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Let’s Talk: Do You Shave Your Pussy Cat?

My best friend does, and she says her kitty has never been happier!

JaneA Kelley  |  Apr 11th 2012


I have to confess that when my best friend, Adrianna, told me she’d decided to have her gorgeous long-haired black cat, Abby, shaved down into a lion cut, I was a bit taken aback.

I thought of all those photos of shorn Persian LOLcats with their poor, sad faces ÔǪ I could just see the words, “Why have you done this to me?” written in the despairing cast of their eyes and their furrowed little brows.

I knew Adrianna didn’t shave Abby because Abby wouldn’t tolerate brushing. In fact, if ever a cat loved to be brushed, it’s Abby. The purrs that echo through the room when the brush comes out could register on the Richter scale.

And I knew Abby didn’t get her new haircut because Adrianna couldn’t be bothered with the brushing chores or clean the little, um, “cling-ons” off Abby’s fluffy bloomers. Adrianna is one of the most responsible and empathetic cat caretakers I’ve ever met, and one of the ways she won a very shy Abby over in those first days after she came home from the shelter was through daily brushing.

So, why did Adrianna shave her pussycat?

It all started last summer. Abby, with her massive fur coat, was miserable, wilting under the relentless glare of a string of uncharacteristically hot early-September days. Adrianna couldn’t stand to see her poor, sweet cat suffering, so she figured, “What the heck? Let’s see how Abby tolerates being shaved.”

And wouldn’t you know ÔǪ Abby thought her new ‘do was the cat’s pajamas! She became more active — which has helped her lose those few extra ounces she gained while she was in the shelter — and she looks visibly relieved when it’s time for her to give herself a bath. Tongue fatigue is probably a much more serious problem in long-haired cats than most of us might think.

Adrianna has maintained Abby’s coif, which she calls a modified lion cut because her long fur goes up to her elbows and knees rather than being trimmed down to little tufts around her paws. As for Abby, you can see she’s not exactly suffering.

Abby’s story has given me a new perspective on the shaving of kitties. I’ve come to understand that for a lot of these cats — even those that love to be brushed and whose caretakers love to brush them every single day — it’s simply more comfortable.

How about you? Do you have cats you shave? What do you think of shaving cats in general? Are some kinds of kitty shaving OK while others make you grind your teeth? Dish!

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