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How to Shave a Cat’s Bum: 6 Vet-Approved Steps

Written by: Adam Mann

Last Updated on January 30, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat being groomed and shaved at a salon

How to Shave a Cat’s Bum: 6 Vet-Approved Steps


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you’re starting to notice an unpleasant odor following your cat, and if you’re starting to see unpleasant remnants in their nether regions, it might be time for a sanitary trim. It’s not a fun process for anyone, but when your cat needs it, you must do what’s best for them.

With that in mind, we’ll break down everything you need to know to shave your cat’s bum and give you some helpful tips on why it might be happening in the first place and if there’s anything you can do about it.

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What You’ll Need

Before you get started with the unpleasant task of trimming your cat’s bum, you’ll want to get everything you need ready before you start. That’s why we highlighted all the necessary supplies for you right here:

  • A pair of disposable gloves
  • Grooming scissors
  • Cat sanitary wipes
  • Towel
  • A partner
  • Brush
  • Trash bag

It might not seem like much, but we promise it’s all you’ll need and want when completing a sanitary trim of your cat’s bum!

balinese cat grooming
Image Credit: BravissimoS, Shutterstock

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The 6 Steps to Shave a Cat’s Bum

Now that you have all the necessary supplies, it’s time to move on to the shaving process. Follow our step-by-step guide, and you’ll finish the job in no time!

1. Brush Your Cat

Before trimming your cat’s hair, you’ll need to brush them. Not only does this help remove contaminants and knots in their fur, but it also acts as a way to relax your cat. You want your cat as comfortable as possible so they’ll move around less, and brushing them out first will go a long way.

brushing ragdoll cat's hair
Image Credit: Chameleon Pictures, Shutterstock

2. Use a Wipe

Once you finish brushing out your cat, we highly recommend using a sanitary wipe around their anus before starting the trimming process. Technically, this step isn’t necessary, but we prefer the working surface to stay as clean as possible.

3. Hold Your Cat Still

This is where you’ll need your partner. You don’t want to harm your cat by holding them down too tight, but you’ll want to keep them as still as possible for the next step. Having a partner to help out is ideal.

4. Use Scissors

When you think of shaving, you probably think of an electric razor. If you use an electric razor on your cat, the noise and vibrations might frighten them. Using scissors is safe and reduces the risk of accidentally nicking them while cutting.

grooming ragdoll cat
Image Credit: Pxhere

5. Don’t Cut Too Close

You don’t need to shave the area completely to get the desired results. If you cut too close, you risk irritating the area, leading to more problems. Trim the hair down, but you don’t need to shave it completely.

If they need it completely shaved for a medical procedure, leave it up to the vet to complete the job while your cat is under anesthesia.

6. Dispose of Waste & Wash Your Hands

Once you finish trimming the area, put your gloves and all the clippings into a trash bag and throw them away. Once everything is in the trash, wash your hands. divider-catclaw1

Reasons to Trim a Cat’s Bum

While there are a few reasons your cat might need a sanitary trim around their anus, it may be a recurring issue. Cats rarely need a trim, so if it is not an isolated problem, talk to your vet about what could be triggering it.

With that in mind, we’ve highlighted three reasons they might need a sanitary trim for you here:

1. Long Hair

This is one of the most common reasons for needing to complete a sanitary trim of the region. If your cat has long hair, it’s far more likely to mat up and get in the way when your cat uses the bathroom. Trimming the area eliminates this concern.

2. Overweight

If your cat didn’t use to have this problem and now they do, the problem might be their weight. Some overweight cats cannot groom themselves properly because they can’t reach every spot. This is especially true if your cat already has long hair and recently put on a little extra weight.

fat calico cat sleeping in the window perch
Image Credit: Lisa A. Ernst, Shutterstock

3. Low-Quality Diet

What goes in must come out, and the lower quality it is going in, the lower quality it will be going out. Follow your vet’s advice about your cat’s food. You can try swapping out the food to see what works, but often, the best course of action is a conversation with your vet.

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It’s not fun for anyone, but if you take your time, there’s no reason you can’t complete a sanitary trim of your cat’s bum. Take your time and keep up with the job, and it shouldn’t be nearly as messy or complicated next time. Of course, you can pay for a professional to do it for you, but that will be an added expense you must keep up with each month!

Featured Image Credit: Studio Peace, Shutterstock

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