My 10 year old male (over weight) ginger tabby cat has hard matted clumps of fur on his back. I can't cut them out and using the cat rake seems to hurt him because they are so hard. What can I do to get rid of them? I shave him down every summer into a " lion cut" but when the fur grows back it's still matted and hard.
Pulling on the mats can damage his skin, so if you aren't able to easily pick the mats out, they should be shaved off by a professional. NEVER use scissors to remove mats, especially if they are close to the skin or you cannot see the skin.
Depending on how bad the mats are, you should either take your cat to a professional groomer or to your local veterinarian. Many large mats should be dealt with by your veterinarian, and they may need to sedate your cat so the cat won't experience so much pain while they are removed.
If the mats keep returning, he may need to be shaved more often, or you may need to brush him regularly to prevent the mats from returning while the lion cut grows back in. The groomer or vet should be able to advise you.
Additionally, if your male cat has not been neutered, you should consider neutering him. Some cats, but especially intact males, sometimes suffer from a condition called "stud tail" where their glands secrete too much sebum and it causes the fur at the base of the tail to become matted. Neutering your cat will reduce the hormones that tell his glands to secrete.