What is the Best Cat Shampoo or Conditioner to Reduce Cat Hair Matting?

By | December 31, 2011

Every now and then I will post a simple Q&A on cat hair matting concerns. Not only will you be able to view the answers, but also add your own as well.


This question is asked by Lisa G from cat-studio-project.com in November of 2011. She adds: I have not found many reviews online for different cat shampoo and conditioner products. My cat has long hair, and I need something that will help with cat hair matting, and prevent it in the future.

Answers: There ISN’T one. You prevent mats by GROOMING the cat regularly. Your cat should only need to be bathed if it’s gets into something dirty or you’re competing in a cat show. Other than that – don’t bathe it. Cats are “self-cleaning”.

You should be combing the coat – not brushing it. Brushes do very little to remove the loose hairs of the undercoat – the hairs that cause mats – and pull out and break the topcoat hairs. Get a good quality steel-toothed comb and comb the coat thoroughly. If this cat has a light, cottony undercoat then a weekly combing should be all that’s needed. If it has a thick undercoat you’ll have to comb the coat at least every other day all year long.

And keep the cat INDOORS. Cats with long-haired coats are not be subject to the dirt and plant matter outdoors and their coats quickly become a filthy tangled mess. Commented by Café Mocha Valencia

Shampoos and conditioner are not going to really help with matting. Your feline friend just needs for you to spend more time combing and brushing her/his mane. Some breeds of long haired cats are more prone to hair matting than others. Long hair cats need frequent (sometimes daily) brushing from their pet owners. You can also take your feline in for grooming at local stores like Petco and such.

I would also recommend grooming tools like the Furminator. It cuts back on the amount of shedding, helps decrease the frequency of grooming needed, and reduces hairballs.

A good diet will also improve your feline friend’s coat. Look for cat food that lists meat as the first ingredient, not meat by-products. A silky, shiny, healthy coat not only looks better but also doesn’t mat as often. I’ve seen this first-hand time and time again.

Good luck. Commented by Gym Junkie

If you are lucky and your cat enjoys water (I barely saw one in my entire life) then you are lucky and you could use shampoo and/or conditioner on her.
It also does not de-tangle her fur, plus it’s not an excuse for not having to groom her thoroughly.

I would recommend to get her to a professional groomer to get the mats off and to get her groomed.
If you stay, you probably could also get some advise on how to prevent mats until the next appointment.
Plus you should invest in some good grooming tools.
Either professional sets or a special comb/brush for long hair cats.

I personally use the furminator, a shedding tool for long haired cats. http://www.furminator.com

Hope that helps. Commented by neferibi

Long-haired cats, especially if they are of the Persian/Himmy persuasion, absolutely must be groomed at LEAST ever other day, but better to do every single day. The best “tool” for a Persian type cat or other super long-hair or double-fur cat is called a “Greyhound” Comb. They are expensive, but very worth it. Don’t use a Furminator if you have a Persian.

I have a Himalayan and I start with the hardest parts (back of legs, arms and underarms – gently-gently), then the tail, and by then you just have the tummy and back to do (by this time if it’s a Persian you have, his/her tolerance level will have gone and he/she will start squirming). But since all you have left is the tummy and back, it will be easier.

As for shampoos, they do have special shampoos for longer haired cats. My Himalayan requires a bath once a month (my cats are indoor only) because his hair gets drab otherwise. They have special shampoos just for Persians. (Still not sure if that’s what you have, but I would ask a knowledgeable person at the Pet Store. (I actually go to a feed and supply store- they are the only ones that carry the higher quality food my cats eat.

Yeah, grooming every day and never pull hard at all; if a Persian/Himmy, they have just the most thin skin you’ll ever see. If you don’t keep the mats out every day or at least every other day, they will end up sticking to the skin and you’ll have no choice but to get your cat to the vet to have them removed. Way too dangerous for a non-vet to remove cat mats that are already stuck to the skin.

Anyways, take care of you and your cat! Commented by Soneca Com Os Gatinhos

The secret and key to bathing a cat is rinsing! I can not stress enough rinse for at least 5 minutes. If any shampoo or conditioner is left in the coat it will draw dirt and create more mats. Rinse, rinse and keep on rinsing. I show Maine Coons and have been since 1996. Commented by R P Cat

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