Not all cats need professional grooming or clipping, but some situations can call for a cat hair cut, such as matting fur. When a cat has matted fur, a shave or hair cut is often the best solution.
Cats that are prone to matting may require professional grooming every few months to help keep their fur clean and healthy. Cats' fur can become matted if they are in their senior years, or lazy groomers who don't keep their fur clean. They can also struggle with mats if they are overweight, which makes it hard for them to reach some areas during self-grooming, or if they have long hair which requires too much time and effort to stay pristine.
While a trim might be for the best, don't try to cut out mats or shave your cat yourself. Instead, take them to a certified groomer to keep everyone happy and safe. Here you can learn about the most popular clips, cuts, and shaves used on cats to help you decide on the best style for your cat.
The Lion cut involves a close shave on most of the body, but leaves longer fur on the shoulders, head, legs, and end of the tail. The resulting style really does remind you of a lion and is great for cats prone to matting, with the added benefit of reduced shedding.
The Comb Cut is not as short as a Lion Cut, but it is similar. The fur of the shoulders, head, and legs is left long, while the back is trimmed short (though not shaved). This cut also reduces matting and shedding but allows your cat to keep some super-soft fur on their back.
More extreme than the Lion Cut, the Panther Cut shaves off a larger area of fur, only leaving fur on the head and legs (and sometimes the end of the tail). This is the preferred cut for cats with severe matting, especially if matting occurs around the neck.
Who doesn't want to look two years younger? This all-over trim for long-haired cats takes fur down to the usual length of a short-haired cat. In addition to looking cute, it is a useful preventive cut to reduce the number of mats and amount of shedding for a few months.
The Sanitary Clip is a more limited cut, only trimming the area around the genitals. This can be very helpful for elderly or overweight cats that have trouble staying clean. In order to stay clean, cats will need a new shave every six weeks or so.
Since the area most prone to matting is the underside of the cat, some pet parents prefer to tackle this trouble zone with a shave. Usually the belly is shaved close to the skin but the rest of the fur is left long. Sometimes, the shaved belly may be completely unnoticeable when the cat is walking around, but it makes a significant difference in reducing mats.
More on Cat Care
What Causes Cat Hairballs?
The Importance of Taking Your Cat to the Vet
Maintaining a Healthy Cat Weight