How to Safely Trim Long Hair Cats

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How to Safely Trim Long Hair Cats
Image Credit: David Barger/iStock/GettyImages

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp scissors-hair cutting scissors are best

  • A trimmer

  • Towels

  • You may need a prescription from the Vet


Be careful not to nick kitty's skin during her haircut.


If your cat is frightened or wiggly, make sure to get the Vet to give you something to calm her down. It's really easy to hurt her when she's trying to get away from you.

Long haired cats can be stunning when they are well maintained. When they aren't taken care of, however, that long hair can become a matted mess that cannot be combed. In that case, cats have to be trimmed. Some people elect to trim their cats because of the heat or in order to cut down on shedding. Whatever the reason, trimming your long haired cat can be a good thing for you and kitty.

Step 1

Start your cat's grooming regime when he's a kitten. Teaching kitty to sit still while you cut his claws and give him a bath will help to prepare him for getting his first trim. If kitty fights you too hard and will not be still you may need to visit the Vet for some tranquilizers in order to safely trim him.

Step 2

Trim with the scissors first. Use scissors for all the places the trimmers can't get close enough to trim. Cut the long hairs around her ears, snipping a little at a time near the inside opening of the ear only. Trim the long hair around her anus to help her to keep clean.Trim around each nipple on a female cat and all around her vulva if she is due to have kittens soon. This cuts down on infection during birth and helps the newborn kittens to find their milk source better. If your cat's fur is matted, cut the mats out with scissors - don't try to run the trimmers over the matted places--you will make a mess.

Step 3

Use the trimmers for the body of the cat from his neck to the base of his tail. Turn the trimmers on for a moment or two and watch kitty's reaction. He may need time getting used to the loud noise before he'll settle down. If he's afraid of the noise, take your time. Many cats are afraid of the trimmer's noise and will need to be tranquilized in order to sit still enough to be safely trimmed.

Step 4

Lay the kitty down on a towel to prevent a huge mess later. Start trimming at the base of the tail, trimming a little at a time so that you don't go overboard. Better safe than sorry. If you really want to trim more closely be very careful not to nick the cat's skin. It's sometimes hard to judge where the skin is if the cat's fur is really long and especially if it's thick.

Step 5

Trim carefully from the tail upward going toward the head. Most groomers keep the hair on the cat's head longer so don't shave that. If you really think the hair on her head needs a trim, use the trimmers or scissors to just trim the longest hairs. Don't cut the hair on her face. Make sure to comb kitty good and really look at her after you trim--before you trim any more. You should be able to make kitty and yourself more comfortable with a careful trim.