Long-haired cats - do you shave them in the summer?

@beeeckie (803)
United States
June 10, 2008 1:56pm CST
One of our cats has very long hair; she's a Maine Coone with tuxedo coloring. Her topcoat and undercoat are very thick, and on these hot & humid New England days in the summer, I feel bad for her. On the worst days she'll pant like a dog, and we try to aim a fan toward her but she hates them. Yesterday and today we've broken down and put on the central air, and all the pets are much happier. Should we shave our long-hair cat once a year? Do any of you do it, and if so, do you have a groomer do it, or do it yourself?
2 people like this
6 responses
@Jhordie (5111)
• Philippines
11 Jun 08
Never tried that with almost 36 cats we had... even a single one of them never experienced a hair cut. What do you think? Should we give it a try?
1 person likes this
@RebeccaLynn (2256)
• United States
10 Jun 08
I have a Raggamuffin. Very long hair with a thick undercoat and my mother is a master groomer. We do not shave him in the summer because it is very difficult to shave a cat without cutting them. Their' skin is not as thick as a dogs' and it is easily burned under the clippers. Clippers tend to heat up quickly even when you spray coolant on them. For me, it's just not worth the risk. A cut could lead to infection which could lead to things I don't want to consider. I like the water bottle idea. I also keep my central air on or he pants. He also likes a damp towel in his bed. He lays on it when he gets too hot. He also likes to lay on top of the a/c vents. He likes the air blowing on his belly.
• United States
11 Jun 08
Hey, have you tried the 'shed ender' comb? It really does work great for long haired cats with thick undercoats. But be prepared, you'll have piles and piles of hair the first few times you use it. You can buy it for around 15.00 at walgreens or walmart and it gets out that loose fur that helps to heat them up.
@beeeckie (803)
• United States
11 Jun 08
Yeah, I have to dig out my old shed-ender comb.
@wyomugs (247)
• United States
11 Jun 08
Cats can be all over the place as far as their temperament and tolerance of grooming. I have 3 long-haired, and the one who gets matted the most hates to be groomed. I do my best to cut out the mats so that I do not have to take him to the groomers, but he resists most of my attempts. He also starts to look a bit "chopped up" by the time I get them all out! It can take weeks for me to get them all, as I try to "sneak-a-snip" here and there while he's unaware that I'm doing it. As for your cat, what is her tolerance level? If she tolerates brushing... deep, frequent brushing, then that should take care of most of her warm days. You can get special combs to work the undercoat out, which is what makes it warm for her. If you must take her to the groomers, maybe you can tell them to try a "lion cut" rather than a complete shave. It would look quite handsome on a Maine Coone. Also, putting ice cubes in the water bowls can help cool them from the inside-out. Do you have any tile floors, cement floors, etc... they tend to be cooler for the pets to lay upon. Even a tub can be a cool place to help dissipate their body's heat. Even having a fan turned on and aimed where the pets are sleeping is a help... MOVING air is cooler than stagnant air. Out here in Wyoming, CAT groomers are hard to find. I try my best to keep my 3 long-haired beauties cool!
@beeeckie (803)
• United States
11 Jun 08
Thanks for these suggestions!
• United States
10 Jun 08
If she's getting that hot, I'd say shave her. She may be pouty and grouchy for a couple of days afterwards, but she'll probably feel a hell of a lot better. I've shaved my cat (also a Maine Coone! ) before our air conditioning was fixed, and it wasn't that bad. It might be more exciting if she had front claws, but she was declawed when we got her. She put up with the treatment and was a bit offended and much cooler afterwards. I'm tempted to shave my girl, even though she's cool, because she's going outside in the 90-100F weather and comes in molting like crazy!
@beeeckie (803)
• United States
10 Jun 08
I know, they look so angry/annoyed once they're shaved! :) it's funny for humans but less amusing for cats...we'll probably do it soon.
@Bd200789 (2994)
• United States
11 Jun 08
One of my cats has long hair, but we don't shave him. This is the first summer we've had him, though, so maybe we will later. He likes to play outside, and always comes in panting. We keep the fan on both our cats, but it doesn't really help. We also put in our air conditioner a few days ago for them, and they like to lay in front of that and go to sleep.
@bonbon664 (3480)
• Canada
11 Jun 08
I don't shave mine. If they go outside at all, the coat can actually insulate their bodies against the heat. It's the same with dogs as well, shaving their hair too short can actually be detramental to them.