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problem with matted fur on neck, any advice please?

August 22nd, 2005, 04:13 PM
Hi everyone,

First, I'm new to this board and wanted to say that it looks amazing. There are lots of posts that have been helpful and informative.

I don't know if this topic has been covered or not, but I'd like to know if anyone has any advice for getting rid of matted fur (we've been referring to them as dreadlocks lol) that is located close to the skin on the neck of a long-hair cat?

Our story, my nine year-old cat Lucas has a tendency to develop these dreads once in a while, and I've always handled them by using a small pair of scissors. Normally this would be the end of it, but last week I accidentally snipped part of his skin. :(

After a trip to the vet to make sure it was ok (Dr. shaved the area, cleaned the wound and gave us antibiotic cream) we've been keeping the cut safe from dirt and him scratching it by using a loose bandage wrapped around his neck. It was tight enough to protect the wound but loose enough to be comfortable.

It's been ten days since we've been doing this morning and evening cleaning and rebandaging routine, which has done wonders for the healing process. The downside however has been the development of more dreadlocks due to the bandage rubbing on his fur and excess ointment causing clumps.

Can anyone suggest a way of safely removing these dreadlocks without risk of snipping my poor furbaby's skin? I don't want to take him to a professional groomer that will sedate him because his mild heart murmur makes that option a big No-No!

Any help will be greatly appreciated!!

In peace and friendship,


August 22nd, 2005, 04:30 PM
It sounds like you have a big problem,the only thing I can suggest is to comb him regularly with a matting-comb,so these matts will not develope.
The current once I suppose you'll have to cut,very carefully,not cut them to short and try to comb out what's left.
I have a shorthaired cat who gets matts and to me the mattingcomb has been a godsend,but I comb him every day. Good Luck!!

Dog Dancer
August 22nd, 2005, 04:56 PM
Welcome to the board! Watch out it's adictive. A friend of mine had this problem with their cat and we used a metal pet comb to put between the mat and the skin and then snipped the hair on top of the comb. It was a two person job, but worked well enough. Very sharp scissors to eliminate any excess pulling and tearing of hair. The trick was using the comb as a barrier to make the skin safe. Hope this helps.

August 22nd, 2005, 05:36 PM
My mom's old cat gets mats sometimes. I find even if you can cut half the mat off, sometimes you can get the comb through what is left of it. (gently work it through of course!)

August 22nd, 2005, 08:26 PM
When a mat forms it pulls up the skin and gets wrapped up in it. A cats skin is very thin and is easily pulled up. Never use scissors to cut out mats. You may either have someone shave it out with grooming clippers or you can get a tool called a mat breaker. It is bladed on one side with 5-6 blades. This works well to get the mat broken up. Use your brushes and combs to brush the rest out. Using a flea comb for regular grooming works well to keep the hairs separated and free from mats. You will need to comb and brush daily. Do this quickly each day and well once a week. If you do this you shouldn't have any more to deal with.

August 22nd, 2005, 09:24 PM
My dog gets burrs and matts in his fur constantly. I think I have got them all and bingo! there is a new one. The brush I have for him is flat with very fine wire brissels it seems to work well for combing out the hair. I dip the brush in veggie oil and it seems to help for loosening them out. Good luck! :)

August 22nd, 2005, 09:26 PM
Whatever you do don't wet them.

August 22nd, 2005, 10:18 PM
What about bringing the kitty in to get shaved once in a while? Vets do in under anaesthesia so the kitty isn't bothered too much. Not a popular option but a good last resort.

August 23rd, 2005, 11:48 AM
Here's a link to a dematting brush. Good Luck!

August 23rd, 2005, 10:23 PM
Hello everyone,

Well, we took the advice on combing, brushing with a dematting brush, using baby oil to work through the matted fur and we're still struggling with one last stubborn dreadlock. :(

It's in a very awkward spot (the crux between chin and throat) and we're at our wits end. It's nervewracking and frustrating not being able to help him when we see him scratching it and trying in vain to clean it.

Can anyone think of anything else that we can try? It's too thick and close to the skin to try using the pet grooming scissors we bought today. Is this something only a professional groomer can handle? I refuse to take him anywhere that will sedate him, or that won't let us stay in the room while they do the grooming.

Please help!



August 23rd, 2005, 10:34 PM
Take him to a groomer that will tape his paws. Have them use the clippers to shave just this spot. It should only take a minute and should only cost you aprox 5.00.

August 23rd, 2005, 11:22 PM
What I do to my long hair cat is shave her with a good clipper ie Oster. Can you slowly clip away little bits of fur at a time? Does she like treats so you can clip her fur at that time.

August 24th, 2005, 07:17 AM
Sorry that I cannot help,I have a similar problem with my Rocky,except it's at the other end :D
He wont let me come near his non-excisting jewels with a comb,but one stroke at a time and I am hoping I'll get him nice and smooth...

August 30th, 2005, 07:45 PM
We're in the clear!

In a nutshell, we combed and brushed the area on a regular basis. We even made an appointment at the vet to have one of the technicians shave the spot (they wanted $25!! but I was willing to pay if it meant Lucas could be free of the matted mess).

The day before the appointment we arrived home after spending the morning with my sister and brother-in-law to find that Lucas has managed to work the mat far enough from his skin that we were able to cleanly snip it off with the pet grooming scissors. Problem solved! We're so happy to finally be able to put all of this behind us! :D

Needless to say he get regular brushings from now on!! :pawprint:

Zues is my baby
September 1st, 2005, 02:50 PM
Some advice for you from a pixibobcat owner. (long hair and we like to say she is from jamaca). Nymbis gets tones of dreadlocks she mostly gets them on her backend since she can't reach back there to clean. Just brush your cat ona regular basis to keep the tangles out. The thing that causes the dreadlocks are that the area gets tangle ontop of tangle and the hair being too dirty as well. (Knowing this as I am a hairdresser) Your next best bet to take care of this is to just get a pair of dog trimmers and just shave the areas that are tangled instead of siccorss, this way there is less risk of nipping her and it gets rid of the tangles completly. We give Nymbis a complete shave down on her backend about 2x a year. The rest of them she licks at them enough that they fall out on there own. That problem can just simply be solved by regular matinance, it's just like your hair.

September 1st, 2005, 03:18 PM
I am a former groomer and have found that passing a flea comb through the hair after brushing works well to separate the hairs. Brush out all the friction areas very well.