It is so curious to me that Sneakers and Ebony do not jump up onto things like my other cats. They would not have hesitated. Both are very capable of doing so for I have observed them in some situations. This is good as I teach them about the outdoors. They could easily jump the fence and so far they have not. At some point they will need to learn that it is okay to jump up!
My hubby has been working with Sneakers to remove the hair mats that seem to grow on his back. I am familiar with hair mats on cats. Puffer, Minx and Cinnamon, my long ago cats, had long thick hair. I had to take them to the vet to get the mats removed. That could be a frightening experience if they used anesthetic. My hubby took over the task of teaching Puffer to accept a brushing by bribing him with catnip in order to keep the mats at bay but it is a struggle. Hair mats will grow even if you are diligent according to Dr. Thomas a vet. Eventually these brushing sessions grew into petting and attention bonding and less catnip as a reward. Hubby is now trying to work with Sneakers who as long and very very fine hair.
Hubby brings out this plastic rolling cart into the living room (3 feet high), gets a stool, a package of cat treats and gently encourages Sneakers to jump up on the stool and then on to the top of the cart. Sneakers dithers and walks around till he finally decides to go for it and get his treats. While up there on the top of the cart, my hubby can access his hair mats and carefully cut them off with blunt end scissors. This needs to be done in stages for you do not want to cut a cats skin. It is very thin. Most pet grooming places will just shave a cat totally because of this reason.
Hubby has successfully removed several mats off Sneakers back but we do have one on his side almost under his belly. That could be interesting. Touching a cat’s belly is an invitation to the “claw lock” manuever or worse. A cat will simply place his big paws on your hand and hold you till he decides to let go. Not necessarily using a deep claw bit but enough to get the message across to not mess with kitty….HA! I have successfully peeled my hand free on occasion.