Maine Coons are known for their luxurious, beautiful coats, but improper grooming can cause Maine Coon matted fur.
Matted fur is not only incredibly uncomfortable for cats, but it can also lead to severe health problems.
When a Maine Coon’s fur becomes tangled and knotted, it can form mats that are difficult or even impossible to brush out. Poor hygiene can also cause oily fur that is more likely to become matted. Matted fur must be carefully groomed and trimmed away, and if left untreated, it can lead to serious infection and even death.
Keeping your Maine Coon’s coat healthy can be a lot harder than you might imagine.
Read on to find out exactly how to keep your Maine Coon’s fur looking sleek, beautiful, and clean!
Maine Coon Matted Fur
The Maine Coon is one of the most beautiful and sought-after cat breeds in the world, not to mention the largest domesticated cat breed.
Their size is not the only incredible thing about them though.
Maine Coons also have long, luxurious coats, with majestic manes around their necks that make these cats look like miniature lions!
Since these cats developed naturally in frigid conditions, their long, thick fur keeps them insulated against the cold.
Furthermore, their fur develops oils to keep them semi-water-repellant, which protects them against the snow.
If we take a closer look at the fur of these magnificent felines, we immediately see that Maine Coon fur is unique in comparison to other cat breeds.
By comparison, most cat breeds only have two layers of fur, while the Maine Coon actually has three layers of fur.
The three layers of thick fur listed below all work together to keep Maine Coons dry and warm, even in the coldest weather.
Unfortunately, though, this long, thick fur can also lead to some problems if it is not properly maintained. One major problem among Maine Coon cats is matting.
Matting is a serious issue where a cat’s fur becomes so tangled that it forms an impenetrable mass of fur.
Any cat can develop mats, but it is especially common in longhaired cats with thick undercoats, like the Maine Coon.
1. First Undercoat
The Maine Coon’s first undercoat consists of short, very fine fur that helps to trap air and insulate them against the cold.
2. Second Undercoat
Maine Coons also have a second undercoat of longer fur, but it is just as fine and dense as the first undercoat.
This provides a second layer of protection against the cold.
3. Guard Hairs
The third layer of Maine Coon fur develops after kittenhood.
These guard hairs are thicker and coarser, and they are also the hairs that protect these large felines from water and snow.
What Causes Cat Matting?
Mats form when a Maine Coon’s outer coat becomes knotted due to poor grooming, or because it gets tangled with dirt or debris.
As the cat’s undercoat sheds, instead of leaving the cat’s body, it gets caught within the existing tangle, making it even worse.
At first, mats might just look like regular tangles, but over time, they will look more and more like huge clumps of fur.
What Is So Bad About Mats?
Matting is much worse than simply looking bad!
1. Discomfort And Pain
Matted fur feels tight and itchy for cats.
Eventually, the coarse mat of fur will rub against the skin, leading to inflamed skin and serious pain.
Matting can also restrict your cat’s movement if it is severe enough.
Mats do not just contain fur; they also trap dead skin, oils, and whatever dust and debris your cat lays in, either inside or outside.
Eventually, this horrific mass of dirt and bacteria will lead to infection, which can easily kill a cat if left untreated.
3. Intestinal Blockage
In extreme cases, mats can become so bad that they crust over important parts of your cat’s body.
Mats can even encrust a cat’s entire backside, making it impossible for them to use the litter box.
This causes intestinal blockages, leading to sepsis and, ultimately, death.
Why Does Cat Fur Get Matted?
Matting is a painful and even dangerous ordeal for any cat.
Therefore, if you are wondering, why is my cat’s fur suddenly matted, you should read this guide to learn how to prevent Maine Coon matted fur in the future.
Below are eight reasons why Maine Coon cat fur can become matted:
1. Seasonal Shedding
Maine Coons shed seasonally, typically in the spring and the fall, to prepare for the more extreme temperatures of summer and winter.
Matting is more likely to occur while a cat is shedding.
If a cat’s fur becomes tangled, however, this shed fur can get caught up in existing knots, eventually leading to mats.
2. Lack Of Brushing
Brushing is essential for any cat, but this is especially true for Maine Coons.
Their long, dense fur can easily form tangles if they are not brushed at least twice a week, and more during shedding season.
Make sure you have these Maine Coon grooming brushes handy, to keep your cats fur in top-notch condition.
3. Dirty Fur
Outdoor cats are more likely to get matted fur than indoor cats.
This is because dirt, mud, and debris can tangle in your cat’s fur, causing mats to develop over time.
4. Long Fur
Maine Coon fur varies in length across the body.
Their fur is longer around their:
As a result, these areas are more likely to become tangled than others.
Brushing your cat will certainly help keep their coat lustrous and tangle-free, but cats also do a lot of work keeping themselves clean.
These fastidious groomers reach every part of their bodies to remove dirt and dead fur from their coats.
Obese cats, however, can struggle to reach every part of their body, leading to tangles and mats.
6. Old Age
As cats become older, they naturally lose some of their old energy and playfulness.
Senior cats sometimes have a hard time keeping up with their old grooming habits, and stiff muscles and joints associated with old age can also have an impact.
7. Dental Problems
Surprising as it may sound, dental problems can actually cause matting in cats.
This is because untreated dental problems such as those listed below can be incredibly painful for cats:
- Gum Disease
Grooming can become painful, and your cat might stop grooming itself altogether.
To learn more about potential dental issues in your cat, read this guide to learn the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
8. Underlying Health Issues
Finally, poor grooming habits in your cat might be the result of an underlying health issue.
The following painful health issues can make grooming painful for your cat:
- Hip Dysplasia
Cancer, diabetes, and other conditions can also cause:
- Lack of energy
If you notice a sudden change in your cat’s grooming habits and overall health, it is time to take them to the vet to rule out any serious illness.
These are the top 7 Maine Coon Cat Health Problems to watch out for.
How To Prevent Cat Fur Matting
There are a lot of potential reasons for matting in cats, but thankfully, there are also a lot of ways you can prevent it from happening in the first place.
Here is what you can do to keep your cat’s coat tangle-free:
The most important way to prevent matting is to brush your cat regularly.
Maine Coons need to be brushed at least twice a week, plus more during their shedding seasons.
Make sure not to brush daily, though; as over-brushing can actually damage your cat’s fur and cause skin irritation.
Bathing is not usually necessary for cats, but if your Maine Coon is prone to tangles and mats, you might want to consider bathing your cat once a month or so.
It is no secret that most cats hate water, but the Maine Coon is considered to be quite different since this breed is known to have an unusual affinity for water. Here’s why.
If your Maine Coon likes or tolerates bathtime, this could be a great way to remove dead hair and prevent mats from forming in the first place.
Learn more about bathing your Maine Coon cat in this fact-filled article.
We all love our Maine Coon’s long, luxurious fur, but sometimes, a bit of trimming is necessary for hygiene.
Maine Coons are most likely to develop tangles around their paws and backside, so regular trimming of longer fur can be a great way to prevent mats.
You might also need to trim your Maine Coon cat to keep them clean from dangleberries caught within the matted fur on their bottoms!
Learn more about this in my article ‘How To Keep A Maine Coon Clean’.
Keep Your Cat Indoors
While this is a very personal choice, it is important to keep in mind that keeping your Maine Coon indoors can have a positive impact on their hygiene.
Outdoor cats can get all sorts of burrs, thorns, and debris stuck in their coats, making them more likely to develop mats.
Take your cat to the vet regularly to rule out any underlying conditions or dental diseases.
Your vet will be able to notice changes in your cat that you have not noticed yourself, and this is an essential way to catch any serious illness early on.
How To Remove Mats From Maine Coon
Learning how to remove mats from cats is essential, especially for owners of the longhaired Maine Coon.
Here are the steps you can take to remove mats from your Maine Coon cats fur (sources 1):
1. Prepare Your Supplies
To properly de-mat your cat, you will first need to find a fine-toothed comb and blunt-end scissors.
It is also a good idea to get some of the following products to help untangle the mats:
- Cat-Safe Conditioner
- Talcum Powder
- Other Home Remedies
2. De-Mat At The Right Time
You should begin the de-matting process when your cat is feeling calm and secure.
If your Maine Coon cat displays any of the following traits, wait until it is in a more peaceful mood, as this will make the grooming process run more smoothly:
If you are having trouble, though, learning how to calm a Maine Coon cat can help a lot. The key points to remember are that you need to use treats and talk in a gentle voice.
Also, never try to de-mat your cat right after giving it a bath as bathing will actually make it much harder to find the mats in your cat’s fur.
3. Prepare The Affected Area
When learning how to get knots out of Maine Coon fur, it is always important to be as gentle as possible.
Start out by using talcum powder, cornstarch, or another safe home remedy.
Massage the talcum powder or cornstarch into your cat’s matted fur, gently separating the mats from the rest of your cat’s fur.
Then, using your fingers, find the matted areas of your cat’s fur and gently pull the matted lump apart until it is free from your cat’s fur and skin.
4. Gentle Brushing
The best grooming brush for Maine Coon cats with mats is a fine-tooth comb.
Hold your cat’s fur below the base of the mat, so that any brushing will not tug your cat’s fur or skin. Then, start at the tip of the mat and gently brush through the tangle.
If you are having trouble, take a break and try massaging some more talcum powder or cornstarch into the mat.
You might also consider using a pet-safe conditioner like these ones, which can further help to break apart mats.
Unfortunately, mats can be incredibly stubborn, and brushing does not always do the trick. If this is the case, you will need to trim your Maine Coon’s mats.
You can use the following gadgets to carefully trim the matted off:
- Blunt Nose Scissors
However, you have to be incredibly careful not to cut your cat’s skin.
If you are nervous about trimming your cat’s mats, you should take your Maine Coon to the vet or groomer instead.
It is usually safest to let a professional cut through particularly troublesome mats.
Best Dematting Tool For Maine Coon Cats
It can be difficult to find the best de-matting tool for Maine Coon cats since there are tons of advertisers out there all claiming that their products are the best.
So, what is the best brush for Maine Coon with mats and why?
Here are the brushes I recommend:
- Fine Tooth Comb: A fine-tooth comb or flea comb is one of the most popular options for dematting cats. They are fine enough to get into the dense tangles, without being too heavy or rough.
- Undercoat Comb: An undercoat comb is a great comb for Maine Coon cats specifically, because they are designed for the particularly dense, double undercoat of Maine Coons. In fact, even if your Maine Coon does not have mats, this is one of the essential Maine Coon grooming tools out there!
- Mat Comb: In more extreme cases, you may want to consider getting a mat comb or razor comb. This special kind of comb actually trims your cat’s fur as you comb, but it is less likely to accidentally cut your cat’s skin.
Here is the complete guide to the Best Maine Coon Cat Brushes.
Home Remedies For Cat Mats
There are a lot of different home remedies that you can use, which can prevent you from needing to use more extreme measures such as a razor comb for cat mats.
Here are some popular home remedies you might want to consider:
- Talcum Powder: Talcum powder is one of the most popular home remedies for cat mats. By gently massaging the talcum powder into your cat’s fur, it will make it easier for the mat to break apart.
- Baby Powder: You might also want to consider using baby powder for cat mats. Baby powder works much the same as talcum powder, especially since most baby powders actually contain talcum powder.
- Cornstarch: You can also use cornstarch for cat mats. This is a safe option that is easily found in most homes, and just massaging a little into your cat’s matted fur can really help make the dematting process much easier!
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is another popular home remedy for cat mats. Some people even massage olive oil into their cat’s fur, and it naturally untangles the mat after a few days! Of course, olive oil is known to stain, but it is quite helpful in more severe cases (sources 1,2).
Do Maine Coons Need Haircuts?
There are a lot of popular Maine Coon grooming styles out there, including the controversial Maine Coon lion cut.
Read more about this particular Maine Coon haircut.
As cute as this cut may look (to some), a lot of owners worry that it can cause harm to their cats.
Many cats hate being groomed, and if a cat’s fur is shaved too closely, it can make them more susceptible to the following health conditions:
As a result, it is best to only trim your cat when it is actually necessary.
With this in mind, you might naturally wonder can I cut my cat’s matted hair?
A cat with mats will greatly benefit from trimming, and it is definitely okay to shave or trim your cat if it will help improve their hygiene or health.
It is important to learn how to shave a cat with matted fur safely, though. For starters, if you do not pull the mat away from your cat’s skin before shaving them, you might accidentally cut your cat instead of the tangle.
Shaving or trimming mats is sometimes necessary, especially for more severe mats.
However, if the thought of cutting out your cat’s mats makes you nervous, you can always schedule an appointment with a trustworthy groomer instead.
Is Matted Cat Fur Painful?
Apart from simply looking unsightly, matted cat fur can also be very painful, and even dangerous for your Maine Coon cat.
Mats cause skin irritation and they often lead to infection, which can ultimately kill a cat if left untreated.
What was once soft fur can become crusty and even hard.
This will cause your Maine Coon stress.
Will A Cat’s Matted Fur Grow Out?
If your cat has any matted fur, you might be wondering if it will simply fall out on its own as your cat’s fur grows. Unfortunately, it does not work as easily as this.
As time passes, matted fur will only get worse, leading to serious complications such as infection.
This is because as your cat grows new fur, it will shed the old fur, which will then become tangled within the existing mat.
If you notice any mats on your cat, you need to get rid of the matting straight away.
Leaving it alone will only make the situation worse.
How To Stop Maine Coon From Shedding
One look at this breed’s long, silky fur, and you might be wondering, do Maine Coons lose a lot of hair?
If you are trying to learn how to keep a Maine Coon from matting, you might assume that stopping shedding is the best way to go. Unfortunately, though, there is no way you can stop a cat from shedding altogether.
Shedding is natural and necessary, as it allows old, dead hairs to be removed so new, healthy hairs can grow through in their place.
The most important way to reduce shedding in your cat is to brush them regularly.
You should brush your Maine Coon at least twice a week, and up to three to five times a week during their shedding season and the damp winter months.
If your Maine Coon enjoys or at least tolerates bathtime, then this is a perfect way to remove dead hair, as well as keep your cat clean.
3. Diet Change
Your cat’s diet can also have a huge impact on their fur.
Make sure to purchase food with the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ stamp of approval.
The AAFCO has done extensive research on which vitamins and minerals cats need to stay fit and healthy.
Furthermore, make sure you are only purchasing high-quality cat food that contains:
- A lot of protein
- A moderate amount of fat
- A small amount of carbohydrates
Hydration is also important for maintaining your Maine Coons healthy coat.
Cats with healthy coats do not need to shed quite as much, and it will also keep their fur looking soft and luxurious.
Try placing water bowls in multiple locations, or even upgrade to a water dispenser or fountain. Cats are picky when it comes to drinking water, and they tend to prefer running or freshwater.
Finally, consider adding wet food to your cat’s diet, as this is a great way to increase hydration.
Cat Hair Clumping And Falling Out
If you notice your Maine Coon cat hair clumping and falling out, this is definitely a cause for concern.
Hair loss in cats can be due to underlying conditions such as:
It can also be the result of:
- Improper Diet
- Hormonal Imbalances
Finally, parasites or skin conditions can also lead to hair loss.
If your Maine Coon is losing large amounts of hair in clumps, or you notice that your cat’s fur is thinning or balding, make sure to take it to the vet right away.
Severely Matted Cat
Most owners deal with Maine Coon matting in its early stages, but if mats are left to develop over time they will only get worse.
A severely matted cat will be so matted that its fur crusts over most of its body. A cat in this condition needs immediate care.
Unless you are a professional groomer, it is unlikely you will be able to tackle a severely matted cat on your own. Instead, it is usually a good idea to take your cat to a groomer.
However, if you notice any inflamed skin or signs of infection, you need to take your cat to the vet, instead.
Why Has My Cat’s Fur Gone Lumpy?
Your Maine Coon’s fur should be soft, silky, and easy to run your fingers through.
If you notice any lumps, this is a sign that mats are beginning to form.
Mats are most commonly formed by a lack of brushing or grooming. If you do not brush your cat, then tangles and mats are likely to form.
Mats can also form when your cat is unable to groom itself.
This can be caused by:
- Old Age
- Painful Underlying Conditions e.g Dental Issues or Arthritis
Cat Has Matted Fur On Back
It is very common for matted fur to develop on a cat’s back.
If you notice your cat has tangles or clumps of fur that you cannot untangle, this is a mat.
You will need to brush or trim the mat, taking care not to cause any pulling or tugging on your cat’s skin.
If the idea of trimming your cat’s mats makes you nervous, you can always find a trustworthy groomer to do the job, instead.
Maine Coon Grooming Near Me
If you are unsure where, to begin with, your cat’s mats, or if you feel uneasy about trimming your cat’s fur, you can always hire a professional groomer.
Make sure you do a lot of research on local groomers first, to ensure you are choosing the best Maine Coon groomer that is suited to the job.
Maine Coons have long, luxurious coats with three dense layers.
As gorgeous as the fur on these cats are, it is also prone to lots of tangles.
Maine Coon matted fur occurs when tangled fur is left unbrushed and ungroomed, eventually leading to a big clump of fur that’s very difficult to brush.
You will need to take extra care to remove mats, and some mats even need to be trimmed in order to be removed.
While it is possible to remove mats at home, you may want to consider asking a groomer or vet for help.
Why Is My Maine Coon So Aggressive?
Maine Coons are usually gentle creatures, but they can become aggressive if they were improperly socialized, or if they feel unsafe and insecure in their environment.
Do Maine Coons Have Oily Fur?
Maine Coon fur has natural oils to keep it moisturized and semi-water-repellant. However, excessively oily fur is usually a sign of poor hygiene or underlying health problems.
Can Matted Fur Kill A Cat?
In extreme cases, matting can lead to infection, which can ultimately kill a cat.