23 May

Cat Grooming: Debunking the Scruffing Myth and Exploring Gentle Handling Techniques

The practice of scruffing cats during grooming has long been a topic of debate among pet owners and groomers. In this article, we will dig into the concept of scruffing and why it may not be the ideal approach for handling cats. We will explore alternative, gentler techniques that prioritize trust-building and promote the well-being of our feline friends.

Understanding Scruffing

Scruffing cats involves holding a cat by the loose skin on the back of its neck, imitating how a mother cat carries her kittens. While this action may induce relaxation in very young kittens, it loses its effectiveness as cats mature. Scruffing is also used by tom cats during mating and fighting. In a grooming salon setting, scruffing should only be used in extreme situations or as a last resort. There are gentler ways of handling cats.

The Changing Perspective

In the past, scruffing cats was considered a common practice, believed to induce relaxation. However, many cats are sensitive to scruffing and may develop trust issues as a result. Building trust with cats is crucial in grooming, ensuring they feel safe and not threatened.

The Downsides of Scruffing

Scruffing can cause discomfort, pain, and increased sensitivity in cats. This can increase aggression or negative associations with grooming. It can also pose a risk to the groomer’s safety, as cats may resist or react aggressively when scruffed. Moreover, the technique can cause fear, stress, and frustration in cats, affecting their future grooming experiences. Scruffing may also have adverse effects on a cat’s physical well-being. There is the potential to damage muscle, increase stress, and cause physiological responses such as elevated cortisol levels, heart rate, and body temperature. The relationship between a cat and groomer should be based on trust and mutual respect. Scruffing can strain this bond.

Gentle Handling Alternatives

Thankfully, there are numerous alternative techniques for safely restraining and handling cats during grooming. Some effective approaches include:

  1. An Air-Muzzle (which looks like a space helmet) is open at the front but reduces the peripheral vision helps in many ways. It reduces depth perception so slows down any leaping, and it protects their head from unplanned spray of water or blowdryer. The majority of cats are calmer during grooming using this tool rather than the sensory overload without it.
  2. E-collar: In certain situations, using an Elizabethan collar can prevent paw scratching and replace the need for scruffing.
  3. Towel Wraps: There are many towel wrapping techniques that provide secure restraint without causing undue stress to the cat.
  4. Light Pressure on Shoulders: Maintaining gentle pressure on the cat’s shoulders throughout the grooming process can provide reassurance and a sense of security.
  5. V-Hold and Chin Lift: Creat a V-shape with your hand over the cat’s head, while the chin lift uses your thumb and fingers to secure the cat’s jaw. These holds help prevent biting and sudden head movements, ensuring safety during grooming procedures.

In cat grooming, it is essential to prioritize gentle handling techniques that foster trust and respect. Scruffing was once considered common practice, but is most likely a harmful method that can lead to negative consequences for cats. By using alternative methods that emphasize trust-building and using gentle holds, groomers can ensure the well-being and happiness of their feline clients. Remember, a happier cat makes for a more enjoyable grooming experience for everyone involved.

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09 Oct

How To Groom A Cat That Hates It

I literally stole this article title “how to groom a cat that hates it” off a Google search for basic cat grooming. It made me laugh. I wasn’t sure if people searching for this information were looking for ideas in how to wrestle a cat into submission, armour themselves for a battle, or attempt bribery and distraction.
Grooming is an act of love between individuals. It should be enjoyable and a wonderful bonding experience. Although this may be true, how does it become so unpleasant between some individuals? We need to step back and get the background story.

Here are nine reasons cat grooming goes awry:

1. “What’s in it for me?” First, take a look at grooming from the cat’s perspective. Is it enjoyable? Rewarding? Trusting humans is a delicate thread. With no bred-in desire to please like a dog, you have to give the cat a reason to want to do this. 

2. The cat wasn’t handled and groomed while young. Obviously it’s a crucial opportunity missed. If started young, any pet learns that grooming is just part of the scenery. It’s a normal activity, no biggie, and it’s quality time spent with the guardian.

3. You didn’t start grooming until there was a problem. Aren’t cats supposed to “groom themselves”? For the most part, not  all cats have ideal hair, weight, and overall health to make self-care a breeze. The guardian goes from oversight to suddenly being all over the issue pestering the cat. Rightfully, the cat  believes you are Jekyll and Hyde. Problem areas are usually painful, uncomfortable, or difficult to get to. Grooming becomes a contest of wills, not a bonding experience.

4. You are using the wrong grooming tools. There is a lot of bad information on the web about appropriate cat grooming tools. There are training tools, and work tools. For example, use a “feel good” tool for training and reward, and an aluminum comb to do the actual grooming work somewhere in the midst of a grooming session. Be sure to use all grooming tools on yourself first to have a good idea of how it actually works and feels. If the tool is uncomfortable, or you would never use it on your own (8x coarser) hair and scalp, don’t use it on your cat.

5. Doing too much at once. If you haven’t been practicing previously, you can’t subsequently expect a cat to have patience for a grooming session more than a minute or two long. It takes time for a cat to build up trust and patience with you. First start with the good enjoyable stuff, and then sneak in one hard-to-get-to spot, and finish on a positive. Finally, keep sessions short enough so that you quit before the cat does. Short and frequent grooming trumps intermittent and arduous. Build on the good stuff.

6. Wrong time, wrong place. For instance, never be in a rush or attempt cat grooming during rush hours in your home. Find a quiet time and place. No interruptions, no distractions. It’s quality time for both of you.

7. Former traumatic experience. Formerly, has your cat had a fear inducing experience? It could be something like bathing or falling in the tub. Maybe a shavedown that pushed the cat too far with multiple people holding it down. Possibly declawing. What ever it may have been, your cat is caught in a fear-based defensive feedback loop anytime it is handled by a person. Only slow, patient rehabilitation using empathic strategies will overcome a PTSD-like fear, or hatred of cat grooming.

8. Level the playing field. Cats are armed with sharp claws and teeth. You’ve just got your wits. In this case wear long sleeves and pants. Groom in your lap with a towel wrap for shy or nervous cats, or on a slippery surface to reduce traction and leverage for the runaways or swatters. In case you are worried about being bitten, use an elizabethan collar, or welding gloves. Surprising, most cats quit arguing when you’ve proven you can ignore and thwart their offence.

9. You are not the original owner. Kudos to you for giving a cat a new home! Undoubtedly you can build trust following all the other recommendations above.

I haven’t told you how to groom a cat that hates it. Instead I have given you direction and mindfulness strategies you need to start over. The goal is, with time and patience, the cat will come to at least tolerate basic grooming, and learn to enjoy it. Every cat and custodian relationship and history is different. If the cat’s grooming needs are beyond what you’re capable of, seek a certified professional cat groomer to get you back on track. Thereafter, work on maintaining the reboot, and go for professional seasonal tune-ups.

29 Aug

The Importance of Cat Guardianship: Benefits and Responsibilities.

Most cats are unplanned acquisitions, leading to a perception of a devalued pet compared to dogs. However, there are significant benefits to cat guardianship.

Good Intentions

Over 50% of cat owners unintentionally acquire their cats, with up to 70% not paying for them. This casual nature of adoption often results in a lack of planning, education and investment in proper care for the new long-term responsibility. New cat owners start with good intentions, but statistics show that despite 83% visiting the vet in the first year, over half never return. This could be due to a lack of awareness regarding the importance of regular maintenance check-ups or reluctance to spend on a bargain-acquired pet.

Pet ownership is a luxury, not a right. If unable to afford proper care, a person should reconsider having a pet in order to prevent possible neglect and suffering later. The average cost of owning a cat over a 15-year lifespan is estimated to be $25,000, excluding emergency care.

Unfortunately, we do see willful neglect by owners. Willful neglect is the conscious choice of ignoring a bad situation. Occasionally groomers will start to groom an already bad situation only to uncover something much, much worst. Neglecting a cat’s well-being and living conditions can lead to dire consequences. Regular grooming helps control shedding, hairballs, and uncovers suspicious changes for prompt veterinarian attention. Attempts at educating and professional advice are unfortunately often met with suspicion, resulting in repeated cycle of grooming emergencies.

Thriving Healthy Relationships

The importance of interaction, play, love, and grooming in cat ownership cannot be overstated. Interaction with your cat promotes a thriving, healthy relationship and prevents obesity, depression, and various ailments. In return, cats contribute to our health and well-being by reducing stress, anxiety, and the risk of stroke or heart disease. They also boost immunity, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and enhance sociability.

Despite cats being mostly unplanned additions to our households, they hold significant value. They provide companionship, love, entertainment, and numerous health benefits. The value and rewards cats give us far exceed any possible monetary value.

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21 Jul

Insights into Cat Grooming: Risks of Sedating Cats

Understanding Why Cats Require Sedation


the administering of a sedative drug to produce a state of calm or sleep.


There are various reasons why it might be necessary to sedate cats. These behavioural reasons can range from a naturally defensive temperament, past traumatic encounters, to a fear of being harmed. The result is a highly stressed feline even before it even comes out of the pet carrier. In such heightened states of stress, sedation may lose its efficacy, as affirmed by many vets.

Identifying the Risks of Cat Grooming Under Sedation

The process of grooming under sedation can pose significant risks for both the cat and the groomer. An agitated cat combined with sharp grooming tools, such as clippers or scissors, can lead to unpredictable accidents. The very delicate nature of cat skin makes it very easy to tear or cut. Professional groomers can also suffer permanent injuries due to grooming cats, highlighting the genuine threat to all participants health and safety.

Potential Hazards of Sedating Cats: Delving Deeper

Sedating cats isn’t a straightforward process. Felines have a very sensitive response to environmental toxins. Their metabolization of chemicals can fluctuate significantly. A dosage that was effective one day might not work the next or could even be overly potent. Additionally, sedation risks generally increase with a cat’s age. Your groomer is not trained to oversee your cat’s health and consciousness while under sedation. It is a responsibility best left to vets.

Safest Environment for Sedating Cats: The Criticality of Medical Preparedness

Medical emergency care to manage the risks of sedation can only be guaranteed at a veterinary clinic. It is not available at a grooming salon or home environment. Just as humans sometimes experience complications under sedation, cats with their delicate internal systems can also suffer sudden medical emergencies.

Making Sense of Cat Grooming: A Comparison with Estheticians

Similar to estheticians (not aestheticians), cat groomers work the cosmetic and cleaning procedures of the exterior of their clients. They clean, polish, and spot potential issues. But anything beyond surface-level examination or that has the potential to disturb the internal balance of your cat mandates a vet’s involvement.

Why Veterinary Grooming Costs are Justified: A Lesson in Prevention

Despite the common complaint about the cost of veterinary grooming, it’s worth mentioning that needing to sedate your cat for grooming is often preventable. Many cats that are though to be aggressive can adapt well to regular bathing and brushing without the need for sedation. Consistent grooming schedules are vital to avoiding matting and fostering a positive attitude towards grooming.

Why We Steer Clear of Grooming Cats Under Sedation: Prioritizing Your Cat’s Wellbeing

The primary reason we do not groom cats under sedation is your cat’s health. Cost-effectiveness should not mean putting your cat’s wellbeing or an unprepared groomer’s safety at risk. Transparent communication from the start can help develop a more suitable long-term plan for managing your cat’s grooming needs. At Cat’s Pajamas is committed to educated, regular grooming for the long-term health and happiness of your cat, without compromising its safety.

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03 Jan

 The Pitfalls of Misusing the Furminator: A Critical Examination of Poor Grooming Tools 

As a professional groomer with 25+ years experience, I am familiar with the frustration of dealing with excessive shedding in pets. One commonly advertised grooming tool that aims to address this issue is the Furminator, along with other copy cats. While this tool can be effective when used correctly, it is important to point out its design flaws and the lack of proper instruction. Unfortunately, in the hands of average pet owners, the Furminator often does more harm than good. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind these pitfalls and why choosing poor grooming tools can have negative consequences.

The Importance of Proper Grooming Tools

Professional groomers use specialized tools like stripping/carding tools (for example, my preferred Mars Solingen #330) that are specifically designed to remove undercoat while preserving the protective guard hair. These tools feature quality stainless steel, thick blades with wide-spaced blunt teeth. They are used at a 30-45 degree angle to the skin to comb specifically the undercoat of double-coated pets. It is the soft undercoat that sheds out and needs to be removed as the seasons pass. Comparatively, keeping the guard hair is importance to retain the proper texture, colour, and weather proofing. Guard hair sheds far less frequently and not seasonally.

The Flaws of the Furminator

The Furminator, on the other hand, has a thinner blade with sharp edges and tiny teeth. Its rake-like “T” design encourages users to apply too much force. A user would also have no option but to drag it incorrectly at 90 degrees to the skin, leading to potential cutting and scraping. The T-shaped handle makes it difficult to maintain correct angle and contact with the hair. The tiny sharp teeth tend to catch and shred the hair instead of effectively combing it out.

Ineffective Hair Removal and Damage

The Furminator may give the impression of removing a significant amount of hair. However, it actually scrapes and shreds the outer coat and undercoat indiscriminately It does not differentiate between the two distinct layers of hair. This happens Especially along the back while neglecting other areas that have more undercoat, such as the hind end and mane. Additionally, the Furminator lacks selectivity in hair removal, making it challenging to determine when to stop before the damage is done. This can result in over-grooming, bald patches, and shredded hair cuticles.

Negative Effects on Coat Health

Pets groomed with the Furminator often exhibit shredded hair and damaged hair cuticles. Ragged hair cuticles absorb dirt and snag with one another causing mats. Furthermore, the scraping action of the Furminator can cause redness and irritation to the pet’s skin. In severe cases, the only solution is to trim off the damaged hair, and start afresh. There is no way to repair damaged shredded hair.

The Importance of Responsible Grooming

When using grooming tools, it is essential to prioritize the well-being of your pet. A fundamental rule is to test the tool on yourself first. You need to understand its functionality, sensation, appropriate pressure and finesse required. If a tool is not something you would use on yourself, it is likely unsuitable for your pet. Remember, your cat’s skin and hair is 1/8 the thickness of human skin and hair. Using improper tools can cause physical damage and make a bonding grooming experience less enjoyable.

While the Furminator may appear to be a convenient solution for excessive shedding, it falls short as a reliable grooming tool. The design flaws and lack of instruction result in the potential for misuse. As responsible pet owners, it is crucial to invest in proper grooming tools that are designed to protect and maintain the health of your pet’s coat. Prioritize the well-being of your furry friend and use tools wisely and correctly. This way you can ensure a positive grooming experience that contributes to their overall health and happiness.

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14 Nov

The Importance of Grooming for Your Cat’s Health and Happiness

Regular grooming plays a big role in maintaining the health and happiness of your beloved feline companion. While cats are known for their self-cleaning habits, it’s important to understand that they still need regular grooming to keep their skin and coat in optimal condition. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why grooming is essential for cats and the benefits it brings to both you and your furry friend.

Maintaining Skin and Coat Health

Cats have delicate skin and hair, which requires attention and care. Unlike human skin, their skin and hair follicles are about 1/8th the thickness. This makes them more likely to absorb chemicals, pollutants, and dirt from their environment. While cats do groom themselves using their saliva, it’s important to point out that their saliva contains bacteria and allergens. Regular bathing helps remove excess oil, saliva, dirt, and loose hair and prevents the build-up of grease and matting.

Controlling Shedding and Hairballs

Regular brushing helps control shedding in cats, particularly those with long or plush short-haired coats. By removing loose hair with thorough brushing and blow-drying, you can minimize the amount of hair your cat ingests during grooming. This greatly reduces hairballs in their digestive system. This not only promotes better digestion but also prevents discomfort and potential health issues associated with hairball blockages.

Preventing Skin Problems and Matting

Cats that are overweight, long-haired, or elderly, are more prone to skin problems and matting. Regular grooming helps identify and address these issues early on. Proper brushing, bathing, and coat maintenance can prevent mats from forming. Mats hurt, restrict movement, and lead to skin infections. Keeping your cat’s coat clean and free from tangles also contributes to a healthier overall appearance.

Improved Hygiene and Odor Control

Grooming your cat regularly helps maintain their hygiene and reduces smelly odors. By keeping their face and ears clean, you reduce the risk of infections and discomfort. Additionally, a clean and well-groomed cat is more pleasant to be around. This forms a stronger bond between you and your furry companion. If you are unable to groom your cat, get professional help.

As a responsible cat owner, it’s important to recognize that although cats engage in self-grooming, they still require additional care. Regular grooming sessions not only benefit your cat’s health and well-being, but also provide you with the quality bonding with your feline friend. By adding grooming into your cat care routine, you can ensure a clean, healthy, and happy companion that brings joy to your life.

Additional suggested reading:

Do Cats Need Baths? – 3 Signs Your Cat Needs a Bath – by Janet Wormitt

28 Oct

Should You Bathe A Cat?

Yes, you should bathe a cat. How often depends on the health, age, and habits of your cat.   People with animal allergies react to the proteins in the skin dander. However, more people are allergic to cats because they also cover themselves with saliva which also has proteins.
Just for fun I put together a little infographic comparing professional cat grooming with old fashion spit and tongue.

If I licked myself all over would you hug me?





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06 Sep

The Importance of Regular Cat Grooming: A Key to Cat Health

Regular cat grooming is essential for maintaining your feline companion’s health and avoiding expensive grooming issues. Neglecting maintenance can lead to problems such as mats, imbedded nails, fecal buildup, excessive shedding, allergies, parasites, dandruff, hairballs, and ear and eye infections. By addressing these issues through a consistent grooming routine, you can prevent costly grooming visits and ensure your cat’s happiness and well-being.

Proactive maintenance prevents expensive repairs

Why is regular maintenance vital? Much like a well-maintained car or a proactive approach to personal health, prioritizing cat grooming repairs helps minimize the risk of unexpected issues and expenses. Neglecting grooming needs can result in expensive stressful situations and a higher likelihood of expensive veterinary bills.

When it comes to grooming repairs, prevention is key. Regular maintenance visits are tailored to your cat’s specific needs. This is based on factors such as coat type, age, lifestyle, and your at-home grooming routine. Tailoring the maintenance schedule to your cat’s individual needs ensures health and cost-effective care.

For instance, if you have a young, active, short-haired cat and engage in regular at-home combing, your cat may only need professional grooming once a season. This helps control shedding and eliminates saliva and dander buildup. Regular bathing at least every twelve weeks also promotes hygiene, ensuring a clean living space for both you and your pet. However, if shedding, odour, dandruff or matting become persistent issues, more frequent maintenance visits are necessary.

On the other hand, if you have an older, long-haired cat with medical conditions or weight issues and are unable to manage regular at-home grooming, your cat may require professional grooming as often as every four weeks. Some cats require more frequent grooming to manage health issues and ensure hey are comfortable and happy.

The cost of grooming repairs increases when grooming has been neglected. More extensive repairs take longer, requiring additional time for bathing, drying, combing, and de-matting. A cat in poor condition is often stressed, uncomfortable, and upset, requiring extra effort and time, leading to increased costs. Considering these factors, prioritizing regular maintenance visits is not only proactive for your cat’s well-being but also a cost-effective choice.

One visit isn’t enough to prevent future grooming issues

While some clients dismiss the importance of regular maintenance. They assume a single visit can fix all grooming issues. It’s important to remember that cats, their hair, skin, health, and their environment is dynamic and constantly changing. To encourage awareness of preventable chronic problems, it may be necessary to highlight the financial impact. By understanding that neglecting maintenance leads to increased grooming expenses, clients are more likely to prioritize regular scheduled visits.

To our loyal clients who already embrace regular cat maintenance, we genuinely appreciate your commitment to your cat’s well-being. We express our gratitude for your trust.

To new clients, we welcome you! We are eager to guide you on the right path after your first, and hopefully only, “kitty repair” session.

For sporadic clients, we apologize. You will be charged appropriately due to irregular visits.

Remember, by prioritizing regular cat grooming, you not only promote your cat’s physical health but also save your cat from unnecessary discomfort. Investing in preventive maintenance to ensure your cat remains healthy, happy, and free from preventable grooming issues.




29 Jun

To Trim or Not to Trim: Understanding Cat Paw Hair


In the pet grooming world, it’s a dog-centric world out there. So while it is the norm to trim the hair on the paws of a dog, is it o.k. for cats?


Do you need to trim cat paw hair?

In the world of pet grooming, the focus has been primarily on dogs, leading to a lack of understanding when it comes to cat grooming practices. One common question is whether it’s ok to trim the hair on a cat’s paws. In this article, we will explore the considerations of tradition and practicality when it comes to cat paw hair care.

Tradition and Practicality: Differences Between Dogs and Cats

Traditionally, the hair around a dog’s paws is trimmed due to practical working reasons. Dogs accumulate more dirt and debris between their toes because they are heavier with larger, deep pads, In contrast, cats, with shallow pads and lighter step, do not collect the same volume of debris unless their pads or litter-box are exceptionally dirty. Think of the accumulative difference of snow or mud between cat and dog paws and you get the picture.

There are a couple of exceptional dog breeds that require the hair on the paws NOT to be trimmed at shows. The Pekingese and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel were strictly indoor and formerly “palace” breeds whose paw slippers are traditionally adored.

Unique Features of Cat Paw Hair

Most people are unaware that cats have tactile hairs on more than just their head. Commonly known as whiskers, they are also along the back ridge of their limbs and between their pads. These whiskers provide sensory feedback from vibrations in their environment. If you’re uncomfortable about the notion of cutting your cat’s facial whiskers, then don’t trim their other sensory whiskers.

Cat Breed Standards and Toe Tuffs

Purebred cat breed standards highly prize toe tuffs. Cat fanciers actually fluff and accentuate the hair on the paws for cat shows. As a pet owner, it is worth considering trimming the toe tuffs if they are causing any problems, such as spreading litter box debris. All that’s needed to prevent this issue is regular bathing to remove sticky residue from the pads. Another consideration for paw trimming may be for elderly cats, or those lacking mobility or traction. However, be aware that trimming the toe hair will result in raw blunt whisker ends, rather than the natural supple tapered point.

Grooming Practices: Dog Groomers vs. Certified Cat Groomers

Although dog groomers automatically trim pet paws, a knowledgeable certified cat groomer will not trim toe tuffs unless specifically requested.

When it comes to cat paw hair care, there are considerations of tradition and practicality to keep in mind. Unlike dogs, cats do not usually need the hair on their paws to be trimmed. The presence of tactile hairs (whiskers) and passion for toe tuffs in cat breed standards further highlight the beauty of cat paw hair. In case practical problems such as litter box debris or lack of traction, trimming the paw hair may be necessary. Understand that this results in blunt raw tactile ends. When seeking grooming services, it is advisable to consult a certified cat groomer who understands the specific needs of feline grooming.

06 Jun

Why Cat Hair May Not Grow Back: The Dangers of Shaving or Trimming Cat Hair

Post-clipping alopecia, the condition where hair fails to regrow after shaving or trimming, is a common concern among cat owners. While this situation is well-known in dogs, it is less discussed regarding cats. To understand why hair may not grow back after trimming, it is crucial to understand the cat hair growth cycle.

Understanding the Hair Cycle

Hair follicles, which are pockets within the skin, are present in cats from birth. Hair consists of specialized skin cells that require stimulation to grow. The exact mechanisms behind this stimulation are not yet fully understood.

In a normal hair cycle, follicles form, grow to a predetermined length, and then sheds. The cycle repeats continuously. Hair length varies depending on genetics and the location of growth.

The hair growth cycle consists of four stages:

  1. Anagen: The growth stage
  2. Catagen: The end of active growth
  3. Telogen: The resting phase
  4. Exogen: The shedding stage

How long each stage of the hair growth cycle lasts is influenced by factors such as health, age, gender, location, and breed. Additionally, neighboring hair follicles may be in different stages of growth. Consequently, regrowth after trimming can be delayed depending on what phase the majority of hair was in.

Other Factors to Consider

Certain cat breeds such as Rexes already have unique hair structure making them the most vulnerable to halted hair regrowth. Several other underlying factors can impact hair regrowth, including general health, hormones, seasonal changes, nutrition, temperature, and daylight hours. Illness and stress can trigger a premature shift into the exogen phase of the hair cycle, while dry and brittle hair may indicate poor nutrition. Veterinary advice is advisable in such cases.

For a normal, healthy cat, regrowing a full coat can take anywhere from 3 to 18 months, depending on breed and hair length. Hair regrowth may stop after clipping because the skin follicles may be predominately in a catagen or telogen phase. In such instances, it may take cats 6 months to 2 years to regrow their hair fully.

Disrupting Nature’s Design

Cat hair is not the same as human hair. Humans have continuously growing guard hair that is 8x coarser in texture which emerges from a single follicle. Our average active growth phase is around 7 years. Cats comparatively possess a double coat comprised of finer guard hairs and a downy undercoat. Their average active growth cycle is 6 to 18 months, and a single cat hair follicle can produce 5-7 awl hairs and one guard hair.

Cat guard hair acts as protective weatherproofing, similar to shingles on a roof. Guard hair has a crisp texture due to a tight melanin structure and smooth cuticles. The downy awl hair is softer with rougher cuticles and provides insulation.

Repeatedly trimming the hair weakens the guard hair shaft as it attempts to continue growing. Frequent shaving can ultimately lead to the complete stall of guard hair growth. Without guard hairs to protect the body from the elements, the thickened downy awl hair becomes the dominant growth, leaving the cat with only its fuzzy undercoat. This undercoat attracts and absorbs more dirt, leading to matting issues. The end result is an unnatural and damaged hair environment.

While there can be valid reasons to consider hair trimming, it is essential to recognize the possible long-term effects of disrupting the natural hair cycle.

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