My cat was in the cattery for a week while we went on holiday and her fur has become badly matted. It also looks like she's lost a couple of clumps (she fights with our kitten). She was never that keen on being brushed so I do it little and often to keep on top of the mats. Since we got the kitten, however, she's been on edge and she isn't letting me near her to brush her, she's growling at me and trying to claw and bite me. Are there any good tools for removing mats like this? Otherwise I think they're just going to need to be cut off completely and wait for her fur to grow back.
Apparently the answer was a tin of tuna! She isn't completely free of mats now but she did let me do a bit of work around her neck while she was chowing down on tuna. She has a couple of big bald spots though which will take ages to grow out as she has such long hair! I'm hoping the rest of the mats will come out more easily as she's going to be shedding her winter coat soon so she'll lose the big ruff of hair around her neck.