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Home > Cats > How to Shave a Cat’s Bum: 5 Simple Vet-Reviewed Steps

How to Shave a Cat’s Bum: 5 Simple Vet-Reviewed Steps

Cat butt getting a shave

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Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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You probably never thought you’d have to Google this. But let’s face it. Staring at your cat’s crusty backside is becoming problematic. If your cat is having an issue with dingleberries due to the consistency of their poop, length of their fur, or lack of appropriate grooming, it’s your problem now.

Luckily, it’s nothing a little shave can’t fix. But if you’ve never trimmed the cat’s backside, you surely need guidance. That’s why we’re here. Let’s explain in five easy steps how to trim your cat’s bottom hairs.


The 5 Steps to Shave a Cat’s Bum

1. Get a Helper Before You Begin

Can you do this on your own? Certainly, you’re a strong independent person. However, so is your cat. And you might need to have a little help securing them. After all, you will focus on a very sensitive part of their body, and they might not like that.

So even though you know they need help with their hygiene, they do not. Get another member of the household to help you out. This provides an extra layer of security and reduces the possibility of injury to the cat or yourself.

grooming cat with clipper
Image Credit: BY-_-BY, Shutterstock

2. Gather Appropriate Tools

Before you start the actual trimming process, you want to get the area completely clean. If there are poop smears across the hairs, clean that up before you even get out your scissors.

If you are trimming at home, we recommend using blunt-tipped scissors. These scissors will help prevent punctures or other injuries.

If your cat has very long hair, we recommend trimming it with scissors before attempting to shave with an electric shaver. Electric shavers tend to be more efficient for this, but your cat must be comfortable with loud noises and trusting enough to let it happen.

3. Make Sure Your Cat Is Calm

Choose a time of day when your cat is more likely to be settled and relaxed. Unless you have an abnormally calm cat that just lets you get away with whatever you want, you might want to wait until your cat is ready for a solid nap.

If you have an anxious cat, try to get them a calming supplement of some kind. You can buy these supplements on sites like Chewy or Amazon or get them directly from your veterinarian.

In any case, a chill cat is better than one who’s ready to fight you to escape.

cat lying relaxed on a soft rug on the balcony and wags its tail
Image By: Koldunov Alexey, Shutterstock

4. Secure the Cat Correctly

Your cat will need to be secured. With the help of another person, one can gently secure the cat while the other trims. The person holding the cat will have to make sure that they aren’t able to claw, bite, or otherwise escape during the process.

If you don’t have this option, you can always try to gently wrap the cat up in a towel, holding them like a football, so you are able to gently lift up the tail.

Offer your cats treats and use a calm voice to reassure them. Sometimes they may need a break to relax during the process.

If your kitty is getting stressed or you aren’t able to hold them still, it is best not to continue with the trim. It makes accidentally cutting and injuring them much more likely, and you are at risk of getting bitten or scratched as well. It’s better in this situation not to persist and to enlist the help of your vet or a professional groomer.

5. Trim Quickly and Efficiently

Don’t make it an all-day endeavor. Simply clean the area, trim the offending hairs directly around the anus, and shave the rest if you can. The quicker you can get it done, the less likely your cat will be to hold a grudge against you for the next week.

Shave or trim around the anus and down the back of the thighs. Be careful and avoid trimming too close to the skin as it is easy to accidentally cut your cat’s skin.If you are unsure about the best way to trim it correctly , contact your vet or groomer for help.

After you finish, clear up and wash your hands. They will feel refreshed and hygienically sound, and your fabrics will no longer have poop trails. Everybody wins.

Grommer shaves a cat using an electric shaver
Image By: Studio Peace, Shutterstock


Why Cats Can Have Crusty Butts

So why do cats have crusty butts in the first place? After all, some walk around without an ounce of mess in their fur. But others seem to always have a dingy appearance that we all know is getting all over your counters and furniture.

Here are a few reasons this can happen:
  • Your cat is overweight
  • Your cat has long hair
  • Your cat has diarrhea
  • Your cat has an underlying health issue such as arthritis
  • Your cat is aging

Other Clean-Up Options for Crusty Butts

There are other ways to keep up with bum maintenance. Here are a few to consider.


Keep some fragrance-free, hypoallergenic pet safe wipes on hand. When your cat is done in the litter box, give them that extra swipe to make sure any and all particles have been removed.

Professional Trims

If you feel you need more confidence in your ability to do this at home by yourself, you can certainly opt for the help of a professional. Take your cat to a groomer and let them do all the dirty work for you. Sure, it might be more expensive, but it certainly can be worth it.

hand shaves a cat's belly at veterinary clinic
Image By: ARVD72, Shutterstock

Weight Loss

One of the primary reasons your cat isn’t grooming themselves appropriately could be their weight. When cats start to gain excess weight, they can’t reach as efficiently. With the help of your veterinarian, put your cat on a diet plan and have them lose a few pounds.

Soon, they should be able to take care of this issue on their own, and you might not have to shave or trim as frequently.

Diet Improvement

If your cat’s poop isn’t the right consistency, it can cause it to get trapped in the fur on the way out. If you notice your cat has a little bit of a loose stool, it could be completely diet related. The good news is this is an easy fix.

Try to put them on a higher quality cat food to see if it helps. You will always want to get your vet’s input to see if they can develop an appropriate diet plan to make sure stools become healthy.



The good news is that the process of shaving a cat’s bum is relatively quick. After all, you only focus on one area and not the entire cat. It will be more or less complicated depending on the overall temperament of your cat and whether or not you have a helper.

If this is an ongoing problem, you can speak to your vet about potential reasons why they might have leftovers in their fur and what you can do to remedy the situation.

Featured Image Credit: MDV Edwards Shutterstock

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