Nothing's quite as sad as a shaved cat, a regal king divested of his royal attire. There are times, though, when it's necessary for even a short-haired cat to be shaven. Whether it's for grooming or health reasons, find a reputable professional groomer instead of shearing your kitty yourself.
Hot spots are a fairly common skin condition that might plague your cat, requiring that he be shaved, at least on the affected area, to get air to the skin. Your vet might do this himself, or he may refer you to a groomer to have it done, especially if there are multiple areas that need buzzed. The tipoff that your kitty has developed hot spots is if he has small patches of hair loss, is compulsively licking or scratching or has red, irritated skin that develop sores.
If your cat becomes infested with parasites like cat lice, the best way to permanently remove the little bloodsuckers is to shave your cat's coat. Your vet may prescribe a medication to treat your cat, but he also might recommend that you take your cat to a groomer for a shave and medicated bath.
Both long- and short-haired cats can experience matting, although the long-haired felines are more likely to have problems with tangled fur on a regular basis. You can avoid the problem entirely with regular brushing, but if your cat's fur has multiple knots matted down to the skin, the best way to wipe the slate clean and start over is to have a professional groomer shave your cat. If shaving only the matted areas leaves your kitty looking moth-eaten, you might opt to have him shaved entirely.
Finding a Groomer
Groomers who coif dogs are plentiful and easy to find, but you may have a bit more trouble finding someone who is not only willing, but adept at grooming cats. Ask your vet for a referral or ask friends and family who may have used cat groomers in the past. Once you get a few names, don't just assume that a person who agrees to groom your cat is good at it. The trip to the groomers alone will be traumatic, so you need to find a groomer who truly likes cats and will be calm and gentle with your kitty during the process, someone who will have patience with him and not resort to using restraining devices like straps or harnesses.
Sometimes, groomers make their jobs easier by tranquilizing a cat to get the job done quickly, but that practice is illegal and can cause your cat stress. To assure that your precious kitty is treated well and not given any further cause for anxiety, always stay in the room with him while a groomer does the job. Your presence will comfort your cat and you'll have peace of mind knowing he was handled with care.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.