It occurred to me the other day that I should have named these posts FELINE Hot, Hot, Hot. Too bad I'm only witty in hindsight! Oh well. Let's get right to the cat grooming, shall we?
Probably the most iconic feline grooming style is the Lion Clip. The body is taken very short, leaving a mane, long legs and either the tail is left natural or clipped short, expect for a puff at the very end. Our little domestic kitties do look a little like little lions! It's a cute clip, although it can be shocking for the owner to see the first time.
As with most things, there are some distinct pros and cons to the Lion Clip. Lion Clips are an excellent no-to-low maintenance style. I recommend a regular schedule of every 12 weeks. If your cat gets greasy, flaky, itchy or just kinda funky, a good bath and blow dry in between is always encouraged. Since the coat is so short, an 'in between' bath is quick and often at a lower price, as there's just not nearly as much to wash and dry. (This may depend on your groomer, and be aware some do have minimum charges, especially housecall or mobile.) A Lion Clip can be done more frequently, it's entirely up to the owner and feline!
This style is the ultimate in keeping shedding to a minimum. Of course, the cat will continue to shed, but the hairs will be super short.
There are some cats that I believe don't like having a lot of hair. My own cat, Sara, is one. She hates having hair! And when it gets about 1/2 inch long, she will start pulling it out. She clearly is uncomfortable and annoyed. Even with regular baths to prevent mats, tangles, fleas and itchies, she just doesn't like the hair. When I clip her, she is like a whole new cat. She's super affectionate, incredibly playful, wants to interact, wants to hang out...actually, she gets pretty annoying! Many of my clients report the same change in behavior. Their kitties are suddenly wanting to be pet, wanting to be with them, wanting to cuddle. How great is that?!
Mischief LOVES her Lion Clip
Her owner tells me for the first time in the 10+ years they've owned her
she's friendly and affectionate
To keep her new purrsonality, Mischief gets a clip every 8-10 weeks
Lion Clips are also an easy way to prevent mats. The shorter the hair, the less likely it is to tangle. It's not impossible, so pay attention to your cat! Short hair can mat, felt and pelt if the conditions are right.
If the matting has already gotten out of control, a Lion Clip is NECESSARY to remove it. After enough matting is in the coat, it becomes CRUEL and INHUMANE to try and comb them out. I capitalize these words, because they're important. Mats hurt. Removing them can hurt. It's not fair to cause a cat pain because of neglect. It's also not fair to cause even more pain because the owner "likes it fluffy" or doesn't want it clipped.
The only way to fix this is a Lion Clip!
(See how pink and irritated the skin is? Ouch.
His fluff will grow back
He's feeling a lot better, but you can still see how painful the matting was
For cats that have issues with hairballs, a Lion Clip is a good way to prevent them. Besides finding glops of hairy puke on your floor (bed, stairs, sofa...) or having to listen to a cat retch, hairballs can also do considerable internal damage. Sometimes it becomes necessary to remove lodged hairballs from the intestinal tract. This requires surgery and is expensive! If hairballs are a reoccurring problem, they can cause internal scarring, making it more likely for problems in the future. This is a scary, expensive road to go down, and can be avoided by a simple shave!
No more hairballs for KC
And let's face it, Lion Clips can be fun! Some people simply like the look. And that's okay! I've read plenty of articles shaming people for wanting to have their kitties clipped. And I really don't understand it. I think your cat is your cat, and if you like it in a Lion Clip, more power to you! Enjoy your cat.
One way to add some flair is a fun tail design. Harry sports a ribbon tail. It takes a few extra minutes, but it looks really cool! I've found if an owner is unsure how they'll like the look, doing something special with the tail can change their minds. It distracts them from how different their cats looks and gives them something to focus on.
Harry's snazzy Ribbon Tail
If your cat is inclined, and your groomer able, you can have some fun with your Lion Clip. Recently, I clipped an Elder Sign onto Sara's back. Why? I guess I was feeling a little unsafe. It was quick and easy to do and fun to look at later. Especially a few days later when my husband had his gaming night. It's important to have a theme and stick with it!
(just ignore the orange...leftovers from another creative clip)
Finally, there's heat and fleas. If your cat has a thick coat, even regular baths and comb outs might not be enough to keep him comfortable when it gets hot and humid. An indoor cat can benefit from a Lion Clip to help him stay cool in the summer. Harry (shown above) gets a Lion Clip each summer to beat the heat!
Sometimes a Lion Clip is recommended if fleas are a problem. The only real reason for this is that it makes it easier for the owner to see the fleas, which could otherwise hide in a long or thick coat. Fleas feed on your cat's blood, so clipping off their coat won't get rid of them. Fleas can happily live on a shaved cat. A Lion Clip will only make them more visible. If your kitty has fleas, consult with your vet and local CFMG for advice. A combination of medication, grooming, preventatives and major housecleaning are in order!
Fleas...so many fleas!
This has gotten a bit longer than expected, so I'll wrap up Lion Clips with some of the cons soon.