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How to Make an Easy Homemade Detangler Spray for Cats (With Instructions)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

spray bottle

One of the best parts of owning a cat is that they handle a lot of their own grooming. Unfortunately, long-haired breeds like Maine Coons and Persians may need a little help to detangle their long, silky coats and keep uncomfortable mats at bay.

Whether you’ve tried a lot of detangler products with no luck, or you’re tired of having to replace the bottles all the time (it adds up!), this homemade detangler can be a great solution. Rather than fussing with detanglers for human hair or spending money on specialty grooming products, just grab some supplies and make your own!

hepper single cat paw divider

Supplies You’ll Need

  • Spray Bottle: Purchase a new empty spray bottle. Do not use empty spray bottles from cleaning solutions – you don’t know what ingredients may harm your cat! You can find spray bottles at most drug stores, department stores, or bargain stores.
  • Conditioner: You have a few options for the conditioner. A leave-on gel product can also be used; just make sure it is safe for your cat. Human personal care products often contain non-ionic and anionic detergents that can harm your cat. You should also avoid products with essential oils, many of which are highly toxic for cats. Only choose pet-specific products recommended by your vet.

How to Make Detangler Spray

This detangler spray couldn’t be simpler to make. Here’s the formula:

  • 4 ounces of water
  • 1 ounce of conditioner

You can mix the ingredients in the empty spray bottle or in a bowl or container, then transfer it into the bottle – whichever is comfortable. It’s best to start with the one-part conditioner, which is the thickest ingredient, and then fill the bottle with water.

The formula isn’t exact, so you don’t need to worry about painstakingly measuring every ingredient. If it’s not quite right, you can add ingredients until you get the solution you want.

Once the ingredients are combined, shake the bottle to mix them together, and the detangler is ready to go!

To apply, spray it directly on the fur or on your fingers and work it through the hair. You may need to spray generous amounts on the mats and let the spray soak to detangle them. That’s it! Keep in mind that many cats do not like the sound of the spray near them, and also be careful about never using it directly on the face area. In this case, it would be better to apply it on your hands and then spread it over the hair carefully.

woman brushing fluffy cat
Image Credit: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock

What Causes Matted Cat Fur?

Cat fur can become matted for several reasons. Mats usually happen in areas of the body that get dirty or where your cat can’t groom properly, such as under the chest, under the tail, around the neck, and between the legs. They build up, grow tighter, and move closer to the skin if they’re not removed. Over time, mats can pull and tug at your cat’s skin, causing discomfort and skin irritation.

Cats are also prone to matting when they shed. Loose hair comes off during the shedding process and gets caught in small mats or in the surrounding hair, leading to knots. They’ll build up if the loose hair isn’t removed or the mats aren’t caught when they’re small.

Grooming Supplies for Matted Cat Fur

Some mats can be worked out with your fingers and little else, but larger mats will need your homemade detangler spray and some grooming tools. Here’s what you need:

  • Mat comb: A special comb to separate the hairs
  • Dematting rake: A comb with long steel teeth designed to work through tangles and thin fur
  • Wet brush: Brush with soft, flexible bristles and protective tips; used for daily grooming

When you try to remove mats, use the detangler spray to soak the mats and work through them with your fingers or the mat comb. Hold the hair below the mat near the skin, so you can brush without tugging on your cat’s hair or hitting its skin. Use short, fast strokes.

If mats are severe, you may need to work them out over several sessions to avoid hurting your cat. Though it may be tempting to cut them out, the risk isn’t worth it. Your cat could move, or you could cut too close and nick them. If you must remove the mat by cutting, visit a groomer or vet.

Our Recommendations

Adding a shampoo and conditioner duo to your pet's grooming routine could be the difference in creating a soft, fluffy coat and hydrated, nourished skin. Heppers Oatmeal Pet Shampoo gently lifts dander, dirt, and excess fur without scrubbing away the natural oils important to your cat's derma health. The Pet Conditioner restores any moisture that may have been washed away and will prevent tangles and static. Both are all natural and formulated to soothe irritated skin. 

Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo - 2000 x 2000 square
Hepper Oatmeal Pet Shampoo
Hepper Pet Conditioner - 2000x2000 square
Hepper Pet Conditioner
All-natural :
All-natural :
Fresh, light scent
Fresh, light scent :
Fresh, light scent :
Cleans fur and skin
Cleans fur and skin:
Cleans fur and skin:
Combats tangles & static
Combats tangles & static:
Combats tangles & static:

hepper cat paw divider

Final Thoughts

With your homemade detangler spray and your grooming supplies, you can give your cat’s coat a fresh start and avoid mats from forming in the future. Matting is easier to prevent than fix, so put some time into regular grooming to remove loose hair, detangle mats early, and activate your cat’s natural oils.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Engin_Akyurt, Pixabay

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