I shave my two Persian cats at home these days, and each time I do it I feel it gets a heck of a lot easier.
I explain my process here, but there are a load of tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way that has made the process easier.
I also mentioned in the intro of that article that I strongly recommend if you’re going to try shaving a cat at home that you use a ceramic safety blade shaver, although I personally don’t think it really matters which (this one looks pretty good if you want a particular example of what I mean).
These are important to use because they make it way less likely you will cut your furry friend. And so I will always use a cat shaver with this feature, especially since my cats hate being shaved so much.
Anyway, down to the tips so I have if you’re in the same position.
Tips for Shaving a Cat That Hates It: Tricks I’ve Learned Shaving Mine at Home
1. Don’t even bother trying to do the whole cat in one go.
I honestly try to do as much as I can within a day, but it’s never a big deal if I even shave a quarter of my cat to me.
I can try again later that day, or the next day, whatever the case may be.
Shaving my cats way more often, but each session taking up far less time has been much easier on my two cats who hate the process of being shaved.
I usually know when they’re really done for the day once they get ridiculously hyper and start trying to attack the shaver.
They get hyper like this even when I try to brush them for too long or it’s too much for them, so I definitely think this is an overstimulation sort of thing.
2. Make sure you always shave a cat who hates it from head to toe, with the grain of the hair instead of against it.
This makes the cat a whole lot less stressed in my experience, as it’s a lot easier for them to handle the sensation of the shaver going with the grain of their hair than against it.
3. When you shave your cat, nape them always, and try to be as quick and efficient as possible.
Speed is the name of the game here, but only insofar as you’re not at risk of injuring your cat in any way of course.
Don’t try to perfect things, try to cover as much “ground” as you can and get as much surface area on your cat shaved.
You can go back in later, in a few hours or the next day, even, when your cat is calm to clean up the rest.
4. Ideally, don’t use a guard. These typically catch on a cat’s hair.
One of my cats has much straighter hair than the other, so for him guards aren’t a big deal. But with the other, his curlier, frizzier hair was always catching on the guard.
One day I decided to give up on the guard completely and my frizzy haired little dude had such an easier time, I decided to do the same for the other one.
They’ve both been much happier to be shaved these days.
5. Try to give your cat loads of breaks.
Sometimes I give my cats breaks by just pausing shaving and petting them while still naping them with one hand.
Other times, I give them full on breaks where they can stretch, sneeze (my two Persians always do this so cutely), and walk around, then go back in after a few minutes to get a bit more hair off.
6. Try to catch your cat in a nap right before you start shaving.
I don’t know why, but when they’re already napping, it is so much easier to get started shaving them for the first few minutes.
It’s like they’re already so calm that it takes them a while to reconfigure their brains to being annoyed at being shaved. And then once they do they still seem to be way calmer.
And yes, I move my cats to the floor when I shave them, I don’t shave them where they sleep. Because, well this type of mess happens (and I don’t want that where they’re sleeping, clinging to fabric)…
7. Always reward your cat at the end.
Throw everything their direction that they love: cuddles, play, verbal congratulations, kibble rewards, brushing, whatever you can think of that they love, and they’ll begin to associate being shaved with a reward.
Over time, things get easier.
But even if you have to, for the first month, daily just catch your cat and shave one single small line and then let him or her go and reward him or her, after that month your cat will have been shaved and remain shaved, and there’s almost no way in my mind that he or she should be difficult to maintain in this way, or even once every other day or once a week, after that.
I absolutely think it’s better for me to shave my cats at home. It feels far less stressful for them than my experience having them shaved outside the house.
And honestly, they are so much happier after being shaved. They look so much more comfortable and groom more, and run around more.
I think it feels freeing to them, so I’ll absolutely continue to do it.
Your Thoughts on Shaving Cats That Hate it?
Do you have any tips or tricks on shaving cats that can’t stand the process of being shaved?
Any ideas you have I’d love to hear, even if you don’t shave your cat or don’t even have a long haired cat to share!
As honestly, sometimes you guys come up with great ideas regardless of having had similar experiences!
Did you ever shave a cat like this? Did they eventually get used to being shaved over time like mine seem to be beginning to?
Love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below!