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Can I Request My Vet to Shave My Cat’s Matted Fur?

Woman combing pet cat

Reviewed by Carol Dunham

Seasoned Pet owner and enthusiast, Content Reviewer at

As a cat parent, it’s natural to want your furry friend to look their best. But when your feline friend’s fur becomes matted and tangled, it can be challenging to know how best to address the situation. One common question many owners ask is if they can ask their vet to shave off some of their matted fur. In this article, we’ll dive deep into this topic, providing all the information you need so you can make an informed decision.

Understanding Matted Fur

Matted fur is a condition in which your cat’s fur becomes tangled and knotted. This can be due to various reasons, such as poor grooming habits, not brushing regularly, or certain health conditions. Left untreated, matted fur may cause discomfort for cats and lead to skin irritations, infections, or other health problems.

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Funny Fat Cat Sitting in the Kitchen
Funny Fat Cat Sitting in the Kitchen

Why Do Cats Develop Matted Fur?

Cats are naturally clean creatures that spend a great deal of time grooming themselves. Unfortunately, some cats may be more prone to developing matted fur due to various reasons; these could include:

  • Long Hair: Cats with long hair are more prone to developing matted fur due to tangles and knots in their locks.
  • Obesity: Overweight cats may struggle with grooming themselves properly, leading to matted fur.
  • Aging: Older cats may experience difficulty grooming themselves due to arthritis or other health conditions.
  • Health Issues: Certain health issues like skin allergies or thyroid issues can result in matted fur.

Can I Shave My Cat’s Matted Fur by Hand?

Although it is technically possible to shave your cat’s matted fur yourself, it is generally not advised. Shaving a cat can be tricky and dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing; their sensitive skin makes them vulnerable to getting nicked or cut if not taken care of properly. Furthermore, cats may become agitated or scared during the shaving process which makes the situation even more hazardous.

Hairless Canadian Sphynx Cat. Portrait of Female Cat on Blue Background
Hairless Cat Shaven Fur

Is It Safe to Shave My Cat’s Matted Fur?

Shaving a cat’s fur can be safe if done properly. However, if you’re unfamiliar with shaving cats, it is best to leave the job to an expert. Shaving too close to the skin could result in cuts, razor burn or other skin irritations. Furthermore, shaving may cause stress for cats; thus it is important to take necessary measures to keep them calm and relaxed during the process.

Should I Take My Cat to the Vet to Have Their Fur Shaved?

Going to your vet to have your cat’s fur shaved is usually the safest and most effective solution. Vets possess all of the expertise and tools necessary for precise shaves without harming your fur, plus they can assess any underlying health conditions that could be contributing to matted fur.

What Can I Expect When Taking My Cat to the Vet?

When taking your cat to the vet for fur shaving, here is what to expect:

The vet will examine your cat and decide the best course of action.
If necessary, sedation or anesthesia can be administered for added calm during the procedure.

The vet will carefully use clippers or scissors to carefully trim your cat’s fur, taking great care not to cut or nick its skin.

Once the shaving is complete, they may suggest certain grooming practices in order to help prevent future matting.

Cat on a couch
Caring for a cats fur

Understanding How to Care for Your Cat After Their Fur Has Been Shaved

After your cat has had its fur shaved, here is some guidance on caring for them in a new light.

Once your cat’s fur has been shaved, they may be more sensitive to temperature changes. Keep them indoors and away from drafts, and provide them with a warm, comfortable place to rest. You may need to apply a gentle pet-friendly moisturizer on their skin as well, in order to prevent dryness or irritation.

Common Concerns Regarding Shaving a Cat’s Fur

Shaving your fur can cause many concerns for both you and the cat. Here are some of the most common ones:

Common concerns about shaving a cat’s fur include whether or not it will grow back, whether or not it will affect their coat quality, and if it will alter their personality. In general, cats’ fur will regrow after being shaved but it may take several months for full recovery. Shaving should not negatively impact your cat’s coat quality and there is no evidence to suggest that it will alter their personality.

Can I Shave My Long-Haired Cat?

Absolutely, you can shave a long-haired cat; however, it is best to leave the job to an expert as shaving them can be tricky due to their higher risk for tangling and matting. If you do try it yourself, be aware that shaver’s may require special tools and products for best results.

Should I Use Clippers or Scissors to Shave My Cat’s Fur?

Both can be used for grooming a cat’s fur; however, clippers tend to be quicker and safer as well as having greater precision than scissors can offer. Clippers offer faster results too!

Can My Vet Sedate My Cat to Trim its Fur?

In some instances, sedation may be necessary to safely and effectively trim a cat’s matted fur. If your feline friend is particularly anxious or aggressive, or the matting is causing significant discomfort, your vet may suggest sedation for safety and effectiveness.

Sedation may be beneficial if the matting is extensive and difficult to remove, as it enables the veterinarian to work more quickly and efficiently without putting your cat through undue stress.

However, sedation does come with some risks, particularly for older cats or those with underlying medical conditions. Your veterinarian will carefully evaluate your cat’s overall well being and make an informed decision based on their individual requirements.

Wooden brush for combing animal fur and gray balls of cat fur on a white background
Matted Cat Fur Brushing

How Can I Prevent My Cat’s Fur From Matting?

Preventing matting is usually simpler than dealing with it once it has occurred. Here are some tips for keeping your cat’s fur healthy and free of mats:

Regular Grooming: Brush your cat’s fur regularly to eliminate loose fur and prevent tangles, especially for long-haired breeds who are more prone to matting. This step is especially important for those with longer coats.
Monitor Your Cat’s Weight: Overweight cats may find it harder to reach certain areas of their body for grooming, leading to matting.
Provide a Healthy Diet: Eating foods high in protein and nutrients will help keep your fur and skin healthy.
Maintain your cat’s hydration: Make sure your feline friend always has fresh water available at all times to keep their skin and fur hydrated.
Regular vet check-ups: Having regular check-ups can identify any underlying health issues that could contribute to matting, such as skin conditions or obesity.

To prevent matted fur, it’s best to establish a regular grooming schedule for your cat. Brush their fur regularly to break up any tangles or knots; if they have long hair, you may need to do this daily. Furthermore, ensure your feline friend has an optimal diet and plenty of exercise; obesity can contribute to matting as well.


If your cat’s fur is matted, it’s essential to address the problem promptly. While you can attempt to remove mats at home, consulting a professional groomer or veterinarian may be best if the matting is severe or causing discomfort for your feline friend.

Your vet can offer guidance on the best approach to removing mats, and may even suggest sedation if necessary. With proper care and attention, you can help keep your cat’s fur healthy and mat-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cut my cat’s matted fur with scissors at home?

While it is possible to trim small mats out by hand, it is generally not advised due to the potential risk of injury or harming your fur. It would be best to consult a professional groomer or veterinarian for guidance on this task.

Can I use human hair clippers on my cat?

No, human hair clippers should never be used on pets as they could potentially cause harm. Make sure you only use clippers specifically designed for this purpose and never attempt to use them on cats.

Will My Cat’s Fur Grow Back After Shaving?

Absolutely, your feline friend’s fur will eventually grow back after being shaved. However, it may take several months for it to fully regrow.

How Often Should I Groom My Cat to Prevent Matting?

The frequency of grooming your cat depends on its breed and fur type. Long-haired cats may require daily brushing, while short-haired ones only need a couple times a week for maintenance.

Can matting be indicative of an underlying health problem?

Yes, matting may sometimes be indicative of an underlying medical issue such as skin conditions, obesity or arthritis. Regular vet check-ups can help identify and address any underlying medical problems causing matting that may contribute to it.

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