Long-haired kitties with thick coats are prone to the dreaded mat, but even domestic shorthairs have fallen victim to these equal opportunity grooming nightmares. Mats not only look unsightly, they can be painful. Thankfully, there are products you can use to prevent your kitty’s fur from tangling into fort knots.
Start With Nutrition
Have you ever heard the phrase “to fix the outside, you must start from the inside?” The same rings true for your cat. Her diet affects every aspect of her being, including her coat. PetMD stresses that fat plays a huge role in how your cat’s fur looks and feels. You must strike the proper nutritional balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids if you want your kitty’s fur to stay tangle-free; cat foods with 20 to 25 percent fat content are ideal. Also look for ingredients that contain essential fatty acids, such as flaxseed, flaxseed oil, soybean oil, soybeans, olive oil and fish or fish oil. If your kitty has specific dietary needs, such as a soy allergy or prescription diet, talk to your vet about fish oil you can drizzle lightly over her regular food.
There are many types of coat conditioners for cats on the market today. Some are leave-in treatments, while others must be rinsed out thoroughly to prevent buildup. Look for conditioners with natural ingredients and soothing essential oils. These will keep your cat’s coat shiny, healthy and tangle-free. Some feline conditioners to try include AvoDerm and Earthbath.
Another option when it comes to preventing tangles is detangler spray. Eco-Me cat fur detangler comes in several scent varieties and is safe for cats of all ages. Veterinary Formula Solutions Gloss and Glide detangler and conditioner will both prevent mats and keep your kitty’s coat shiny. When using detangling sprays, make sure not to over saturate your kitty, lest she become an oil slick.
If your kitty shuns sprays and creams, detangling and conditioning wipes may make grooming time less stressful for her. Simple Solution cat bathing wipes will help detangle her coat and allow her to keep her sanity.
Brushing can prevent most mats, even in breeds predisposed to them, such as Persians. Daily brushing not only prevents tangles, it prevents skin disease and hairballs as well. Look for combs specifically made for your kitty’s coat type. Short-haired cats do well with slicker type brushes, whereas long-haired cats require long-toothed combs.
Christina Stephens is a writer from Portland, Ore. whose main areas of focus are pets and animals, travel and literature. A veterinary assistant, she taught English in South Korea and holds a BA in English with cum laude honors from Portland State University.