How Trim Cat Fur

Long-haired cats often require regular trimming.
Long-haired cats often require regular trimming. (Image: cat face image by Viktor Korpan from

Trimming cat fur can be an intimidating task if you are unsure of what you are doing. Cats are often difficult when it comes to grooming and can put up a fight if they don’t wish to go through with their beauty treatments. Trimming--as opposed to completely shaving--cat hair basically tidies up the coat and the cat and is essential for cats that don’t groom themselves and are prone to developing mats.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Hair clippers

Brush the cat with a slicker brush to remove any tangles or knots.

Use blunt-nosed scissors to trim the mane of the cat. Cut the ends of the mane into a rounded shape by starting at one shoulder and working your way around to the other shoulder. Try to cut the hair into a curved “U”-shape.

Brush the hair on the paws. Use scissors to trim any hair that is hanging off of the sides of the paw. Turn the paw over and trim any hair that is covering the pads.

Brush the cat’s tail and use the scissors to shape the hair. Hold the tail up in the air by holding the end with your less-dominant hand and cut it into a curved shape by starting at the base of the tail and working your way up to the end.

Trim the hair around the anus and genital areas with the scissors. If your cat has long hair and is prone to getting messy there, use clippers to cut the hair as short as possible. Lay the cat on its side or back and use a 10 or 15 blade to trim the hair. You may want to shave up into the cat’s stomach area, as well, if matting is a problem. Be sure to check the temperature of the blade frequently by feeling it with your hand. Do not let it get hot or you could burn the cat.

Trim the skirt--the hair that hangs off of the sides of the cat--with scissors. While you can cut it as short as you want, many groomers will only cut enough so that the line of the skirt is even.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place your cat on a table to groom it and use someone to help hold it, if necessary.
  • Give plenty of treats and praise during and after the grooming session. Allow the cat to rest during the session if it starts to get upset or stressed.
  • Products are available to cool down the temperatures of blades if they get too hot. Simply spray the product on the blade and it will cool down rather quickly.

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