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Oiling Point Of Fur Mats (Using Olive Oil To Remove Clumps Of Matted Fur)

My favorite technique for removing furry mats from dogs and cats is to apply olive oil to the base of the mat. Then just sit back and wait for the mat to fall off on its own. If you apply enough oil to the right spot, the mat will just fall off within a few days. No scissors, no shaving, no trips to the vet or groomer.

Check out my video demonstrating my biggest tips for using this technique! (Casey, the cat in the video, is extremely shy and anxious about anything new or unusual. I made the video the first time I did this with her so she’s living proof of how easy this is on the cat or dog involved.)

Here is a typed list of my tips for using olive oil to remove fur mats.

  • fur-mats-removing-casey-duringUse a syringe (without a needle) to apply olive oil as close to the skin as possible. The small tip of the syringe enables you to get oil closer to where you want it. Because of the way fur mats form, it’s challenging to get close enough to the skin using a spoon. The absolute ideal would be to get the oil under the mat.
  • Better to use too much oil than too little. Using too little means the only thing that’ll happen is that the dog or cat gets oily fur. Using “too much” won’t hurt at all. Olive oil is harmless if ingested while grooming.
  • Use room temperature olive oil. Cold oil would be a shock. Imagine somebody putting a cold ice cube down your pants when you least suspect it. LOL. Cats have uber-sensitive nerves on their backs and bellies, where most fur mats develop. Room temp oil is often unnoticed when it’s applied. (Cue “evil genius” laughter.)
  • Re-apply in 2-3 days if the mat doesn’t fall off in that time.
  • Tackle just one mat at a time.
  • Provide lots of rewards to those who are uncomfortable with new situations or who won’t like being touched in whatever way they have to be touched as you do this. Bribery goes a long way for most of us – er – uh – I mean for most of them.
  • Anything the oiled cat lays on will get oil on it. So be sure to remove or protect valuable or fragile items. Be prepared to launder bedding and other fabric items with oil-cutting detergents. (Bonus tip: I pre-soak clothes in Dawn dish liquid for 24+ hours to get rid of grease and oil stains.)
  • Be prepared to be amazed when one day your companion gets up from a nap and you notice that big fur mat left behind on the bedding. Be prepared to be startled if you mistake it for a mouse if your little one sleeps on the floor and you find the mat by stepping on it with bare feet when you’re half asleep.

I can’t find any article anywhere explaining exactly how olive oil works its magic on mats. One strange detail is that there isn’t a bald spot where the mat had been attached to kitty’s body. My suspicion is that the oil opens pores in a way that causes the outer sheath or “glassy membrane” (that’s actually the legit medical terminology) that coats individual hairs to separate from the hair which would then allow the sheath to slide right off the hair without the individual hairs actually falling out.

Want more tips for removing furry mats from dogs’ and cats’ coats?


64 comments to Oiling Point Of Fur Mats (Using Olive Oil To Remove Clumps Of Matted Fur)

  • Wow, that’s really neat!

  • Trinity

    Has anyone successfully tried this and it worked? It’s been 2 days and no luck yet. And I came home from work today to see that she licked a patch of her fur off next to the mat :( she’s got a patch of skin showing :( not sure if I should worry or not?

    • Many people do this, but (as you see) few post to my blog. Dozens of my own clients use this technique. If you’ve waited 2 days and nothing has happened, I suspect you’ll want to re-apply using more oil this time.

      Just to confirm… you’re using *olive* oil, right? Not vegetable oil or baby oil? Those would be really not good to use and could cause problems if she’s ingesting them. In fact, if you used anything other than olive oil, you might want to call your vet ASAP to ask whether they want you to bring her in ASAP to make sure she’s ok.

      I’ve never known a cat to over-groom due to the olive oil before. But many cats over-groom around mats because they’re a painful, tangled mess. They tend to lick a lot where they feel pain or discomfort such as itching, tingling, sharp pains of fresh wounds, dull pains of chronic muscle or joint pain, etc. That’s one of the (many) reasons why it’s so important to prevent and treat matted fur as soon as we notice it. It’s just so awful to feel that constant pulling of their hair.

  • Trinity

    Yes i used olive oil :) maybe she just noticed the mat more because of me treating it. It’s right next to the mat where she was licking extra all of a sudden. Thank you. I will try another dose. It looks like it def is releasing from the hair (the ends of the mat look sort of fluffy like they are releasing hard to explain) but still tight on the root – it prob needs another dose. I just wanted to double check that this was a safe method bc there weren’t a lot of comments. You’ve put me at ease. Thank you so much!

  • Judy

    Hello; Our new addition “Bob” joined us last winter. He was a feral cat and chose us as his new owners! Long haired, not neutered and was horribly matted. We gave him a “outside” home, as it is very cold in our neck of the woods. Plus a good diet and fresh water. Within a few months he was becoming more friendly and beginning to really like being loved and petted. In the spring I got him into the TNR program through our local humane society. (trap, neuter, release) He was neutered, given shots and shaved!!! Sporting his new “lion cut” he was so happy and proud and at peace. He did have skin sores from the matting but within a few weeks, was enjoying himself and now he likes to come into the house for his afternoon nap! So here we are, the next spring, his hair is matted again in a few places and I began dreading the process of having him shaved as he is only friendly with us and no one else. Which meant he would need to be put to sleep again to be groomed as he is not a domestic cat by any means. He does let us brush him, but not for very long, and he has claws that penetrate with touch!!! So we do our best and I will not give up trying. Hence your article on OLIVE OIL. I am going to begin this treatment, and I will let you know if this looks like a better way to approach the matting issues. Thank you!

    • Since Bob allows you to brush him… Do you have a Furminator? ( Brushing him with it once a week or so would prevent the mats from developing. It’s the only brush designed to target the loose undercoat fur, which is usually what gets the mat started. It’s well worth the investment in a Furminator because you can avoid another trip to the vet and anesthesia. Ugh. I wouldn’t use a Furminator in areas that already have mats developing – it would be too painful. But maybe the next time he is mat-free, try out the Furminator?

  • Lynn Roy

    Would this work on my rabbit?

  • Erin

    Thanks ! It took five days and It worked! My cat had a large one on her back above her tail, I put the olive oil on Sunday and reapplied three days later and it fell off last night wow!

  • Erin

    Hi Kari, I couldn’t figure out how to post the pictures here so I sent you them to your email :)

    Kari edited this comment to insert the following photos.




    Closer shot of the “BEFORE”: Before 2

    Close-up of the MATS THAT FELL-OFF: Mat

    Closer shot of the “AFTER” so you see there is no bald spot: After 2

    Cheese resting happily Cheese napping

  • Wendi

    The olive oil works great. My cat had some very large matted areas, but how do I get the olive oil off her fur?

    • Getting the olive oil out of the fur is not easy. Personally, I just let it gradually & naturally go away.

      (I know it looks funny & can continue to create oil stains on stuff.) There are remedies for getting olive oil out of human hair that work for cats and are not toxic to cats. However, the products used smell so yucky to cats that many people use them to deter cats. So I, personally, wouldn’t apply them to a cat’s coat since kitty can’t escape the offensive (to them) smell. I’m afraid to even list those remedies here for fears that doing so might cause a kitty to be subjected to that smell. But if you search for “removing olive oil from hair” and then find the things that work, search for those items along with the words “toxic to cats” you’ll get some answers. ;-)

  • Suzi

    I am trying this on my cat who has cotton candy fur. It’s been a week. Her mats are coming loose gradually. However, she has been overgrooming now and her skin is raw. I’m not sure if anyone’s cat has done this. I’m feeling really bad now. :( Please help.

    • ACK! I’m so sorry she’s going through this! I’ve never run across that situation with the olive oil trick before. Most cats seem to find the oil soothing, but I can imagine that some kitties don’t like anything strange on their fur. One of my foster cats was overgrooming until the mats fell off. There were awful scabs under the mats from all the chaffing that had been happening. The scabs must’ve been itchy and/or painful. Perhaps that’s part of what’s going on with your darling?

      You probably decided to do the oil as a way of avoiding using clippers, but maybe it’s time to just shave off her oil-treated mats so they’re less annoying to her? After that, if she still overgrooms the oiled areas, maybe using a cat-safe shampoo would help counteract the oil?

      Thank you for mentioning this situation. It sounds upsetting. I’ll keep my eye out for other mentions of this sort of reaction.

      • Suzi

        Also, like your foster, my Zizi has been overgrooming herself. Which makes me wonder if I should continue. My vet needs to do bloodwork then sedation then shave. I contacted a groomer and she won’t let me be with her. Cannot find another. I’d like to continue trying because she’s trusting me. She’s a rescue. They told me she was 3. My vet said she’s 11. She’s really come around for me. I just want her to be comfortable. Same thing happened last year in winter but by spring they could be worked out. This year she’s a lot worse. And now down to skin on her back area. :(
        Not sure what to do at this point. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

        • I think your only option with the coconut oil mats is to shave* them off. Will your vet prescribe a sedative that you could give her before anybody (at home or at a clinic/spa) turns on clippers? You might have to bribe a friend. I wonder if any of your local vets have vet techs who do house calls who are skilled at GENTLY restraining cats?

          * My favorite clippers to use with cats is the Wahl 9861-900 Pocket Pro Universal Trimmer ( They’re small, easy to clean, and not as loud as other clippers.

          I think prevention will be key for you two so you won’t have to go through this regularly. Daily brushing, if she’ll tolerate it, might be ideal. If she’s food-motivated, consider training her to love brushing time. I’d highly recommend getting a Furminator. It’ll be far more effective because it’s the only brush that removes loose undercoat hairs, which are the worst culprits. Other brushes will only get loose guard hair.

        • Do you live in my geographic area? If so, email or call me and we can talk about great local options, including some pros who can come to your house to help with Zizi.

          I totally understand cautious cats and working with them without traumatizing them takes different skills than working with other cats. That’s why I mentioned GENTLE restraint in an earlier comment. Scruffing a cat who is truly scared of people will only be traumatized by scruffing. It could ruin your relationship, in fact. There are restraint techniques that make kitties like Zizi more comfortable rather than traumatizing them. Sadly, few vets or vet techs learn these in school. So most restraint experiences at vet clinics end up doing more emotional damage. :-(

  • Suzi

    Thank you very much. I was able to cut out the mats that were still hanging there. I mixed olive oil and 100% natural coconut oil. It definitely worked. I just had to cut them off as they loosened up. She’s very irritated. I gave her some liquid nutricalm for pets to help her stay calm. Added a little aloe. I think you are correct in that her skin was probably already sore underneath. I may apply more oil in a few days as it did work. Hers just didn’t fall off. Thank you again for your reply and help. I’ll keep you updated. Thank you.

    • Ahhhh, mixing with coconut oil will reduce effectiveness of the olive oil trick. Adding coconut oil (a solid) to a mat it will actually make mats worse. The only thing that really works on the mats in this way is olive oil.

      Coconut oil is a solid so it won’t do anything to loosen mats. It’s a great product to have on hand for topical and oral use. I use coconut oil on my cats (and myself) as a topical lotion and antimicrobial. It’s excellent help when used topically on scabs, sores, and raw skin.

      Other liquid oils might work, but can be bad if cats ingest them.

  • Suzi

    Kari, thank you so very very much for your help and guidance. The coconut oil is a liquid. Natures Way Liquid Coconut premium oil non-gmo. I’m not sure if that’s still bad. I will be avoiding it regardless. Maybe for her skin? Aloe for skin?
    I’ve been giving her 1mg of RxVitamins for pets. It’s called Liquid Nutricalm with her food since yesterday. The directions call for 2mg but I don’t want to overdue it. It is supposed to work as a sedative. This seems to be helping with her irritation and stress. I’m afraid to do more olive oil but there are more mats and it did help loosen them. I wish you were within my location. I’m in Long Valley, NJ. A bit far. hehe. I’m torn between trying this myself (I live alone and would be able to get my niece to help), or just let the vet handle my mess I’ve created and let them sedate her. I know exactly what you mean about trust. I don’t want her to get traumatized. I’ve no idea what her life was like. I was told she lived at the shelter 1 1/2 yrs. Who knows. She loves when I brush her, in increments. I’ve been building her trust. We have a ritual. She follows me into the bathroom all the time. So I’d sit on the floor and we’d have a brushing/combing session. I know when she’s done. I give her lots of treats. Since, she’s been more receptive. Even basically asking me. I bought the furminator and returned it. There’s no way that thing can touch her fur let alone get through it even when she’s mat free. I got many other tools I’ve been trying. I think it’s because it’s so dry here in winter. I have wood stove. That her fur is not only cotton candy it’s static. Looking for a good detangler to keep up with her. She’s older and frail and I’m so afraid of sedation but unfortunately if I’m going to do more damage than good with helping her then it’s better the vet do it. But like you said, who knows how “gentle” they will be with my baby girl. Ugh. Sorry for carrying on. I’m just so worried and stressed for her. I don’t want her to not trust me and be angry with me when we’ve come so far with her really opening up and trusting me. Thank you so so very much again. I genuinely appreciate your time and concern. I wish I could fly us out to you.

    • “The coconut oil is a liquid. Natures Way Liquid Coconut premium oil non-gmo. I’m not sure if that’s still bad. I will be avoiding it regardless. Maybe for her skin? Aloe for skin?” Liquid coconut oil?! I gotta check it out! I usually hold it in my hand until it melts before I use it. I love coconut oil. My veterinarian recommends it for all kinds of issues, including skin irritation. I have no qualms using it with my darlings… I’m pretty sure that coconut oil doesn’t lubricate in the same way as olive oil. I suspect it works against the olive oil – sorta coating the matted areas and blocking the olive oil from working its magic? I’m not positive; I’m just guessing based on my experiences with and research reviews of the two. Since there is coconut oil on her mats, maybe adding more olive oil is pointless right now?

      “Sorry for carrying on. I’m just so worried and stressed for her. I don’t want her to not trust me and be angry with me when we’ve come so far with her really opening up and trusting me.” I get that. Oh, boy do I ever get that! I’ve been there many times. Knowing that she’s so cautious and emotionally sensitive, for the sake of your relationship with her, I think it would be a good idea to be her chauffeur but let someone else’s hands violate her.

      Have you ever tried Rescue Remedy or Five Flower with her? (You can spray/drop them on her food, in her water, or on her bedding.) How about Zylkene? (You can sprinkle it on her food.) I use them quite often with cautions and fearful cats. I believe they’re perfectly harmless and have no interactions. But you might ask your vet before giving Zylkene?

      Wow, the Furminator wouldn’t work with her. It would be ideal for her type of fur. I guess using another brush and brushing as often as possible is good prevention. Do you think she’d use self-brushing products, such as or ? Most cats I’ve tried those with don’t use them. Maybe brushing is a social grooming thing? But if you can return them, they might be worth trying with Zizi?

      “Thank you so so very much again. I genuinely appreciate your time and concern. I wish I could fly us out to you.” Awwwww, shucks. Thanks. :-)

  • Cindy

    My cat is a maincoon and had surgery for constipation and he came home with sticky matted hair under his neck he can’t groom there.will oil work on sticky stuff

    • Hmmm, I don’t know. It can’t hurt to try, but if it doesn’t work you’ll just end up with a bigger mess.

      You might ask the vet clinic who did the surgery to shave the sticky, matted fur off. A customer-centered clinic would do it at no cost if it was a situation they created. ;-)

  • Ed G

    I have a 10 yo female long haired cat with serious mats below her neck on her chest. Cut off the top away from her skin and just heard of the olive oil treatment. I have applied a liberal amount around the base of the mats with an eye dropper and am waiting for the results. I’ll re-post in a few days. I did read on one web site that olive oil may be hard for cats to metabolize. Any thoughts on that would be appreciated. I don’t want to use too much.

    • If cats ingest small amounts of olive oil, it’s perfectly safe. Many veterinarians even prescribe using olive oil as an occasional hairball remedy. (I use fiber for that, not olive oil. But I know many people who do use olive oil this way.) Certainly the amount of olive oil a cat might ingest when grooming after I’ve applied olive oil to matted fur is significantly smaller than what I’d give for hairballs.

      Being unable to metabolize a food is entirely different from being unable to digest something or being intolerant or allergic to something. Being unable to metabolize something doesn’t automatically mean it’s unsafe or bad. It means chemical nutrients in that food are not efficiently absorbed and used by the body. This is oversimplifying, but basically the food and nutrients just come out in the waste instead of being used by the body. It passes through the digestive system without nutrients getting into the bloodstream in ways that are typical of foods that we do metabolize efficiently. It’s less like a food being toxic or something you’re allergic to and more like being something that doesn’t act as food. Like eating a pebble, which would just come out in your poo. Again, this is oversimplifying, but hopefully helps explain the vast difference between unable to metabolize something vs having something be unsafe or unhealthy.

      I’d suggest asking your veterinarian if you’re worried. But please note that very, VERY few veterinarians understand much about nutrition. So you might want to search your area for a veterinary nutritionist for a complete answer to questions about food and cats.

      And of course, if you’re worried about it, there’s no need to try using this technique. Clippers will also do the trick. Especially if you apply too little olive oil because applying will result in absolutely nothing happening with the mat. So it would be pointless to apply only a small amount of olive oil to the mat.

  • Ed G

    So far have applied olive oil to the base of the mats and she seems to be licking the area more but no adverse affects so far and the mats are starting to come loose. It looks like things are progressing. She’s not very happy with me but I’m sure she’ll be happier once they are gone. Thank you.

  • Anam Siddiqui

    M cat was sufferd from clumping on hair and so much skin alergy so please suggest me sone tip and so much hair fall

    • Do I understand: your cat has allergies that made her hair fall out? If I understand right, this is a problem that a doctor needs to help with. I think it is best to find a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition or dermatology (skin problems). I know these specialists are not available in all areas. But if a general practice doctor can not figure out the problem, it’s best to find a specialist.

      I’m sorry I don’t have a perfect answer for you.

  • Taryn

    Thank you! This worked great! Applied the olive oil Friday evening and it was gone this morning (Monday)!

  • kelly

    Hello Kari!

    Will this work on mats behind a dog’s ears too? I just adopted a Leonberger 11 month old puppy who has never been groomed properly. She has two VERY large mats behind her ears and the vet couldn’t get them out with clippers as the noise scared her. I do not want to have to have her sedated want to try this. Please let me know as I would like to try it if I can.


    • I would be cautious about using it in areas where it might dribble down into the ears. But, yes, it should work anywhere on the body.

      • kelly

        I tried it. No worries about it getting in her ears due to the location. 1/2 of one has already come off so I just re-oiled them and will see if that does the trick. Thanks!

  • Spirit Wiseman

    My cats are 19 years old……one cat gets groomed once or twice a year the other cat has never needed it. Recently they both became suddenly and horribly matted. My groomer of 10 years came and refused to groom them…she tried and Rosie (my groomed regular cat) got a cut from her machine as her skin is so thin……I saw your info about the olive oil and putting it on them with the hyperdermic needle with the needle taken out so you can get the oil close to the bottom of the matt. The entire under belly of Gracie had two mats that ran the length of her stomach…….I did the olive oil and some other tool and in a few days Gracie’s belly is completely clear….actually i got rid of all the mats on her.!!!!!!!…..I knew she would not have done well at the vets……..Rosie’s skin is very thin so realize now can only use olive oil so just working on her now……hoping we can have the same miracle but she is quite frail I really appreciate your info on the olive oil and Gracie is a testimony of the success of this approach……Pray will work for Rosie too

  • Haz

    Hi Kari,

    Our British Longhair mix cat has got some big mats on his chest and under his arms – it’s a really tricky place to get to which I think is why we haven’t noticed until now – the rest of his fur is fine. We’ve been trying to olive oil him but we’re finding it almost impossible to get it on there – we’ve tried rubbing some on with our hands, and then I tried squirting some on using the nozzle of an old liquid soap dispenser but we can’t get anywhere near enough to cover the mats and he hates it. Some of it is in the middle of his chest too, which we wouldn’t be able to get to without flipping him fully over on his back, and he definitely won’t let us do that! Do you have any tips on how to tackle these really difficult areas? Thanks so much!

  • First – using a liquid soap dispenser is absolutely BRILLIANT! Well done, you!

    Hmmmm, my go-to tip is using a syringe (without a needle), like you see in the video. (Well, now I have 2 go-to tips, thanks to YOUR amazing problem solving.)

    Here are the first thoughts that pop into my brain when I read your question:

    * Ideally the oil is applied to the base of the mat, where it attaches to his skin. This is really about applying oil to the skin under the mat than applying it to the mat. Rather than thinking of this as detangling a tangled mess, think of it as getting the hairs anchoring this thing to his pores to release the mat and set it free. (Sorry if you already knew that. I can’t remember whether I mention it clearly in the video or above. I mention it now because rubbing it on your hands probably isn’t going to get to those hairs attached at the middle of the clumps.)

    * If your man is easily distracted by treats, how can ya make him sit still for them?

    * You might try using calmatives. Sorry I haven’t written that blog post yet. I need to do it! Some of the things written about at might help: calming treats, Rescue Remedy, pheromone spray, dried lavender… ?

    * Casey was the perfect helper for the video and was very cooperative. Most cats will either allow their trusted family members to do this, or they’ll wriggle and threaten family members but will be more docile if less-trusted less-familiar humans try manipulating them. Your little guy might be telling you that ya’ll need help from someone less responsive to his dramatic resistance tactics?

    * I wonder whether you could get 3 pairs of hands so one is holding his front arms, one is holding his hind legs, and all work together to flip him on his back while the third pair of hands applies the oil?

    * It is sometimes easier to just take them to a good (cat-friendly, cat-whisperer) groomer. If that’s less stressful for you, it’ll be less stressful for kitty/doggie too.

    If you end up finding something that works, PLEASE come back and let us know. My brain files away any tips I get about this, so we can use it to help others in the future.

  • kim

    I have been looking for a way to de-mat my Persian girl – she is very patient and used to it but it doesn’t make me feel any better about mats once they’ve formed. This sounds like a way to handle these without putting her through getting rolled up in a towel for grooming and clippers – which she hates poor thing.I will be sure to elt you know how it goes. Thank you and wish me luck!

  • Becky

    Amazing! Huge mat fell off on third day after Olive Oil application. Thank you!

  • Hi there I’ve read a lot of these comments and most of them concern cats. I have to 10 month old Cock-a-shons part Cocker part Bichon frizzy will this work for them? Thank you!

    • LOL. I knew what ya meant. LOL.

      I, personally, have not used this technique on dogs but I think it should work on any sort of fur or hair. I think our hair follicles and pores all have similar enough structures that the oil would open the pores and loosen the individual hairs out of the glassy membrane it’s in while still in the skin.

      I’m certain that it can’t hurt. If you give it a try, please come back and let us know how it goes!

  • Thank you so much for your reply! I will let you know for sure!

  • maria

    My room mate has a cat, Paulie (girl) that was alone for 3 months and recently introduced into our cat household. I have been so uncomfortable with her level of mattedness and my room mate seems to be too busy so I took the responsibility of looking for techniques. the pet groomers dont accept pets without vaccine papers (she lost them) so ive applied olive oil to the poor kitty. i dont have a syringe but tried to soak her fur where it is bad. i really hope this works because the cPaulie is peeing everywhere and i think its from the depression of being alone. my room mate claims she doesnt know how to clean herself but i really doubt that. Wish me luck…

    • Poor Paulie. (Poor you for wanting a better life for this cat than your roommate is willing to provide! Very frustrating for you, I’m sure!) If she “doesn’t know how to clean herself”, she is one of those extremely rare cats who has learning disabilities that prevents them from knowing basic kitty life skills. I highly doubt that’s the case here.

      If Paulie doesn’t groom herself, after the mats are removed, regular brushing will be very important to prevent mats from forming again. Mats are extremely painful because the fur under the mats is so tangled it feels like someone is pulling on their hair in each of those spots. It could be that removing the matted clumps also eliminates the urination problem.

      My vet says that inappropriate urination is sorta a cat’s way of screaming to tell us something is awfully wrong. It might be physical or psychological. But I think it’s quite important to stress that if Paulie is urinating inappropriately, she needs to see a doctor ASAP.

      Peeing outside the box is often a sign of serious medical problems, some of which can be fatal if left untreated. Yes, you read that right – CAN BE FATAL IF LEFT UNTREATED! Also, peeing outside the box can become habitual to the point that even if it’s due to a medical condition and that condition is treated, the peeing might continue as a life-long issue. So getting her seen by a doctor IMMEDIATELY is the best way to ensure that peeing does not become something that happens for the rest of her life.

      How long was she isolated before being introduced to other animals in the house? If she was introduced too quickly, that can cause inappropriate urination problems also.

      Yes, stress and upset can cause cats to pee outside the box. Stress and upset can also cause serious medical problems. So, again, having a doctor see her is best. If your roommate can’t afford to get the kitty to the vet… Please try to find local organizations that can help pay vet bills. Otherwise, Paulie might be suffering for a prolonged time. So not taking her to the vet is not just irresponsible, it is very cruel.

      Sorry to be a bit heavy-handed and pushy about this. But I’ve seen too many cats suffer needlessly from medical problems that were not addressed soon enough. It breaks my heart to hear of situations like this.

      Thank you for loving Paulie enough to try to help her with the matted fur and whatever pain/discomfort is causing the peeing problem. Paulie is fortunate to have someone like you as an advocate. Best wishes to both of you!

    • PS – I should also say that “soaking” the fur mats can work, but the most important part is getting oil on the surface of the skin under the mat, not on the mat itself. We’re not trying to detangle the matted fur, we’re trying to loosen things on and under the skin where the hairs go into the skin. Sorry that might not be clear in my post or video. :-)

  • Griffy

    Thank you for this post! Our 21 year old has developed some mats on his hip area. I applied some oo to the base yesterday. This mod ing found 2 large clumps & later in the day noticed him pulling out another as he groomed. Worked well!another

  • Karen

    . Yes it works my cat had tons of mats and over time about a week it began. Now 2 weeks she free of all mats p

  • Jen

    my parents 17 year old cat was severely matted and we were considering taking him to a groomer, before I tried this. totally worked! he’s now matte free after 5 days of actively reapplying, now all we have to do is give him a good water less bath and he should be good as new. I did notice some licking as well, but it wasn’t excessive or anything. in fact I would almost say it helped with removing the matted fur as it drew his attention to the necessary spots. I will definitely recommend this method to others! So thanks, you totally saved me like $300!

  • Chris

    My male tabby cat has many clumps of matted fur along the side and onto his back on both sides.
    I decided to try this method, firstly applying olive oil to the mats, this identified the clump more clearly.
    After this I carefully managed to tram down the clump so it was just above the skin without hurting the cat.
    Then massaged olive oil into the remaining clump, as if by a miracle in less than 24 hours the cat is clump free and happy.
    Be very careful if you decide to use scissors anywhere near a cat! You don’t want any injuries.
    I guess just using olive oil would take a little longer without any cutting.
    I thank you very much for posting this method, no anaesthesia or shaving of the cat.
    Well done!

  • Florence Lim

    Hello. I have spotted 2 small areas of matted fur which is quite tricky to handle for my GUINEA PIG because they are located at the chest and chin area. i can’t flip em over as lying them on their back is bad for them. Any experience of ur olive oil method on guinea? Would be of great help as my guinea pig was totally pissed when i attempted to cut the matted area slowly.

    • Awww, your poor dear. I’m sorry I do not have experience using olive oil on guinea pigs. I’m sure you can ask your veterinarian whether olive oil is ok. Explain why you’re asking and whether having your guinea pig licking it off his fur would be ok *if* the little one did lick some of it off.

  • Florence Lim

    Hello Kari tks for ur prompt reply. i tried putting on only the targetted patch area using the cotton bud. N this worked! required only a day. this morning, i wanted to try on a 2nd dose but the matted patches were gone(i couldn’t see them fall off but probably, the knots were loosen on my guinea pig) . thank you ! must share this with my fellow guinea pig moms=)

  • Jenny

    Can this olive oil trick work on my lhasa apso pets because their hair is extremely tangled and it’s not funny cutting it off all the time.

  • Shea

    Hi! Thanks for this tip! I do have another question now, though. You mentioned in response to another person that you know of a way to restrain a cat that actually increases security, instead of causing extra stress. Could you please share that? I have a large Maine Coon who is sweet but loses it when she is restrained. Often I am the only one available to clip her nails or demat her. I’d love some tips! I’ve just been wrapping her in a towel; but if you have any ideas or product recommendations I would appreciate it!

    • Wrapping her in a towel (a purrito – LOL) is a great option for handling cats at home. I think what I mentioned earlier was about restraint techniques used in vet clinics. Most are pretty aggressive and upsetting (even traumatizing) to shy cats or those who mistrust humans as a general rule. In fact, I’ve found that most groomers have a better handle on good techniques than veterinary clinic staff do. (In my city, though, there are a couple vets and vet techs who are *excellent* at handling cats. Not all cities are fortunate to have gentle vets though.) At home, it usually calls for different techniques. You know – most cats behave differently with us at home than they act when they’re taken to vet clinics.

      It’s tough to come up with ideas without knowing your darling girl personally. I’ve come up with different techniques depending on the individual. I used to have a cat who freaked out if he saw me approaching him but was chill if he didn’t see me approaching. So with him, I’d wait for him to be asleep and would take a soft blanket and cover him with it – including covering his head. He didn’t mind if I moved a portion of the blanket off of him as long as he felt hidden. So I’d pull off one portion of the blanket to expose whatever part of him I needed access to. If I did that, he didn’t fight and I could easily do what I needed to do. I’ve had other cats who hated being covered by blankets or towels and they seemed to need to watch me when I did anything to them.

      Do you have any friends who are intuitive cat people? If so, maybe you can invite them over to help you figure out ideas for how to restrain your kitty when you’re on your own?

      One reason I love this olive oil technique is that cats don’t seem to mind at all. The oil actually feels good to them. Trimming claws, though. Ugh. I’m sorry to say that I struggle with that, too. Even my 3-legged guy often gets the best of me. He has some very effective wiggling and swatting routines. -sigh-

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