Do Cats Need Lion Cuts?

A Lion Cut is not necessary for every cat, and is not always required for even some long-haired cats that do receive this grooming style.  But there are reason why this cut is good for cats.

A Lion Cut?  Isn’t Brushing Good Enough?

Cat getting a lion cut groom at Posh Pooches Toronto

Cat getting a lion cut groom at Posh Pooches Toronto

Lion cuts are typically reserved for the long haired (and sometimes mid-length) cats that are more prone to matting in their fur.  Anytime grooming on a cat requires cutting or shaving the hair, please see a professional to reduce the chances of injuring your cat. There are a few reasons why a lion cut might be useful.  Here are a few that we experience in our grooming salon:

  1. The most common reason for obtaining the lion cut for your cat is due to matting of the fur. When a long-hair cat starts to get tangles in their fur that cannot be brushed out, they will need to be removed either by scissors, (not recommended) or shaving.  The longer the mats exist, the more likely that the skin underneath will be irritated or damaged.  The cat will become more and more uncomfortable with the matting, and eventually it will become painful if left too long.  The matted fur begins to pull at the skin causing the irritation.
  2. Aging cats that no longer groom themselves.  Some cats, as they get older, or some that don’t really care to groom themselves even though they are younger, can be more susceptible to dirty and matted fur if they don’t groom themselves regularly (if at all).
  3. Relief from heat in the warm months.  Some will have their cat groomed with the lion cut in the spring or early summer to provide some relief from the heat.  If your cat is indoor, and your home is warm in the winter, some owners will continue to have the lion cut all year long.  Outdoor cats in the winter will typically let the hair grow long to maintain warmth in the colder months.
  4. Allergies!  When one or more people in your home have allergies toward the cat, a lion cut will often reduce the effect allergies can have on those who suffer from it.
  5. Shedding!  Some people have the cats groomed with the lion cut to reduce the shedding on the home.  While many short-haired cats shed a lot of fur as well, they can be groomed with a good brush, bath, and blow-dry. This will reduce the shedding in the home for a period of time.
  6. Esthetics! There are a small number of cat owners that simply like the look of the lion cut on their cat.

What is a Lion Cut?

A lion cut is a shaved grooming style that removes most of the hair using specialized clippers on the body of the cat, but leaves the hair on a few small areas.  The typical lion cut will leave hair on the face and head, lower-half of all four paws, and on the tip of the tail.

lion cut, cat grooming

Lion cut complete. Time for a little chin rub.

As mentioned above, the lion cut is most useful for the long-haired cats, and not really required on the shorter haired.  As the cat ages, and gets to be considered old, the lion cut can become more dangerous.  Depending on the age and fragility of the cat, some will not be able to tolerate this type of groom.  As the cat ages, their skin becomes thinner and more susceptible to nicks and cuts.  Consult your groomer to see if your cat is a good candidate.

Do cats like the lion cut?

Usually cats are not very big fans of the grooming process during the lion cut, but like the feeling of the cut afterwards.  We do not use sedation during the process of our groom, but are prepared with gloves and a cone for when a cat gets feisty.  This will protect us from bites and scratches.  Surprisingly, some cats are actually quite calm during the process, and some even enjoy when they receive a bath.  Baths are not required, but are given upon request.  Some cats do not tolerate the blow dry after a bath, so they are toweled down and dried as much as possible.  (Make sure to bring a blanket or dry towel to keep them warm on the drive home after they have a bath.)