Should You Give Your Long Haired Cat a Lion Cut?

What is a Lion Cut for Cats

A lion cut is a cat haircut where the cat’s fur is shaved very short on the main body, chest, and belly areas, but leaving the fur longer around the cat’s face, head, upper neck, legs, paws, and end of the tails. The longer hair around the head resembles a lion’s mane, as does the pom pom on the end of the cat’s tail. 

What Cats Should Consider a Lion Cut

  • Long-haired breeds such as Himalayans, Maine Coons, and Persians
  • Cats with a large number of severe mats
  • Some elderly cats that have stopped or decreased their regular self grooming
  • Cats with limited flexibility, which makes grooming difficult for them

5 Reasons Why to Give Lion Cuts

There are several pros associated with giving your cat a lion cut. Check out this list of some of the most common reason why giving your cat a lion cut is a good idea.

Remove Matted Fur

A lion cut is a safe way to remove extremely matted areas without leaving bald or uneven sections on your cat. Matted hair can be very uncomfortable for cats and even create health issues if not dealt with promptly. Long haired cats are more susceptible to matted fur.

Reduce Hairballs

Trimming the fur decreases the possibility of hairballs since a cat will swallow less hair while grooming. Hairballs can create additional complications for cats, so that a lion cut may be suitable for cats more prone to hairballs.

Low Maintenance

A lion cut will make it very easy to keep your cat’s coat clean and debris-free. You won’t have to brush your cat as frequently, and there will be more minor areas of your cat’s body that need to be brushed regularly. However, you should still check your cat and brush your cat as needed.

Easier Grooming for Senior Cats

Older cats may start to experience issues with regular grooming. Elderly cats can lose flexibility, making it hard to groom as well as they did in their younger years.

Just like with people, older cats can start to have more regular stiffness, which can decrease their flexibility, which can contribute to preventing them from maintaining a healthy coat.

However, before having your senior kitty sport this new hair style, you should speak with your veterinarian to be sure your cat is not higher risk in other areas.

Less Shedding

Cats will still shed fur, but it will be less than when their hair was longer. You will have fewer fur clumps floating across floors and in the air. 

5 Reasons Not to Give Your Cat a Lion Cut

The lion cut is not appropriate for all cats and even not for some long haired cat. Review these reasons against getting the lion cut before booking a grooming appointment. 

Risk of Sunburn

Cutting the fur extremely short for the lion cut means your cat won’t have as much protection from the sun, which is especially important for cats that go outdoors. Cats can get sunburn from ultraviolet sun rays.

Cats with lighter fur or white cats can be more at risk of sunburn with a lion cut since the skin is very exposed to the sun. 

Unable to Maintain Comfortable Body Temperature

Cats typically can regulate their body temperature so they don’t get too hot or too cold. Shaved hair may affect your cat’s ability to maintain an appropriate temperature. The cat can become overheated or even chilled when its body is shaved that short. 

A lion cut is more suitable for a warm climate as opposed to when there is cold weather. In areas of year-round hot weather, the lion cut may help your cat stay cooler.

A note for older or ill cats – you may want to reconsider a lion cut for the reasons stated above. If your cat is very matted, you should consult your vet for advice on whether a lion cut is a good idea for your cat. 

Limits Skin Protection

Your cat’s coat can serve as a protective barrier from the elements and protect their skin. The fur helps protect their skin, which can be delicate from being scratched during fights with other cats or animals.

For outdoor cats, their fur helps decrease the scrapes that may occur from walking through brush, thorny bushes, or rubbing against branches. Shaved areas may leave them more susceptible to cuts and scratches.

Negative Reaction or Depression

Some cats have been very disagreeable with having their fur completely shaved off. Signs of depression may include your cat hiding and acting out of the ordinary, such as being anti-social or not eating. It is also possible your cat is sensitive to touch and doesn’t want to be around anyone.

Any cats with these reactions should not get the lion cut in the future. If the cut was due to matted fur, there are other ways you can remove matted hair from your cat that do not involve shaving them.

Not For Cats that Hate Clippers

Cats that hate to be groomed with electric clippers may not be good candidates for a lion cut. Some cats get very scared from the buzzing sound and the vibration feeling of having clippers used on them.

If you have never tried to use an electric shaver, another hint may be if you have ever tried to cut cat claws and your cat gets very upset and frantic. This is a sign of a cat that may not do well being shaved.

If your cat falls into this category, it is not worth putting them through the stress and fear they will experience to have a lion cut. Not all cats, pet or even dogs are adaptable to lion cuts.

Final Notes on the Lion Cut

Doing a lion cut cat is more than just shaving your cat. Please don’t try to give your cat a lion cut at home. Cat owners should find a professional groomer with experience with doing the lion cut grooming process.

Professional groomers know how to properly handle and groom your cat while keeping the cat safe. It is worth paying to go to a grooming salon for this particular cut, especially since one grooming session will last for a while and is not something you’ll need to get done frequently.

For pets that take well to the lion cuts, you can set up a grooming schedule once you understand how long before your cat’s fur grows back.

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