The world’s educational and certification organization for cat groomers teaches reverse shaving on cats for a variety of reasons. Some of these can be found in the following article “Crispy Legs.”
In addition to the points made in the blog post article, it is important to know that a reverse shave allows for beautiful, crisp lines at the neck, legs, and tail lines (esthetic beauty and easy symmetry) and also for the greatest efficiency and speed, which are so incredibly important when working with cats (safety). Most cats give us 45-60 minutes to complete a groom from start to finish. By using easy reference points based on the cat’s anatomy and by shaving in reverse, it is possible to complete a lion cut groom, complete with bath and blow dry, within these time limits.
A reverse shave also makes for a velvety smooth finish that feels a lot like suede. There will be no clipper blade track marks or uneven spots. The same principles that are used when shaving a poodle face are at play here. It is also the same when we women shave our legs or men shave their faces. A reverse shave creates the smoothest end result.
If a groomer wants to complete every cat groom they commit to in a safe and timely manner and end up with beautiful lines and perfect symmetry, shaving in reverse is the way to go.
Often when we hear from critics on this topic, the argument is based on misinformation that cat hair will somehow not grow back if shaved in reverse. This simply is not true.
In rare instances when a cat’s coat grows back in unevenly, we have found this to be an indicator of an underlying health issue that requires veterinary attention. In these cases, uneven hair growth after a lion cut can lead to early intervention and potential life-saving treatment that would have otherwise not been given in a timely manner or at all.
Why shave in reverse? The better question is why NOT shave in reverse!