I am not sure about the cat lion cut. It is quite popular and on occasions is carried out by a veterinarian who may put the cat under a general anaesthetic. That for me is unacceptable because anaesthetics carry risks for cats – unless, of course, it is being done for health reasons such as bad matting. However, it made me wonder whether, on occasions, individual cats may feel more comfortable with a lion cut. Indeed, some individual cats may actively like receiving this haircut. It may feel as pleasurable as being groomed.
The cat lion cut may, in certain circumstances, be a good thing. Let’s look at the circumstances. Some of the summer conditions in the Midwest of America can be very hot indeed. The conditions can be quite demanding. Full-time indoor cats will probably benefit from the ubiquitous air-conditioning. However, there are still many indoor/outdoor cats in America and I presume there are still many homes where there is no air conditioning. A long haired cat living under these conditions could arguably benefit from a lion cut. As I said, though, it will depend upon the individual cat. Many cats will probably dislike the whole process. Indeed, they may be frightened of it. However a visitor made a comment on a page about the lion cut. This is what she said:
My longhaired indoor baby loves her summer lion cut. No hairballs, grooming in high humidity, or getting dusty when she reclines under the furniture to cool off. She get clipped, bathed and her nails done at the groomers every June and purrs happily the entire time (Sharon)
There are other potential benefits to this form of cat hair cut. The obvious one that comes to mind is that it will reduce the possibility of a flea infestation. It will help the cat caretaker to manage better a flea infestation. However, it should not be an easy way out of dealing with cat fleas. Dealing with fleas is far more complicated than simply giving your cat a haircut.
In some instances, a cat’s coat may be unnaturally long due to breeding for a long coat. I’m thinking of the contemporary Persian cat, for example. These cats seem to me to be unsuited to hot summer temperatures and to be outdoors.
What about the Maine Coon cat? This cat is designed really for cooler climates. The Norwegian Forest Cat lives in Norway a country known to be rather cool. If this cat is transported into a very hot climate is he or she going to be uncomfortable unless the home has air conditioning? Might, on occasions, some people be putting cats designed for cold temperatures in places that are hot which may cause the cat a little bit of discomfort and which may go unnoticed?
I don’t know the answers. I am simply posing a question about how our cat feels when carrying a dense coat of fur designed to keep him warm when in fact the air temperature is already warm or hot. Is there, on occasions, a mismatch between the coat of the cat and the environment in which she lives because the cat is domesticated and being transported out of their natural environment? I’m just asking questions, questions that are rarely asked. The point is, cats hide their discomfort very well. We don’t know if our cat is feeling uncomfortable because her coat is too long for the climate in which she lives.
Photo credit top of page: Photo copyright Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic