“The lion cut: no, it’s not cruel” – the words of Jackson Galaxy in his book Total Cat Mojo. It caught my eye because I am against lion cuts and any attempts at modifying the anatomy of a cat if it is done for the owner’s amusement. And that’s the point that Jackson makes and it is a good point.
If a lion cut is for the owner (the guardian) and not for the cat it is clearly wrong. However, if it’s for the cat it can be a good thing. So when is a lion cut done for the cat’s benefit?
Jackson mentions three circumstances: long haired cats enduring a hot summer and senior or elderly cats who have trouble grooming themselves.
He says it is not cruel to give long-haired cats a lion cut in the summer. However, he also makes the point that long hair is not a natural look for the wild cat species. You hardly see it. There is one I can instantly think of with very long hair, the Pallas cat. But the hair is long because the cat lives in a cold climate.
Breeders have created domestic cats with long hair and the breeders can live in places where there are hot summers. Overly long hair on cats is rather unnatural and artificial and it needs to be managed. It exists to enhance the cat’s appearance and to please paying customers.
Very long fur should be groomed by the owner because their cat might struggle to do it effectively herself leaving matting. Jackson tells us that many long-haired cats don’t like being groomed by their owner because, ‘cats with long hair are going to be even more sensitive to touch and to the displacement of their hair during grooming or petting’. Reading between the lines, he is indicating a failure in breeding it seems to me because if longhaired cats can’t adequately groom themselves and people hurt them slightly when doing it instead you have to think breeding failure.
Conclusion: long fur can be cut off in the summer in the form of a lion cut in regions where the temperatures are high. It might make the cat happier and if so the lion cut can’t be said to be cruel. Such hair cuts can be good when done for the cat. That’s the motto.
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