Cat grooming: How to shave your cat without getting clawed

Posted by Coco Dolci. November 26th 2015.

Cat grooming can be a tricky business. Your precious pet can be sweetness and light – until it comes to having his or her fur clipped.

Then the claws come out – literally.

Unfortunately, it’s a job that needs doing. No one likes an unkempt cat. Also, there are health and hygiene reasons for keeping your pet pristine.

Here’s some handy tips for making the task as painless as possible for both of you.


A young Bengal kitten shows it claws

Clip nails

Many cats will claw at their owners when you try to trim their fur. It’s nothing personal, it’s a defensive reaction. If you clip the claws before you start, you’ll reduce the damage that can be done.

Get the right gear

As well as clippers, get yourself some think rubber gloves to protect yourself, a brush and a towel to help catch the falling fur.

When you are cat grooming, you might want to distract your cat with a toy or treat.

Sound reasoning

Your clippers will make a noise. Avoid scaring your cat by turning them on right next to him or her. Turn them on a distance away and gradually move closer.

When buying new clippers chose a quiet set. Make sure you have a set that are specifically for cats and start with the longest blade setting – such as a No.10.

You can always trim shorter later if desired.


A Persian cat is given haircut

Work as a team

Shaving your cat alone is very tricky, so it’s best to get someone to help you. Ideally, choose someone the cat is familiar with and comfortable around.

Ask your assistant to pet the cat until he or she is nicely relaxed on a sturdy surface such as a table.

Choose a location the cat is comfortable in and that you don’t mind being scratched. In other words, don’t do cat grooming on an expensive high-gloss dining table!

Shaving style

Your cat’s skin is very supple, meaning it can wrinkle up under the fur. Hold the skin taught on areas your are shaving to avoid pinches or cuts.

Start at the top on the cat’s back and work your way down and towards the tail – but do not shave the tail.

Hold any matted fur by the ends of the hairs and move it around so that the clippers can get under the knots. Use short scissors to remove clumps if needed.

Watch out for the clippers getting too hot and take regular breaks – this will help keep you and your cat stress-free.

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