Mats Matter: Why Matted Fur Is So Dangerous

Jan 22, 2023

No mats here! A rake brush keeps kitty’s coat healthy.

Did you know? Mats—extremely tangled, clumped, or pelted fur—is actually a dangerous medical condition.

Mats happen when fur becomes tangled and knotted around itself. They create pressure on the skin and can even cause bruising. Skin stretched tight by mats becomes so delicate and sensitive it can actually tear! Mats are incredibly painful.

Pets with fluffy or curly fur are especially prone to mats. But matting can happen to any fur baby without proper brushing and bathing. Areas of higher friction—under the collar, behind the ears, at the base of the tail, on the rear legs—often produce mats. Pets are more at risk during seasonal shedding periods.

Skin irritation caused by mats can easily become skin infections. Mats also hide potential problems such as fleas and ticks. They will trap dirt and bacteria and parasites.

Mats prevent proper airflow to the skin and thus impede proper temperature regulation. Without treatment, mats will only get worse, heavier, and more painful. Pets with mats are suffering.

You are not a bad pet parent if your pet gets matted fur! We understand it can be hard to stay ahead of mats—and we can help.

Brush Away

Regular brushing at home is the best way to avoid mats. Pick the right brush for your pet; options include slicker brushes (with fine, short wires), bristle brushes, and pin brushes. An undercoat rake might be perfect for pets with double coat layers (Huskies, Labs, Golden Retrievers).

Be sure to brush not only your pet’s topcoat but the under layers as well. Brushing only the topcoat can actually make mats worse, and create new ones, by pushing loose fur and tangles closer to the skin.

Make brushing fun with treats and attention and spoiling! Many pet parents say brushing is their special bonding and lap time. Take advantage of all the snuggling to do a nail trim.

Other pro tips:

  • Spray a detangling conditioner on your pet after bathing.
  • Remove your pet’s collar or harness when not in use to give the fur a break.
  • Keep your pet on year-round parasite protection. Aside from preventing potentially deadly infections, parasite protection is important for coat and skin health, too!

Get Groomed!

We are so happy to have professional grooming services at Eno. We designed special grooming amenities and offer a large spa menu: basic and medicated baths, brush-outs, special shampoos, de-shedding and cleansing treatments, blowouts, and all manner of functional haircuts.

Regular grooming is a great way to keep your pet healthy, happy, and mat-free. If your fur baby has a high-maintenance coat, full grooms are recommended every 6 to 8 weeks. We can work with you to set up the perfect spa schedule for your fur baby.

Our groomer, Ivan, will discuss your pet’s exact needs and your exact preferences. We want to keep your pet looking and feeling their best! See what a difference a groom makes.

If your pet has mats, we can expertly and gently remove them either by clipping or shaving. Mats can be tricky and take a lot of time, so it’s best to let a professional groomer handle them. If your pet needs to be shaved, we will be as precise as possible so as to remove the dangerous mats but not overly stress or irritate the skin.

We offer an intense de-shedding treatment called Furminator, which involves special shampoo and brushing. It works wonders on even the fluffiest fur babies!

As always, call us at (919) 471-0308 with questions or to book a grooming visit.

We’re a Fear Free hospital because Fear Free is best medicine.