5 Lion Cut Cat Tips for Grooming Long-Haired Cats

Cat breeds with longer hair are much harder to groom compared to short-haired ones. They usually need help from their owners or professional groomers for the maintenance of their coats. In fact, long-haired cats are more prone to developing certain hair-related problems like hairballs and matting.

One way to reduce the possibility of hair-related problems is to get it a lion cut. A lion cut is a style of grooming, usually for long-haired breeds (and sometimes short-haired breeds), wherein most of their hairs are clipped while some body parts are left with short fur. 

It is usually done to Persians or Himalayans but it can work on almost all long-haired breeds

cat with beards

A lion cut is an effective way of lessening your cat’s grooming needs. Aside from its grooming benefits, it also helps the cat feel cooler and more comfortable.

Why Give Your Cat a Lion Cut?

There are several benefits to giving your cat a lion cut. These benefits are mainly with respect to grooming, but some aspects such as appearance and health can also be affected.

Here are its 5 main benefits to your cat:

1. It significantly lessens hairballs

Cats primarily use their tongue for grooming themselves. Every time they do this, there is a chance that they lick off some hair and this is how hairballs are formed. Your cat will start vomiting or choking when the amount of hair it ingests becomes too much for its digestive tract.

Hairballs are much more common during warmer weather when your cat will most likely start shedding hair. Hairballs are also considerably more problematic for long-haired cats. They can sometimes even cause fatal infections or blockages in the intestine.

One advantage of a lion cut is that it significantly minimizes your cat’s ingestion of hairballs. It also makes your pet’s bath times to a minimum, especially since a lot of cats aren’t really fond of bathing. Just make sure that you let a professional groomer shave your cat to ensure its quality and safety.

2. It removes and prevents matted hair

Aside from hairballs, long-haired cats can also have matted or tangled hair. Matted hair is formed due to a build-up in the skin’s natural oils as hair sheds. This is quite a nuisance for cats because matted hair is difficult and often times painful to groom.

Matted hair makes the skin itchy which causes your cat to scratch or lick it more than usual. But licking and scratching only worsens the condition and makes the matted hair area itchier. This also causes the skin on the matted hair area to be irritated or sometimes even wounded because the hair eventually starts pulling the skin under.

Matting in cats typically occurs during molting (around spring and autumn). It can also be a symptom of skin fungi. Matted hair will cause injuries to your pet’s skin if you attempt to forcibly brush it. The best and safest way to remove it is through shaving and this is where a lion cut becomes useful.

A lion cut also serves as a preventive measure not only against matted hair but also other hair-related health problems.

3. It minimizes shedding

Since a large amount of hair is shaved in a lion cut, shedding also becomes significantly reduced. This is helpful not only for your cat but also for your household. It helps your cat since it won’t suffer from shedding which can cause the formation of hairballs. It also becomes less prone to hair-related health problems previously mentioned.

Giving your cat a lion cut helps your household because it reduces the amount of hair scattered around in your home. This is a relief especially for owners who can’t afford to spend too much of their time cleaning up hair.

4. It helps your cat to be cooler

Some long-haired cat breeds are not necessarily fond of a warmer climate. Their long hair traps heat which gives them the feeling of warmth. This is, of course, useful in cold weather, but hot weather is a different case.

A lion cut can help your cat feel more comfortable and cozy through better thermoregulation. It helps it feel cooler, especially during hotter weather (summer season). It gives cats relief during summer when they are in the mood to play outdoors.

5. It makes your pet easier to groom

Because a cat’s hair becomes drastically reduced in a lion cut, the need for grooming also becomes significantly easier. You will be able to better attend to its grooming and hair-related or skin-related needs because there will be so much less hair to groom.

Your cat also will have a much easier time grooming itself. Since the possibilities of matting or hairballs are minimized, your cat will be more comfortable cleaning itself. It will be able to self-groom more effectively. This is especially important for older cats since they become less flexible as they age which makes it harder for them to self-groom.

Tips Before Giving Your Cat a Lion Cut

Even though giving your cat a lion cut has its advantages, it may also come with a few drawbacks. This is why owners have to be aware of the side effects of giving their pet a lion cut.

The first thing about the lion cut is that most cats hate the process. They do not necessarily hate the style itself but the process of shaving before fully getting one. The process makes them uncomfortable and some cats become a bit hostile during it. Some cat veterinary clinics even offer grooming services under anesthesia.

Another thing to remember is that a lion cut makes your cat’s skin more vulnerable. It can feel a bit cooler compared to before shaving. This may be advantageous during warm weather but it is an entirely different case during cold weather.

Since the hairs that trap the heat for your cat’s skin no longer exist, it has no way of feeling warm by itself which can make it feel uncomfortable.

Cats would also have less skin protection. Although hairs are soft, they still serve as thin protective barriers against some things in nature such as plant thorns or rough surfaces. Having less hair means being more vulnerable to outside conditions and this can include sunburns.

They become more prone to sunburns since the sun’s rays will penetrate right through their skin instead of being mitigated by hairs. That’s why you should make sure that your cat stays indoors especially during extremely hot weather.

Lastly, it is possible that your cat will hate the lion cut. This is not specific to the lion cut, but some cats just feel anxious whenever they lose a lot of hair (something the lion cut is all about). Some may also feel anxious and stressed during the process of shaving itself. Shaving your cat is not really a natural occurrence so it is perfectly normal for them to feel this way.

Just show your cat the affection and care it needs and it will eventually be indifferent to it or maybe even like having a lion cut. Make it as comfortable as possible and never let it feel otherwise. Besides, this is for your pet’s own sake anyways and you are just trying to be a good owner.

Miranda LaSala
Miranda LaSala

My destination ever since I was born was to be a cat person. When I had the chance, I took the course on Veterinary Tech from Pima Medical Institute, Seattle. For the last 5 years, I've worked as a kennel assistant, veterinary nurse, and a surgical nurse.

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