How to Cut Cat Hair

Many people wonder about cutting cat hair, especially if their cat has long hair, and especially in the summer time when it’s hot out. It’s generally not necessary to cut your cat’s hair, though. Your cat’s hair can actually help keep her cool. It protects her skin from the sun. Cats don’t sweat, so they need that protection. It keeps her from getting sunburned, as well.

We do not recommend using anything sharp near the skin of your cat. A cat's hair is like tissue paper. Many owners have actually cut the cat's skin without knowing it, particularly when grooming matts. Some cats may get overly stressed during grooming, it necessary to take frequent breaks, and following the tips listed below to prevent tangles and for mat prevention.

How to Cut Cat Hair

Suggested Tools

First get the needed tools.

We suggest having a nail trimmer to avoid being scratched during the process.

For brushing, consider a rubber tipped coated pin brush.  After brushing use a steel coarse tooth comb and a fine tooth comb. Steel reduces static.  Followup with a flea comb for fleas and shorter hair areas.


Step 1: First trim the nails to make sure that you don't get cut during grooming. Press between the toes to expose the toenail.

Step 2: If using an electric clipper, start at the bottoms of the feet. Use a a 30 cat blade and just skim across the top of the pads. Do not dig into the webbing or else you will cut your cat. The reason to trim hair in this area is to reduce the amount of cat litter that gets stuck to your cat and then is dropped around the house.

If your cat is restless, sit with your cat in the crook of your arm and use your arm to pin her to your side. Hopefully she’ll stay put, and you’ll be less likely to get scratched this way. Realize, though, that your cat may not want a hair cut and may be less than cooperative.

Step 3: Tidy up the bottom of the foot with your scissors. Use the brush to fluff up the coat on top of the foot. Trip some of the long hairs. 

Step 4: Brush the cat down to the skin and line brush from from to rear. Be sure to life your cat up and brush the underside.  After brush and you got some of the under coat, go over the cat with the coarse teeth and fine teeth. Use steel to avoid static electricity.  The hair pulled out is dead coat. Follow up with flea comb down the head and leg areas.  Goal is to get some of the undercoat out.  Also get behind the ears with the fine flea comb.

Step 5: Change the blade length to #10 and a steel attachment comb so you don't get too close to the body.. Turn on clipper on a low speed. Use the cat hair clipper to cut your cat’s hair, moving them in the direction that the hair grows. This is important, as you’ll be less likely to nick your cat’s skin this way. If a matted cat use a number 10 blade or in extreme cases a 30 blade Use blades that are specifically made for cat grooming.

If for some reason you are cutting cat hair on a large portion of your cat’s body, you may find it helpful to stop part way through to give both of you a break, then resume again a short time later.

Of course, you can always take your cat to a professional groomer for a hair cut, if one is necessary. Ask your vet to recommend a qualified cat groomer in your area.

Using Cat Hair Clippers

If you are going to be cutting cat hair, use electric clippers that are especially designed for use on cat such as those made by Andis. Turn them on and let your cat get used to the sound. Let her sniff them. 

Another helpful aide is the Oster Home Grooming Kit which comes with an instructional DVD. It should not be used for first time grooming, but good for maintaining the groomed look after you had a professional cut your cat's hair.

Cat Hair Matting Home Remedy

If your cat’s fur gets matted and you can’t untangle it, or she gets something stuck in it, you might have to do a little trim. If you need to use scissors, use blunt scissors (so you don’t accidentally cut her if she doesn’t cooperate and hold still for you) and cut the affected fur away. Regular grooming should prevent matting from becoming a regular problem. One home remedy for matting is to rub a good amount of corn starch (bakery kind is fine from supermarket)) on the mat. Keep the corn starch on the area for fifteen minutes. Then comb it out.

Some longhaired cats have problems with their bottoms. They may get feces caught in their fur. If this is the case, you may want to cut the hair on your cat’s bottom. You shouldn’t have to worry about her getting sunburned there, and you don’t need to cut a large area. You’ll use electric clippers for this job, not scissors. Read on to find out how to do it, but if you can use a professional groom because cats in general do not like sitting still for grooming.


How Do You Remove Cat Hair Mats?

Cat hair matts often require removal through shaving. When cats are not properly brushed, their hair may be damaged. The twisted hair knots tighten over time creating the mats. Long-haired cats such as Persian cats require regular brushing or cleaning. Mats are not only unsanitary but also painful for cats. As hair gets tangled, it tugs at its roots. Avoid sensitive areas such as cat ears.

How Do You Prevent Hair Mats?

Mats can be prevented through having a regular successful bathing session to remove matting, flea dirt, dead hair, and other issues. Best to do this in 4 to 6 week intervals. Hair should be blow dried after bathing. In terms of shampoo, use one part cat shampoo to five parts water (check manufacturers directions.) Do not use human shampoo as this will dry out the skin. What bathing use a rubber bath mat to avoid slipping.

When not bathing a silicone rubber brush is good for picking up pet hair and for gently massaging the skin.

Is it Cruel to Cut a Cat's Hair?

According to the National Cat Groomers Institute, if grooming does not overly stress your cat and if it necessary to avoid matting, then it is a humane option. Bathing with a cat shampoo is also humane if a coat needs to be degreased and cleaned. Matts can result in infections and sores, making them something a pet parent will want to remove, but only by a professional groomer who knows how to protect the skin. Also, older cats may not be able to groom themselves.

Can I Cut a Cat's Hair Myself?

You can cut cat hair yourself, carefully. Start by combing the hair and untangling any matts. When using a scissor cut above the comb to avoid nicks. You can use electric clippers, but only if the cat reacts well to their use. In general, it might be helpful to initially use a professional groomer so that you can better understand the grooming process. You can watch how the groomer trims the hair, how they apply a gentle massage, and if they use electric clippers or a scissor before attempting it yourself.

Why Do People Cut Their Cat's Fur?

Long haired cats in particular are prone to get hair matts. Matts can cover and lead to skin sores and infections. Ask your veterinarian if it is necessary for cat regularly to visit a groomer to remove any loose hair, excess fur, excess hair or matted hair.


What is Humane? National Cat Groomers Institute

ASPCA: Cat Grooming Tips