The 3 Best Clippers For Cats With Mats

Aliaksei Smalenski / Fotolia

Cats with long hair require extra love and attention, but even attentive grooming can lead to an occasional mat or snarl that needs to be cut out. The best clippers for cats with mats are more precise and often safer than scissors. Scissors run the risk of of poking your cat. Clippers, on the other hand, are designed to protect the skin from cuts and are less likely to lead to unpleasant surprises if your cat chooses to scratch or wriggle mid-trim.

Pet clippers are also relatively affordable if you have a cat who regularly gets mats, and certainly more affordable than repeat trips to the vet or groomer. It is worth talking to your vet, however, if your cat’s mats are getting more severe or frequent. Things like arthritis or even dental problems can cause your cat to groom less frequently, so by simply snipping away the tangles, you may be only addressing the visible results of the problem, not the underlying cause.

But even healthy cats who just hate grooming can appreciate a small shave from time to time. The easiest way is electric clippers, and many models are cordless for ease. Most corded models are designed for professional use and come with a price tag that reflects that, but if you prefer corded for your at-home use, there is a well-rated option below as well.

Another option for mild mats is a dematting comb, which are manual and detangle as well as gently cut. They require more elbow grease than a clipper, but can also be used as a deshedding tool. They’re also less likely to scare a skittish pet since they don’t buzz.

Whichever fits your needs, however, these picks will get your cat back to a glossy, tangle-free coat in no time.

1. The Best Overall Clippers For Cats

Oneisall's cordless electric clippers with a quiet motor allow you to trim your cat’s mats while disturbing them as little as possible. The included grooming combs are designed to keep hair at a desired length and are more for styling purposes. Its sharp blade is designed to only cut hair when in use, and will help keep your pet and your hands safe from accidental cuts. The only downside is, depending on the size of the job, you may have to recharge during use. One reviewer reported that she had to recharge after about 15 minutes. However, others say they got a good 30 minutes or so of use out of each charge.

What Reviewers Say: “My senior cat has not been able to groom herself as well as in the past, and had some knots and small mats. Trying to use scissors was quite challenging and not very successful. In desperation, I looked to a trimmer. I was concerned about the noise and vibration, but these clippers are quite quiet and have little vibration. My cat, while not relaxed, was clearly less stressed than when I used scissors.”

2. The Best Clipper For Small Mats

If your cat has small mats, or mats in tricky areas like the ears, paws, or tail, this tiny, versatile trimmer is ideal. The wireless clipper charges via USB in around three hours and is lightweight and water-resistant. The smaller body and ceramic blade make detail work easier, and the quiet motor keeps pets from being disturbed as you work. Like with our top pick, a safety blade protects you and your pet. However, the blade is not adjustable. According to the brand, you get 2 hours of use out of each charge.

What Reviewers Say: "We have a persian mix cat that was really matted. We tried combing him, washing him, trimming with scissors and combing agian, but nothing was really getting the mats out [...] These turnraise clippers are pretty amazing. They got right under the mats and we literally had him cleaned up in under 5 minutes. And, these didn't knick him at all."

3. The Best Corded Clipper

While a cordless clipper gives you a lot of versatility (especially if your cat might run or need to be coaxed out of a hiding place), corded clippers offer the advantage of never having to be charged. But because corded clippers tend to be favored by professionals who use them all day, many models cost more than $100. Wahl's pet clipper, however, costs about $30 and provides long-lasting clipping functionality. In fact, Wahl has been making clippers for pets and humans since 1919. The adjustable blade and comb guide gives you control as you clip, though because it is a more powerful model, it's heavier than our top pick.

What Reviewers Say: "Our cat did *not* like the trimmer, but it worked really well on his mats. He gets mats early in the summer, sometimes really big ones, and the Wahl did a great job at cutting through them...We didn't do a complete haircut since he was not keen on hearing the trimmer, but the non-matted areas that we cut with the guard on looked pretty great."

Also Great: A Dematting Comb With More Than 3,000 Reviews

Dematting combs work similarly to clippers, with sharpened teeth that cut through hair and mats. However, the part that touches your pet’s skin is rounded and won’t cut, while the sharp edge is tucked inside the rake. Because of this design, the comb won’t trim untangled hair like a clipper would. The fine-toothed side of the comb can also act as a de-shedder. While this manual dematting comb isn't the best choice for getting really tangled mats close to the skin, this can be a good alternative for smaller mats and a great way to get small tangles out during regular grooming before they grow larger.

What Reviewers Say: “This worked GREAT to remove some stubborn mats for my 2 indoor cats. Neither of them minded it at all and one of the cats wanted me to groom him more. The 2 sided design makes it easy to groom them and then flip it over for better removal if needed.”

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