Imagine the difference between a gorgeous longhaired cat and an unkempt cat covered in mats. The only thing separating the two is proper grooming. Mats are unsightly and unhealthy signs that a cat isn’t getting the care she needs. Longhaired cats need regular brushing, but once mats start to develop, clipping them out is usually needed. The hair will regrow in a few weeks to a few months.
Clipping with scissors can be time-consuming and dangerous—instead, an electric clipper can make the job easier. Here are some of the best options for taking care of matted fur.
A Quick Look at Our Winners in 2023
|Best Overall||Andis UltraEdge Pet Clipper||
|Best Value||Andis Pro-Animal Clipper Kit||
|Premium Choice||Wahl KM10 Pro Pet Clipper||
|Oster A5 Turbo Pet Clipper||
|Wahl Creativa Cordless Pet Clipper||
The 8 Best Cat Hair Clippers for Matted Fur
1. Andis AGC2 UltraEdge 2-Speed Pet Clipper – Best Overall
|Strokes Per Minute||3,400/4,400|
If you are looking to get fur unmatted, we found the Andis AGC2 2-Speed UltraEdge Pet Clipper to be the best overall. Strong reviews show it is one of the best clippers for cats with mats. It has a strong, long-lasting motor and a 14-foot cord that makes maneuvering easy and stops you from relying on battery life. Although it only comes with one #10 blade, it is compatible with other blade types to give you a variety of length options if needed. With speeds of up to 4,400 SPM, or strokes per minute, it can power through any clump of fur.
This clipper is one of the most reliable on the market, but it didn’t please everyone. A few reviewers warned to watch out for overheating on longer trim jobs—if this happens, turning the clipper off and waiting a few minutes is wise.
2. Andis Pro-Animal Detachable Blade Pet Clipper – Best Value
|Strokes Per Minute||3,700|
If you are looking for a simple value option, the Andis Pro-Animal 7-Piece Detachable Blade Pet Clipper Kit is one of the best kits on the market for its price. The clipper comes with one blade and four combs, and blades and combs are easily interchanged. It operates at a 3,700 SPM blade speed that helps cut through tough mats easily. The 12-foot cord is long enough to give you plenty of room to work.
One drawback of this style of clipper is that there isn’t a variable speed option. The high speed is great for getting through tough mats, but it can be a drawback when working with a skittish animal or in delicate areas. Some reviewers also reported the clipper to be noisy enough to scare pets.
3. Wahl KM10 Brushless 2-Speed Pro Pet Clipper – Best Premium
|Strokes Per Minute||3,000/3,700|
The Wahl KM10 Brushless 2-Speed Professional Pet Clipper is a great choice for tricky coat clipping if you are looking for a more premium option. This clipper has strong engineering to minimize clipper noise and vibration, making it a less stressful experience for your cat. It also has a German-engineered motor meant to last for up to 10,000 hours of use. The clipper works at two different speeds, with the faster option at 3,700 SPM—fast enough to make cutting through matted fur easy. If you want to get fancier with your fur-cutting, you can invest in separately sold metal combs that help cut at different lengths.
Unlike some clippers on this list, removing the blade is a little tricky and requires a screwdriver, making cleaning and caring for the clipper more difficult. But despite this feature, this clipper is still one of the best you can buy. This clipper is also on the higher end of our price range.
4. Oster A5 Turbo 2-Speed Pet Clipper
|Strokes Per Minute||3,000/4,000|
With a chunky design and a strong motor, the Oster A5 Turbo Clipper 2-speed Pet Clipper will slice right through dirty and matted fur, no matter how tough the job is. At 4,000 SPM, its high-speed setting is formidable and makes tough jobs easy. This clipper prides itself on being virtually unbreakable, and the reviewers seem to agree.
The Oster A5 Turbo is a great choice for a pet hair clipper, but there are some weaknesses. Its design gives it room for a powerful motor, but it is bulkier and less ergonomic than many of the clippers on this list. It also tends to overheat and shake badly during long grooming jobs, so breaks are necessary if trimming takes some time.
5. Wahl Creativa Lithium Cordless Pet Clipper
|Strokes Per Minute||5,300|
If you want a cordless clipper, the Wahl Creativa Lithium Cordless Pet Clipper is a great choice. With a long-lasting 120-minute rechargeable battery, you are unlikely to run out of juice before the job is done. And even if you do, the Creativa comes with a second battery that can charge while you are clipping, so that you don’t have to stop for more than a few minutes. This clipper has an ergonomic design that makes clipping more comfortable for humans and faster for your kitty, too!
The biggest drawback to the Creativa is that it only has one speed, making it a little less suited for delicate work. That high speed also comes with added noise, and some reviewers noted that their pets were afraid of this clipper, so it is probably not the best choice for a skittish cat.
6. Andis AGC2 2-Speed Detachable Blade Pet Clipper
|Strokes Per Minute||2,700/3,400|
A slightly powered-down version, the Andis AGC2 2-Speed Detachable Blade Pet Clipper is still nothing to sniff at. With speeds of up to 3,400 SPM, it will still get through clumps of fur with little trouble, and its ergonomic design and reliable engineering will make cutting through matted fur easy. It is powered via a 14-foot cord and has two speeds available—the slower speed, at 2,700 SPM, will struggle to get through clumps but can be useful for trimming skittish cats. The blades are easily removed, making cleaning and customizing a breeze, and it works well with separately sold ceramic or plastic comb attachments. Some reviewers noted a tendency to overheat, so breaks might be needed to let the clipper cool back down.
7. Wahl Bravura Lithium Ion Cordless
|Power Source||Cordless or corded|
|Strokes Per Minute||5,500|
The Wahl Bravura Lithium Ion Cordless is the perfect transitional clipper, with a long-lasting 90-minute battery and the ability to function as a corded clipper kit while charging. This kit comes with several attachable combs to make it easier to trim to different lengths. The 5,500 SPM blade is fast enough to get through any mat easily, making it a great choice for really difficult coats.
One drawback of the Bravura is that it is only one speed, and that high speed is less ideal for some cats. Shy cats are sometimes scared by the noise of this clipper, and 5,500 is fast enough to make delicate clipping difficult.
8. Andis Versa Pet Clipper Kit
|Strokes Per Minute||3,800|
The Andis Versa Pet Clipper Kit is designed for beginners and comes with an array of tools to help you get started, including instructional videos, four combs, and two blades. Its blades are easy to interchange, making cleanup easy. It is only one speed, but at 3,800 SPM, it is fast enough to get through tough mats. The Andis Versa is also one of the cheapest clippers on the market.
There are some drawbacks to this kit, however. Reviewers say that it runs hot and noisy, requiring cooling spray and occasional breaks. Its motor is also less powerful than many of the clippers in this list, so it isn’t always up to the toughest mats.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Cat Hair Clippers for Matted Fur
When looking to treat matted fur, it is important to get the mats out cleanly and quickly. Mats can harbor dirt and filth, making them a hotbed of germs. When removing mats, be careful not to cut your cat’s skin. If the mat is right next to the skin, it might be necessary to leave some matted fur behind until it grows out a little bit—it’s better to cut in two stages than let your kitty get hurt.
What Is SPM?
Electric clippers are measured in SPM, or strokes per minute. This refers to the vibration speed of the blade. A higher SPM is generally better, as it will cut through hair more quickly. This is especially important when dealing with tough mats. There are some drawbacks to high SPM, though. High SPM speeds are louder and hotter, making the experience more likely to be frightening. High SPM can also make it harder to control your blade precisely. Many clippers are two-speed so you can choose whether you want a high or low speed.
SPM is not the only measure of how well a clipper will cut through mats—motor power and blade sharpness matter as well. Investing in a good quality clipper and changing blades regularly can keep your clipping easy.
As you can see, every clipper has its mix of strengths and weaknesses. Overall, we found the Andis UltraEdge to be the best option because of its reliable design, two high speeds, and easy cleaning. The Andis Pro-Animal Clipper is a good value option that can get through any tough mat. And if you want something a little more luxe, the Wahl KM10 Brushless Clipper will blow you away with its powerful German-engineered motor.
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Featured Image Credit: Peakstock, Shutterstock