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How to Shave a Cat In 12 Easy Steps with Tool List & Tips!

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By Nicole Cosgrove


Do you have a long-haired cat that’s constantly getting mats and tangles in its hair? Or maybe your cat sheds constantly, and your house has been overrun with tufts of fur? If so, you might want to consider shaving your cat. Shaving your kitty can help reduce shedding, and sometimes it’s the only way to get rid of those mats.

Some people will simply take their cat to the groomers when they want them to be shaved, but you can do it at home—and it isn’t as hard as you’d think! Remember that cats can be easily cut if they’re too squirmy, so you’ll need to be extremely careful when shaving them.

However, if you think your cat will be reasonably well-behaved, you’ll find 12 easy steps below on how to shave your cat!

Before You Begin

To get started, you’re going to need to gather a few supplies. It is a good idea to have everything you need right there in one place, so you don’t have to pause at any point. We also advise talking with your vet to see what recommendations they have for specific clippers for your pet.

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Cat clippers (most likely a #10 blade)
  • Rubber gloves (optional, but can protect your hands from kitty’s claws)
  • A brush
  • A towel
  • A friend or family member (optional but ideal)
persian cat with a lion haircut style
Image Credit: Santi Nanta, Shutterstock

How to Shave Your Cat In 12 Easy Steps

Here you have it—the 12 easy steps you can use to shave your cat at home!

1. Grab a family member or friend.

Trying to hold your cat, keep them calm, and shave them all at once might be difficult. If you have someone handy, grab them so they can hold kitty while you shave to make the job simpler. Ideally, it should be someone your cat knows so they’ll be comfortable with them.

2. Decide where you’ll be doing the shaving.

Shaving your cat will be messy, with hair ending up everywhere, so figure out the best location for this mess—one that will be a breeze to clean up.

3. Lay out your supplies.

Ensure that they are all at your fingertips and put the towel down to help catch loose hair for easier cleanup.

4. Gently grab your cat and bring them to the shaving station.

Use a calm and soothing voice to help relax the cat.

man holding cat
Image Credit: Omar Prestwich, Unsplash

5. Brush your cat out to help clean up their fur.

You can also try to work out some knots this way.

6. Decide on a style for your cat.

There are a lot of cat hairstyles out there (the lion cut is a fairly popular one!), so decide how you want your pet to look when you’re finished shaving. You may not want a specific style at all, but just a shave of most of the body, which is fine too!

7. Ensure your kitty is calm before beginning to shave so everyone stays safe.

If your cat will not stay calm, save the shaving for another day. You might talk with your vet to see if there’s a light sedative you can use next time you try.

8. Start shaving!

There are a few things to know about how to shave your cat, though. First, always pull your pet’s skin taut when you shave, as this will help prevent nicks and cuts. Next, shave in the correct direction—start at the top of the body and work down towards their butt. Also, ensure you’re merely skimming the clippers over their hair and not applying pressure. Applying pressure can result in razor rash. Finally, make sure you’re leaving at least an inch of hair behind so your cat’s skin is protected from elements such as the cold or the sun.

grooming of a siberian cat
Image Credit: Jakub Zak, Shutterstock

9. Test the clippers for heat throughout shaving.

Sometimes clippers heat up after they’ve been used for a while, which can burn kitty’s skin.

10. Don’t shave sensitive areas such as the tail, feet, or around the eyes and whiskers.

This can could harm your pet.

11. Give your pet a break if they really need one.

You want them to associate grooming with pleasantness, so don’t force them to continue if they are freaking out.

12. Reward your pet with a treat and praise when shaving is finished!

And, sure, you can reward yourself, too.

Final Thoughts

Though it’s advisable to take your cat to an expert to get them shaved, sometimes you won’t find a groomer nearby or will want to save a few bucks. If that’s the case, you can shave your cat yourself (so long as you remember to be extremely careful, as it can be very easy to nick your pet accidentally). You won’t need too much to do the job—only some clippers, a brush, rubber gloves, a towel, and, ideally, a helper.

Just remember, if you find you can’t keep your pet calm, stop trying to shave them immediately as one or both of you could be injured!

Featured Image Credit: BY-_-BY_Shutterstock

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