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Should A Maine Coon Cat Be Shaved – Tips & Considerations


There is a hot debate on if it is acceptable or not to shave Maine Coons. While pet parents are proud to show off their pet’s new hairstyle, they are often met with criticism. Several people claim it is cruel and unnatural. 

So, should a Maine Coon cat be shaved? It is best to avoid shaving your cat. You should not shave your cat unless necessary because it can do more harm than good.  Pet parents choose to shave their Maine Coons with good intentions, however, that can be damaging to the cat’s skin and overall health. 

Many parents of long-haired kitties opt for the lion-cut, especially in the summer. Why? Well, because it makes sense to our human brains that more fur is equal to more heat. We wouldn’t want to be outside in the blazing sun trapped in long fur. Also, lion cuts just look neat. 

Despite the cool looking do, cats can experience trauma, skin issues, and other health concerns when shaved. Yes, even the hearty Maine Coon. Understanding the risks and reasons can help you decide if your cat needs to be shaved or if they should be left alone. 

Why Pet Parents Think Their Maine Coon Needs a Cut

There are several reasons why people might believe that shaving their cats is for the best. At first glance, these reasons are quite reasonable. When we dive a little deeper and learn how cats work (as bizarre as they are), we start to understand why we don’t need to shave them.

  1. To help cool them down – some believe that getting rid of fur helps a cat regulate itself.
  2. Shedding- Pet parents often want to find ways to cut down on the number of hairs they find in their food.
  3. Giving your kitty some style- We want our feline friends to be the belle of the ball.
  4. Removing matted fur- Long-haired cats are more likely to have matted fur. This can cause discomfort.
  5. Not wanting to take the time to groom- Long-haired cats need grooming. If this isn’t what you want to do, consider a different cat.

At surface level, this all seems like reasonable, low-risk, and even beneficial points. But, cats are quirky creatures. Their care is much different than ours.

A Reality Check

Let’s take a moment to understand why a cat should not be shaved. Here, we will take a closer look at these, not so harmless reasons. 

Cooling Down

Cats seem to get hot in summer, just like people do. It makes sense to get rid of their winter coat! In reality, their fur actually helps them remain cooler in warm temperatures. You know when your mom is cold, so she tells you to grab a jacket? Well, just because you’re hot doesn’t mean your kitty is.

Mother Nature knew what she was doing when making a cat’s fur. It is specially insulated to keep warm during the winter and to stay cool during the summer. The fur traps cool air against the skin. Cats are pretty smart about moving to shaded areas if they’re too hot anyways. 

Shedding

Summertime usually means you are quite literally bathing in cat hair. It seems impossible to find a pair of pants that aren’t covered in it. Here’s the thing, shedding isn’t a bad thing! It’s actually a sign of a very healthy cat. Shedding is annoying, but exposing your feline friend’s skin is dangerous. Cat skin is much more absorbent than human skin. Unprotected skin can cause:

● Overheating

● Sunburns

● Insect bites

● Sensitivity 

● Absorb various toxins

Does shaving a cat prevent shedding? Short answer: no. Shedding occurs in long and short-haired cats. So it doesn’t matter if you shave them or not, there will still be fur.

A Cat Fashionista (a cat-ionista?)

Your Maine Coon does not care how they look. They care about looking at birds out the window if they can see the bottom of their food bowl and the comfiest spot on the bed. The pet owner is the only one who cares. 

A new haircut isn’t the only way to give your cat a makeover. A cute new collar could do the trick, or one of those cat bow ties if he’s a fancy cat. 

Grooming

You should expect to have to groom your long-haired cat. These cats are more likely to get matted fur and tangles. Prevent matted fur with good grooming techniques. 

If it is not prevented, this can be one instance where considering a shave might be okay, but we’ll get into that. The point is, if you are too lazy or don’t have the time to groom your cat, it is not okay to take the easy way out and shave them.

Cats Use Their Fur to Communicate

This is especially important for outdoor cats. When threatened, a cat will puff up its fur to look bigger. This defensive mechanism tells the other animal (or person) to back off. Without this, the other cat or animal may attack. The soft skin is already exposed, which leaves your pet vulnerable.

The Psychological Toll

Cats have feelings too. There is no telling whether your cat will be comfortable with their new do. Some people have said that their cat started to behave strangely after the cut or become hostile when the scissors come out. 

It leaves the cats vulnerable and scared. Getting a trim can be a traumatic experience for some cats. This part is up to your cat!

Some cats do get scared of clippers or shears. If your cat starts to hiss or try to get away, it is best to immediately let them go.

So When is it OK to Shave a Cat?

There are only a few instances when a cat should be shaved. They come down to the comfort of the cat and if there are any medical concerns.

Matted Fur

As talked about earlier, the matting is preventable. If it gets out of hand, it can cause your cat pain and discomfort. In this case, it would be okay to shave your cat. 

Keep in mind that this does not prevent matting again. You, as the pet owner, must be able to prevent it. 

Matted fur can cause several issues, such as:

● No airflow to the skin

● Dry skin

● Parasites

● Trapped urine and feces (if behind the legs)

When severe matting occurs, it is cruel not to shave a cat.

Medical Concerns

Some cats can have skin concerns that need to be directly looked at. They could have skin diseases, deep cuts/scratches, or other wounds that should not be covered with fur. It is easier to apply medication to the wounds and allows airflow. 

In this case, the cat should be shaven only where the affected area is. It is unnecessary to shave the rest of the cat. 

Can I Shave my Cat on my Own?

It is best to find a groomer who can professionally and carefully shave your cat. When doing it on your own, it can increase the risk of harming the cat through accidental nicks. It also can increase the chance of you getting hurt as well.

If your cat has severely matted fur or skin problems, it is okay to shave them. The best way to do this is to find a professional cat groomer. Some pet parents are simply unaware of how shaving a cat could affect them. It is not okay to shave a cat because it looks cool; it’s summer or a lack of grooming. No matter how fun it may seem, shaving a cat can cause several problems, and it is best to be avoided.

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