Dealing with matted cat fur on your Ragdoll isn’t such a big deal especially if you are diligent about grooming your Raggies regularly.
Even just a light brushing from time to time will help to avoid nuisance matted cat fur.
Do All Ragdolls Get Mats?
Technically speaking, the Ragdoll breed doesn’t have a true undercoat, meaning there isn’t a thick layer of fur next to their skin. No true undercoat should mean their fur won’t mat.
However, in the real world, Raggies do tend to get mats from time to time.
- Senior Ragdolls – Older cats tend to slack off with grooming or can’t reach some spots to keep their coat in tip top condition, so mats will form.
- Winter Coat – A heavy winter coat can lead to matting.
- Overweight Cats – Overweight cats tend to be prone to mats especially along their spine, where they can’t reach to groom themselves. Since Ragdolls are big cats, they are sometimes overfed by the owners and have weight issues. So this can be an area on your Ragdoll which needs attention.
- Ruff, Armpits and Pants – Since the Ragdoll breed has such a magnificent coat, their ruff under their chin, the armpits and their pantaloons can develop some matting.
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The best way to deal with matted cat fur on your Ragdoll cat, is to not let them develop in the first place.
- Avoid collars. Avoid using collars on your Ragdoll cat as much as possible. Those nasty mats will develop under a collar when it is worn regularly, when the collar turns on your cat’s neck and pulls and tugs at the fur.
- Regular grooming. This is the best way to keep mats from forming. When you are brushing your cat regularly, you should notice when mats are forming. Then you can brush them out when they are small and least they won’t get out of control.
- Conditioner on fur when bathing. When bathing your Ragdoll, use a detangler or conditioner or both, after shampooing. This makes the fur a tiny bit slippery and it’s much less likely to mat.
- Don’t wet the mats. If your Ragdoll cat has mats, don’t bathe him with the idea that will loosen those gobs of fur. Wetting the mats could only make matters worse. You can bathe him after you’ve removed the mat to freshen up his coat and fluff him up.
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Supplies For Removing Your Ragdoll’s Matted Cat Fur
- Small Slicker Brush – A small slicker brush is my go to grooming tool for my gang. They are super cheap to buy, easy to use and not too harsh on your Ragdoll’s thick coat.
- Wide Tooth Metal Comb – A metal wide tooth comb is another must have for grooming and mat removal. It’s not harsh, easy to use, inexpensive and lasts forever.
- Corn Starch – Corn starch is super cheap and easy to use. Use it to work into the mat, to help loosen up the knarls.
- Coconut Oil – Coconut oil can be used to make the fur slippery and you may be able to work your fingers through the mat and loosen it up. It’s a cat-friendly oil which won’t hurt your cat if he licks it.
- Small Blunt Arm Scissors – A small pair of kid’s scissors or scissors with blunt arms. NEVER ever pointed scissors.
- Electric Clippers – Handy for taking out the big mats. Can be purchased relatively cheap.
- Mat Remover – You could try this handy little tool. It’s inexpensive and seems to work well. It’s certainly worth a try!
How to Remove Mats
- Use a Wide Tooth Comb or Brush. Gently work out the mat with a wide tooth comb or a small slicker brush. Work slowly and carefully and most new, smaller mats will easily get loosened and worked out.
- Work Out a Little at a Time. Whether the mat is big or small, it’s a good idea to just try to work it out a little at a time, each time you groom the cat. Perhaps spend 10 minutes per day for as long as it takes to work out the knarled knots.
- Cornstarch or Coconut Oil. Try a little sprinkle of cornstarch on the bunched up fur to help loosen it up as you work the mat out with your fingers. Do not use a lot of corn starch as you don’t want your cat to eat it and plug himself up! Use enough to get the job done and brush it out well so it virtually disappears from his coat. Some say to try some edible oil on the knots, such as coconut oil to loosen things up. This does work however, do be prepared to bathe your cat afterwards, as it does leave an icky gooey mess!
I always recommend working out the mats with a brush or comb and your fingers, but sometimes that just doesn’t work.
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If all else fails, you may need to cut out the mats.
But do use this as a last resort. It’s very important NOT to cut the cat’s skin. Be gentle and take as much time as needed. That way, no one gets hurt!
Scissors can be used and used with caution. If your cat won’t lie still and is a bit strung, don’t attempt scissors.
I have used scissors on my Ragdolls as they are so docile and never move when I’ve had to clip out fur clumps.
- Use scissors with blunt ends, like a pair of children’s safety school scissors would work well.
- Let the cat lie on your lap or on a table or counter top.
- Find out where the skin is, by parting the fur in and around the mat.
- Carefully cut out a small piece of the mat which is furthest away from the skin. Then try to gently comb out the mat where you have cut. Continue clipping small pieces of the mat out and combing in this manner until the mat can be completely combed out. Often I find I don’t need to cut close to the skin. This is a slower process than just cutting all of the mat out at once. I like this method as then I’m cutting out the least amount of fur possible when removing a mat.
- Use scissors with the utmost care and caution. The cat should be calm and relaxed. If your Ragdoll is squirming and going bonkers, wait until another time when he’s more chilled. You could cut him with the scissors or stress him out unnecessarily so in future it will become something he absolutely hates!
Removing matted cat fur with clippers is an option. It’s possible to buy a cheap decent set of clippers for this use.
Many vets will advise that scissors should never be used, only clippers, but I don’t agree with this completely.
I’ve seen damage to a cat’s skin from clippers resulting from clippers being misused, not aligned properly and the clippers overheating and burning the cat’s skin.
In my opinion, that’s every bit as damaging or perhaps more so than a small set of blunt end scissors. Cats can get pretty freaked out by the noise from the clippers too, so take that into consideration when deciding how to remove the matted fur from your Raggie.
Either way, it’s imperative to move slowly and methodically with either scissors or clippers.
- Holding the cat firming by the scruff of the neck, while he is lying down, it just takes a few seconds or so to run the clippers across the knots and remove the clump.
Using a Mat Remover
This is a handy little reasonably priced tool, which works very well. It’s certainly worth a try!
Taking Your Ragdoll to a Groomer
You may decide to take your Ragdoll to a groomer to deal with the mats.
- Keep in mind your Raggie will most likely not enjoy the car ride to the groomers
- He won’t like the buzzing noise of the clippers
- The groomer is a stranger and that probably won’t thrill him
- Grooming costs money
- Your Ragdoll can end up with big bald patches after the groomer does her thing.
Sometimes it’s necessary to take your cat to the groomer, but personally I like to deal with the mats on my own.
That way I don’t traumatize my boys and can work the mats methodically and carefully, and be in charge of damage control, so they don’t end up with hideous bald spots!
Don’t hesitate to use bribery when attempting to deal with matted cat fur on your Ragdoll cats.
Haul out some of your Raggie’s favourite munchies and keep them on hand to reward him from time to time, as the de-matting process moves along.
My boys will leap to the counter top where I groom them the moment I pull out the grooming tools as they know brushing = treats.
Mats Are a Fact of Life If You Own a Long Haired Cat
If you’re a Ragdoll owner (or any other long haired breed of cat), you’re bound to encounter a few mats over the course of your fur babe’s lifetime, so be prepared to tackle them head on!
Still the best way to avoid mats, is regular grooming… kind of like preventative maintenance!
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