January 2009 Issue

Help for the Matted Cat

The majority of cats that need extra help grooming are the aging pets, the obese and those allowed to spend time outdoors.

While it may seem unlikely to you (given the reputation cats have for personal hygiene and grooming habits), a trip to the groomer’s can sometimes become necessary for a badly matted cat. There are several factors which can contribute to the matting of a cat’s haircoat, two ways to deal with it — and one simple way to avoid it in the future. Jana West, owner and operator of Shampooch, located in Savona, NY, has been grooming cats and dogs for eight years. West relates that the most common places for a cat to develop mats are on the back — near the tail, under the belly, along the hind legs and under the tail. She explains that there are three types of cats that [IMGCAP(1)]are more prone to developing mats in their haircoat: "The majority of the cats that have a problem are older cats, bigger cats or cats allowed to spend time outdoors." As cats age, grooming may become less important to them. In addition, cats with a weight issue may have more difficulty reaching certain areas of their bodies. And when it comes to outdoor cats, West adds, "Ideally, all cats would be kept inside and wouldn’t come in contact with burrs and branches, but that’s not always realistic."

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