If your fur baby has medium or long hair you’ve likely had to deal with a mat or two. Sometimes they seem to pop up out of nowhere and often like to hide in hard to reach spots such as the arm pits, belly and hiney area. Left unaddressed knots can painfully pull at your fur baby’s skin and may even lead to skin irritation and infection. So, what do you do when you happen upon a nasty knot? Check out some pointers below:
Skip the bath: If you find a bunch of tangles or a couple of large knots, it’s best to skip the bath. Baths can often make the knot worse locking it into the fur.
Begin in a relaxed state: Grooming isn’t always a desirable experience, so approach your fur baby during a calm time or when they are resting.
Assess the severity: On especially floofy babies, separate the fur around the knot to see what you’re dealing with. Minor tangles can often be remedied by gently massaging the knot out with your fingers to loosen the tangled fur.
Reach for some cornstarch: Larger knots can often use a little help in loosening, and cornstarch is a great help. Sprinkle a bit on the problem area and use you fingers to work it into the knot, then gently try to pull the mat away from the skin.
Brushing Time: Using a fine-tooth comb, gently begin at the tips of the fur to remove tangles, then continue to work your way up. While it might be tempting to go root to tip this can tighten tangles and make them more painful to remove.
What do I do when brushing won’t remove the knot?
While it’s tempting to just reach for some scissors, the safest option is to head to your vet or groomer for assistance. If you’ve ever gently pulled on a little section of fur you can see how the skin lifts easily and is quite thin (this is especially true for kitties). Any slight movement from your fur baby could result in an accidental clip of the skin.
If you insist upon using scissors, please have a blunt tip option on hand. These scissors help to reduce the chance of cutting your fur baby’s skin. Always place your fingers between the skin and the scissors to avoiding cutting the skin.
Prevention & Positive Reinforcement
As any groomer or vet will tell you, prevention is best. Regular brushing not only keeps matted hair from turning into a major problem, but it also allows your fur baby to get used to brushing.
During any grooming session, remember to be patient and try again later if your fur baby is resistant. Always stay calm and reward your little one so each session is a positive experience.
How do you prevent matted hair? What tips or tricks do you have to remove stubborn knots?