How to Safely Trim Long-Haired Cats

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Nothing is more beautiful than a silky, long-haired cat with well-maintained fur. Unfortunately, sometimes your cat's hair can become a matted mess that you can't comb through, and that's when you may need to trim your feline's fur.

Cat hair can safely be trimmed if you're careful.
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Trimming a long-haired cat can be a challenge, but with a little practice and the right tools, your kitty's fur should be looking its best in no time. Some tips will help you trim your long-haired cat's fur safely and determine when a trip to the groomer is in order.

Cat grooming tools

Before you get to trimming your feline's fur, you'll need the right cat grooming tools. First, you'll need a wide-tooth comb to regularly brush out any mats from your cat's fur. You'll also need a mat splitter, also known as a dematting brush, which has sharp teeth with rounded edges that will break up the mats on the coat without harming your cat's skin.

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Finally, you'll need an electric pet clipper with a blade guard and blunt-tipped pet grooming scissors. The blunt tip will prevent your cat from accidentally getting injured while you trim her fur, and the blade guard will prevent the pet clipper from accidentally nicking your cat's skin by getting too close to it.

Allow your cat to see and smell all of the grooming tools, especially if you're dealing with a kitten. Turn on the clippers and let your cat listen to the noise of the clippers, giving him treats during the process. This will keep him calm when you use the clippers on his fur.

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Trimming cat fur safely

To deal with matted fur, you'll need to trim away the mats to prevent skin irritation or potential skin infections from forming. Check frequently matted areas, like the groin, armpits, stomach, and rear. Once you comb these areas, if you find any stubborn mats that won't brush out with the mat splitter, it's time to trim away the mat.

You can carefully trim away mats, but be careful not to cut the skin.
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With the comb against the skin to prevent you from accidentally cutting the skin, isolate the mat and then trim it away with the pet clippers or scissors. If the mat is very close to the skin, ensure that the clippers have a blade guard and use it to trim the mat from the skin. To trim away the fur from larger areas, like the backside, legs, or stomach, the blade guard will also ensure an even, professional-looking cut.

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Does your cat need a trim?

Unlike dogs, cats generally don't need a complete body trim, but serious matting and staining on the fur can necessitate a trim. This is especially true for elderly or overweight long-haired cats who can no longer properly groom themselves on a regular basis.

You'll need to brush your long-haired cat daily to prevent mats. In addition, your groomer or veterinarian can give your cat a regular belly shave or sanitary cut to make grooming easier for you and your cat because it removes the fur from the stomach and groin, which are the most commonly matted areas.

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When to visit a groomer

Sometimes, it's not practical to trim your cat's matted fur safely at home yourself. This is especially true for skittish cats who aren't used to being groomed or those with seriously matted fur. In these cases, it's best to head to a professional groomer or veterinarian who can shave away any mats and get your cat's long fur looking its best.

A groomer can help trim or shave tightly matted fur.
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In fact, you can even request specific types of decorative trims, like the lion cut, the tiger cut, or the adorable dragon cut. Many of these cuts leave the face alone while trimming away the fur from the entire body except for a few tufts of decorative fur on the tail or back.

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