Cat hair clumps?

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Cat hair clumps?

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May 30, 2012, 4:51pm

Tiger Lilly turned 3 on April 12. She's never had this problem before.

I brush Tiger Lilly, almost every day even though she's a short haired cat, because we both enjoy it. But, for the last month or so, almost every day, there is a clump of hair somewhere on her body. It is just all matted together. Sometimes, I can brush it out, but one time, I had to cut it out. I don't understand why this has suddenly begun to happen!

Does anybody else have this problem with a cat? What do you do? Is there something I need to be doing that I'm not doing?

May 30, 2012, 5:23pm

Did her diet change? Even if you are feeding the same brand of catfood, it may have changed ingredients. Maybe some extra oil in her diet, or feeding her a hairball remedy might help. Also maybe get her health checked - perhaps a thyroid problem or something is causing it. It could also be seasonal - losing winter coat - or stress-related shedding. I've never had a short-haired cat with matting problems, but my sister did.

May 30, 2012, 5:58pm

Last time I had a short-haired cat with mats it had to do with thyroid issues, but the cat was 12+ years. 3 is a bit young.

As #2 said, the food could have changed without you knowing it.

You might want to try salmon oil. One capsule 1-2 times a week for a couple of weeks. This usually works well on my long-haired cats, Persians excluded.

May 30, 2012, 6:01pm

Also let her eat grass. If she's an indoor cat make her a small bed of grass in a pot or planter that she can get to.


May 30, 2012, 6:25pm

I havent heard of a short haired cat getting matts before, but I've been told that tinned sardines are good for cats coats & clearing up hairballs - could be worth trying? If it improves the condition of her coat then I'd think it shouldnt matt?

I'd also prbably consider a vet visit just to make sure its not a sympton of something more sinister...

May 30, 2012, 11:38pm

My late shorthaired cat Circe used to get mats around the base of her tail. Maybe it was just her physiology--she used to shed, too, more than any of the other cats I've had. She was also a "round kitty" and might not have been able to wash herself as thoroughly as she would have liked. Oddly enough, the shedding (and maybe also oil production) improved after she developed diabetes.

May 31, 2012, 11:47am

When our cat Dusty was having issues with her teeth, her fur started looking unkempt. She couldn't care for herself for the same reason she couldn't eat, her mouth hurt too much. We ended up taking her to a vet who specialized in oral care and she had to have several teeth removed because of advanced gum disease, and she was fairly young for such problems at 8. She now acts like a kitten again and her fur has never looked better.

May 31, 2012, 12:21pm

Well, her diet hasn't changed at all. I buy 3 sacks of different dried food, all for indoor cats, and mix it together in a large plastic container. She gets half a cup in the morning, and half a cup in the evening. She also gets 6 Greenies in the morning when we do her tricks, and 6 in the evening when she does them again. She also gets plenty of water.

In late April, I took Tiger Lilly for her annual physical. They took blood, fecal sample, and so on. She was fine then. Could thyroid problems develop that fast?

It hasn't been 6 months since her teeth were cleaned, and they weren't even very bad then, because of the Greenies, but she had never had a teeth cleaning, and I didn't want to wait until they were bad to get it done. The vet said her teeth were in great shape. Her breath smells fine, but then it never smells bad, again, because of the Greenies. (Those things really do everything they say they will for cats.)

Tiger Lilly weighs 15 pounds, but she has weighed that same amount since she was a little over a year old. The vet keeps track, and said that seems to be her "natural" weight. She's very muscular, not at all fat. She's sleek and her fur/hair is shiny. But, she is shedding a lot more than usual.

Regardless of all this I think taking her to the vet is good advice, and I appreciate it. I'll be making an appointment for her and get her in as soon as I can.

May 31, 2012, 12:40pm

Maybe she is getting 'into' something that is leaving residue in her fur? If she goes outside, she might be getting smeared by tree sap.

May 31, 2012, 12:43pm

Any possibility of urinary tract or kidney infection? Our boy Pixel used to get matted hair, but has not had one since he became a completely transgendered cat, i.e. not just neutered -- ALL the plumbing was changed! He was having chronic urinary infections which the vet said could become life-threatening. He's been much healthier in the years since, and as a side benefit has had no more hair clumps.

May 31, 2012, 2:37pm

fuzzi ~~ Tiger Lilly is an indoor only cat. I've checked around the house, and nothing appears to have been disturbed by her.

amysisson ~~ It could be something like that I guess. Her bathroom habits don't seem to have changed, but I don't know that they would.

Jun 1, 2012, 11:51am

Took Tiger Lilly to the vet this morning. They took samples of everything they could take a sample of (do you know how hard it is to get a cat to pee on request?). Seriously, they can get a sample, but who knew?

The vet seems to think everything is okay, and it's just because it's the shedding time of year, and Tiger Lilly is licking/grooming herself and creating the clumps.

They should have the results of the tests by early next week.

Jun 1, 2012, 12:33pm

Fingers crossed that it's nothing.

Jun 1, 2012, 3:24pm

millhold -- A normal blood panel does not usually include thyroid values. Thyroid tests are a supplemental panel.

Jun 2, 2012, 5:40am

Definitely not an expert here (still getting used to being foster mum for my daughter's two cats) but our short-haired boy started getting this kind of thing and it turned out he had a touch of arthritis due to an old wound (we suspect he was kicked in his pre-adoption life) and the pain stopped him getting at that particular spot to groom himself. Of course, that would only apply if the clumps are all in a similar area: if, as I suspect from your message, they are dotted around willy-nilly that won't be the reason.

Jun 4, 2012, 11:38am

LMTHWB ~~ Thanks, I didn't know that, but I did tell them I was worried about her thyroid, and they said they would check for that.

Jun 4, 2012, 6:12pm

Still waiting for results...

Jun 4, 2012, 6:41pm

Yes. Hopefully, I'll hear something by tomorrow.

Jun 5, 2012, 6:25pm

Hooray! Tiger Lilly is NOT sick. All her blood work came back clean as a whistle.

The vet says that sometimes, when cats grow their winter coats, then the winter isn't as "wintery" as is usual, the cats start shedding a lot more, and trying to groom out the shedding hair. This often ends up causing some hair clumps.

I guess that must be true, our winter was very mild, and Tiger Lilly hasn't had any new clumps since about last Wednesday, and there's only one small one left that I think I'll have to cut out.

Thanks everybody for all your good advice and caring! Tiger Lilly would have thanked you too, but she was too pissed she had to go to the vet again so soon.


Jun 6, 2012, 5:24am

That's wonderful news, I'm so glad for you and Tiger Lilly!

Jun 6, 2012, 7:36am

Great! Wonderful! I'm SO glad it's not anything 'bad'.

Dec 8, 2013, 9:49pm

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