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How to Shave a Cat’s Bum: 6 Vet-Reviewed Steps

Vet approved

	Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you’re starting to notice an unpleasant odor following your cat, and if you’re starting to see unpleasant remnants in their nether regions, it might be time for a sanitary trim. It’s not a fun process for anyone, but when your cat needs it, you have to do what’s best for them.

With that in mind, we’ll break down everything you need to know to shave your cat’s bum and even give you some helpful tips on why this might be happening in the first place and if there’s anything you can do about it.

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What You’ll Need

Before you get started with the unpleasant task of trimming your cat’s bum, you’ll want to get everything you need ready before you start. That’s why we took the time to highlight all the necessary supplies for you right here:

  • A pair of disposable gloves
  • Grooming scissors
  • Cat sanitary wipes
  • Towel
  • A partner
  • Brush
  • Trash bag

It might not seem like much, but we promise it’s all you’ll need and want when completing a sanitary trim of your cat’s bum!

balinese cat grooming
Image Credit: BravissimoS, Shutterstock

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The 6 Steps to Shave a Cat’s Bum

Now that you have all the necessary supplies, it’s time to move on to the shaving process. Follow our guide step-by-step and you’ll finish the job in no time!

1. Brush Your Cat

Before you start trying to trim up everything, you’ll want to brush out your cat. Not only does this help remove any contaminants and knots in their fur, but it also acts as a way to relax your cat. You want your cat as comfortable as possible so they’ll move around less, and taking the time to brush them out first will go a long way.

brushing ragdoll cat's hair
Image Credit: Chameleon Pictures, Shutterstock
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2. Use a Wipe

Once you finish brushing out your cat, we highly recommend using a sanitary wipe around their anus before starting the trimming process. Technically, this step isn’t completely necessary, but we much prefer the working surface to stay as clean as possible.

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3. Hold Your Cat Still

This is where you’ll need your partner. You don’t want to freak your cat out by holding them down too tight, but you’ll want to keep them as still as possible for the next step. Having a partner to help out with this will go a long way.

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4. Use Scissors

When you think of shaving, you probably think of an electric razor of some sort. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, if you’re trying to use an electric razor on your cat, the noise and vibrations might freak them out. Scissors avoid this problem and help reduce the risk of you accidentally nicking them while cutting.

grooming ragdoll cat
Image Credit: Pxhere
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5. Don’t Cut Too Close

You don’t need to completely shave the area to get the results you want. In fact, if you cut too close, you risk irritating the area, leading to more problems. Trim the hair down, but you don’t need to shave it completely.

If they need it completely shaved for a medical procedure, leave it up to the vet to complete the job while your cat is under anesthesia.

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6. Dispose of Waste & Wash Your Hands

Once you finish trimming the area, put your gloves and all the clippings into a trash bag and throw them away. Once everything is in the trash, go ahead and do yourself a favor and wash your hands. You were just dealing with an intimate region, and you’ll want to wash up afterward.divider-catclaw1

Reasons to Trim a Cat’s Bum

While there are a few different reasons your cat might need a sanitary trim around their anus, if they do, it’s a reoccurring thing you should keep up with. Cats rarely need a trim, so if it is not an isolated thing, talk to your vet about what could be triggering it.

With that in mind, we’ve highlighted three different reasons they might need a sanitary trim for you here:

1. Long Hair

This is one of the most common reasons for needing to complete a sanitary trim of the region. If your cat has long hair, it’s far more likely to mat up and get in the way when your cat is relieving itself. Trimming up the area eliminates this concern completely.

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2. Overweight

If your cat didn’t use to have this problem and now they do, the problem might be their weight. Overweight cats don’t have as much clearance in that area, making it more likely that the hair will get in the way. This is especially true if your cat already has long hair and just recently put on a little extra weight.

fat calico cat sleeping in the window perch
Image Credit: Lisa A. Ernst, Shutterstock
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3. Low-Quality Diet

What goes in must come out, and the lower quality it is going in, the lower quality it will be going out. Follow your vet’s advice with regards to your cat’s food. You can try swapping out the food yourself to see what works, but often, the better course of action is a conversation with the vet.

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Final Thoughts

It’s not a fun job for anyone, but if you take your time, there’s no reason you can’t successfully complete a sanitary trim of your cat’s bum. Take your time and keep up with the job and it shouldn’t be nearly as messy or complicated next time.

Of course, you can pay for a professional to do it for you, but that will be an added expense you need to keep up with each month!

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Featured Image Credit: Studio Peace, Shutterstock