by Munira Murrey,
by Lorna Swanson,
and some Tabby Persians and Exotics often have a step in their
grooming routine usually not shared by the other color divisions --
you may ask?
of the standard in the Silver & Golden division is a reference
to "Rims of eyes, lips, and nose outlined with black".
is what breeder's call the cat's "mascara". Incomplete or poor
mascara is penalized in the show ring.
Therefore, exhibitors of well-presented Silvers and Goldens
take care that the mascara on their cat's nose leather is not
obscured by hair along the edge of the nose leather. The best way of
emphasizing good nose mascara is by shaving the hairline around the
photo above is of 7 month old Shaded Silver Persian, Missionhill
Infinite Wisdom. Notice how beautifully the line of black mascara
outlines his nose.
|If we look more closely at his nose, we can see how the
clearly defined mascara edges the nose.
brick colored nose is outlined
in black "mascara"
|However, even as little as a week's growth of hair can begin
to obscure the mascara line, hiding one of the most unique features
of a Silver Persian. This is a photo of the same cat, only a week
after being shaved.
week's hair growth
If left unshaved, the hair would eventually cover
the entire black liner. To control the growth of the hair covering the
mascara, we will shave the hair away from the edges of the nose leather.
This may seem a little daunting to the first time groomer, but with a
little care and a little know-how, it is easier than you think.
Before you begin,
assemble the things you
need to shave your kitty's nose.
Your list should include:
- Hibitane Skin Cleanser
- Pears Soap and a container to put it in
small container of warm water
- Quilted Cotton round makeup pads
- Cotton Swabs
Hibitane - in
case the nose is nicked while shaving. Of course, it also comes in
useful if dealing with an unpredictable cat who bites the hand that
shaves him, then the Hibitane would be applied to the bitten hand.
- Pears Soap - I like using
Pears because it doesn't lather. Any soap or shampoo can be used to
assist in getting a smooth shave.
- Razor - A single edge BIC
razor works best. It must be sharp. A dull razor irritates the sensitive
nose of a cat and doesn't do as good a job.
- A container to hold hot water
if you are not working on a counter near a tap.
- Cotton pads -
I cut each round pad into 6 pieces. I find this a
convenient size to work with and is also much more economical than using
a whole pad.
- Q-tips - for applying soap to
The best time to shave a cat's nose is immediately after bathing.
With the cat wrapped in a towel and happy to be over the ordeal of a bath,
the nose shaving is usually an anticlimax and can be done very quickly
with the cat raising no objection. This is also a good time to remove any
plaque from the teeth.
||Take a Q-tip and dip it in hot water first. Cats don't like
to get soap in their nostrils so the Q-tip should not be dripping
||Then rub the end of the Q-tip on the Pears soap.
||Rub the soapy Q-tip lightly all around the cat's nose, being
sure to soap slightly beyond the edge of the nose
the razor low at the base to get maximum control.
should have a very firm hold on the head of the cat. However it is
very important that the razor is held gently and your wrist should
and flexible. With a loose wrist, if the cat jumps, the
razor will simply bounce off. If it is held rigidly then the cat can
be hurt if he pushes up towards it.
the razor in hot water - warm steel on your nose is much more
comfortable than cold steel.
the cat held against my bosom (taller people would have the cat held
against their midriff!) and facing away from me. I am right handed
so I position the cat so it is facing away but slightly to the left,
around the 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. position if it were the small
hands of a clock.
my head right over the cat, looking down on it from the top. I need
to bend really close to see what I am doing because you can't afford
to make the slightest mistake. Both sides of the nose must be
start shaving with light, quick strokes right in the center of the
nose, but not going up as high as I eventually want it to be. I then
shave the 2
sides so the side liner is the same width as the
center liner. A quick frontal check to make sure that everything
looks balanced and then I finish
the center shaving and pluck
any hairs from the crease between the nose (if there is
shave the nose too high, then it no longer looks natural. A little
looks good, too much looks artificial!
most silver Persians there is no danger of shaving any hair which is
not on the nose. With very extreme silver Persians you have to be
extremely (pardon the pun) careful not to damage the eyes. I
have a couple of cats whose noses are in direct line with the
eyeballs. When the nose is very short, the break is very deep and
the eyes are very large, there is a real danger of nicking the eye
during shaving. If you have any doubt about your ability to shave
the nose safely, it is better to pluck the hairs instead. When
these noses I frequently change the position of the
razor so that I don't use the center for shaving, but one end of it.
position my fingers so that I protect the eye on the side I am
working from (this would mean the right eye for right handed
people). When shaving the right corner of the nose, I angle the
razor up and out, using the right side of the razor.
the shaver sideways and shave from the center of the nose out to the
the corner of the shaver to reach into the corners of the
shaving the bottom left side of the nose, I angle the razor so that
I use the left side only.
longer nosed silver I use the center of the razor for shaving the
center of the nose.
notice, the nose appears to be heart shaped after being
silvers, this one included, have a little dip (crease, dimple,
whatever you want to call it) running up the center of the nose.
It is not possible to shave this part, even if you try
stretching the nose apart. The only way to deal with this is by
using a pair of tweezers.
Tweeze from above or below.
The tweezers can also be used to remove the bits of hair on
both sides of the base of the nostrils if desired.
the mascara around
the nose leather is hidden by
the clear outline
of the mascara is
My cats are wonderful for having their noses shaved. I am always
very relaxed when I do this and I think this also helps them to feel
relaxed and secure.
If you have a cat that is tense it is a good idea to
rub his ears, stroke him under the chin and kiss him on his nose, gently
talking to him all the time. Making eye contact while you do this
reassures the cat that there is nothing to worry about.
You may also want to consider using this technique if a cat
appears to have a low nose-set. Shaving the nose will definitely make the
nose look shorter and higher on this type of cat.
So... there you have it... How To Shave Your Cat's
Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from PandEcats.com
the online magazine devoted to Persian and Exotic cats.