Recommendations For Summer: Say NO to the Lion Cut
Updated: Jun 27
When it comes to grooming, we try to keep whatever we do as non-traumatic as possible. To do that, we stay close to whatever nature has designed for each individual. Taking too much fur off can often cause unintended consequences.
Most long-haired cats have a slighter build than one might think. These types of cats have evolved to have all of that fur. Their special fur holds layers of air to help in both warming and cooling them during environmental temperature fluctuations, since they don’t have the fat stores and muscles that other cats are blessed with. Doing a very short cut on a slightly built cat can leave them unprotected during cold nights. If they cannot find a way to properly warm themselves, a drop in temperature may affect their immune system in the long term.
Cats have sensitive skin and the long-haired breeds have a paper-thin, saggier skin. Electric clippers can be irritating to the skin if cropped too close. If a cat is hurt or unduly frightened during an attempt to shave them, it may make grooming more difficult in the future. When using a clipper, we recommend a very long guard or comb attachments that prevent skin irritation.
So, what do we recommend for keeping kitty comfortable during the summer heat? We typically would not recommend a lion cut. We don’t ever do them unless there is a severe matting or pelting situation.
What we Do recommend for the summer months is a belly trim and more frequent bathing.
The Belly Trim:
Cooling the belly by laying with it against a cool surface is the cat’s instinctive way to cool themselves. So, we work with this and trim the belly fur with scissors or a guarded clipper (for the squirmier clients). We trim the belly to be very short, but not bald, making this natural cooling easier and more effective. With this approach, when the temperatures dip down at night, as they often do in Seattle, the cat can curl up and protect that belly to stay warm. This will prevent them from getting chilled. This approach is gentler and augments the cat’s instinctive style of regulating their own body temperature.
We also recommend more frequent bathing in the summer months to remove some of the oils that can trap body heat.
How frequent is more frequent? Well, that depends upon the cat in question.
Most short haired, indoor, and fairly inactive cats may not need to be bathed any more than every three to six months. A summer regimen for these types of cats might be every month or two.
· Is your cat very active outdoors and often dirty from that?
· Does your cat have unusually long fur, are they difficult to comb?
· Does your cat suffer from frequent hairballs?
· Is your cat older and struggling to groom themselves as well as they used to?
· Are there people in the house that have animal dander allergies?
These types of cats might normally need to be bathed every month to every three months. A summer regimen for them might be a monthly or twice monthly bath.
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