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Should You Shave Your Cat in the Summer?

Should you shave your cat for hot weather?

When the summer heat ramps up, whether your cat stays inside without air conditioning or routinely goes outside, you might be wondering whether it's a good idea to have her shaved. The answer to this is mostly no, but we'll go over some specifics below.

Do Indoor Cats Need Shaving When It's Hot?

Indoor cats should be able to find a place to stay cool enough when they are inside. They can rest without exerting themselves if they need to, they aren't in the direct sun, and there should always be a source of fresh, cool water for them to take advantage of.

Therefore, indoor cats don't require shaving during the hot months. However, they might need to be shaved or trimmed for other reasons, including lack of self-grooming that results in mats or skin conditions that need air and medication to resolve.

Should You Shave Outdoor Cats in the Summer?

A cat's fur serves more purposes than just keeping a cat warm. Here are some other things it does:

  • Protects the skin from injury, including sunburn.
  • Aids the cat in communicating with other cats. For instance, a cat with raised fur indicates that she's angry or defensive. This can let another cat know that he shouldn't approach her.
  • Serves as insulation, keeping the cat warmer in cold weather and cooler in hot weather.

Shaving an outdoor cat can remove her protection from the sun and leave her vulnerable to various injuries that might be blocked by her coat. In most instances, it's a better idea to keep your cat inside on very hot days than to shave her. However, keeping your cat well-groomed by brushing her often and watching for injuries or other skin conditions is a great idea.

More Notes About Shaving Cats

Shaving cats can result in nicks on the skin or ingrown hairs when it begins to grow back, which can result in skin infections and an abnormal coat. Sometimes it's necessary, but when it is, it's probably best to let veterinary staff or a trained groomer do the job.

Cats can become overheated and die from heatstroke. This is more common in some breeds than others, especially brachycephalics, or those with short noses. Dark-haired, overweight, or long-haired cats may also be more at risk of overheating. You should be especially diligent about bringing those cats inside during hot weather and making sure they have plenty of fresh water available.

Some cats, usually those with short faces and long hair like Persians, are unable to groom themselves effectively, and those cats might benefit from routine trimming or possibly shaving. Your veterinarian can help you decide if your cat is one of those.

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