To Shave, or not to shave?

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your cat. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your cat's hygiene needs.


Mr. Lazy Pants
Purred: Thu Aug 15, '13 2:51pm PST 
So Milo is 13 years old. He has never had a problem with his fur, always keeping it clean and tangle free himself. Just now, he is grooming his leg. But it seems like he has been having a hard time getting to his back now, and the past several weeks, his back has been matted. It seems like 4 decent sized mats, too. Now, if it were my sheltie, I would just take a comb to it, but Milo, as I said, has always been good with his own grooming so we've never had to do it ourselves, meaning he will never, ever let me come towards him with a comb or scissors (Which I wouldn't want to do for fear of cutting him on accident. I am thinking about using the poodle's clippers on him and giving him a lion cut or something. He is a maine coon, FYI. He would definitely look funny with this cut and I would hate to take away his gorgeous fur, and it would probably take a long time for it to grow back, so he would go through fall and part of winter without any fur, and we are in Connecticut, but he is an indoor cat, along with his little "sister". So the question is; to shave, or not to shave?


I may meow to- you if you're- worthy
Purred: Thu Aug 22, '13 3:33pm PST 
I have no experience with a long haired cat, but is it possible to just trim the mats out? If he would freak out for a comb, what will he do with clippers that are buzzy & noisy that is all I wonder. Is he having a hard time getting back there due to arthritis or something? That would prob need a vet visit. Personally I would think it is traumatic for them to be shaved that much, but maybe not....


Purred: Mon Oct 21, '13 8:51pm PST 
If he is really matted you may have no choice but to shave him. Matts can cause skin problems if they can not be removed! With their long fur they can matt easily if they do not let you groom them regularly. Maybe go to a professional groomer if you are worried about his reaction? Maine Coons do have beautiful fur, but he will still be beautiful and it will grow back. (:


Meow baby
Purred: Wed Nov 13, '13 12:59pm PST 
Most cats as they get older need some help with their grooming. They just aren't as flexible, diligent, nor does there skin naturally rejuvenate itself like it used to.

Mats are caused by dirt/grease, loose hair, and moisture (salvia). The only way to prevent mats is by having your cat bathed regularly so keep the dirt/grease and loose hair under control.

You could shave, but it doesn't resolve the source of the problem and your cat will mat again, probably faster next time. It takes about 6 months for the body hair to grow back, more time for the tail. Shaving has a high level of risk for cats, and more so for elderly cays as they have very thin skin.

If you like your cat with long hair, I suggest you find a Certified Feline Master Groomer in your area. check out nationalcatgroomers.com They may be able to remove the mats after a bath,during the drying process, depends on how large and tight the mats are. The hair might be thin in those areas for a week or two but will grow back quicker than a shave with the added bonus of a clean cat.

Don't be afraid of having your cat bathed even if it hasn't up to this point. If you have a master cat groomer take care of it, the process will be gentle and safe. A pet groomer is not a cat groomer. You will find a big difference in your cat: happier and greater pleasure to live with.

What ever you do, do not bathe your cat at home and let it airdry. It will only shrink the mats tighter and create a pelt.

Member Since
Purred: Sun Dec 15, '13 4:22am PST 
I think you should employ a groomer to handle the things that you are not confident of doing yourself... Perhaps the groomer had also encountered similar issues with cats previously. Try http://petcareprovider.net to find a groomer near your area..

Edited by author Sun Dec 15, '13 4:23am PST