This is a very common issue in cats, so you are not alone.
Smaller mats can be teased with our hands and then clipped with a scissors.
We can also get some 'low noise' electric clippers to quickly and safely remove mats.
For a very matted cat, one of the best things we can do is to get a 'lion clip' once the matting is extensive, as otherwise it is very hard to make any progress and the skin underneath the mats can become red and sore.
Groomers and vets offer this. If the cat becomes stress or aggressive, it may have to be done at a vet clinic under sedation.
Once we have a 'clean slate' it is best to try and groom the area regularly. As the mats have gone, this shouldn't cause any sort of pain.
You may find it easier to have one person holding him gently in a towel and another being quick!
We'd then reward him with high value treats like bits of chicken.
Keep these sessions really short, at least initially.
Usually, a cat has issues with mats if they have very long fur and/or if they have underlying medical issues that make it harder for them to groom, like arthritis, obesity or dental disease. So, if Joe is an older boy, this should be discussed with your vet as it may be we need to do something.
Thanks for your post. I am getting the mats out of Joe's fur by separating them with my hands and clipping them out with scissors.
Joe is older and he has hyperthyrioidism. His fur has grown longer since I started treating him with transdermal cream. I will give my veterinarian a call to discuss further.
I used to use scissors on my Maine Coon cat but my vet was horrified.. She's seen some bad injuries from using scissors. She told me about small clippers sold online for less than $20. They are quiet and quickly remove mats.
@Linda Simon My cat gets so matted that I have to take her to the vet to get those area's shaved. They are big & close to the skin. I have a coonie so I know the long can get matted.
You've gotten some good advice already, but I'd just like to add that you need to be very careful with scissors. Sometimes the cat's skin gets pulled into the mat and when you cut it with scissors, you can essentially make an incision in their skin/cut out a small portion of skin. If you must use scissors, do it far from the part that touches the cat's skin and then tease it out from there.
Absolutely agree with the above! Scissors are best used with our finger between the cat and the scissors, so we cannot cut their skin.