Is it ok to shave a Maine Coon cat? Maine Coon Cats, known for their luxurious coats and self-grooming habits, often evoke a sense of curiosity regarding shaving. Many pet owners consider shaving their cats for various reasons, from health concerns to style preferences.
This article explores the rationale behind a shaved Maine Coon, its pros and cons, and the different haircut styles available for your feline friend.
Below is a video demonstrating a Maine Coon getting a lion cut.
Why Maine Coon Owners Shave Their Cats
Just like other topics having to do with cats, shaving a cat is a controversial one. Educating yourself about the potential reasons for giving a cat a haircut may offer some enlightenment.
- Medical reasons: Shaving a cat’s fur is sometimes necessary due to underlying health issues. For instance, severe matting can cause skin irritation and discomfort, leading to a need for shaving. Additionally, certain skin conditions and allergies may require shaving for proper treatment and medication application.
- Heat management: In warmer climates, owners may shave their cats to help them stay relaxed and comfortable during the hotter months. This can be especially beneficial for long-haired breeds prone to overheating.
- Grooming and Hygiene: Maine Coons with difficulty grooming themselves due to obesity, arthritis, or other health concerns may benefit from a shorter coat. Shaving can make it easier for these cats to maintain cleanliness and avoid matting.
- Allergy management: Some owners may shave their cats to reduce shedding and alleviate allergy symptoms. However, this is generally not an effective long-term solution, as dander and saliva are the primary allergens.
I only have one shaved Maine Coon cat, and that’s Biggie (pictured above). The only reason for his being shaved is grooming and hygiene. My mobile groomer gives him a day at the salon every six months.
He could be better at grooming himself – perhaps because he’s chubby. That’s another blog post, though. 🙂 As long as he leaves chocolate starfish stains on my furniture and pillow, he’ll continue to get his bi-annual haircuts.
Don’t worry about Big, though; he loves getting a haircut. He acts like he’s Superman cat, walking around with his chest bowed out.
Pros of Shaving your Maine Coon:
- Improved hygiene: Shaving can make it easier for Maine Coons with grooming challenges to stay clean and prevent matting.
- Reduced Hairballs: Less fur means fewer hairballs, which can benefit you and your cat. You can also try Laxatone or organic coconut oil for your cat as an alternative to shaving.
- Comfort: A shorter coat can help cats stay cool in hot weather, reducing the risk of overheating.
- More accessible medication application: For cats with skin conditions, shaving may facilitate the application of topical medications.
Cons of Shaving Your Maine Coon
- Risk of injury: Shaving a cat requires skill and care to avoid injuring the skin. Inexperienced owners should seek professional help from a cat groomer to minimize the risk of cuts and irritation.
- Altered insulation: A cat’s fur protects against heat and cold. Shaving can make a cat more susceptible to temperature fluctuations, potentially causing discomfort or illness.
- Regrowth discomfort: As the fur regrows, it may cause itchiness or irritation for the cat, leading to excessive scratching and possible skin damage. If you do decide to shave your kitty, be mindful of any signs of discomfort.
- Loss of natural protection: A cat’s fur provides natural protection against the sun and parasites. Shaving may increase the risk of sunburn and flea or tick infestations.
- Skin irritation: Shaving can sometimes cause skin irritation or worsen pre-existing conditions, so it’s essential to consult your veterinarian before shaving your cat. Skin irritation can also come from getting “nicked” by the clippers.
- Altered behavior: Shaved cats may become more self-conscious or anxious due to the change in appearance, leading to altered behavior.
I had an owner contact me about her 1.5-year-old Maine Coon. His behavior had changed recently, and not for the better. While he is typically laid back and docile, he was lashing out at her, swatting her legs when she passed, and acting upset overall.
We ran through different scenarios that might be causing him this added stress. We ran through every change he had been through recently: new people, construction of the house, children, etc. She casually mentioned taking him to the groomer and getting him a new lion cut. She thought he would be cooler since the summer months were approaching.
When I heard this, I knew immediately that his new “hairdo” was the reason for his stress and abnormal behavior. He was NOT happy about being lion cut. We devised a plan to reduce the stress levels with some Feliway diffusers and calming treats. The best remedy in this case was time, and to let his fur grow back some.
After a couple of weeks, I followed up with her. She said he had calmed down and was back to being himself. She decided to never get her boy a haircut again.
- Lion Cut: One of the most popular styles, the lion cut involves shaving the body fur while leaving a mane around the head, a tuft on the tail, and sometimes boots on the legs. This style is both functional and fashionable.
- Comb Cut: A comb cut is a less drastic alternative to the lion cut, where the fur is trimmed with a comb attachment, leaving it shorter but not completely shaved. This style retains more of the cat’s natural insulation. This might be good for your Maine Coon getting his first hair cut.
- Teddy Bear Cut: In this style, the fur is trimmed to a uniform length all over the body, giving the cat a plush, teddy bear-like appearance. This cut maintains some insulation while reducing shedding.
Is it ok To Shave a Maine Coon Cat?
Giving your Maine Coon a shave is not the solution for all cats. It shouldn’t be something that you do without cause or reason. If you discover that your cat doesn’t like it, then there’s usually an alternative solution.
If you do choose to shave your Maine Coon, find a professional cat groomer with experience. And if possible, send me photos of your Maine Coon with his/her new haircut so that I can share them! 🙂