How to Shave a Matted Cat

Written by lisa maire
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How to Shave a Matted Cat
For longhair cats with severely matted hair, shaving may be the only option. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Many cats, especially those with long hair, are prone to hair matting. For large matted areas, or mats that are close to the skin, an electric clipper is the best tool to use to remedy the matting issue. Removing mats from your cat's fur is essential to maintaining your cat's skin health and overall appearance. Make sure to handle the process with care, and do not attempt to brush or pick at large mats, as this can hurt your pet.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Clippers

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  1. 1

    Attach the shortest clipping guard available to an electric clipper. If possible, use an electric clipper especially made for pets. Never attempt to shave your cat's matted hair without a plastic guard.

  2. 2

    Familiarise your cat with the electric clipper, by first introducing the cat to the clipper while it is turned off. After your cat seems comfortable with the clipper, turn it on while your cat is around so it becomes familiar with the clipper noise.

  3. 3

    Ask a second person to hold your cat in his arms if possible. This will prevent your cat from biting or scratching you and will help keep the cat still as you remove the mats.

  4. 4

    Locate a mat in your cat's fur. Gently pull the mat away from the cat's skin.

  5. 5

    Turn on the clipper and run it across the skin where the mat is. Shave against the growth of the fur. Move the clipper quickly with short movements, angling the clipper upward.

  6. 6

    Repeat this process until all of the matted hair has been removed. Removing all the matted hair from the cat may make your cat's fur look uneven; if you are worried about your cat's appearance, shave the rest of its fur with the clippers, shaving against the growth of its hair.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are the person holding the cat, and the cat is not declawed or tends to bite, make sure to wear gloves and long sleeves to protect your skin.

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