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The Case for Shaving a Long-Haired Cat

January 10, 2011

Dark, seal-brown face and cream colored long fluffy fur grace VirtuaCat's visage
VirtuaCat Snoozes

“I Never Thought I’d Shave my Cat,”

Doc Truli admits the gruesome truth.  “I’ve always lived with cats.  And always long-haired cats, by chance.  I love cats just the way they are, and I thought I would never consent to have one of my cats shaved.”

A History of Cats

First was Charlie, a grey tabby, then Dink (Silver Bell), a silver tabby, then Mitzi, a green-eyed, long blue haired Angora-looking cat.  Timothy Snowflake was my mom’s long-hair Angora-look cat we adopted from a doorstep down the street.

Charlie came from a cat trap in my great-grandfather’s cabin on Lake Harmony in the Pocono Mountains.  Dink came from an insurance client’s farm.  Both had to be nursed back to health, but nothing like saving Timothy Snowflake.”

Timothy Snowflake (“Timmy”)

Timmy was tiny, covered with fleas, and his eyes were crusted shut.  Of course, we had to adopt the pathetic, sick kitten.  The healthy boisterous ones were probably going to find good homes easily, so we always took the troubled cats.  Timmy grew into a stocky, strong, elegant white long-haired cat with golden eyes.  An Uncle to all the abandoned kittens we found on our doorstep, Timmy was the gentlest soul Doc has ever known.  Timmy would climb into the kitten nest box and curl around the babies, licking and cleaning them until a wet-nurse female came back to the box to feed the kittens.

He didn’t even put his claws out (except once he clawed the neighbor-kid’s chin.  Timmy knew: that kid has since spent time in jail!)  Timmy succumbed to kidney disease when he was only 13 years old.

Grey Cloud (“Mitzi”)

Mitzi came to Doc Truli when Doc was 13 years old.  Bald, except for one long fur on her tail and some grey velvet on the bridge of her nose, Mitzi was being eaten alive by fleas.  Rescued by Doc’s mom from a locked house, Mitzi had been trapped inside for three months with no food and only the toilet bowl water for sustenance.  We knew Mitzi would be a long-haired cat because of that long tail fur.

“As soon as Mitt saw mom’s car, she curled up behind a tire and would not move until we agreed to take her home with us.”  Mitzi and Doc were best friends through high school, college, and veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania.  Mitt lived to be 17 years old, but it just did not seem long enough!


Enter VirtuaCat.  5 weeks old, paralyzed from the waist down, with a heart murmur so loud you could hear it from across the room without a stethoscope!  If you think Doc Truli picks cats for their beauty, think again.  It’s the care and love that turns them beautiful.

VirtuaCat regained his legs by 6 months old.  The heart murmur disappeared and 14 years and one year of scary kidney disease later, he’s doing great!

VirtuaCat convinced Doc Truli that he loves being shaved; he is like a new guy when he gets shaved.  He becomes affectionate, sits on laps, purrs when pet and plays about twice as much when he’s shaved.

Seal Point Himalayan shaved and huge pile of shaved fur

#10 Blade Shave Job

Top 5 Cat Reasons to Shave a Cat

Based on personal communication with VirtuaCat, Doc Truli reports the Top 5 Cat Reasons to be Shaved:

  1. Less, or no static electricity in your fur in winter.
  2. No more using your chest-bib fur as dental floss.
  3. No more hairballs to puke into mommy’s slipper in the morning.
  4. Better skin sensation when being massaged and petted by humans.
  5. Less tongue-bathing; more time for playing and stalking humans.

Skinny, velvety furred cat lays next to the pile of fluffy removed tan fur.

Side view of the "Shave Job"

Top 5 Human Reasons to Shave a Cat

  1. Less fur around the house.
  2. No growling and biting when mommy tries to brush the fur.
  3. Happier, more relaxed, friendlier cat.
  4. No more cold wet hairballs in the slipper toe.
  5. Hilarious.

So there you have it.  Doc Truli used to be categorically opposed to changing a cat’s natural pelage in favor of a convenience, comfortable shave-job.  Now the #10 blade is a saving grace!

Note: VirtuaCat approves of this message.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Gladys Theriault permalink
    August 23, 2013 2:39 am

    do you have any suggestions on shaving a very timmid scardy cat? I have used “Ace” and helped the groomer hold him and he still fights. His 1st shaving experience was awful and has been an issue since. Where I live in Canada my vet wants almost $300 to put him out to shave him telling me it could take up to 40 min. ???..40 min, with my boy fighting my groomer and myself get him done in 20, so if he is stone cold asleep how the heck can it take that long. Rhetorical question there. Any advice would be appreciated please.

    • August 23, 2013 2:42 pm

      Dear Gladys,

      It typically takes me 40-60 minutes to shave VirtuaCat under heavy sedation. He’s very noodle-y when he’s asleep! Plus, I am not a pro groomer, I’m sure the groomer is faster.

      I always clean his teeth while he’s under. (Twice a year since he turned 16). So I find other things to do for him to make the anesthesia “worth it” to me.

      I think anesthesia for grooming is a hidden secret of older cat care that gets overlooked. No oral sedatives worked for my cat, so I just zonk him!

      Good luck,
      -Doc Truli

  2. July 20, 2012 1:31 pm

    Hairball remedies? Suggestions?
    My friend’s long-haired cat seems to have trouble horking up hairballs. I searched here but have not found any wise Doc Truli hairball remedies. What do you suggest?

    • July 22, 2012 1:24 pm

      Shave the fur. That’s what I do for VirtuaCat.

      If excessive fur isn’t the problem, then there is a disorder. Like chronic low grade pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, or a motility dysfunction. I would approach that with detox, immunomodulation, and cell support. (a homotoxicology approach) I’m learning it now, not to versed yet.

  3. Yulana permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:24 am

    I love your posts. VirtuaCat looks pretty pleased being less furry. Keep ’em coming.


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