It’s fairly common, particularly for long haired pets,
to have an issue with their fur. Mats typically affect long haired dogs
and cats more than their short haired counterparts. However, matted fur
can often be avoided with a regular grooming routine. If unaddressed mats
may be problematic leading to skin problems such as hot spots as they trap
moisture next to the skin. For seriously matted fur it is wise to visit
If there are a number of mats that need to be removed plan on only doing
a small number at a time as it can be quite uncomfortable for your pet.
This is particularly true for cats. It is wise to work on a cat’s
fur for short periods of time as cats are typically more sensitive and
less willing to cooperate. If your cat has stopped grooming himself contact
your vet as this is typically a sign of a bigger problem. If the matting
isn’t too severe try breaking the mat apart by splitting it in the
direction of the fur growth. This can be done with a mat splitter, scissors,
or a blade. Be very careful with sharp objects and don’t direct the
blade towards your pet as a sudden movement can cause an injury. Work in
the opposite direction of the skin as a way to protect your pet, and take
precautions not to injure yourself with sharp tools. The mat may need to
be split several times. As you split the mat pick at it to free more fur.
The typical brushing or combing motion is not that helpful. It’s
best to keep the fur dry when removing a mat. However, mat removing sprays
or pet conditioners can be a great help making the fur smoother, more slippery
and easier to manage.
If gum gets stuck in your pet’s fur and it isn’t to deeply
entangled, it can usually be frozen with an ice cube then broken and removed
from the fur. If it has really gummed up the fur it may need to be dissolved.
Peanut butter has actually been known to work as a solvent.
Burrs can also be a problem, particularly for long haired dogs. It’s
not uncommon for a dog to bound through the woods and come home with a
coat full of burrs or other woodsy items. To remove them try breaking apart
the burr and break up the tangle instead of cutting it out as it is better
for your pet’s coat. A matt cutter or detangler, or other sharp edged
device can help in breaking it apart, then pull the individual hairs out
of the snarl to free the burr. If this is a common problem using a conditioner
or conditioning spray can help reduce the number of burrs as the smoother
the fur the less likely a burr or other object will attach. While long
fur can create some frustrations, it can also be rewarding to see your
pet with a long fluffy beautiful well cared for coat.
Paw Care Supplies