Weekly at-home grooming and the occasional dose of hairball treatment are the only ways you can reduce hairballs. This is especially important with longhaired breeds. If not properly groomed, long-haired cats will also develop matts. If the matts are very close to the skin they are impossible to remove without shaving. Matts can also be painful and cause a variety of health problems including: dry itchy skin, rashes, infected flea bites, hot spots, or abscesses, all of which will require veterinary medical treatment.