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Can you Shave Your Cat? Find out Why and How to Shave a Cat

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Is your cat shedding a lot? Are you fed up with seeing your cat struggling every day with matted fur? Well, you must be considering shaving your cat. It’s okay for cat parents to want to give their cats a cut to reduce shedding or help them cool off during the summer. If it’s your first time, knowing how to shave a cat the right way is very important.

How to Shave a Cat

The vet uses an electric shaving machine for the cat

The secret to shaving your cat lies with making your kitty feel comfortable with the shaving equipment you are using. Grooming your cat will save you some money that you would have spent on a professional groomer. Here is how you can go about it.

Gather Your Supplies

You will need a set of tools and supplies to groom your long-haired kitty. You will need a pet brush or comb, trimmers, a pair of gloves, nail clippers, and a towel. You should also have cat treats for rewarding your kitten for their good behavior. You may also need a helping hand to hold your cat while you do the shaving.

Choose the Perfect Location for Grooming

It would be best to groom your cat in a room with no carpet. You don’t want to go through the pain of getting large amounts of pet hair off your carpet. It will be too much even for your vacuum cleaner to handle. To make the process easier, you should groom your cat on an elevated platform, like a table or counter.

Prepare the Grooming Area

Remember, you want your cat to feel as comfortable as possible for the process to be smooth. Cover the table or countertop with some rags or towels. This is to add cushioning not only for your cat’s comfort but to also protect your furniture from getting scratched. Next, make sure that you set up the grooming area next to a power outlet. You will need power for the trimmers.

Get Your Cat Ready

Before you start grooming, you should make your cat prepared for it. The best way is to give your kitty some treats while laying her on the grooming table. Pet her while running your hands along with her coat for a few minutes. You need to calm her nerves and check for any greasy areas or clumps on her coat.

Start with Clipping the Nails

Keeping the nails short will help to protect you from scratches. Be careful not to cut the nails to short as you may end up damaging the quick. Hold your cat’s paw in one hand and then extend the claw by gently pressing the toe pad. You should then clip the sharp claw tips.

Brush Your Cat

Brushing makes it easier to shave by eliminating any tangles. You should brush the back, tummy, and the mane. If you come across any matted clumps, hold it at its base near the skin and use a pin brush to brush through it. If the clumps are difficult to remove, use a pair of scissors to do it. Make sure the scissors are blunt-ended.

Shaving Your Cat

Now your cat is ready. Start with shaving the back and the sides. Glide the trimmers in a straight line. You need to be alert since the trimmers should never get into contact with your cat’s skin. Since cats have very thin skin, any slight contact will lead to injuries. Shave in the direction of the outgrowing hair.

Wipe off the shaved hair from the trimmers after each stroke. You should also remove any shaved hair off your cat so that you can have a clear view of the area you are shaving. When you are done with the back and sides and you feel satisfied with the results, you can move to the tummy area. Lay your cat on one of her sides and carefully shave this area.

When it comes to the tail, you shouldn’t shave up all of it. You should leave the last quarter of it unshaved. Since most cats don’t like to have it if their tails are trimmed, you can spare the tail from the trimmers if your cat does not like it.

Blending the Mane to the Rest of the Body

This seems to be the most challenging part. Since it is the area around your cat’s neck and head, your cat may not give you an easy time. Start by backcombing your cat’s mane. You should use a different attachment for the head of your trimmer. Shave up the mane on all sides to the top of the neck.

Time for Another Treat

You are done with shaving your cat. Reward your kitty with a treat and some affections. This will make your kitty give you an easy time next time you want to shave her.

Tips and Tricks for a Better Shave

Persian cat haircut styles with clipper

1. Be Gentle with the Mats

You and your cat deserve a better experience. You need to be gentle when dealing with matted fur. You don’t want to end up causing injuries to your cat. When you come across any mat, hold it by its end. Move it from side to side and shave the areas around it and under it. It’s better to reach it from multiple angles so that you can cut it without pulling the skin.

2. Avoid Shaving the Tail

The tail is an area that you should avoid shaving whenever possible. Unless the tail is matted, you should never touch it. However, if you wish to trim the hair on the tail because it’s too long, shave off as little hair as possible.

3. Monitor the Temperature

You should feel the head of the trimmers frequently to check the temperature. You don’t want it to get too hot and end up burning your cat.

4. Take Breaks

You should not be in a hurry when shaving your cat if you want the best results. If you are calm, your cat will also be calm. If you notice your cat is getting too agitated, don’t continue. Stop and give your cat a few minutes break before resuming. Your cat may need more time to realize that the shaving will not harm her.

5. Get a Helping Hand

Although you can shave your cat on your own at home, at times, you may need to seek professional help. If your cat’s hair is heavily matted, you need the help of a professional groomer. If the skin appears to be infected or is bloody, you shouldn’t proceed with shaving your cat. You may make the situation worse. If your cat doesn’t want to be shaved, ask for assistance from the experts.

6. Giving your Cat a Lion Cut

If your cat is long-haired, a lion cut will suit her. It involves shaving the body while leaving the mane and the tail unshaved. However, there are a few variations on this kind of cut. One such variation involves shaving the top half of your cat’s legs, leaving your cat with a thick “boot” on each of her paws.

Why You Should Give Your Cat the Lion Cut

Ragdoll cat shaved with a lion style haircut.

You might think that the main reason why cat owners give their kittens a lion cut is so that they can have a unique style. Well, this also one of the reasons, but it is not the only one. Here are other reasons why giving your cat a lion cut is a good idea.

Easy to Maintain

Cats with long fur require a lot of grooming. Although cats are self-groomers, dealing with thick furs may prove difficult for your kitty to handle on her own. If you are a busy person, you may also find it quite challenging to groom your cat regularly. Shaving your cat will reduce her grooming requirements.

Eliminate Mats

Mats tend to build up much faster in cats that are not groomed regularly. If you do nothing about the mats, they will twist, and harm your cat’s skin. This can result in open wounds. Shaving your cat will ensure that no mats are being formed on the coat.

No More Hairballs

Cats shed a lot, especially during warmer weather. If your cat is long-haired, their risk of developing hairballs will be much higher. As your kitty grooms herself, she is likely to ingest some of the hairballs. This is dangerous since it can lead to choking, vomiting. The hairballs may also obstruct your cat’s bowels, making her require surgery.

Temperature Regulation

For cats in warmer climates, they may find it difficult to deal with the heat. By shaving your cat, you greatly reduce the amount of hair, helping your cat to stay cooler when it’s hot.

Reduced Shedding

By cutting the hairs shot, you reduce the rate at which your cat will shed. No more dealing with pet hairs all over your furniture and floors. If you are allergic to pet hair, shaving your cat will be a great boon for you.

Problems with Shaving Your Cat

While shaving your cat is largely beneficial to your cat and also to you as a cat parent, there are a few disadvantages as well. First of all, if your cat isn’t used to being shaved, she may find it stressful and may go into hiding most of the time for a few days before they get used to it.

Shaving your cat also leaves her skin exposed. If she is a cat that likes to go outside, her skin will be more exposed to sunburns. The skin is also going to be more susceptible to cuts, especially if your cat scratches herself.


At first, you may feel like shaving your cat is quite challenging. However, after reading this article, you have seen how easy it is. All you need is a little bit of patience with your cat to make her feel as comfortable as possible.

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