Picture this: It’s 110 degrees outside. You walk into your home office from a client lunch and sit at your desk to catch up on emails. You can feel the moistness gathering on the back of your neck beneath your hair. You immediately crave a shower.
As you debate how to respond to an email from your boss, you watch your cat snoozing contently at the end of the desk on a stack of bills. Donning her annual summer lion cut, she places her paws over her eyes long enough for you to snap a dozen more photos to post on her own Instagram account.
Outside your window, you see the neighbor’s cat lounging in the backyard grass. Poor thing, you think to yourself. He must be miserable in the heat. Isn’t it bad enough that they let him roam outside, a prime target to the starving coyotes who have moved into the neighborhood? The least that they can do is shave him so he’s more comfortable in the summer heat, you say to yourself as you scratch your kitty’s ears.
Except, he is actually comfortable in the heat. That’s because a cat’s coat is naturally designed to self-insulate. This mechanism allows kitties to stay cool in in hot weather and warm in cold weather.
Should you shave your cat?
Here are some compelling reasons why the majority of veterinarians advise against shaving your cat:
- When you shave a cat, you increase their risk for developing superficial skin infections by removing their natural protection against extreme weather and ultraviolet rays.
- You can easily eliminate matted fur by regularly brushing kitty leaving no need for a full shave.
- Specially designed brushes can highly reduce the massive shedding some breeds experience during warm weather.
- It can be psychologically damaging for a kitty to lose their coat and to endure the trauma of being at the groomer with loud and scary noises.
When it is recommended to shave your cat
Keep in mind, there are a few legitimate reasons why you should shave your cat. These are mainly medically necessary reasons such as for surgeries or to treat severe skin conditions. If you must shave your kitty, according to Pets WebMD, you should:
- Hire an experienced professional groomer who works at a pet clinic to avoid lacerations and painful accidents.
- Keep clippers cool and use the accompanying lubricant.
- Leave an inch of fur.
Leave the coat on!
Next time you feel tempted to pull out the shaver or drag the cat next door to the groomer, think twice. It will save you aggravation, money, and time by leaving that natural fur coat on kitty. And she will be spared unnecessary health issues, stress, and emotional trauma.
Sources: Firstvet.com, pethelpful.com, mythicmainecoons.com,thesprucepets.com