Jun 14, 2016
Every pet owner who has a long-haired or thick-coated animal knows how truly difficult, time consuming and frustrating it can be for both you and your pet when dealing with matted fur. Sometimes it doesn't matter what you do or how often you groom your pet, those large, tights knots of fur are just inevitable. Matted fur is difficult to avoid in breeds such as the Chow, Rough Collies, Newfoundland Dogs, Persian cats and other long-haired types. Thick matting can also be very painful and uncomfortable for an animal, especially when those mats are located behind the ear, flank or rear end areas of the pet.
Here are a few solutions to help make dealing with those mats a little less difficult for you and your pet. In an effort to make a large mat easier to comb out, pour some Powdered Corn Starch onto the mat and using your fingers, work it into the fur while trying to separate the mass of clumped hair. Once you have worked it in well and loosened up the hair, use a wide-toothed comb to de-tangle the rest of it.
For large mats that are impossible to untangle, you may need to actually cut or shave the mat out using electric clippers or a razor. The area that you have shaved may be very sensitive and possibly a bit swollen so wrap some ice in a cloth and apply it to the area for about ten minutes, a couple times a day until the swelling is gone. You can also use some Witch Hazel applied to the shaved area, which will relieve irritation and itching.
Remedies for Matted Fur
|Baby Powder and Conditioner||1||2009-03-10|
I was totally despondent due to my 18 year-old cat's matted condition. I'd never heard of the baby oil solution but since I had it on hand, I gave it a try. To my amazement, the clumps started coming off in my hand! I've applied generous amounts now and look forward to an end to my Zoe' nightmare.
Thank you SO much everyone!
Replied by Brenda
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Posted by Mopsie (New Orleans, LA) on 03/11/2015
I tried the baby oil on my older ragdoll and it did work on smaller mats (dime-sized), but the biggest (silver dollar sized and larger) didn't budge. He also became constipated from licking the area, so I have to say nay on really large mats. I ended up taking to a cat groomer at a local vet and she graciously shaved off the large mats. He looks a mess right now, but I know he is comfortable and the hair will grow back. I use a dematting comb daily so he won't end up in the same situation and to remove shedding winter coat fur.
Replied by Kathy
Posted by Arleen (Sumerside, Pei) on 11/25/2013
Hi, had a badly matted cat, and tried the baby oil, I ended up with a greasy cat and made everything so much worse. it never loosened up the mat and I believe just attracted more dirt. Unfortunately this cat passed away (from old age hence the lack of grooming on her part), right before her appt with the groomer. the groomer wouldn't shave her in the winter, we tried to explain the problem but she insisited we had to wait. That's why we tried the baby oil.
I have another cat with a small but very hard sticky matt on her back by her tail. I will be trying the cornstarch, I have a wide tooth comb and deshedder..if it gets worse, it will be a trip to a knowledgable groomer.
Replied by Suseeq
Posted by Peggy (Lowell, In) on 08/07/2013
I have read all the comments about how well baby oil does to remove mats but if your cat is all oiled up what happens when he goes in the litter box, won't you then have an oily, matted cat covered with kitty litter? My old cat is matted all over, is nasty about you messing with the mats and not in good enough health to be anesthesized to be shaved... Just wondered about everything sticking to his oily fur. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Posted by Dar (Tukwila, Wa) on 11/08/2010
I have been looking for a way to rid my older norwegian mix cat of matts. I have been cutting them off but have not been able to get them completely free, and he is a lumpy mess. He was a rescue cat and we got him when he was oldr and no one must have groomed him as he hates being brushed but over the past 4 years I have been able to have him tolerate me brushing but the matts pull and he growls at me so I am hoping this will work. Getting the baby oil tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestions..
Replied by Julie
Brighton, Sussex, Uk
Posted by Jasmine (East Haddam, Connecticut) on 08/18/2010
I could not believe that using baby oil would get rid of mats. My Norwegian Forest cat (long-haired) is over 16 and has stopped grooming herself and the mats have just multiplied. I did not want her to undergo any shaving which would mean being "put under" and wouldn't know if she could take it. I applied some virgin olive oil that I had in the house and put it on a couple of her mats. I couldn't believe my eyes today when I found one of the oily mats on the floor! Unbelievable! I figured if she licked herself, it would be good stuff for her! Thank you all so much. More tonite! .... A little at a time!
Replied by Ann
Bingley, Yorkshire, England
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Posted by Joan (Dubuque, Iowa) on 07/18/2010
Our poor 16 yr. Old longhaired cat had many areas of matted fur, as he doesn't groom himself as well as he used to do; also, he wasn't allowing us to brush his fur. Read comments about the baby oil, and he does let us put this on the mats, and I did soak them well! It's amazing how effective this is; we did reapply baby oil to several stubborn areas. It has been a week now and all but a few spots are mat free. The mats mostly fell off; I did have to clip a tiny bit at a very large one which was loose and hanging. I sprinkled a little corn starch on his fur to get rid of some oil, and brushed it very lightly in the areas which are mat free. Will do this to his legs and tummy once those mats are gone. The baby oil works like a charm and hasn't made him sick; he is now letting me brush him for brief periods. I think brushing was hurting him before.
Posted by Sandy (Greenfield, Wisconsin) on 01/22/2010
I can't wait to try the baby oil on my cat Sammy.He has many mats and I know he's miserable..as I am for him.
I checked with our vet and a lion cut would cost $200.00.I love Sammy but can not afford that at this time. I will let you know how it works. PRAY !
Posted by Pat Carlock (Tulsa, Ok.) on 03/18/2009
We have an American Bob-Tail cat and they have very thick hair. She got matted hair all on both side, put baby oil on just the matts and worked into the hair, it works great, matts are gone and she is so happy!! Don't try to comb or brush then it does no good and is very painful to the cat. They will fall out or be gone in about a week , it is wonderful. Hope this is a help to someone.
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Replied by Snuggle
Long Boat Key, Florida
Posted by Steve (Sedalia, Missouri) on 03/10/2009
It did not work. We left the baby oil on our Persian cat's severely matted fur for over 48 hours, and it did nothing whatsoever to help the problem.
I am wondering if the people who said that it worked allowed their cats to groom themselves freely after the baby oil was applied? I'm asking this because on another website, it mentions that baby oil is scented mineral oil, and that mineral oil will block the intestines when consumed.
So, we put a cone on our cat to prevent her from grooming and thereby consuming the baby oil.
In other words, the baby oil by itself does nothing. It's more likely that it is the constant licking the cats do to try to clean the baby oil off of themselves that actually pulls the matted fur out over 24-48 hours.
How is the health of any of the cats whose owners used this remedy? Did they encounter any problems from their cats consuming the baby oil?
Replied by Jill
West Long Branch, Nj
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Vancouver Canada, Bc Canada
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Vancouver, Bc, Canada
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Sydney, Nsw, Australia
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Bathurst, Nb, Canada
Posted by Prissy100 (Santa Barbara, California) on 10/14/2008
I poured some Baby Oil first on just a couple of matted/tangled fur lumps. Yes indeedy, this definitely works. Within a few days they fell off. Thank you so much, my cat I'm sure feels better now laying down on his sides, it must've hurt. I have about 4-5 fur lumps left to do. I've been brushing him daily and this has helped too. I looked at other links for answers and there weren't any that mentioned anything about using Baby Oil.
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Eureka, CA USA
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Millville, N. J.
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Posted by Pam (Maybell, CO) on 08/16/2008
Thank you for the advise on the Baby oil for the large matts on our cat. I applied it close to the skin and the small ones came off the next day, and the large matt came off in two days. I have tried everything in the last few months trying to get the matts out. I couldn't believe how easy it was and how fast it worked.
Posted by Jill (West Long Branch, New Jersey) on 08/11/2008
I tried the BABY Oil this past weekend. It is truely amazing. The cat was very uncomfortable and I just squeezed the baby oil close to her skin soaking it with the baby oil. I did not touch or rub it in because it hurt her for me to touch her. The large matts fell off in 2 days. I gave it a second doze of baby oil on the second day. I usually shave her twice a year but I didn't get to it.
Posted by Joe (Burlington, USA) on 04/23/2008
The idea of Baby Oil to rid my cat of matted fur worked great! Chyli, a jet black himmy, had numerous clumps hanging from him like saddle bags on a horse! This episode was the second of this. The first time this happened to him, we had our vet shave him. She could find no health reasons for the clumping, other than his age (16 years), and may not be as nimble when it comes to him cleaning himself due to his age. Not wanting to shave the poor guy again, I tried the baby oil and the mats fell off on their own. His fur grew back to its normal long silky texture quickly and he has not had any clumping in the last 8 months.