A cat is born with all the hair follicles it will ever possess already in place. The hair grows in stages with new hair growing alongside old hair and from the same follicle. Not all follicles are in the same phase at the same time so cats tend to shed continually throughout the year. Although the coat may change in appearance and thickness, the number of hair follicles remains constant.
A cat’s naturally oily skin in combination with hair being shed throughout the year inevitably causes matting regardless of coat length.
When a cat struggles with coat maintenance and general grooming, shed hair becomes trapped in its oily, greasy fur. As more hair sheds and accumulates, clumps of hair appear all over the body. These tangles become larger and fuse together forming a mat very close to the skin. Mats can restrict movement and leave bald sore patches on the skin causing great discomfort.
When matted, a cat cannot naturally groom themselves and require assistance. All knots and mats are removed in the most comfortable way and the oil and grease are cleared from the coat.
Regular ongoing professional grooming through a degreasing bath and blow dry will prevent reoccurrence of the situation.
Over time mats fuse together on the body and form a hard turtle-like shell causing difficultly in walking and grooming. In this situation it is necessary to shave the animal, removing the pelt and freeing them from a potentially life threatening condition.
All cats shed or moult at some stage. The extent and speed to which an individual sheds is determined by a combination of factors such as age, breed, diet and lifestyle.
Central heating and artificial lighting found in the indoor environment promotes year round shedding.
Many domestic short-hairs have denser coats and hence shed much more than long-hair varieties.