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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 is the solution. Rather than fussing with detanglers for human hair or spending money on specialty grooming products, just grab some supplies and make your own!

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 drugstores, department stores, or bargain stores.
  • Conditioner: You have a few options for the conditioner; just make sure it’s 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 toxic for cats. Choose a pet-specific conditioner or a baby conditioner.
  • Oil: Moroccan argan oil is a safe and effective option for cats but remember to avoid hair-treatment formulas that contain oil and other ingredients. Choose a pure and natural solution of 100% argan oil.
blue and pink spray bottle_SeKimseng_Pixabay
Image Credit: SeKimseng, Pixabay

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
  • 1 tablespoon Moroccan argan oil

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, then add the tablespoon of oil and 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 all 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 to the mats and let the spray soak to detangle them. That’s it!

person spraying on cat
Image Credit: Vaillery, Shutterstock

What Causes Matted Cat Fur?

Cat fur can become matted for several reasons. Mats usually happen in areas of the body that get a lot of movement, 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. If the loose hair isn’t removed or the mats aren’t caught when they’re small, they’ll build up.

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, use an electric pet trimmer or make a visit to a groomer or vet.


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.

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Featured Image Credit: Engin_Akyurt, Pixabay

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