Olive Oil for Matted Cat Fur…Who Knew?

You may have already met Fluffernutter, our beloved feline. Well, Fluff’s fluff has been a bit of a challenge lately. So much so, in fact, that he has several yucky matts on his fur, making his normally shiny plush coat a bit, well, lumpy.

Matted fur, when ignored, can do more than just make kitty lumpy. It can irritate the cat’s skin over time and even cause skin infections.

We have friends that had a matted cat. They ended up shaving him once a year as a matter of course to help prevent further skin irritation. While the idea of having a shaved cat nicknamed Fluffy seemed delightfully ironic, I just could not bring myself to consider that option before exploring all the alternatives. So as is my custom, I began the obligatory web research. Most of what I read recommended the same four options:

  1. Shaving
    Like I said, not there yet. Moving on…
  2. Detangling by hand by pulling the matt apart in sections.
    My cat’s not putting up with that. He’s got a line, and once you cross it…look out. And besides, who has time for that?
  3. Cutting Them Out
    Obviously this does work. I had previously cut a few off of our cat. But after reading account after account of cats going to the vet with gashes in their skin because their owners got too close to the flexible stretchy skin attached to the fur, I swore off any more cutting.
  4. Baby Oil
    Apparently, all you have to do is rub a little baby oil on the top and bottom of the matt at its base (by the skin) and after just a few days…*poof*… the well-oiled matts fall off. Post after post attested to it’s effectiveness. Magical matts dropping to the ground all over the place. This caught my attention.

The idea of using baby oil freaked me out a bit, though. The crunchy granola, chemical eschewer in me did not like the idea of my cat possibly ingesting baby oil from grooming the application site. Then I saw a few other posts about:

  • Olive Oil
    Hmmm. This sounded a bit better. So the next time the cat was in the kitchen I put a little olive oil on one of his more pesky matts. Worth a try, I thought.

Two days, nothing. Three days. Still no change. Reapplied one more time. Nothing. Then one week later…



There was the matt. Sitting on the floor. Just like everyone had described. I’m a believer. The next matt is getting oiled up this evening. I will keep you posted if it works again.

Obligatory Disclaimer: I’m not a vet. Olive oil did not harm my cat, but you may want to check with your vet before you slather some on yours.



Leash Train Your Cat in 7 Excruciating Steps

I don’t post about That Cat of Ours too frequently, as Clover and Thyme is more of a garden and food blog. However, the Weekly Writing Challenge over at WordPress’ Daily Post got me thinking about a “cat post” idea I had back in the spring. I never followed through with it because I just didn’t think it would be relevant to the content of my blog. Today I decided to sit down and finally tackle my idea.

You see, our family has leash trained our cat. It was during one of our strolls around the backyard with Fluffernutter that I thought it might be fun to write a mini-tutorial on leash training your own feline. Please note that I’m not a vet. I’m just sharing our family’s experience in this leash training adventure. So without further ado, here’s something completely different: Leash Train Your Cat in 7 Excruciating Steps.

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Our Cat Has Street Cred.

I’d like to introduce you to our family’s first real pet. Eleven years ago, the hubs and I had a cat, Max, but he died while I was pregnant with our first child (I seriously thought I was going to go into labor I was so grief stricken.) While the kids have been around, we’ve only had a fish named Trixie who always acted dead, and a short-lived cricket, Ricky. Needless to say, we needed another real pet in our lives, real bad.

This need was unexpectedly filled last year when a stray cat began hanging out in our yard. All summer he pretty much camped out on our back deck. For the longest time I was convinced this cat must have an owner, because he was so clean looking, and from looks of his furry girth, did not seem to be lacking for food. Then came one extremely hot day in July when this poor feline spent the afternoon panting on our deck. I quickly surmised that if this cat had an owner, surely he would be in that owner’s house instead of coming to the brink of heat exhaustion here on our deck. We began feeding him, and as they say when it comes to feeding cats, the rest is history. We did our due diligence, putting flyers in every mailbox giving any rightful (yet neglectful, in our opinion) owner a chance to step forward, but none did. One $100 vet bill and microchip scan (he did not have one) later, the cat was officially a member of the family.

So what is this darling kitty’s name? Well, all spring and summer long the neighborhood kids called him Fluffy. Thinking this was a bit lacking in originality, we decided to call him Fluffernutter, thus staying true to his original name, but adding a bit of flair. Though truth be told, he is known by Fluffernutter on vet documentation alone. We find ourselves still using his “street name” of Fluffy all the time, along with Fluffers, Fluff, Fluff-muffin, and Senor Fluffy Pants among others. When the FIOS guy came in our house recently, he took one look at the cat (whose name he did not know) and said flatly, “That is one fluffy cat.” So, there you go.


Froo Froo name aside, Fluffy’s a little bit gangsta. In his stray days, he was always fighting with one of the neighbor cats. You know in the comics when animals fight all you see is a crazy ball of frenzied action with an occasional paw sticking out? That’s exactly what it looked like. At vet exams, they can tell whenever they “cross the line” with the poking and prodding. He goes from mildly irritated to a seething, hissing wild cat in an instant. He’s got a bit of a reputation. There’s a warning on his chart that reads, “Do what you need to do quickly.” When the vet assistant comes in, he now wears oven mitt gloves. Yep, Fluffy’s a tough guy.

Despite this reputation, he’s proven to be a wonderful housecat. He’s very tolerant with the kids, and in spite of still being in possession of many very, very sharp claws, the children have rarely been scratched. Frankly, on the rare occasions when they have been scratched, they kinda had it coming. It’s taken some time to build trust, but we seem to have won him over. That or he just really likes the holistic food we feed him. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

"You lookin' at me?"

Regardless, We’re delighted to have the Fluff-muffin in our lives. Our hearts (and couches) will never be the same.