Cat Fur Clumps

by Kathy
(Utica, NY)

One of my cats (I have two) has developed clumps in her fur on her back near the base of her tail. Her hair is very thick, so much so you can't see her skin. The spot is only about as big as my fist and hasn't grown at all. It seems to itch a little, but doesn't hurt her. I've tried to comb it out, which helps a little, but her fur is so thick I can't get a comb through it all the way. It apparently isn't contagious because her sister isn't affected by it at all.


Clumping of cat fur is a common problem in dense haired cats. It is more common in older cats and cats which are overweight. In either case the cat fails to groom itself completely.

The location of the clumps indicates that your cat does not groom itself completely, and also this cat seems to have very dense fur, thus it is probable that secretions from the skin and dead components of the hair, tangle to form clumps.

At home, you can use a dematter; this is a hand held tool specifically designed to break mats and clumps in the fur of a cat. These are helpful because commonly used combs do not help in thick haired cats.

Be careful while you use a dematter. At home, it should only be used for those cats which have clumps that are not directly on the skin, but that are farther away. Clumps which are closer to skin should be treated by a professional groomer or a veterinarian, as any attempt to clip or groom these clumps can lead to skin injury.

In terms of dematting tools, consider the Smart Grip Cat Undercoat Rake or the Groomax 9 Blade Dematter for Cats. Both are available for under $10.

Additionally, clumps in cat fur can make your cat’s skin vulnerable to pathogens such as bacteria or parasites such as cat lice, so you should regularly bathe your cat with a quality cleansing shampoo such as Clean-Cat Shampoo with Chamomile (2 Baths a week is enough) and groom it after every bath.

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Feb 09, 2010
Cat Fur Clumps Suggestions
by: Cat Health Guide Editor

Cat Fur Clumps are usually formed due to poor or irrational grooming. Cats need regular grooming. Even though cats habitually groom themselves, it is necessary to groom cats regularly, almost every day. Fur matting or clumping is a more severe problem in long haired cats.

If you have not been grooming your cat properly, then clumps will form. Along with regular grooming at home, thorough grooming by a professional may be required in some cases. Moreover, some cats have oily skin and a dense distribution of hair follicles over the skin, so their fur may easily get tangled, matted or clumped.

I'd suggest that you try a herbal shampoo such as Clean-Cat Shampoo, which can clean the surface of skin, remove any dust, debris or broken hair and prevent the tangling of the hair. Use this shampoo regularly, and use a specially designed dematter for clearing clumps.

The dematter you use should have a blunt surface on the bottom in order to keep the skin safe like the Cat Mat Breaker. Cats usually do not like the dematting procedure, so try it when your pet is calm or sleepy.

Though dematters are usually designed with safety in mind, but you should be careful while dematting, as the skin may get injured, leading to other skin problems. Proceed only if you are sure, otherwise consult a professional groomer.

However, once the hair clumping problem is resolved, you can use a dematter when you feel that your cat is getting its fur mildly messed again.

Once resolved, groom your cat with baths when needed using a quality cleanser shampoo such as the one mentioned above and by using different brushes that are made for this purpose such as those found here. Also, consider taking your pet to professional groomer at least once every 3 – 4 months to prevent recurrence of the cat fur clumps.

Feb 07, 2010
Cat Fur Clumps
by: alien

My cat is about 12 years old..and has clumps on his back and sides...I don't think it's mange because mange causes hair loss. The clumps actually seem to be forming around the skin, and if I were to try and cut this or use a dematting tool it would seriously hurt my pet.

I've tried brushing and baths..I even used tuna with oil hoping that maybe he just had dry skin or something.But nothing is working.

I also have another cat that is a year older, he grew long clumps of hair and skin on his back that i would have called wings.Is this normal for cats? I mean eventually they came off..but I wonder if this is what caused the clumping on my other cat.

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