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Cat's fur suddenly became very matted! Why, and how to fix?

  1. #1

    Question Cat's fur suddenly became very matted! Why, and how to fix?


    Our cat Boo - a 14 year old female domestic shorthair tabby - has always had soft, nice fur. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that [apparently] out of nowhere, the fur all over her body had become very matted. It looked normal from a distance, until I tried to run my fingers through it.

    A few days ago I bathed, shampooed, and conditioned her. Not normally something I would do to a cat, but I thought it might help her fur. It didn't alleviate the mats at all. Today I used 2 pet brushes - one with normal bristles, and a special fine metal brush that removes loose fur. After much brushing and having removed a huge pile of excess fur, most of poor Boo's mats remained. Especially on her lower back near her tail, there was nothing we could do to get rid of the mats.

    Her overall health has always been good; no noticeable changes recently. Her diet has not changed; I have both cats on Purina ProPlan Sensitive Digestive Systems. She has looked rather thin for a while, but not unhealthily so.

    Does anyone have a clue what could be going on? Boo has always been the healthy one. I've never seen fur like this. I'm worried for my cat!

    Picture: Matted fur on Boo's back (it's particularly disheveled due to the brushing).
    20171118_150900.jpg

    Picture: Close-up of matted fur and dander.
    20171118_150927.jpg

    Picture: Ball of fur from the brushing.
    20171118_151024.jpg

    Picture: What her fur NORMALLY looks like (she's on the left). From 2 years ago.
    20150419_123207.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    it could be several things, arthritis will make it painful and hard to groom herself, also could be something with the thyroid. You could dampen the fir just a bit and brush her, the wet will stimulate the circulation and feel to her more like she's grooming herself.

    She probably should be checked by a vet for the thyroid, otherwise just keep brushing her every day. A furmator brush will do a good job in getting the undercoat. Also I would put her on a senior cat food. Sometimes nutrition has a lot to do with the condition of the coat

    good luck
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Is she losing weight? Why do you feed her a special diet for sensitive digestive systems? I would talk to the vet about changing her diet, among other things.
    Rescued is my favorite breed. Don't shop, adopt!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by CatMom1994 View Post
    Is she losing weight? Why do you feed her a special diet for sensitive digestive systems? I would talk to the vet about changing her diet, among other things.
    She's fairly thin - moreso than she used to be - but not excessively so. She's always been petite, and has resembled a young cat even as she got older. We have the sensitive digestive systems food because our other cat, Kitty - large, male, and pushing 17 years old - has digestive issues. It's logistically infeasible to feel the cats different foods.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Linda raises some good points that you should consider. Do you give your cats chewable senior vitamin? Nutrition is important. Have you tried anything else besides Purina brand like something with real chicken as the main ingredient? I have 10 cats to feed and Daisy who is on a special urinary diet eats right next to Dolly who does not have any dietary restrictions so feeding them 2 separate foods can be done. You just have to watch them while they eat. But to have older cats like them sounds like they're doing fine overall.
    “Save a life and save a stray”

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinydog View Post
    She's fairly thin - more so than she used to be - but not excessively so. She's always been petite, and has resembled a young cat even as she got older. We have the sensitive digestive systems food because our other cat, Kitty - large, male, and pushing 17 years old - has digestive issues. It's logistically infeasible to feel the cats different foods.
    Here is the thing with weight loss that a vet told me years ago: What matters is not the absolute number of pounds, but the percentage of weight loss. She explained to me it was bad that an overweight, 16.5 pound male cat lost four pounds in one year because the fraction was 1/4 of his total weight.

    Some cats are still playful when they get older, but combined with the unkempt fur and weight loss, she should definitely get her thyroids checked out.
    Rescued is my favorite breed. Don't shop, adopt!

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