Haircuts for Cats

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The Sphinx breed of cats are naturally bald and don't encounter problems with matting.
The Sphinx breed of cats are naturally bald and don't encounter problems with matting. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Most people are familiar with the reasons dogs get their hair cut, but not so much with cats. Cats get their hair cut, too, and it is becoming a more common procedure. Unlike with certain breeds of dogs such as poodles, cats are not generally trimmed to achieve a breed-specific look. Haircuts are given to cats primarily for grooming and health reasons.

Mat Control

One common reason to give a cat a haircut is to prevent and remove mats. Medium to longhair cats develop mats in areas where the hair rubs together, such as in their armpits and groin. Trying to comb mats out is tedious and often painful for the cat. Leaving the matted fur alone is worse, as it continues to pull on the underlying skin and causes irritation.

Longhair cats are prone to matting.
Longhair cats are prone to matting. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Skin Conditions

Another reason to cut a cat's hair is a skin condition. Parasites, allergies and infections all cause hair loss in cats. Shaving the coat also makes treating the conditions easier, especially if the cat is infested with fleas.

Animals have allergies just like people, and some cause skin irritation.
Animals have allergies just like people, and some cause skin irritation. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Ease of Care for the Owner

Many people get a longhair cat, only to realize that caring for the coat takes more time than expected. When this happens, some people surrender the cat to a shelter. What many don't consider is getting the cat's hair cut. Often, just taking off some of the length makes the coat more manageable for both the cat and the owner.

Short hair is easier to manage.
Short hair is easier to manage. (Image: Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Style for Cats

There are some haircuts for cats that are intended to help with their care as well as look stylish. One such cut is the lion cut. This cut leaves the face and neck hair (or the "mane") alone, shaves the body, legs and most of the tail, but leaves a tuft of hair on the end of the tail. Another style is to shorten the length of the hair around the face and on the neck, shave the entire body but leave the fur long on the the tail. Some groomers adjust the clippers for a cut that basically turns a longhair cat into a shorthair cat.

When shaving a cat, electric clippers are used.
When shaving a cat, electric clippers are used. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

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