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:
Like I said, not there yet. Moving on…
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
Edited, July 5, 2017:
A visitor commented below: “For a mild bout of constipation, a quarter teaspoonful of olive oil can be given for acute treatment but cats require animal fat sources, not plant oils, so olive oil is not suitable for ongoing care. Olive oil contains terpenic acids and phenolic compounds which a cat’s liver is not able to properly detoxify.”
Please consider this as well when treating your kitty. Thanks!