Originally Posted by emmylou
Shaving a cat seems just too traumatic for me, as are the results. They're naturally meant to be hairy and are perfectly able to dispell heat with the bodies nature gave them.
Plus in this case you're keeping the cat in an environment that isn't hotter than it would be at any other time of year... the cat will be cold.
Then there's the issue of anaesthesia. Having my cat put under for a biopsy made me nervous enough; I'd never risk that for a haircut.
My cat is medium-haired and I've considered possibly getting a trim to a shorter length, but I'd never shave the hair completely off. He had several different parts of him shaved for procedures, and I couldn't wait for it to grow back... he looked bizarre.
My Nya is going in for a lion cut tomorrow. I've considered it a few summers in a row now, and our new apartment is UNBEARABLY hot, so I do feel it's necessary. She's been barely moving it's so hot.
The groomer where I work does not use anesthetic. She will not be sedated in any way either. I've seen dozens of cats done this way successfully and have complete faith in the groomer to do this properly. A groomer who's familiar with cats is important!
As for the original poster's questions, it does depend a lot on the type of hair your cat has. Nya's hair is great, sure she's longhaired, but it never needs brushing, and only mats on very rare occasions (if something got stuck in it). Most cats are not this fortunate. Take your time, go slowly in the areas she doesn't want brushed, and make it a happy, positive thing. She'll learn to like being brushed more.
The one thing you may want to consider is a "sanitary trim" if Pearl has issues with things from the litterbox sticking to her bum. Keeping the hair there shorter makes things much much easier