Matted cat hair pictureWicked Cat, Flickr

Cats are meticulous creatures but that doesn't mean your pet can't use help in keeping up its coat. Certain long haired breeds -- such as the Persian, Himalayan, Maine coon, for example -- are especially vulnerable to mats and need to be groomed daily. If you fall behind, your cat can develop knots in its fur that not only detract from the animal's natural beauty but can also be painful to the cat.

The Right Grooming Tools Make a Difference
According to B.J. Fox, a prominent breeder of Persians and Himalayans in Greenbriar, Ark., one should use a professional steel comb on long matted hair, not a brush. Fox, who worked for many years as a pet groomer, prefers using a 7.5" steel fine/medium comb. A different grade may be better suited to your cat's coat.

Combing Techniques
As a pioneering breeder of chocolate and lilac Persians, Fox has seen her share of mats in her cats' hair. She offers this tip: "The end tines of the comb will be your friend if you use them properly. Start at the end of the hair shaft at the mat and hold the base of the mat so that it does not pull the skin of the kitty. Gently use the end tine of the comb to separate the mat and dislodge it so that you can begin to work it loose, little by little, until you can get to the skin."

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