Caturday felids: Cool cats

Summer’s coming, and it’s time to put away those heavy fur coats.  Herewith a selection of shaved cats, or, as ailurophiles call them, cats with a “lion cut.”  And before you go all PETA on me, be aware that sometimes the lion cut is a good thing.

First, here’s why they call it a lion cut:

Usually a little ball of fluff is left on the tail:

Very often the photographs of lion-cut cats make them look really cheesed off.  My theory for this (which is mine) is that the photos are taken right after the trip to the groomer, so the cat is upset.  Like this one:

Or this one:

Or this one:

Often the lion cut makes a cat look like it’s wearing Uggs:

A fresh lion cut allows you to see the pigmentation of the cat’s skin.  White cats have pink skin:

Black ones have gray skin, presumably from the same melanins that darken the fur:

Finally, a celebrity shaved cat.  This is Kitty Purry, pet of the estimable Katy Perry.  Perry gave Purry a lion cut, and sent out a famous tweet about it:

Let’s not forget the videos:

Lion cuts can sometimes have pleiotropic benefits:


  1. Posted May 29, 2010 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Wow! I can`t believe it… you made me seriously consider shaving my cat like that!!

  2. Kevin
    Posted May 29, 2010 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Stop it. Really.

    Just stop.

    You’re embarrassing the cats.

  3. Sili
    Posted May 29, 2010 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    My neighbour’s was shaved at the end of Winter because the fur had started matting. Poor thing still hasn’t regrown it properly. Guess he’s getting old.

  4. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted May 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Catz refur to the lookz as “refurished cat – no takez backsies”.

  5. Doc Bill
    Posted May 29, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Alas poor Boris! I shaved him well. A cat of infinite tangles. Should have named him Matt.

    You couldn’t brush Boris enough. Such fine, fine fur. Finer than frog fur.

    It would tangle into thick mats and you could tell he was uncomfortable as the hairs were taut and he purred loudly as the mat was snipped off.

  6. Mike from Ottawa
    Posted May 29, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    When I was a kid there was a huge cat in our neighbourhood that was a pale orange long hair. Each summer, they’d have him shaved and with his colour he looked especially leonine. We called him ‘The Tank’ for his size and the fact that the neighbourhood dogs all gave him a wide berth. Friendly cat, you could pick him up and snuggle him, if you could lift the weight.

    • Elaine
      Posted May 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Ahh. Sounds like he was a lovely cat!

  7. One-Eyed Fred
    Posted May 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Take it from me, DO NOT try this at home!

  8. benjamink
    Posted May 29, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    I have an 18 year old white Persian that I have had shaved for years. She is pure white, and I must admit, I always thought it looked a little goofy, especially the Ugg look, but she seems so much happier not having to groom herself all the time. She is indoor, so get’s shaved about every 6 weeks.

    Dr Coyne, I rarely post, but do love your blog and read every day. Thanks.

  9. Posted May 31, 2010 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    As a general rule, I’m against corporal punishment. However, for the owners of these cats, I’ll make an exception.

  10. Michelle B
    Posted May 31, 2010 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    The light-skinned cats sunburn!

  11. Interrobang
    Posted May 31, 2010 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Those poor cats. If I were into that kind of thing, I’d worry that the fur wouldn’t have regrown by the time winter rolls around — it’s already June, pretty well, and we’ll more than likely have our first snow in November here.

    My kitty just got spayed in February, so her tummy was shaved, and the fur still hasn’t completely regrown yet, and she’s only about three years old (rescue from the Humane Society). (My old cat never did regrow all his beautiful fur before he died, dammit. 🙁 )

  12. Posted June 1, 2010 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Speaking as a dog (and reptile) fan, I think those cats look absolutely hilarious! Sorry, but I do. 🙂

    Do you think that they might be embarrassed to go out?

    Mind you, what people do to their dogs leaves a lot to be desired as well!


  13. puzzledponderer
    Posted June 2, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    The website you linked to lists “And they just look adorable” as a reason to give a cat a lion cut. I whole-heartily disagree.

  14. kb@stc
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Really didn’t want to do it but got my Maine Coon shaved yesterday at the recommendation of the vet. Really bad mats, and after a few rather bloody incidents where he didn’t want to be groomed we decided to go for it. He seems much happier now as the temperature is climbing – we just couldn’t seem to comb/brush him enough to get his excess fur removed. We didn’t do it for the looks, just for his well-being.

  15. RG
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    I have a persain cat, and I got him shaved. His fur was just too thick, to the point it was matted,(not even the best brush could get through it) and there were burdocks tangled too. He would pull them out himself and the clumps wouls be stuck to EVERYTHING! Also, whenever he did his business, it would get stuck to his legs, so I’d have to bath him (and he HATES it). Now that he is shaved, he is much more comfortable, I can pick him up easily, no more baths, and there is less fur on my furniture, in the air 🙂 He seems to enjoy his cut :)and he is much more relaxed.

  16. britt
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I always get my cat shaved like this, no matter how many times i brush him he gets matted really bad. and it hurts him when u pet him and in the summer hes alot happier without all his hair and matts

  17. paizleysun
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Just got my 18 year old female Himmy lion-cut for the first time 2 days ago. She’s a little stiff and just can’t reach places to groom and mats like crazy every May. She looks so goofy and her facial expression has changed like she knows she looks goofy. It’s funny but now her body moves the way it’s supposed to, not restricted by matted fur and she doesn’t have a poopy butt anymore. LOL It doesn’t help that my dominant arm has been in a cast for the past 6 weeks and I can’t really do much. I also live alone. SO lion cut was definitely needed. She’s still shedding like crazy but at least it’s not getting caught in her top coat. She used to be my beautiful girl. Now she’s my goofy looking girl.

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