We have all witnessed people transforming their looks all because they shaved off their hair. However, have you ever seen an animal lose so much of their fur that you barely recognize them? Well, when a cat has 2 Lbs. of matted fur removed in a stunning makeover, that is a story that is bound to make headlines. If you have not had a chance to read it, here it is, as well as tips on how you can prevent your furry friend from ending up in such a painful situation.
He barely looked like a cat
When Julie Bolchak of Arizona Humane Society (AHS) got a call about an animal that needed rescuing, she responded, but the animal in question was rather unusual. Julie could not make out what species it was since it was severely matted and was shocked. In her entire career as an animal rescuer, Julie had never witnessed matting as bad as what she saw. All the same, she took the animal to be cared for by the AHS’s Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital, and it is safe to conclude that the animal that lay beneath all the hideous fur was nothing but a sweet cat.
While at the hospital, the cat, whose name is Fluffer, underwent a major makeover according to People. Although matting causes pain in animals, Fluffer was so calm that sedation was unnecessary. By the time the shaving was done, Fluffer’s eight pound-body was free of the 2 pounds of matted fur that had her looking like an alien. Maybe first looks count after all because in her matted fur, no one wanted Fluffer, but as soon as she was de-matted, it took only two days for her to get adopted. The public wondered if her previous owners would be charged for neglecting Fluffer, but they had passed away hence the matted fur.
Animals that suffered under the weight of their matted fur
While Fluffer was lucky that he was still healthy despite the severity of the matting, Bob Marley was not. According to Mail Online, in August 2018, a man dropped off a carrier at the Douglas County Animal Care & Services shelter, and as the staff went to take a look, they thought the abandoned animal was a dog. Upon a closer look, they discovered it was a cat who could not even move due to the weight of his own body and that of the matted fur that resembled dreadlocks. They, therefore, called him Bob Marley, and after sedation, 4.5 pounds of the fur was shaved off, leaving the team with an overweight cat that weighed 22.6 pounds.
Some animals have not been so lucky to have their lives back immediately after de-matting, and Sinbad is among them. He was under the care of an elderly man with mental illness who could not look after himself; hence with time, even taking care of his cat became a problem. Sinbad developed matted fur but was taken to a shelter after a utility worker saw him at the elderly man’s home. Even after hours of shaving the more than 3.5 pounds of fur off the cat, Sinbad could not make use of his hind legs, which had become atrophied. However, he became an active feline who ended up being adopted as well.
Why do cats let their fur become matted?
We all know how clean cats are; if they are not sleeping or eating, they are most likely grooming themselves. Therefore, it becomes quite surprising when you spot a cat carrying around matted fur that is almost half his weight. However, as Aldergrove Animal Clinic explains, it is not that the cat has let himself go; it is usually because of some underlying health conditions.
According to the article, a cat’s tongue has special “grooming tools” in the form of prickly barbs. As the cat licks the fur, the barbs remove dead hairs, thus preventing matting. The licking also helps to distribute oil along the hair shafts hence keeping the coat shiny and healthy. Consequently, if your cat has some oral problems, he will most likely be unable to use his tongue, resulting in matting.
Additionally, the more your cat becomes obese, the higher the chances of matting occurring. An overweight cat can barely move around, so licking their fur also becomes a problem. Moreover, if your cat has a problem in the spine or may be suffering from arthritis, you most likely will notice the hind legs develop matted fur. Finally, a stressed cat may be so depressed even to groom.
How do you ensure your cat stays mat-free?
According to iHeart, once you teach your cat that brushing fur is the normal way of life under your roof, it is unlikely that he will depart from that training. Therefore as soon as you adopt your feline friend, introduce the grooming habits. Besides, regular brushing will enable you to notice any problems on the coat and rectify them in time. All the same, you should get the right tool for the job; otherwise, your cat will hate having the fur brushed – long-haired cats have different brushes from short-haired cats. While brushing it is advisable to use a damp cloth to massage the fur which mimics the cat’s licking
Still, as much as your cat may get used to having his fur brushed, it is better to keep the process as brief as possible. Therefore, a mat breaker will come in handy to cut any mats as soon as they develop. Never use scissors to cut mats because you cut the skin. Additionally, the expression “you are what you eat” could apply in the case of maintaining a healthy coat for your feline. A rough and dull coat could indicate a poor diet, and such fur is likely to get matted. Therefore ensure you feed your pet foods rich in omega fatty acids and vitamin E for that shiny and smooth coat.