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The Irreverent Vet Speaks Out on Catscaping

By: Irreverent Vet

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I'll admit it right now – this is a slightly goofy topic, but real.

Before I go any further, let me introduce myself for those of you that don't know me. I'm the Irreverent Veterinarian. I speak my mind and give you my honest opinion. I won't sweet-talk you or sugarcoat the truth. I tell it like it is – to you, the drug companies, the pet product manufacturers, professional breeders and pet owners. Some might say that I'm truthful to a fault. Some of the pet owners and breeders who read my columns get really angry. It is hard hearing the truth.

Now that you know who I am, let's get back to the somewhat goofy subject at hand.

Have you heard the common term "manscaping"? It refers to the removal of body hair by shaving. Lots of men partake in manscaping. These men remove body hair from their arms and chest, and yes, they even remove pubic hair. Some men do it for cosmetic reasons (to "look better"), some do it for hygienic reasons (removing excess pubic hair may be more hygienic), some do it for sexual reasons (the removal of unwanted hair may create different sexual sensations) and some men do it because of cultural and religious customs.

Well, now that you know what "manscaping" is, imagine this ... a dog owner recently asked me if it was okay to "dogscape" his dog! Dogscaping? Are you serious?

And just when you think you have heard every possible ridiculous question in the book – boom – along comes another one you've never heard before. I am referring, of course, to "catscaping".

Catscaping

If dogs can be dogscaped – what about cats? Can they be catscaped?

Most cats are "catscaped" for the purpose of removing excessive hair that is commonly soiled. This is especially true of long-haired cats that get feces caught in their hair. It makes sense. It is something we veterinarians have done for years. If a cat comes to the hospital all soiled with diarrhea, we will often clip some hair to clean them and make it easier to keep them clean. We just didn't use the term "catscaping".

I recently catscaped a cat that had hair and urine all around his penis. It was a big "clot" of debris. This cat's owner brought him to the clinic because he had a funny smell (which was coming from this big wad of crystals and urine caught in the hair around his penis). The cat was too fat to groom himself, so we shaved all the hair around his penis. Ideally, the cat needed to lose weight so he could actually groom himself but in the meantime, catscaping did the trick.

My Final Thoughts on Catscaping

Catscaping is okay – particularly when it is done to help your kitty stay "clean".

Disclaimer

The Irreverent Vet is a columnist that regularly contributes to PetPlace.com. The goal is to add a balanced and alternative view of some controversial pet issues. As happens with all of us, veterinarians can't always say what they really think without offending some clients. This commentary allows vets to say what they think and give you, the pet owner, the opportunity to consider another point of view. All opinions are those of the Irreverent Vet and not the views of PetPlace.com and are not endorsed by PetPlace.com.

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