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Why Is My Cat’s Fur Suddenly Matted? 7 Possible Reasons

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on January 5, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

combing fur of a maine coon cat

Why Is My Cat’s Fur Suddenly Matted? 7 Possible Reasons




The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats are famous for keeping themselves clean and looking neat all the time. In fact, some would say that cats are obsessive groomers. It’s safe to assume that if your cat isn’t sleeping, they’re probably grooming instead. That’s why it’s so concerning for cat parents when their cat’s fur suddenly becomes matted, and the cats don’t seem to care.

If you’re worried about your cat’s suddenly matted fur, we’ll give you seven possible reasons for the issue, tips on how to fix it, and the dangers of matted fur for cats in the list below.


The 7 Possible Reasons Why Your Cat’s Fur Is Suddenly Matted

1. Humidity

Humidity affects cats just as it affects humans. Your cat’s undercoat can’t expand or relax when it’s humid and there’s too much moisture in the air. This happens mostly during peak shedding season in the spring and fall.

2. Cat Breed

Some cat breeds are more prone to matting than others because their undercoat is thicker. Breeds prone to matting because of their long, dense undercoat include the following: Himalayans, Persians, Norwegian Forest Cats, Russian Blues, Ragdolls, and Maine Coons.

maine coon sunbathing
Image Credit: Pixabay

3. Excess Fur

Your cat may have a buildup of excess fur, causing it to become matted. This can be caused by not brushing regularly or the cat’s coat not shedding properly.

This is true for cats with long hair. However, short-haired cats can end up with matted coats from the same problem, so they aren’t in the clear. Make sure to brush your cat regularly, whether long or short, for the best results.

4. Health Issues

Lack of grooming is a classic sign of a sick cat. If that is the case, the cat might also present other signs like lethargy or lack of appetite. A cat with reduced mobility due to arthritis cannot reach some of their body parts.

Additionally, an infection could cause weeping sores or wounds that need medical attention. If you suspect your cat’s fur is matted because of health issues, please bring your cat to the veterinarian.

person holding wounded cat
Image Credit: Elena11, Shutterstock

5. Weight

An overweight cat cannot turn or reach certain areas of its body, which means they cannot adequately groom their coat. This can lead to matted fur as well. Also, the added body weight can cause excess oils to build up, which has its problems, including matted hair.  

6. Excess Body Oils

Your cat may be suffering from hyperthyroid disease or a skin disease called seborrhea. This causes a buildup of excess body oils, as previously mentioned.

a domestic cat wearing a cone-shaped collar to prevent scratching skin disease
Image Credit: eremeevdv, Shutterstock

7. Age

When a cat is young, spry, and healthy, they can turn its body almost 360 degrees to groom every inch of their body. However, as your cat ages, their mobility will suffer, making it harder to care for their coat. This is where you come in by helping to make sure they are clean and brushed regularly.

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Dangers Of Matted Hair in Cats

Not only does matted hair make your cat look dirty and messy, but it’s also dangerous to your cat. We’ll list the dangers of matted hair in cats below.

grooming the persian cat in pet grooming salon
Image Credit: Serhii Ivashchuk, Shutterstock

Hinders Thermoregulation

Besides keeping their fur clean, grooming is a method cats use to regulate their body temperature. Since they only sweat from their small paws, they use saliva evaporation to release additional body heat and prevent overheating. Matted fur hinders the efficiency of this thermoregulation mechanism.

Can Cause Pain & Discomfort

Matted hair can cause pain and discomfort when you or your cat try to remove the mats and tangles. You’ll have to pull on the fur, which also damages the cat’s skin, causing them pain.

While the pain will initially be mild, it’ll worsen as the mats expand. This could lead to behavioral changes in your feline pal.

A Breeding Ground for Parasites

Matted fur is also a breeding ground for parasites. You probably know that ticks and fleas can be dangerous to your pets if they are not eliminated.

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Preventing Matted Fur in Your Cat

There are a few things you can do to prevent your cat from developing matted fur.

At Home Grooming

One of the best ways to prevent matting is at-home grooming. Brushing your cat regularly is crucial if you want their fur to stay matt-free.

woman brushing an orange cat
Image Credit: cottonbro, pexels

Seek Professional Grooming

Sometimes, at-home grooming isn’t enough to keep your pet’s fur from becoming matted, or you don’t have the time to groom your cat properly. That’s when it’s time to call in the professional groomers.

Make sure to have your cat professionally groomed as needed, depending on the breed.


Your cat’s diet can have a lot to do with how matted their fur becomes. However, feeding them only high-quality food and adding an omega-3 fatty acid supplement to their diet should help them have healthier and silkier skin and fur.

If the matting still occurs or worsens, it’s best to make an appointment with your vet to determine the cause and best treatment for your cat.

persian cat eating dry food
Image Credit: Patrick Foto, Shutterstock

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This concludes our list of the seven possible reasons your cat’s fur suddenly becomes matted. Remember, prevention is critical for matted hair, but if the problem persists, it’s best to consult your vet for diagnosis and treatment. No one wants their feline pal to look unkempt and dirty, including your cat. That’s why you should do everything you can to help your cat keep its fur shiny, untangled, and looking great at all times.

Featured Image Credit By: Summer 1810, Sutterstock

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