I have a cat sanctuary. Just this week took in a cat with 5 LBS of matted fur. Vet gave the lion cut. Have other long haired cats in my care prone to severe matting. My advice is regular grooming. Shaving fur off in Summer, (all my long haired cats love being short haired cats) and removing mats with a seam stripper or thread cutter (no scissors). If you have a sewing kit there will be one in there. It looks like a two pronged fork with a ball on one end and pointed on the other. You can just run it under the matt without fear of cutting the skin. Works like a dream.
Jan 13, 2014 - But now her coat is a horribly matted mess
Because of their grooming needs and easily-matted fur, long hairedcats tend to make better indoor pets rather than outdoor cats. Longhair cat care is much easier when your cat is an indoor cat rather thanan outdoor cat. Outdoor cats will require more frequent grooming thanindoor cats, because they will “get into things” more often.
5 Winter Grooming Tips For Cats - CatTime
"Any approach to long hair cat care requires a daily or 3x per week grooming routine with both a comb and brush. Daily cat grooming stimulates the natural skin and hair oils, and keeps mats from forming. This is also a practical matter to keep shedding hair from gathering on clothing, the floor and furniture. The key to grooming to to start young and make it appear as part of being petted. Providing a treat will also make grooming more pleasant. Look for mats with your hands daily. If a mat does form, it is best pulled apart with your fingers followed by use of a metal comb, then brushing or a specialized tool. Baths may be helpful depending on your cat's grooming habits and tolerance for being washed. If your cat doesn't have a healthy looking coat consider a dietary change, supplement or scheduling a consultation with a veterinarian."
How to Shave a Cat - Cats - LoveToKnow