SpeedwellMember Posts: 1,079
    edited 20 May, 2010
    I agree with Posiepurrs- Solidago, I was just not sure you would know what a \"greyhound\" comb was. I love mine! Those would be the best thing to comb out any matts with. Chicken baby food alwasy works with me! mol good luck and please let us know how you do.
  • Tanja EdenTanja Eden SacramentoMember Posts: 137
    edited 20 May, 2010
    First I'd try to find the way to prevent matts from forming. It may be grease (do you bath him with degreaser?), food (mine eat raw), wrong products for bathing etc. I have several greyhound combs and many other "staff" that one who is showing persians is supposed to have... I do not comb my cats daily, I rarely do it and they do not develop knots or matts. And their coats are really very long. But I bathe them once a week and degrease their coats. If I feel a knot with my hands I first work it through with my fingers, then I may use facial ("flea") comb.
  • Lynda SmithLynda Smith Member Posts: 25
    edited 21 May, 2010
    If you bath the cat just be certain all the snarls are out first - otherwise they will tighten and be nearly impossible to get out. Even if the mats don't seem to bother him they can be very painful and we all know how easy it is for cats to hide pain or illness! Mats can cause infections under them to if tight to the skin. I find even with Persians I don't need to comb everyday IF the coat is kept clean. A greasy coat will tangle much faster than a clean one. I comb about every other day around here. Don't forget to wash your combs to, you don't want to put greas back into the coat once you get it out.
  • Tanja EdenTanja Eden SacramentoMember Posts: 137
    edited 21 May, 2010
    Oh, I sure agree with previous poster about getting all knots and matts out before bathing, did this mistake once with my cream smoke with extremely long cottony coat... it was terrible:). Also, if you decide to bath a cat don't forget to trim his nails:). Even with my mellow persians who were showed and got bathed twice a week for a year or so accidential scratches on my skin happen if I forget to trim their nails.
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 22 May, 2010
    My oh my, what an awesome picture of Santana!! =D>=D>=D>=D>=D>=D> And congrats on the Smoke title!! =D>=D>=D>=D> Santana is a perfect example, that the reason for the matts in the first place, can be eliminated, as Julian explained. LH show cats, cannot have matts, they cannot just shave or cut them out, man oh man, the judges would spot that in a NY minute, mol. :n: If a LH kitty is getting matts, we have to figure out why he is getting the matts in the first place. If it is on the back, kinda near the tail, that is usually an indication, the kitty cannot groom himself properly, due to illness or being overweight. It could also be as Santana suggested, the coat is too greasy, which one of those reasons, is due to poor diet. Also, the fur under their underarms and on their tummys and between their back legs, is usually on the fine side, and if the coat is greasy, a small matt, that Santana described, and can be easily pulled apart, is now a huge mess. Mine only get a bath when they have a show, but they are combed out and checked for matts dailey, especially, under their underarms, tummys and back legs. They also learned to be groomed as 8 week old kittens, as most show kitties are, so they just are used to it, and know the routine and just accept it. I taught mine by starting out with a soft human baby brush. Put them on the grooming table, a lick or so of baby food, a few brush strokes, pets, kisses, telling them this is a goody thingy, one more baby food lick, bam they are done. Keep the lessons short, start positive, so they know its a good thing, end positive, so they did not have a bad experience. Over time, you just increase the time you brush them, and they learn, slowly, they stay there until you let them go. The real fun starts, when you graduate to teaching them baths and blow drying, mol, mol, mol. :)):)):)):)):)):)):)):)):))
  • Tanja EdenTanja Eden SacramentoMember Posts: 137
    edited 22 May, 2010
    Bumpurr, furrriend, where have you been???? We missed you badly and couldn't find anywhere! And belated congratulations with being Cat of the Day!;c; You said everything better than me (as always:))) - "great minds think alike";c;
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 23 May, 2010
    Hey Julian!! :-h:-h:-h Wondered what happened to you and Santana too, mol. :)):)):)) I don't think anyone of us, is better than the other, mol, we each know/learned different things, and we share, with each other, and/or who ever it may help. I also had an incredible MC lady as a mentor when I first came on the circuit. She taught me not only how to win, but how to be a gracious winner, and she taught me sportsmanship. Whatever you place, or even if you didn't make the final, you hold your head up, you smile, you thank the judge, ask questions, polietly, if you don't understand, and you congratulate the winner. I know you already know this stuff, mol, but it may help a future exhibitor. Well, Bumpurr decided to eat some pizza and alum foil, that he found in the trash, that someone knocked over. Touch and go for a few days, but he is all better now, huge huge support from the great kitties on here. And I quit smoking, on day 17, so hadn't been feeling too well, still don't, withdrawl symptoms are doing me in, mol, altho it is a little better than last week. Cowboy finished in 10th place, in his Region, out of 130 HHP's in his region, and Cruiser finished 16th place. They just put up the placings and pictures. Will have to put up Cowboys show picture. The banquet is not until June, so won't get their little certificates and ribbons until then, mol. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
  • Tanja EdenTanja Eden SacramentoMember Posts: 137
    edited 24 May, 2010
    Bumpurr, furrriend:), congratulations on wonderful ending of show season!!!! I quit smoking 3+ years ago on Wellbutrin (love it!), didn't smoke for over 2 years, then I had huge stress and started again. My boyfriend doesn't know I smoke (and I don't want to worry him), I don't smoke on week-ends and when I'm at work (my coworkers also don't know) but I do smoke after work and sometimes in the morning with a cup of coffee:(( I plan to quit totally this week though, I feel I am ready for that, so we'll be real "bruders":)
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 24 May, 2010
    Julian, we can get thru this together, mol. and no more cheating, mol, mol, mol. :-O:-O:-O My mother said that would be the big test, when a really stressfull situation comes up. So, now after you quit this weekend, you need to have a plan in place, for what to do, when one comes up. And what keeps me going, is the reason I quit in the first place. =;=;=;=;=;=;=; I quit, because I got sick of Bumpurr and the kittens, breathing second hand smoke, I did it for them. I tested myself yesterday, and had 1 cig, I wanted to know, if I still had the urge, and if I was past that, or it was still a concern I need to watch out for. It made me ill. So that is a huge plus. I guess I still need a plan in place, just in case, there is huge stress, gotta work on that one. Eating snackys comes to mind, mol, thats what helped my mother, and I am not worried about getting hooked on them, because I gave them up a long time ago, and don' t realy miss them. Julian, I want you to know, weather you end up fulling quitting again, or you stay a part time smoker, we will always be "bruders". =;=;=;=;=;=;=;=;=;=;=;=;=;=;=;=; Us red kitties gotta stick together!! :))!:))!:))!:))!:))!:))!:))!
  • SterlingAndTheSTeamSterlingAndTheSTeam Mount OliveMember Posts: 41,262 ✭✭✭
    edited 24 May, 2010
    Um .... guys .... I haven\'t seen the word \"Matts\" for awhile here. :-$ Remember, we all must stay on the subject. ;)
  • Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,255 ✭✭
    edited 6 June, 2010
    Well I was able to get the major matts out and I just bought a zoom broom and he seems to be handling that the best, so I am going to keep with that and then get him used to the metal brush I bought. Its still really tough because he needs to sniff and bite anything I try to brush him with but the zoom broom is soft enough that he likes the feeling he gives him. Thanks for all of the advise!
  • MrD_Sam_RazaMrD_Sam_Raza New ZealandMember Posts: 2,511 ✭✭✭
    edited 9 June, 2010
    Arghhhhhh!!!! so that was my problem. I have now got really really bad matts now. Ever since the human gave me a bath. I was blaming the bath and now I see I was right. I\'ll just go and pop the human on the head:n: naughty human for thinking the bath would help the matts. She\'s been chasing me for days trying to work on those matts. Thanks for the tip;c;
  • Dawn HarmanDawn Harman SpeedwellMember Posts: 1,079
    edited 9 June, 2010
    Sonny, Zoom Groom\'s are nice and do feel great! Though you do need to cut through the matts before hand. At least some of them . That is why I suggested using one of those plastic letter openers. With the letter opener, you can cut right through and it will not cut kitties skin.Then get a greyhound comb to comb them out. Or I guess you could use the Zoom Groom to remove them, never tried that one before. As for bathing before removing any matted hair, is like wetting dreadlocks, it will only tighten them and make them harder to remove. Good luck.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 10 June, 2010
    To the person who asked what a Greyhound comb is: they are metal combs made in Belgium. Groomers and cat show exhibitors swear by them. They come in all sizes and with varying widths between the teeth. For my Maine Coons, I use a wide-toothed one for the tail, and a semi-wide toothed one for the rest of the coat. Some people use fine-toothed combs (like flea combs) for facial areas. If you're not a groomer and aren't showing your cat, a metal comb you buy at your local pet store should do. Greyhound combs are usually sold at cat shows and, I suppose, over the Internet. They're a bit pricey, but a long-haired cat really needs a metal comb. I like the idea of the letter opener for "opening up" mats. I learned the hard way NOT to use scissors--I cut Elise in three places and she needed stitches. Cutting off the very, very top of a mat will sometimes allow you to tease it apart with your fingers, after which you can, if you're lucky, follow up with the comb. The idea is to "divide and conquer." Oddly, I've found that it's easier to disentangle mats when my cats are being shampooed. Hmm...Also, even though my Maine Coons are all related in some way (no interbreeding--just relatives), they don't all have the same fur quality. Harvey, Leila, and Chibi share the same parents, and have silky fur that never mats. Currier has clumpy fur that never mats but never looks very good, either (I love her anyway). Elise, Harvard, Lowell, and Radcliffe have the same father as Currier, but only the brown and white tabbies (Elise, Lowell, and Radcliffe) get mats, as does their father, Umesaburo. Perhaps it's because they seem to have greasier fur than the other cats. I've been spoiled with my first three MCs, and was unprepared for cats whose fur mats. Right now I'm trying to get some enormous mats off of Radcliffe. I'm going to try that paper cutter idea. Thanks!
  • Dawn HarmanDawn Harman SpeedwellMember Posts: 1,079
    edited 10 June, 2010
    Thank you Harvey, that is one of the best ways I have seen to describe a \"Greyhound\" comb! =D> But since I was a groomer, it may just be because I already know what you are talking about. Please let me know how the letter opener work for you, that way I can add it to what I already tell people about using one. I would LOVE to have a Main Coon cat! Though it would have to be a boy and look like my cat here, who is over the bridge. Good luck Harvey\'s Mom Dawn
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 10 June, 2010
    Har har, I'll send you one if you'll pay the airfare...
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 10 June, 2010
    Someone once recommended something called a "Mat Breaker." You can see it at http://www.aristopet.com.au/?page=75&item=814&ps=1&product_search=&dosearch= The company appears to be in Australia, but the product may be available in American stores. If not, they're willing to ship internationally. I keep meaning to order one myself. Also, you could try electric hair clippers--the kind used to give people buzz cuts. I believe they make them for pets (at least they do in Japan). It's not uncommon for the owner of a long-haired cat to give it a "sanitary cut" around the backside. Whatever method you use, be careful! Lowell is a sweet cat, but after having his mats removed in a rather painful way (it was my first time removing mats, and no, I didn't mean for it to be painful), now hates the sight of a comb.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 11 June, 2010
    New discovery! I didn't have time to go to the store today to buy a letter opener, so I used a seam ripper instead. You know, those tiny but sharp pronged things that people who sew use to remove threads, etc. Poor Radcliffe had a few mats that were about the size of quail eggs, and I managed to cut off the very, very top of the mat, then divide it with the seam ripper. Then, I used a very wide-toothed Greyhound comb to get out the dead hair. She still needs a bit more work on that area, but she put up with five minutes of what must have been a frightening and painful experience without a single whimper. Well, now I know that my brown/brown and white tabbies need more grooming than my reds and my torties, for whatever reason. Don't forget (as I did with Elise) that when you pull up a mat, the skin comes up with it. You may think you're only cutting out the mat, but Elise and I are living proof that you can cut poor Kitty's skin even when sure you're just cutting the mat. Do be careful. Very careful. A trip to the vet is no fun, for human or cat.
  • Dawn HarmanDawn Harman SpeedwellMember Posts: 1,079
    edited 12 June, 2010
    Elise; I am so sorry you had to learn the hard way :( I also kicked a cat behind the ear and had the same results. That is when I decides to groom the right way and I did so for 12 years. As for the matt buster. I have those too. But I like the letter opener better as it does not pull as much. Good luck and ~hugs~ to Elise
  • Lynda SmithLynda Smith Member Posts: 25
    edited 13 June, 2010
    May I suggest that any time you are trying to cut a mat out, put the comb between the skin and the mat - that way you shouldn't cut the skin.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 13 June, 2010
    Good idea!!! Radcliffe will appreciate that. :h:
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 16 June, 2010
    Who is Matt? wow there is alot of talk about him on this thread:))! MOL
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 16 June, 2010
    yeah, and they are doing some damage to the poor fella, ripping him apart with a seam ripper? letter openers? what a way to die. Pretty soon the Greyhounds will be chasing him outta town. hehehehe
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 16 June, 2010
    I used to have a boyfriend named Matt...
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 16 June, 2010
    Once they become combs, Greyhounds get pretty quiet. But yeah, they can still scare cats like crazy, especially when paired with the Demon Hair Dryer.
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 17 June, 2010
    Ive never had a Matt - I do remember my old dog getting them tho. ::o
  • edited 19 June, 2010
    I have terrible matts too! What exactly is a greyhound comb? And where is a good place to get them? I am 3 and don\'t like being brushed either. Mom was trying to use a wide metal brush on me, but it pulls on the matts and I run away from it.
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