Summer can be a very uncomfortable time for your pet cat especially if she has long fur. So, you may decide to shave and trim her fur. But, is it safe and recommended to shave your cat? Let’s check out the pros and cons of shaving cats.
Shaving cats pros and cons
Aside from overheating, you may be concerned about your cats matted fur or excessive shedding of hair. All of these can be resolved by trimming your pet’s mane.
1. It makes it easier to manage your pet when it’s shedding its fur.
Shedding is a natural occurrence in cats and it signifies that your pet is healthy. The manner with which cats shed their fur depends on the length of time they spend out in the sun, also called photoperiod. Needless to say, indoor cats shed less hair compared to outdoor cats because of the controlled temperature and artificial lighting.
If you notice that your cat’s shedding is out of the ordinary you should be wary and bring her to the vet for a thorough check-up. Here are some reasons why cats tend to shed so much:
2. It prevents hairball incidents.
Cats love to spend hours grooming themselves and spend at least 50% of their waking time doing it. It’s their way to lubricate the coat and skin as well as to cleanse injuries. Aside from the fact that they enjoy grooming time, it’s also a way to hide their scent from predators. Their self-grooming becomes a big problem though when they swallow lots of hair as it may result in hairballs. This can be easily prevented by shaving and trimming your pet’s hair.
3. It’s a great help for senior cats that have limited flexibility.
Senior cats aren’t as active as younger cats and may already have issues with their muscles and limbs. This prevents them from grooming themselves unlike before when they were younger. With shaved hair, they’ll still be neatly-groomed and without matted fur.
4. It can help with getting rid of fleas.
While it should usually be used as a last resort, it is possible to shave a cat to get rid of fleas.
It can traumatize your cat.
Most cats, although not all, don’t like to be shaved. Some cats look embarrassed and unhappy every time their hair is trimmed. Worse, some cats will resort to hiding for days as a way of coping with their newly-shaven fur. As a precautionary measure, it’s best to take into account the personality of your pet cat before giving her a thorough trim.
It may result in health and skin problems.
While you have good intentions when having your cat shaved, you may unknowingly put your pet in danger. There are instances where shaving results in skin irritation and sunburn. Your pet may also become more prone to cuts, scrapes, wounds, and insect bites because her skin is more vulnerable without fur to protect it.
How to shave a cat?
Most pet owners prefer to bring their cats to the groomer, but if you’re confident you can do it yourself. It just takes a little technique and some time getting used to it. Of course, the right equipment matters and that would be a good pair of hair clippers. Here are the steps on how to shave your pet cat:
Trim your cat’s nails first.
Even if your pet kitty has a calm and relaxed character, she may react negatively to being shaved so it’s best to trim her nails first before you start shaving her hair.
Do an initial test of the clippers.
Try to see how your cat reacts to the clippers by turning it on and doing an initial test. Most cats will initially become fearful but will eventually get used to the sound of the clippers. However, if you’re having a hard time restraining your cat, you may need a harness. You may also consider using Feliway Calming Spray to calm your pet cat.
Hold your pet’s skin down.
Make sure to hold down the cat’s skin and pull it taut. This is because cats have pliable and flexible skin that could bunch up and this may result in a cut or pinch.
Begin at the top of her body.
Start shaving your pet’s hair from the top of her body and work towards the base of the tail, just be sure not to include the entire tail area.
Hold your cat gently but firmly.
Always make sure to hold your cat in a gentle but firm manner as you shave around her body. Be sure to always start at the back of her neck and then shave towards the tail.
Important tips when shaving your cat
When trimming matted fur, hold it on the end or tip and move it side by side as you shave under and around it. You can shave it at various angles, depending on how close the mat is to your pet’s skin. Cut the matted fur slowly until it comes off. It’s advisable to have an assistant who’ll pull the skin around the matted hair while you work your way through it.
Also, always check the temperature of the clippers and be sure they are not too hot or your cat’s skin may get burned. Most importantly, take frequent breaks and don’t hurry. This will help your cat adjust more easily and will help her relax, too.
A well-groomed and neatly-trimmed pet cat is always a sight to behold. Shaving is perfectly okay and safe for cats and some pet parents prefer bringing their pet to the groomer. Shedding becomes manageable and hairball accidents become a thing of the past when your pet’s fur is regularly trimmed. There are setbacks though that can come with trimming her hair such as skin irritations and behavioral changes. The trick is to find out what works best for your cat.