Veterinary Blog

Where Does the Mat End and the Cat Start?


By Dr. Leslie Ross D.V.M. BSc.

One spring afternoon a very kind client of ours brought to us a dreadfully matted neighborhood stray cat requesting that we sedate her for a much-needed de-matting procedure. The client was very allergic to cat hair but had taken on the responsibility three months prior to care for the poor bedraggled cat after it had first set up her property stakes outside of their home. Subsequently, the family named her Leviathan and elected to have us sedate her for de-matting and then planned to have her released to a nearly cat rescue facility to enable adoption procedures for this poor homeless waif once a new caregiver could be found to offer her a permanent home.

It is very important for owners of longhaired cats to be diligent about regular brushing and combing to help them maintain a healthy hair coat. Little mats can become very large mats in just a few weeks. Without the mats being removed, these cats can become very uncomfortable, emotionally disturbed and physically affected by skin irritations, sores, dander, and other associated issues.

Be sure to check your own cat regularly for mats. Some key areas to check are the underbelly, armpits, above and below the tail, and behind the ears. If these mats are small, you can carefully clip them off at home. But be very cautious about using scissors to accomplish this task since it is very easy to accidentally snip the skin on areas that are hard to reach, especially if you’re a four-legged friend is wiggly. If it seems that this chore will take some time it is best to consider dividing up grooming sessions into separate events. A reward after this procedure is always well deserved, as much for you as for your four-legged family friend!

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