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post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I live on the top floor of a small poorly insulated apartment in the city. In the summer it is unbearable. Airconditioners do nothing, and fans only circulate the hot air around. I recently brought home two cat from a farm and this will be their first summer with us. Is it ok to shave their fur in the summer months? (both cats are short haired but one has extremly fluffly, kinky fur)
post #2 of 24
If its gonna be hot then I dont see why not. My cats got shaven at the beggining of summer because they were shedding like crazy and it was getting REALLY HOT ( live in Texas) We decided on shaving them once a year to bring in a new coat and to prevent all of the shedding that comes with the temperature change.

If you will be doing it urself then be careful!
post #3 of 24
This is so weird I have never heard of shaving a cat
post #4 of 24
Originally Posted by Trouts mom
This is so weird I have never heard of shaving a cat
Me either I hope it isnt as hot here as in CA... So far the 96 here was nice no humidity...

I think if I had to I would shave Skittless... I do not recommend shaving if they go outside because they will get sunburned...
post #5 of 24
If your cats don't go outside and you are shaving them for their own health (and coolness) then I don't see why not.
However, use a beard trimmer electric razor and go on the shortest setting, not just buzz all the hair off. Several reasons for this: ingrown hairs (ladies need I say more?), your own and the cats safety since the cats are extremely unlikely to just sit there and take it having all their fur shaved off, and also just because they need a little fur left. How would you like suddenly having to be nakie all the time- and cats like being warmer than humans and at night they will need something.
One thing, just for your cats sanity- do not shave their heads. Usually when you see a cat who's been shaved for some necessity (not those stupid patterned cuts that are supposed to be for fun) they leave the head fur and also the feet fur. If you shave their tail it will look really really weird and creepy and ratlike.

Good luck to you on the endeavor to shave a cat!
post #6 of 24
No, never shave a cat unless it's necessary for a specific medical reason (e.g. surgery). Cats really are very vain creatures and it's emotionally traumatic for them to be shaved. They are desert animals and designed to withstand heat fairly well. Plus most heat is lost from the paws and the head and you cannot shave these areas anyway so you wouldn't really be helping them.

You can do things like put ice cubes in their bowl, freeze those fake plastic ice cubes and give them as toys, etc. Also, keep in mind that they are much closer to the ground than you are so the air is cooler where they hang out. Being 12 inches tall can have its advantages!
post #7 of 24
As semiferal mentioned, cats (and dogs) do not cool themselves through their skin like humans, so shaving as a method of cooling them is not really all that effective.

And as a groomer I am regularly asked to repair amazingly bad "home jobs", a good percentage of which have required stitches. It's not as easy as it looks.
post #8 of 24
I posted in both Shaving threads now because I am confused and the info is conflicting...

Kittycorner said that shaving is very helpful to the cat and a great idea which is what i always thought for my Himalayan. Which is it?
post #9 of 24
Personally, shaving short hair cats, for me is unneccesary unless for medical reasons. Cats will usually adapt. That's why in shows there are allowances for summer coats. However, I do have the one persian whom I just shaved down because the weather here has become very strange due to the haze in the air (he went from a 4" coat to around 1.5").

My best suggestion would be to consult either a vet or a groomer first. If the cat is showing problems with having a thick coat, then they would reccomend a shaving.
post #10 of 24
Shaving cats is not something that I have ever come accross however I don't think it really gets hot enough here to warrent it.
post #11 of 24
While it is true that cats don't cool off the same way humans do, what does happen to cats with long thick fur, is that they have to work alot harder to cool down once they become too hot.
The thick fur causes their bodies to retain more body heat for longer times. Although cats don't sweat like humans, heat is wicked off a cats body by air movement in addition to their normal methods of reducing body temp, so short haired cats are more easily able to maintain their thermal-neutral zone when the environment is hot.
I'm sure it is somewhat traumatic for a cat to be shaved, but if the trade off is a happier, more comfortable animal, the short annoyance for the cat during the shaving process is worth it.
post #12 of 24
I shave my Persians every Spring, Just be careful if doing this yourself. I shave my own but they are used to being groomed for hours & they don't mind thenoise. If you are doing this on your own a tip I will tell you, Turn on the clippers & leave them on a while so that your kitty gets used to the noise. Hope this helps!
post #13 of 24
I have Simon shaved every six months or so. He is a persian and he HATES to be brushed. He would get knots so bad I would cry just trying to brush them out. My vet recommended a cat groomer. She is unbelievable!! He is the only one of my cats that is shaved or groomed.
post #14 of 24
With our boys in the unbearable summer heat, we will wipe them down with a moist washcloth to help cool them off. Not a sopping wet one, mind you, just damp enough to lightly wet the fur and feet, face and ears for a little cool down. They love to play with ice cubes too! (As mentioned above)
post #15 of 24
I don't see why not, especially if it will help the cats stay cool. When you take them to the groomer, ask for the "Lion Cut". That is the best shaved style for your cats coats. Do not shave them at home if you don't have experience....let the groomers do it the first time. A cats fur is very thin and sensitive and you could easily nick the kitty if it panics or cause painfull razor burn. I'm sure the groomer wouldn't mind you sitting in and showing you how to shave the kitty, so that way you have a little bit of training.Also, after your kitty is shaved, be sure they are indoors only so they won't be burnt by the sun. Also it might not be a bad idea to buy special moisturing lotions made for animals (aveeno works fine too) so their skin won't get irritated from them grooming themselves.
post #16 of 24
I agree with Kai Bengal, there can be a trade off, and mine do seem happier when shaved in the summer, but cats are squirmy and have very thin skin so I would recommend a groomer.

Magnum gets a cut like this (lion cut) every year, it keeps him cooler and helps with the matting he gets in summer

post #17 of 24
IMO there is no real reason other then medical to shave a shorthair cat. The coat actually is there for hot or cold. They have been surviving for a long time without us shaving them down.

Just be sure to keep plenty of water available and even some ice cubes in the water. I have wet mine down in extremely hot weather. You will know if they are too hot if they are panting.

Same goes for shaving dogs - it should not be done. The coat is there for a reason.
post #18 of 24
Another thing for people to keep in mind: Many breeds of cats and dogs have coats designed for cool weather. Mild summers and cold winters. They originated in certain climates and have been moved by humans to much hotter locations. A cat in a hot house with no A/C, often doesn't have the opportunity to get out of the house and find a shady spot under a tree with a cool breeze. These long haired bushy cats get over-heated, and I do believe alot of their discomfort is aleviated by shearing them a bit. Just the feel of a cool tile floor against their skin must be a big relief.
This same situation occurs with heavy coated dogs.
post #19 of 24
Cats have some of the same evolutionary features as other mammals well-adapted to the heat, such as large ears and long tails, proportionately longer limbs, higher body temperatures and rapid heartbeats, and alot of sleeping... as opposed to squatter, more centralized body structure, small ears, short limbs, lower body temp and slower heart/respiratory rates, etc.
Except the ones Kai Bengals mentioned, which should be kept much cooler--but to me its the same as human ethnicity, for instance my ancestors are from Wales and Scandinavia... so clearly I don't do very well in hot weather and have very pale skin and my family has lower normal body temps than average, usually around 97 F. I'm willing to bet that Zissou feels better than I do in the heat, regardless of fur, since sometimes when I'm boiling she sits in the sunniest window she can find.

That said it's pretty obvious when your otherwise-healthy cat is overheating, such as seeking out shade, sprawling out, drinking more water than usual, etc. And if they start panting they need to be treated for the equivalent of human heat exhaustion...

I still don't see anything wrong with giving your cat's fur a TRIM with a guard, such as on a beard trimmer, on the areas not a head or feet, but I wouldn't shave it with a safety razor or anything. Yes, I realize that cats don't sweat, but you have to be kidding if you say that they won't lose any heat this way. We lose heat through our skin in the winter... but we don't sweat it off!
post #20 of 24
I will agree on LONG hair cats with some shortening of the coat. I know persian breeders who do "lion cut" on their non-showing persians.

But I believe the original topic was shaving a SHORT hair cat - which is not necessary.
post #21 of 24
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45
I will agree on LONG hair cats with some shortening of the coat. I know persian breeders who do "lion cut" on their non-showing persians.

But I believe the original topic was shaving a SHORT hair cat - which is not necessary.
Yes, you're absolutely right! I guess the thread had evolved to cover more ground, but I agree that a shorthaired cat does not need to be shaved unless, as you mentioned, there is a medical need.
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
HI, thanks for all of your opinions It is nice to find a message board with people so well informed and compassionate about cats!!
anywho, i read the comments and decided not to shave them until today when the heat topped out at a humid 97 with what felt like an additional 10 degrees inside the apartment. My spoiled babies eat very expensive cat food, loads of toys, and had their overies removed, so i currently cannot afford a professional groomer, so I took some clippers and went for it. They weren't pleased at first, but after about a quarter ways through i didn't even have to hold them in place, my big one even licked my hand with the razor By the time i was through they looked less like lions and more like lepers but they are happy, active and nolonger spend their days lying on their backs during daylight hours. It's like i have my cats back!!!
thanks again!!!
post #23 of 24
My mom just have her cat, Thumper, shaved because his fur was so knotted and matted. When she would try to brush them out, he would bite and scratch. She just had him shaved on Tuesday. He has been acting very strange since then. Can a cat be embarrased? Because now all he does is hide from everyone.

post #24 of 24
I have been a pet groomer (and cat parent) over 20 years. And YES, you can shave a cat.....long or short coated. It may, or may not help THEM feel cooler (they simply won't tell you ) but most cats, including my own, seem to enjoy the feeling after they've been shaved.

It is MUCH safer to allow a (cat experienced) professional do the job as cat skin is especially easy to cut. And always shave them SHORT because the clipper attatchments that leave more hair on the bosy are much more likely to cut a cat's skin. (it is simply different that grooming a dog)

I have shaved some of my own short haired cats..........One because he is super prone to getting hairballs (sheds like a banshee) and the other cat minded the heat a LOT until I took his coat off. I know they don't cool themselves in the same way as humans do, but I really think certain cats will just feel better.
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