When it comes to mats, we just want to get rid of them. Lynn Paolillo, certifier and head instructor at National Cat Groomers Institute of America, Inc. shares a few important do’s and don’ts to successful mat removal.
Don’t reach for the scissors: “Never try to cut the mats out with scissors. Matting can pull skin inside the clumps and a cat can be easily cut with sharp equipment. Even a trained cat groomer will still be at risk of causing small nicks, so removing severe mats should only be done by a professional.”
Never ignore mats: “Matting doesn’t go away on its own, it will only get worse, eventually causing severe skin irritations, wounds and other problems.”
After the mats have been removed: “The skin will be quite sensitive as the mats can prevent sufficient blood flow to the area. With the feeling rushing back to the skin, cats will sometimes repeatedly lick or self-groom these areas. If they are allowed to continue, the cat can self-mutilate causing hot spots and areas of redness. A soft e-collar or a small tee shirt will help prevent the cat from excessively licking and causing problems in the sensitive skin.”
Resume regular grooming schedule: “Once mats have been removed, do not wait until the hair grows back in completely before getting back on a regular grooming schedule. Preventing mats begins with regular grooming even when the hair is short.”