How to Safely Trim Long Hair Cats
Learning how to trim cat hair or how to groom a long haired cat is imperative for any cat owner. Cats need to keep their coats clean and tangle-free as not only does it look better, it is also a necessity in terms of their health and safety. Cats with hair that is dirty and cats with hair that tangles easily are prone to suffering from mats. These mats can actually be dangerous to a cat in the long term if an owner does not keep on top of them. This is because mats can harbor bacteria, dirt, and other nasties and therefore make it imperative to get a long-haired cat haircut from time to time.
The danger is that a cat’s skin can become infected or start to have open wounds underneath a mat. The reason being is that the skin cannot be kept dry, which leaves the skin susceptible to being cut or opening. As soon as you have an open wound, it can become infected which can turn nasty pretty easily. If this happens underneath a tangle of matted cat hair, not only can you as the owner not see it as quickly or easily, there are also lots of hidden germs in your cat’s matted hair that can now breed in your cat’s wound.
In this article, we, therefore, look at how to cut cat hair with scissors or simply how to trim cat hair if you don’t want to give it a full-on hair cut. Additionally, we investigate how to groom a long-haired cat as grooming can reduce the amount of time needed in between cuts, which can sometimes be stressful times for sensitive cats.
How To Trim Cat Hair
There are a couple of ways to learn how to trim cat hair, which can both be very successful and effective in keeping mats and tangles at bay. The best method will be the one that you find easiest and therefore the one as a cat owner you do more regularly. The more regularly that you trim your cat’s hair the less likely they are to suffer from mats and any subsequent issues under the skin.
The first way is to cut your cat’s hair with scissors while the other way is to buy specialist trimmers so that you can shave your cat’s fur. Some people prefer the use of scissors as they are noiseless and affect cat sensitivities a lot less. Others prefer trimmers and shavers as they are more often than not quicker so they get the chore out of the way as soon as possible. The trick with both is to start learning how to trim cat hair as young as possible. They get used to it far more easily if you teach yourself how to cut cat hair with scissors or a pair of shavers when they are kittens.
How To Cut Cat Hair With Scissors
- Brush down your cat to ensure that any loose hair has fallen out and won’t get in the way unnecessarily.
- Start at the ears and start cutting a little bit at a time so that you don’t scare your cat from the get go. When it comes to trimming the inside opening of the ear, go very slowly and very carefully. Then trim around their bottom where any long hair can become dirty when going to the bathroom. If you have a female cat, ensure that you have cut away any long hair near her private parts – especially if she is pregnant.
- Next, cut out any mats straight away and as far away from the skin as possible, whilst making sure that all the mat has come away. If possible try to angle the scissors so that you are cutting in the direction of fur growth which will minimize any jagged edges to your cat’s fur.
- Look at where any uneven edges to your cat’s coat appears and try to even them up. It is difficult to get a completely straight edge when using scissors, especially when large mats have been found, but by graduating any cuts, you minimize the effect.
- Things to ensure – if this is the first few times you are cutting your cat’s hair, or you know they are quite skittish, try to enlist the help of a family member or loved one each and every time you trim your cat’s fur. It may even be best for them to use the scissors to cut away hair, whilst you hold them as this way they are cuddling up to a person they know and trust.
How To Trim Cat Hair With Trimmers
- Start by laying your cat down on a towel so that you make it easier to clean up the mess later.
- Brush your cat down with a grooming brush extensively to ensure that no loose hair remains in their coat. This is important when using trimmers as loose hair will only clog up the head and make the trim far less effective and far more time consuming as a result.
- Start by turning on the shaver or trimmers you have and see whether your cat is going to behave during having their fur cut. If they look too skittish, try to delay the trim for a little while until they are less stressed out.
- Have either a friend hold your cat while you work on their coat with the trimmers, or you hold them while they trim. Regardless of who is holding, the trimmers should start shaving your cat’s fur from the tail and go down towards the neck in the opposite direction of fur growth.
- When at the base of your cat’s tail, trim any longer tufts here – but be careful of over shaving which is so easily done in this area. Start slowly and then cut down to a length you are happy with.
- It is not recommended to use trimmers or shavers on a cat’s face. Instead, use a pair of scissors here. This will minimize any chance of an accident happening due to your cat moving and the severity of an injury that can be caused by trimmers due to being mechanical and stronger than scissors.
How To Groom A Long Haired Cat
Sometimes, it is not always necessary to cut or trim your cat’s hair. Yet, that does not mean that they do not need some beautifying from you. Instead of a cut or trim, give them a groom instead. By doing so, you will be elongating the time between the necessary long hair cat haircut that they so desperately need on regular occasions. A good groom can keep the scissors or trimmers at bay for a little while longer – which is always good news for cats as well as time-poor cat owners who do not want to cause their cats unnecessary anxiety with a long hair cat haircut.
Follow these steps to learn how to groom a long-haired cat with ease:
- Use a brush – regularly
Brushing your long-haired cat regularly will really help you when you either groom them properly or even give them a trim. Regularly brushing not only keeps mats away, it also gets them used to this level of maintenance so will cause them less stress in the long run. Pick a time to brush your cat’s hair when they are at their happiest or most relaxed. A contented cat will far likely stay still for you without any claws or teeth being brandished!
- Choose your spot wisely
Along with picking the right moment or the right mood for your cat to be in prior to a groom, you need to choose where you groom your cat too. So much of learning how to groom a long-haired cat is about learning how to approach it, just as much as actual technique. Bearing that in mind, ensure that you either have a friend, partner or family member ready to hold your cat still, or at least have your cat on a hard surface that you can work around easily. A table or work surface will work for this, as will your bed if you can move around your cat freely to brush their coat.
- Use the correct type of brush
Your cat has long hair so there is no point in trying to brush your cat with a comb that will only go through a cat’s hair that is short. If in doubt, look for a brush that is wire. An undercoat comb will also work for long-haired cats. If you are not sure what an undercoat comb is, look out for a brush with a mixture of teeth lengths. If you are really struggling to find either of these, a flea comb or a wide toothbrush will also suffice. The wide toothbrush, however, will only really be helpful when your cat is going through one of its regular maltings.
- Start working your way around the cat’s body in a logical manner.
To ensure that you brush all of your cats, work around its body in a logical way, each and every time. By repeating the route that you take every time your groom a long-haired cat, you will be certain that you have not missed a spot. It is when you miss spots that tangles and mats start to begin unnecessarily. We recommend starting to brush your cat while laying on its back. This means you can get to troublesome areas on its tummy quickly. Then go to the back and brush starting from its ears all the way down to its tail.
- Brush under its arms
To do so without being pawed at, hold on to its front paw that is closest to you while it is laying on its side. Lift up that leg and brush underneath it and do the same with every limb until you have brushed underneath all of them.
- Get to the undercoat
It can be tempting to simply brush in one direction throughout an entire grooming session. Try to avoid this when learning how to groom a long-haired cat. Instead, towards the end of a good groom, brush in all different directions so that you can see its skin a little. This way, you will know that you are getting the undercoat of your cat which is where tangles, mats, and other troubles can actually start. This will also entail brushing against the direction of growth. By doing so, you are ensuring that any loose hairs either fall away or are picked up by your grooming tools.
Long Haired Cat Haircut – The Bottom Line
It may not be a cat owner’s favorite part of having a cat, but a long-haired cat haircut is, unfortunately, a necessity for cats with thick coats. Without it, you can be leaving your cat susceptible to picking up infections that start underneath matted fur and tangles that become embedded with germs and bacteria. Prevention is always so much better than the cure with pets and when brushing your cat can actually prevent a great deal of these issues arising in the first place, a long-haired cat haircut need not be as onerous or time-consuming as originally thought. Plus, the more regularly you do it, the more your cat is likely to get used to it. The result is that a long-haired cat haircut will take less and less time each go.