|Posted on March 19, 2015 at 9:50 AM|
Last time, I discussed what causes matting and what needs to be done if your cat is matted. So what can owners do to prevent matting?
The most effective way to prevent that undercoat from building up and leading to mats is to keep your cat on a regular grooming schedule. Regular professional grooming, regardless of the type of groom, will keep the undercoat under control. Pestkey here is groomed every 6 weeks to keep that dead hair from matting in her coat.
Using a metal greyhound comb at home can help to remove some undercoat, but it is not as effective as a full coat groom. Both bathing and blow-drying typically remove more undercoat than simply combing. They also do not pull and tug the way combing does, which can lead to discomfort and stress for the cat in addition to damaging the skin. Furthermore, the warm water from the bath and the warm air from the dryer both help to relax the hair follicle, encouraging the release of undercoat. My favorite analogy for this is that it’s the opposite of goose bumps. Cool air can cause goose bumps, which is the tightening of the hair follicle, while warm air relaxes the follicle. This means that de-shedding the coat at the end of a groom will remove that much more undercoat than combing alone.
Bathing at home is typically only recommended for very short-coated cats. Cat hair will felt, and I have seen firsthand that bathing a cat with excess undercoat present will cause the hair to mat when it may not have had any tangles prior. If an owner does want to bathe their cat, it is important to ensure that the coat is completely dried afterwards. Leaving it damp will lower the cat’s body temperature and will encourage matting. Noel’s coat is matted and was beginning to form a solid pelt across his back.
The main cause of this was the excess undercoat that was not properly shed from the coat but the matting process was accelerated by his mother’s attempts to bathe him at home. She meant no harm, obviously. In fact, she was trying to help keep him clean, but leaving his coat damp worsened his overall coat condition.
So, not only does a professional groom help remove that undercoat and prevent matting, but also it keeps your cat feeling, looking, and smelling clean… and it saves you the trouble and worry of maintaining your cat’s coat. With house call, you don’t even have to leave home. What’s not to love?
Categories: Cat Grooming