Vet anesthetizes cats for a lion cut

by Michael

Lion cut - photo by moohaha (Flickr)

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Lion cut - photo by moohaha (Flickr)

Anesthetizing a cat is dangerous. The degree of risk depends on a number of facts two of which are the level of the vet's skill and the amount of relevant equipment that he or she has.

So if a vet is to anesthetize a cat it should be for serious matters that concern the cats health.

Across America vets anethetize cats to declaw them. This is double trouble. The declawing in agony for the cat and can lead to long term physical and mental damage and the anesthetic can kill them. Good isn't it? All for the owner's convenience. Cat teeth cleaning carries a risk too.

Another procedure being promoted by a Las Vegas vet is a lion cut carried under under anesthetic.

He says that sometimes it is impossible to do a lion cut on a cat because it is too difficult to do on certain cats.

For people who are not sure, a lion cut is cutting the cats' fur so that is looks like the fur of a lion. This is a substantial hair cut.

The vet is Dr. Koppe. His clinic is All About Cats (the link takes you to the online newspaper article).

Dr Koppe justifies the procedure by saying that a lion cut in hot Nevada is justified on health grounds. It stops matting and stops the cat getting hot and producing hairballs.

Personally I don't see it as being justified. The way around this is for the cat's caretaker to groom daily. The breeders should bred cats with fur that is not overly long. And if the owner must go to a "professional" to have a cat's fur trimmed it should be a groomer and the person should do it without anesthetic.

This is just another example of a vet prioritizing financial profit over the health of the cat.


Post dated 29th January 2012.

Comments for
Vet anesthetizes cats for a lion cut

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Jan 30, 2012 Disgraceful
by: Mrs M

Why do people do this to their pets?
The vet can only anesthetise cats with the 'owners' consent so it wouldn't happen if those people weren't so ignorant.
Animal welfare in the USA is deteriorating instead of improving and yes vets are to blame but the idiotic 'owners' who pay for their money making schemes must take the larger share.

Jan 30, 2012 Sickening
by: Barbara

Is there no limit to how low some vets will stoop to make money and pander to clients that shouldn't be allowed within 100yards of live animals? This is degrading for the cat as well as dangerous, putting a cat through an unnecessary anaesthetic and the risk of infection from nicked skin for the sake of a fashion fad. There is no justification for this, a well groomed cat doesn't get matted fur and a daily brush and combing session should be a pleasure for cat and human to share. I am so sick of reading about vets in the US selling their souls to the devil and providing "services" such as declawing and now this, it seems to me that money is the strongest motivation and respect for animals just doesn't exist
PS I love the cat in the pic's little fat tummy

Barbara avatar

Jan 30, 2012 How much lower will vets like that sink ?
by: Ruth

How much lower can some vets sink to make money out of adapting cats as if they only exist for people to do with what they will ?
There is no excuse for taking away cats fur even in hot climates because the fur helps regulate the cats temperature.
Do the people who pay to have this degrading cut done to their cats have their own heads shaved to 'keep cool' ? Both men AND women of course, if not, why not ?
I just hope this fashion doesn't catch on, taking cats freedom, taking their claws and now taking their fur too, whatever next ?
Those people are not fit to have cats and those vets are not fit to practice veterinary medicine.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

12 thoughts on “Vet anesthetizes cats for a lion cut”

  1. I had to give a friend’s Persian mix cat a lion clip due to badly matted fur. She just held him while I clipped. He didn’t mind it at all, in fact, he was making biscuits and purring the whole time. These clips are sometimes necessary because the owners don’t realize their cats need daily grooming so they don’t mat. My friend learned her lesson; she kept up with his grooming as his coat grew out to its glory once again. She just brought him to me for a sanitary cut when he needed one.

  2. Yes cats have fur just like we have clothes,it’s Natures way of keeping them warm without the encumberence of having to wear clothes.Shaving their fur away is like us walking around naked.
    We look after our own hair,we brush and comb it to keep it knot free,so why not do the same for our pets if they have the type of hair that needs a lot of attention to keep it right.

  3. I have long haired cats amongst my rescue cats and if I had one with matted fur I’d be ashamed of myself as I’d know it was MY fault.
    Karren’s russian blue “loved it” is the daftest thing I’ve heard.
    Like Ruth says,cats come with fur coats for a reason.

    1. Like Ruth says,cats come with fur coats for a reason

      Yes, this is a point I missed. We don’t really have the right to cut it all off. If a cat has arthritis, treat the arthritis and groom the cat for her.

  4. I do groom her daily but the mats still occur. If I do not have her shaved it will result in a skin infection. She has a very fine undercoat that for some reason seems to fall out all at once during the weather change in spring. You can see in the picture that one of her eyes is watering. This occurs because the shedding fur gets in her nose and eyes while she is grooming herself and causes her to sneeze and have eye problems. Grooming and cat care should be considered based on the cats individual needs. Even though she gets shaved while under for other reasons I don’t think I would really have a problem if it was just for grooming given the health issues caused by the mats and loose fur.

  5. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    If cats weren’t meant to have fur they would be born without! They have fur coats for a reason!
    The vets I worked for would never recommend shaving a cat to save the ‘owner’ having to groom him because part of being a good cat caretaker is the brushing and combing of cats at least once daily to keep their fur healthy and knot free.

  6. The cat in your picture above is mine, I have no idea how you got this picture and really want to know. The vet is very careful and she is put under anestesia for other reasons and her fur is trimmed at that time to save her the trauma of being shaved while awake. Aside from that I cannot speak for other cat owners but my cat gets her fur shaved for health reasons. she is 15 years old and has arthritis this causes difficutly with grooming herself. In spring when she sheds she gets mats that are painful and tramatic when removed with a brush. Don’t just assume things please do research before you start spreading rumors that are not true.

    1. This was posted sometime ago. The picture was on the Flickr website and published here under creative commons license (the person who posted the picture gave permission upfront for it to be published elsewhere). If your cat was anesthetised for other reasons than a lion cut and the cut was done as a secondary matter, I will apologise.

      The fact is that anesthetizing a cat carries health risks. By my estimate 1 in 400 cats die under anesthetic but there are no hard facts on this. So, to get a hair cut with that kind of risk is unjustified. That is the point I am making.

      If you groomed her daily or twice daily would that avoid the need for a lion cut?

    1. Wow. I am pleased to hear that. If lion cuts can be done without anesthetic that changes everything for me because lion cuts are not bad as long as there is no downside. Was there a functional as well as an aesthetic reason for the cut? I mean without fur it is easier to keep the skin healthy.

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