can you shave a long haired cat

While a summer shave is ill-advised, long-haired cats can benefit from a trim to assist in the natural shedding of their furry winter coats. When in doubt, leave it to the professionals and take your cat to your veterinarian or a professional groomer for just a trim.

Shaving Your Cat: The Pros

While there aren’t many situations where shaving your cat is necessary, there are some where it can be useful. For instance, shaving your cat allows you access to the affected area to keep it clean and treated if they have severe wounds or a skin condition that causes irritation and hygiene issues. In that instance, shaving should ideally be limited to the area around the wound.

A further circumstance in which shaving might be required is if your cat is extremely matted. Although you can use detangling spray, brushing, combing, and baths to remove mats, this may not be an option for timid or neglected cats. Perhaps the only way to start over is to shave.

If you can’t keep up with your cat’s grooming needs on your own, shaving might be necessary if you have an older cat or a cat with mobility issues that can’t groom properly. This should be avoided as much as possible, however.

Some cats with longer hair find it difficult to maintain a clean back end, and urine and excrement can become embedded in the fur. This is more common in overweight cats, but to help keep the area tidy and hygienic, your veterinarian or groomer might advise trimming some of the nearby fur.

can you shave a long haired cat

  • Related Read: Funny Cat Haircuts

Plan out your cat’s special pet grooming routine in order to reduce fuzzy dust bunnies and unintentionally wearing your cat’s hair as an accessory. In addition to lessening shedding, it plays a significant role in the general health of long-haired cats.

There are many options for functional treats—from hairball-reducing snacks to those that can help improve coat quality. Hairball treats “usually work by helping existing hairballs pass easily through the digestive tract,” says Thomas, although they can’t prevent your cat from licking themselves and ingesting more hair. She suggests pairing a hairball-reducing diet with regular pet grooming. Greenies Feline SmartBites Hairball Control Chicken Flavor Cat Treats are tasty, dual-textured snacks that help control hairballs and ease digestion. To keep your long-haired cat’s coat full and luxurious, check out Greenies Feline SmartBites Healthy Skin & Fur Salmon Flavor Cat Treats. They deliver a guaranteed level of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil in a crunchy, savory treat for skin and coat health. As with any treat, these should be given in moderation. “Cat treats with fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids are known to help with coat quality and may be a good option as long as the owner is careful not to overfeed,” notes Thomas. But she also points out that a poor-quality coat could be the sign of kidney or thyroid disease or another health concern, so be sure to discuss your pet’s condition with your veterinarian.

4. Next comes the blow-dry with a high-velocity dryer. This allows the groomer to see every inch of skin, often revealing ticks, lumps, abscesses, and even puncture wounds that the owner was unaware of. It also dries the coat to the skin, blows out shedding hair and tangles, and reduces the amount of time needed to brush afterward.

Hair, hair, everywhere! Does this sound familiar to you? There are probably long-haired cats in your home who leave fur tufts on the couch, the comforter, and every pair of pants that escapes the laundry basket (not that we’re berating you or anything). Not to mention the dreaded hairballs that wait for unsuspecting bare feet. This kind of thing is going to happen to you on a daily basis, unless you’re looking for a hairless cat. However, the hair-raising issues that afflict long-haired cats and their owners will eventually go away with a regular pet grooming regimen. We’ve asked Sarah (Miller) Thomas, a Certified Feline Master Groomer at Coloma, Michigan’s Wil-O-Paw Animal Hospital, for assistance in providing us with some professional advice on taking care of long-haired cats.

5. Finally, kitties get a thorough combing out to remove any excess shedding hair. A variety of tools are used, including greyhound combs, smaller face and feet combs, rubber curry combs and de-shedding tools.

Shaving Your Cat: Cons

Shaving your cat is not a good idea if there is no medical reason for you to do so. Unlike human hair, pet hair is made to naturally help your pet regulate their body temperature. Cats, who evolved in desert environments and can withstand heat better than most people and dogs, are an exception to this rule.

Your cat won’t get any easier at cooling off if you shave their coat. In fact, frequent shaving can harm their coat and interfere with its ability to cool down. Your cat’s coat also shields them from the sun, irritants, wounds, and other things. For cats without fur, sunburn can be a serious problem that increases their risk of developing skin cancer.


Should I take my long haired cat to the groomer?

Because it’s so easy for them to get dirty, long and medium-haired cats definitely need regular grooming appointments. No matter how hard they try, there are certain parts of their body that can’t be reached by their tongues, and that’s where the groomer comes in.

Is it OK to shave a long haired elderly cat?

Shaving is dangerous because the cat’s skin is so thin from age and/or health issues. The risk of nicking or cutting the cat is very high. Shaving the pelt off requires using a clipper blade very close to the cat’s skin, and sometimes the ability to see what is underneath is inhibited by the pelt.

Is it okay to trim a cats fur?

The short answer is, probably not. Unless your cat has a matted coat, haircuts are usually unnecessary. It is a good idea, however, to groom your cat regularly as recommended by your veterinarian for your specific breed.

Can I shave my cat to stop shedding?

One solution we never recommend is cutting or shaving your cat’s hair. While it may seem like an easy fix, cutting your cat’s hair can be very stressful for her, and it doesn’t actually solve the problem. Although the hair she sheds will be shorter, she will still shed.