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Shaving Your Cat: What Are the Pros & Cons?

Dealing with cat hair can be an endless battle. You may be looking for a way to ease the trouble of grooming your cat, dealing with hairballs, and having to clean cat hair off of your belongings. In some cases, shaving your cat may be a useful, necessary step that benefits their health. It’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of shaving your cat to make sure that the risks outweigh the benefits.

  • Helpful with basic hygiene
  • Removes matted fur
  • Temperature regulation
  • Risk of injury
thematic break
Image Credit: DreamBig, Shutterstock

1. Helpful with Basic Hygiene

Most cats groom themselves effectively and efficiently. But some cats are simply just not good groomers, perhaps due to their age or size. They may also simply not care enough to groom themselves to maintain a clean coat. If this is a sudden change for a cat who previously took care of their fur, consult with a veterinarian; notable changes in behavior may be a sign of a health problem. If this lack of grooming is attributed to old age or general laziness, it may be a good idea to shave your cat.

2. Removing matted fur

A cat who has lived outside or in poor conditions for some time may have matted fur that is difficult or even impossible to comb. Matted fur is, at best, uncomfortable, and at worst, painful for a cat. Detangling their matted fur works well if the cat has only a few matted areas. Depending on the thickness and condition of their coat, however, this may not be possible. In this case, you’ll want to enlist the help of a veterinarian or groomer.

3. Temperature regulation

Whether they’re a longhaired or shorthaired breed, your cat’s fur is designed to help them balance their body temperature. Longhaired cats have a fluffy outer coat, as well as a more coarse, shorter coat. The combination of the two allows them to regulate their temperature in many environments. Shorthaired breeds typically have only one length of fur, but it serves the same purpose: to keep your cat comfortable. Shaving a cat can affect this delicate balance, causing your cat to be too hot or too cold, depending on the ambient temperature in your home.

4. Eliminates shedding and hairballs

Cats typically do a good job of managing their coats on their own, but shed cat hair tends to get everywhere. Some cats are prone to vomiting hairballs, while others never do. Shaving your cat may keep them from leaving traces of their fur all over your clothing and furniture, but in most cases, it’s a step too far. Brushing your cat regularly, especially when the weather changes from winter to spring, is a much more efficient way to eliminate extra hair and reduce hairballs.

hand holding shedded cat hair
Image Credit: Doucefleur, Shutterstock

5. Risk of injury

Cats are notoriously fussy about being held down for any reason. Some people need to seek the help of a groomer just to trim their cat’s nails. When you add a sharp, buzzing appliance into the mix, your cat is even more likely to protest. They may show their discomfort by clawing or biting you intentionally, or they may scratch you inadvertently while trying to get away. If your cat squirms or moves around too much while you’re holding a razor, you may accidentally cut them. For these reasons, you should consult a groomer or a veterinarian if you are considering shaving your cat.

Before shaving your cat, it’s important to consider your reasoning for wanting to do so in the first place. Shaving a cat can be risky and difficult, so it’s not recommended unless it’s unavoidable or medically necessary. If you’re looking for an easy way to manage your cat’s fur, look no further than a high-quality comb and a lint roller.

Feature Image Credit: lalalululala, Adobe Stock