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summer haircut for hot kitties

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm a bit confused about giving long haired cats a summer haircut. I can't seem to find a consenus. I know it's been addressed somewhat on this site. It seems fairly common to give long haired cats a summer cut/shave and from what I see on this site, it sounds like a great thing for them, to keep them more comfortable during the hot months. I've read in a few places that is isn't a good idea, unless they are matted, as it is their insulation. All in all though, it seems there are more people that think it's a good thing. I am so confused though. I asked the local pet groomer, as I was thinking it may a good idea for my Lewis as his hair is getting quite long black, and it's very thick and he gets hot. They highly advised against it, unless his hair was matted, which it isn't, as they said it can really freak cats out to the point where they will hide until their hair grows back...that would be a long time. Any thoughts from long haired cat owners and groomers? Are they just giving me a line and not wanting to do it or is there a lot of truth to this? I know there is never a guarantee but but I would love to hear what those who do this sort of thing, think. He is a young cat, only 10 months old and he's very mellow. Thanks for your thoughts and advice.
post #2 of 22
Let's use some common sense: 1) why would a cat need the extra insulation in the summer? 2) why would a cat hide until his hair grows out? Is he embarrassed about how he looks? Really, I think they just don't want to do it. Find another groomer and go ahead with your plans.
post #3 of 22
I advise against it if the cat goes outdoors at all, otherwise, if you think it'll help him, do it.
If the cat goes outside though, they do need that fur, it keeps them from getting sunburned, among other things.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
He is a totally an indoor kitty. He is so mellow too. He lies on his back purring when I clip his nails if that tells you anything.
post #5 of 22
IMO Letting your cats outdoors but that is a topic for another thread.
I have shaved my longhaired cats down in the summer, leaving just their head unshaved. It has really seemed to help them when the summers are hotter. I am moving to Houston this summer from Colorado and will shave my two cats down before I go. But then again if you run the AC in your house so it stays normal temps then there shouldn't really be a reason to shave them, unless you really want a good laugh (they look pretty silly). Some cats really seem to stress out about the whole ordeal so just know your cat's personality.
post #6 of 22
I shave my Persian and half Persian every summer, and while they give me dirty looks for about two days, they are over it. It does help them a lot with the heat, and especially with hair control *grin* It's perfectly safe and fine to do, and it sounds like your girl won't mind much.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
We don't have AC. We have fans of course, and most days it's fine, but we do get some mighty hot, 90 plus and very humid days periodically and it does get quite hot in the house. It was 96 the other day, humid and it was HOT in my house. Lewis managed ok, slept on the bathroom tile, belly up, by the toilet...it was pretty cute and he's none the worse for it, but I was just thinking he may be more comfortable. He seemed a bit more bothered by the heat than my other two cats. I was prepared to take him in for the shave but then the groomer totally talked me out of it.
post #8 of 22
Find a groomer that does only cats , or mostly cats.
Chances are, they talked you out of it under the assumption that you let him outside.

I do have AC but I also have birds, so I keep my temp around 75-80 year round, my only adult longhair cat is shaved yearly.
She hates me for about 20 minutes afterwards.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I'll check out a groomer that focuses more on cats. I think Lewis will be fine too. He such a sweet and mellow cat, not much phases him. He's young too so it seems if I am going to do this during the summer months, now would be the time to begin.
post #10 of 22
Well, I can only tell you that I had three different vets, three, tell me that shaving them down would not keep them any cooler (this was pertaining to my Peke, but I wouldn't think it would make any difference.) But we have A/C (pretty much a must in the Gulf States.) During the day the A/C is kept at 75* and at night at 68*. As long as Kellie's not panting I know everything is okay .

Cindy
Mom to Narsil, Mithril and Kellie da Peke
post #11 of 22
I shave my Persian and half Persian every summer, and while they give me dirty looks for about two days, they are over it.

My 2 adult Perians (2-yrs.old) get pretty huffy when they get their annual summer-cuts but trust me...they get over it and they are much more comfortable in this heat without all that hair.

To alleviate some stress, I found a groomer that actually comes to my home with her own tools & grooming table. She sets up in a spare bedroom and does her thing.

I have had Persians for years and every one of them has had their hair cut down to a lion cut (shaved) for the summer months. An outside cat is a different story but an inside cat with long hair will be more comfortable without all that extra insulation for the summer...just my experience & opinion.

Ashley w/her lion-cut:
post #12 of 22
I don't know but I personally wouldn't do it. My grandmother has a persian and she never shaved him or gave him a summer haircut, he is 14 years old this year. Unless your cat is having real problems with the heat I wouldn't worry much about it. My parents have a chow chow, she is big with lots of hair. The first chow they had my mother would shave in the summer, except for the head and bum, and her coat never looked nice afterwards, eventhough many chow owners say it's good to shave them in the summer/every summer.
With their second chow she just wets her when it's really hot.
Just my opinion, but if your cat is fine I wouldn't worry about a haircut.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster
Let's use some common sense: 1) why would a cat need the extra insulation in the summer? 2) why would a cat hide until his hair grows out? Is he embarrassed about how he looks? Really, I think they just don't want to do it. Find another groomer and go ahead with your plans.
Because 1) The insulation not only keeps them warmer in winter but keeps them cooler in the summer.
2) I don't know why they hide and seem humiliated but they do! (and I don't blame them!)

I wouldn't refuse to shave a cat if the owner requested but I can understand why a groomer wouldn't want to do it. There is good reason they have the thick coat they do and It is just an unecessary stress to put your cat through. It's probably more stressful then anything. The vibration of the shaver is irritating to them and having someone they don't know do it to them, the noise and not to mention the shaver pulls a little bit.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzjazz2u
1) The insulation not only keeps them warmer in winter but keeps them cooler in the summer.
Sorry, but this seems to go against the second law of thermodynamics, the essence of which teaches that heat energy moves from hot to cold. What is the cat's normal temperature -- about 102 - 104 F, right? Allright, that's internal temp...skin temp is less...I don't know what, but let's say in the mid-90's. (I know my cats feel plenty warm). Whenever the ambient air temperature is LESS than the skin surface temp of the cat, the coat is going to act like an insulator keeping heat IN. It will not act as an insulator keeping heat OUT until the ambient air temp rises above the skin surface temp of the cat. So, in exceedingly warm temperatures, yes, you are correct, but in temperatures most likely encountered in household settings, and even temperate outdoor settings, no. Then the cat would be better off with a shave.

This analysis discounts the effect of the sun and the reflective properties of the cat's coat. Obviously a cat with a light-colored coat would suffer less from the heating of the sun than a dark-colored cat. But I think it would be the color, rather than the length, that would be the primary factor where heating of the sun is factored in.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well I see, there is still no consenus.... I guess for now, I will leave him be. Although he is is a sleepier kitty and seeks the coolness where he can find it, I don't think he's in any danger. He isn't panting and certainly doesn't appear distressed. Nothing wrong with a sleepy kitty. It seems the groomers as a whole think his coat should be left as is. Thanks everyone!
post #16 of 22
I've never shaved my boys and they are perfectly fine. Sebastian actually loves to sleep in the sun. During the day, we keep the shades down and the fans running. We also have an air conditioner in their room, but they only sleep in there at night. The floors are mostly tile and hardwood so they have a lot of cool places to sleep. If your cat doesn't seem to be uncomfortable with the heat, I really don't see the point in shaving him.
post #17 of 22
This was a great thread, thank you!

Having recently added my first long-hair, Saba, to our household she seems fine w/her long Coon mane now that it is summer, as it gets quite cool here at night. So I trimmed it just a bit and she loved the attention. What happens that I am seeing is her rump gets awfully matted from the litter box and she gets big hair knots between her back thighs.
post #18 of 22
I think that's the reason most cats need a haircut -- not for the heat.
post #19 of 22
With the moderate temperatures we have here on the Washington coast, I don't have to worry about the heat nor the cold. But I do have the groomer trim Purdy's back legs and underbelly year round because he used to get matted there and tended to track and deposit "dingleberries" around the house after using the litterbox.

I'm trying to visualize Purdy with a lion cut. The cats always want to swat at or jump on each other's wagging tails as it is. I can just imagine the trouble Purdy would be in with Sheba if he had a "toy" at the end of his tail! She'd attack it like she does the feather toy!
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sashacat421
This was a great thread, thank you!

Having recently added my first long-hair, Saba, to our household she seems fine w/her long Coon mane now that it is summer, as it gets quite cool here at night. So I trimmed it just a bit and she loved the attention. What happens that I am seeing is her rump gets awfully matted from the litter box and she gets big hair knots between her back thighs.
There is such a thing as a sanitary trim. Some cats get more of one then others. But usually it involves trimming and/or shaving around the genitals/butt area. Some extend it north a bit further. It is very helpful for a kitty who has a lot of thick fur in that area and has a hard time keeping clean and dingleberry free

Coaster, Why do you think desert folk wear head gear? And wool is considered the best fabric for summer as well as winter. Any podiatrist will tell you it keeps the feet cooler and less sweaty. I also used to raise sammoyeds and they have a similar coat as the persians and other long haired cats, with the wooly undercoat. If they weren't cooler then the definately never got anymore overheated then a short haired dog just as my long haired cats don't seem to get any warmer then short haired. Yes, a fur coat can protect in extreme weather just as fabric does!
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzjazz2u
Coaster, Why do you think desert folk wear head gear? And wool is considered the best fabric for summer as well as winter. Any podiatrist will tell you it keeps the feet cooler and less sweaty.
The head gear is a) to keep the sun off their head (it's light colored and the garments have air spaces -- the light color reflects the sun and the air is the insulator), =or= b) required by their religion (I suppose they're the ones that wear black ). Wool does absorb moisture, making it better for socks, but cotton is more comfortable for the rest of the ensemble. And I think human skin temp is quite a bit lower than a cat's (that's why they "feel" warm. If the cat's skin temp was lower, they would "feel" cold). So it doesn't have to be as hot out before a layer over the skin is a barrier to heat transfer inward.

Oh, the desert -- thanks for reminding me -- isn't that where cats originated? With short hair?
post #22 of 22
You're just full of all the answers aren't you Coaster? Well, I'm not going to argue with a no it all anymore. I guess you know more then the CFA, Persian breeders around the world, my Iraqi husband and my podiatrist!
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