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Don’t Cut Knots in Your Cat’s Fur Yourself! Here’s Why


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Matted fur is a common problem in longer haired cats, especially if they’re not brushed regularly. When fur mats, it can become painful and can even lead to skin infections. It can be tempting to want to cut out knots from your cat’s fur yourself instead of going to a cat groomer… But wait!

A recent Facebook post and its reactions (as well as a bunch of other research we did) revealed why cat parents shouldn’t attempt this. You may mean well and it might save you some money, but it’s actually very risky.

Find out more here.

Beautiful cat being shaved by a cat groomer for a knot in cat's fur

Vet nurse warns – Don’t cut out a knot in your cat’s fur yourself!

A recent Facebook post by The Mobile Vet Nurse asked cat parents not to attempt cutting out a knot in their cat’s fur themselves:

“I’m starting to see a lot of knots in cats’ coats … Please do not be tempted to cut knots from your cat as their skin is super thin and very easily cut, often resulting in the need for surgery. Please reach out to your cat groomer or veterinarian if you are worried 👊😸

Injuries abound

Pet parents in the comments section agreed, sharing photos of injuries they’d seen when people tried to cut a knot in their cat’s fur themselves.

“I’m a cat exclusive groomer and I always get ‘I know how to do it.’ Then they’re shocked when I show them proof that they don’t. Every time,” wrote one woman. “The skin is thin so you think you’re cutting fur but you’re not. Even if you use a comb, the skin will pull through the gaps and you don’t realise it.”

She shared a picture of the painful looking injury she saw 😩:

A painful injury from when someone tried to cut out a knot in cat's fur

Other cat parents weighed in with their own stories of cutting knots in their cat’s fur:

“Was the biggest mistake I made and I was totally devastated. It was an expensive lesson needing some stitches 🧵 I will NEVER make that mistake again, just too risky 😢” said one. “I did this once and caused an abscess. I still live with the guilt 🙁” said another. “Made this mistake! Tried to cut out some knots and ended up with a $250 vet bill and a very unhappy cat!” said a third.

Your cat has very delicate skin

As you can see from the stories above, when you cut a knot in a cat’s fur, it’s difficult to see where their skin is underneath. If you accidentally cut into it, it can cause a serious wound that may require stitches. Even a small cut can become infected, and it can be difficult to keep their wounds clean.

In addition, cutting knots can actually make the problem worse! When you cut a knot, you’re essentially cutting off the circulation to the hair follicles in that area. This can cause the hair to fall out and it can make it more difficult to remove the next knot.

If your cat has matted fur, it’s best to take them to a professional groomer or vet. They have the experience and the tools to remove mats safely and without causing pain to your cat.

Professional cat groomer. There may be a knot in this cat's fur

How to avoid a knot in a cat’s fur

Of course, prevention is the best cure when it comes to knots in cat fur. With proper grooming habits like the below, you can stop your kitty’s fur from getting matted in the first place.

We suggest you:

  • Brush them regularly to remove loose hair.
  • Use a de-shedding tool on long-haired cats to remove dead hair that’s more likely to mat.
  • If your cat is prone to matting, you may want to consider getting them a lion cut. This is a type of haircut that leaves them with a short, even coat that’s less likely to mat. Read more about the pros and cons here.
  • You want to, but don’t give your cat a bath. It’s stressful for them and they generally don’t need it.

Cat grooming tips

Despite your best efforts, your cat may still need to go to the cat groomer every now and again to get out knots in cat fur. It’s a good idea to get them used to being groomed to make the experience less stressful for them.

Here are some tips:

  • Start early. The sooner you start grooming your cat, the more used to it they will be. Start by brushing them for a few minutes each day, and gradually increase the time as they get more comfortable.
  • Make it positive. Associate grooming with positive experiences, such as petting, playing, or giving treats. This will help your cat learn to see grooming as something good.
  • Choose a reputable groomer. Ask your friends, family, or vet for recommendations. When you check out the groomer for the first time, take your cat with you so they can get used to the place and the people.
  • Be patient. It may take some time for them to get used to being groomed for a knot in your cat’s fur. Don’t force them to do anything they’re not comfortable with.
  • Use a calming spray. There are a number of calming sprays available that may help reduce your cat’s stress levels. Ask your vet for a recommendation.
  • Give your cat a break. If your cat is getting stressed, take a break and try again later. Don’t force them to continue if they’re not enjoying it!
a bobtailed cat playing before going to the cat groomer

More fur-filled info

Speaking of cats and fur, here are some more articles you may want to check out:

Insure their cabooses

Now you know how to avoid injuries by not cutting knots in a cat’s fur yourself and taking them to the cat groomer or vet instead. Unfortunately, even when you avoid this, your kitty can still get into plenty of unforeseen accidents or become ill.

You’ll always want to give them a soft landing, and having cat insurance in place helps you pay for big and little health bills for aches, scrapes, illnesses and more. Your pet plan can help cover X-rays, diagnostics, unexpected vet visits, surgery and, depending on the level of policy you choose, dental bills too!

Why wait ’til it’s too late, get award winning pet insurance today.

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