Why Has My Cat’s Fur Gone Lumpy? – 7 Main Causes

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

why has my cats fur gone lumpy

As you pet your cat, you notice lumps of fur on their coat. Why has my cat’s fur gone lumpy? These lumps are also called mats. Matted furs are the result of the entangling of topcoat and undercoat.

Mats are mostly built up due to irregular grooming, but other causes need to be known as lumps or mats that can be a problem for your cats. Let’s talk about it further!

What Causes Fur Lumps?


Grooming is part of a cat’s daily routine. Their tongues have specialized features that help them groom themselves effectively. You can also see them grooming each other to reach the inaccessible parts of their fur.

But no matter how good groomers they are, a cat with knots in fur is still uncontrollable. So, what are the reasons behind that?

1. Some cat breeds are double-coated, which makes grooming more challenging


Long-haired cats’ fur is matted more prominently because they often shed their undercoat, which entangles with the topcoat fur. Consequently, a cat’s fur clumping occurs, especially if you don’t brush your cat’s hair regularly.

That’s why it’s recommended to groom your cats–whether long-haired or short-haired—is recommended daily.

2. Some cats have ringworm fungal infections


Skin diseases are some of the usual reasons for cats’ hair clumping. At first, coats may look unhealthy and entangled; then, cats will suddenly lose hair in the affected area. Consult your veterinarian right away if this is the case.

3. Obesity in cats


Grooming is part of their routine, but cats’ fur matted on their back when they become overweight. Obesity affects their flexibility, making it more challenging to lick their back and other parts of their bodies.

4. Old-aged cats are susceptible to matting


Cat fur matting in old cats usually happens because they release excessive oils. But aside from that, their old age affects their flexibility, making it harder for them to reach all body parts for grooming and causing matted cat fur.

5. Cat’s skin itchiness due to allergies


Other cats develop allergies to natural things, like pollen and dust. These may cause itchiness. Excessive scratching can also cause clumping and falling out of fur.

Before, I saw my cat’s fur looked separated, and when I got them checked, the veterinarian told me that the main culprit was environmental allergies. That’s why I disinfected my place and didn’t let them go outside.

Cat-matted fur on the back caused by dandruff is also possible. But take note that dandruff is usually our common allergy in cats. So, get them checked before it gets worse.

6. Parasites infestation in cats


You’ll know immediately if the cats have fleas, mites, or lice since it reflects on their coats. White clumps in the cat’s fur become more apparent. Consult your veterinarian immediately to address this issue.

7. Cats are covered by grease and oil.


When your cats are going outdoors from time to time, they may encounter grease from the road.

Cat-matted fur near the tail is common in outdoor cats, but little lumps can be turned into bigger ones. So, keep your cats indoors and wash them immediately if you see grease in their fur.

These causes may apply from one cat to another but note that all cats are susceptible to clumping, especially the long-haired ones. Their coats are prone to clumping. That’s why regular brushing and combing of their fur is a must. Short-haired cats may be less prone to matting, but it is also a need.

What Can We Do to Solve These Problems?

1. Groom your cats regularly.


Shorthaired cat matted fur is also possible. Whatever coating your cat has, regular brushing is a must. At first, your cat may feel uncomfortable. But as long as you do it gradually, they will eventually get used to it.

Although it’s not recommended to bathe your cats daily, you must do it when you see cats’ fur greasy and clumpy. Have a bathing routine in a week or a month, and acclimate your cats by training them to love cats little by little.

Make them comfortable by giving them treats while grooming them. What’s more, ensure that you only use shampoo intended for them. Always consult your veterinarian about the ideal shampoo for your cats before purchasing.

You can also get mats out of cat fur by shaving and brushing them daily instead of relying on their grooming capabilities alone.

2. Follow a healthy diet for your cats.


One of the reasons for unhealthy fur is lack of nutrition. Feeding them every day isn’t enough. Food quality should be the first on the list when considering their foods. The best ingredients in cat foods must be Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin C.

If you notice excessive cat clumps of hair, ask your veterinarian about the perfect food for your fur baby.

3. Get your cat checked for possible health issues.


If your cats suddenly stop grooming causing excessive matted fur, then there may be other underlying issues. It is not common for cats not to groom regularly; that is a part of their daily lives.

Visit the veterinary clinic and let the veterinarian review and examine the overall health of your cats. It’s better to prevent possible issues than wait for them to become more aggressive.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do clumps of fur hurt cats?

The simple answer is yes. Cat hair hardening is uncomfortable for them and hurts them. Furthermore, it irritates and negatively impacts your cat’s overall health. Clumps and matted fur can be placed for parasites that bring diseases.

How can you remove matted cat fur?

You can do it in different ways. One of the usual ways most cat owners do this is by shaving their furs. However, this is not recommended if mats are excessive. Matted cat hair removal is the only solution for this.

1. Use cornstarch or talcum powder to help soften the matted fur by rubbing it into them.

2. Afterward, you’ll see that matted fur underneath, and use scissors to cut them. Ensure to use scissors intended for cat fur to avoid accidents.

I also did this step to get lumps out of my cat’s fur, which was effective! Try this at home to see if it works for your lovely fur baby.

What are the tips to prevent fur matting?

Improve your cat’s diet by giving foods rich in omega-3 and vitamin C. You will see results in just three weeks!

Discuss the food options you’re considering with your veterinarian. And always remember to brush your cat’s fur regularly with a soft-bristle brush.

When my cat’s hair matted and fell out, I immediately brought him to the nearest vet clinic, and the vet doctor recommended shaving the fur to get rid of  lumpy hair. If all the options are exhausted, the best solution is to get your cats checked by professionals.


To answer your question, ‘why has my cat’s fur gone lumpy? It is because of several reasons we’ve discussed earlier – shedding, parasites, fungal infections, allergies, obesity, and old age.

These lumps and mats may look like a simple condition only, but if not addressed early, they can cause a big problem for your cat. These lumps are painful to the cats.

Regularly grooming them can prevent your cat hair matted and falling out. Despite all efforts to prevent fur lumps at home, and lumps are still present, seek professional help; surely, they would love to help you.

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