Excellent adviceOriginally Posted By: BrennasMomBe VERY careful cutting mats out. I've seen many cases of owners leaving holes in their dogs and cats by using scissors to remove mats.
If you can't hold your fingers between the mat and skin, you'll have to use clippers. Luckily, if you hold the untangled hair out of the way when you clip, it will usually fall over the bald spot and you can't really even see it.
Sometimes they can be picked out, but clipping them is the safest way to go. To prevent them, use a fine toothed comb and make sure you get down to the skin the entire time you're combing.
I have an additional suggestion when scissors will be used, insert a fine (flea) metal comb between the skin and the matt and only cut on the matt side of metal comb - this will ensure the skin is protected. If the matt is large work little by little always protecting the skin.
Tammy's suggested tool is also a fantastic tool (I was so impressed the first time I used a Matbreaker) but very sharp and care needs to be taken.