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  #1  
Old 07-11-2011, 02:52 PM
LavenderBlue LavenderBlue is offline
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What's the best way to get knots out of a cat's fur?

My long haired Maine Coon tends to get all full of knots in the summer heat. What's the best way to get them out of her fur?

Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2011, 02:55 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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I would either let her deal with them herself, or cut all her hair significantly shorter for the summer. Any other plan is likely to leave a lot of scars. On you, I mean.
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  #3  
Old 07-11-2011, 02:57 PM
Duke Duke is offline
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We have a longhaired, docile ragdoll-type kitty, and brushing time is the only time he ever gets mad about anything. The only thing that's worked for us...brush him a little every day, so the knots don't have a chance to get too bad.
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  #4  
Old 07-11-2011, 02:59 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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Originally Posted by LavenderBlue View Post
My long haired Maine Coon tends to get all full of knots in the summer heat. What's the best way to get them out of her fur?

Thank you.
Cut them out. A really good tool for loosening clumps is this:
Solo Comb

It's for thinning a horse's mane, and when you depress the lever, the protected blade comes down and it cuts every other hair (more or less). This usually loosens the clump to where you can pull it off, without leaving a naked spot. There's not much chance of accidental stabbing, even on a squirmy cat.

But, big picture, my friends who had a Maine Coon, got it shaved for the summer.

Last edited by Hello Again; 07-11-2011 at 03:00 PM..
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  #5  
Old 07-11-2011, 03:05 PM
lieu lieu is offline
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I've got a Maine Coon too. We comb her pretty often but periodically two of us will close the door with her in a room. One will hold her, the other goes to work with a good pair of scissors. She pretends to hate it but she sure is a lot friskier afterwards.
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2011, 03:10 PM
LavenderBlue LavenderBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post
Cut them out. A really good tool for loosening clumps is this:
Solo Comb

It's for thinning a horse's mane, and when you depress the lever, the protected blade comes down and it cuts every other hair (more or less). This usually loosens the clump to where you can pull it off, without leaving a naked spot. There's not much chance of accidental stabbing, even on a squirmy cat.

But, big picture, my friends who had a Maine Coon, got it shaved for the summer.
Thanks. That product looks like it might just work.

I think we may have to resort to shaving her each summer. We did that two years ago. My husband usually gives her a bath once a month but he hasn't time to do that in a few months because we've been so busy. She'll take brushing for about a minute each day but then she gets into growl and scratch mode even with kitty treats.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:25 PM
Pullet Pullet is offline
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Scissors are not generally recommended. I've personally stitched together three cats who wiggled at the last second when their owner was trying to scissor out a mat. If the knot is too thick to get with a comb, then electric trimmers, like the kind used to cut men's hair, are much safer than scissors.

As others have said, getting a lion clip for your cat every summer by a groomer is generally the longest-lasting solution.
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  #8  
Old 07-11-2011, 03:26 PM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
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Originally Posted by Pullet View Post
I've personally stitched together three cats...
This makes me think "Feline Centipede."
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2011, 03:41 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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Originally Posted by Duke View Post
The only thing that's worked for us...brush him a little every day, so the knots don't have a chance to get too bad.
The way my mom does this is to associate it with getting a treat. She shakes the box of treats and the cats jump up on a stool. My mom brushes them and then afterward gives them one tiny treat apiece.
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2011, 03:42 PM
LavenderBlue LavenderBlue is offline
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Originally Posted by Pullet View Post
Scissors are not generally recommended. I've personally stitched together three cats who wiggled at the last second when their owner was trying to scissor out a mat. If the knot is too thick to get with a comb, then electric trimmers, like the kind used to cut men's hair, are much safer than scissors.

As others have said, getting a lion clip for your cat every summer by a groomer is generally the longest-lasting solution.
Unfortunately I know all about scissor injuries and cats. I accidentally injured my poor short haired cat that way last month. Fat Cat's more annoyed about the fact that the vet demanded I put him on a diet but I still feel horrible about it.

Would an electric trimmer work on a monthly basis or should I use it only in case the knots get really bad?
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:56 PM
Pullet Pullet is offline
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Originally Posted by LavenderBlue View Post
Unfortunately I know all about scissor injuries and cats. I accidentally injured my poor short haired cat that way last month. Fat Cat's more annoyed about the fact that the vet demanded I put him on a diet but I still feel horrible about it.

Would an electric trimmer work on a monthly basis or should I use it only in case the knots get really bad?
Depends on how fast the cat's fur grows. I shaved one of my cats for a repair and the fur stayed shorter than a quarter inch for 6 months. Another cat of mine grew hers back in about 2 months. Generally, one lion clip gets most kitties through the summer, which is when their tendency to make mats seems to be worst.

You can definitely use electric trimmers to spot trim mats as needed. Fortunately, cats don't have a big sense of shame, so he probably won't care if his haircut looks moth-eaten.
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  #12  
Old 07-11-2011, 04:36 PM
Lasciel Lasciel is offline
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If the noise from the trimmers bothers your cat (it makes ours go nutso) then you can also use those children's safety scissors they give out in kindergarten. They're dull as a post, but eventually will snip out the mat.

In a pinch, toenail clippers (the bigger size is useful here) work well also, and are pretty fool-proof as far as stabbing anyone involved. Just don't clip too close and nip the skin.

Helpful tip - scissors or clip vertically straight through the mat once or twice (think like cutting it into segments like cutting strips of dough with a pizza roller) and then try to brush out the now-segmented smaller clumpies. Lots of times, they will brush out at that point, and the kitty just has a thin spot, instead of a huge fur-mat-sized actual bare or short downy patch.

I really like the suggestion of the thinning tool above - I think I'm going to have to get one for our long-haired kitty. He does really good in the winter, but every summer he gets about three or four nasty clumps at the base of his tail, regardless of how often we brush him. I think it must be the combo of his desperate shedding because of the heat, and the humidity making him frizz up like a poofball.
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:02 PM
TheChileanBlob TheChileanBlob is offline
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We have to get our Maine Coon a lion cut, too, in summer, but when he gets knots I cut them out with cuticle scissors. The blades are small and curved so he doesn't get poked. You don't have to cut down to the skin; if you cut the middle of the knot you can often just pull it out.
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  #14  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:16 PM
needscoffee needscoffee is offline
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My longhaired cat rubs up against his favorite pine tree all day long and gets constant mats from pitch in his fur, which don't detangle. I use scissors mostly. The trick for safety is you don't need to cut all the way down close to the skin. Usually just cutting into the middle of the clump will open it up to where you can begin to separate it and then make more little cuts as needed. Once I figured this out I never cut the skin by mistake again.

This type of letter opener works well for loosening up a clump without alarming your cat.

Or what TheChileanBlob just said!!!

Last edited by needscoffee; 07-11-2011 at 05:17 PM.. Reason: ninja-ed!
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  #15  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:37 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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[moderating]
Moved from GQ to IMHO.
[/moderating]
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  #16  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:40 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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[moderating]
And, while we're at it, thread title changed from "What's the best way to get knots out a cat's fur?" to "What's the best way to get knots out of a cat's fur?" at the OP's request.
[/moderating]
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  #17  
Old 07-12-2011, 12:22 AM
panache45 panache45 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
This makes me think "Feline Centipede."
Yes, I was thinking "They must be mad as hell."

Anyway . . . I had the most gentle Maine Coon, except when I was attempting to brush out his mats. He continuously growled at me like a vicious dog. What finally worked was using electric clippers. It took a few times till he got accustomed to it, but he never got mad again.
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  #18  
Old 07-12-2011, 01:09 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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I had a cat with medium length hair. She wasn't a shorthair, by any means, but her fur wasn't as long as most longhairs, either. And we just had to get used to getting her clipped every spring, usually in May. She DID feel ashamed of her appearance after each clip, for about three days. Then she put on her big girl panties and dealt with it. She seemed to enjoy being cooler, and having to groom less often.
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  #19  
Old 07-12-2011, 01:35 AM
Toucanna Toucanna is offline
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Originally Posted by Lasciel View Post
Helpful tip - scissors or clip vertically straight through the mat once or twice...
+1. You can save a lot of the animal's fur doing it this way, rather than trying to cut the mat out as a blob.

I have found a "matbreaker" to be very helpful in dealing with matted canine and feline fur.

Best of luck.

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Last edited by Toucanna; 07-12-2011 at 01:37 AM.. Reason: couldn't resist obligatory SNL reference
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