Fun with clippers or, How to give your cat a lion cut.

Willow discovering her inner lioness.

Once I learned how to body clip my horse, I got bold with the clippers. I clipped my dogs. After all, they don’t care what they look like and I only want them to be less shaggy. They didn’t seem to mind all that much and only squirmed a little.

But this week, I turned the clippers to one of our cats. Willow is a Ragdoll with what should be beautiful long hair. Our other Ragdoll, Iggy, exemplifies this. His coat is like a cloud. Willow, on the other hand, is somewhat challenged when it comes to personal grooming. Her coat looks like a bird’s nest.

I did some research on cat grooming and came across an ideal solution: the lion cut. You remove most of the cat’s body hair but leave a ruff around its head. My vet thought Willow would be much more comfortable clipped but warned against doing it myself because cats can be unpredictable.

I briefly considered the options. $25 for a new clipper blade or probably $75 for a professional to clip her. It was an easy choice. My daughter and I sat down with Willow and hoped for the best. It turns out, she kind of likes being clipped. Okay, maybe she doesn’t exactly like it but she certainly didn’t strenuously object. She did the Ragdoll thing and went all limp and passive.

At least we had fun.

We’re almost done now. She’s starting to look more like a lion and less like a mop. The part of her that’s shaved is smooth and velvety. It has to feel better. None of the other cats are making fun of her and she seems blissfully unaware that her new ‘do is rather amateurish. My daughter wants to clip her tail too but I’m leaning toward fixing the ragged bits and calling it a day.

Of course, now that my daughter and I have practiced, the other cats better watch out.

Note: after I wrote this I visited The Literary Horse. Jane has also written about cats. Although she added clothing instead of removing hair. If only the cats could talk . . .

I will say that of all the animals I’ve clipped so far, the horse is the easiest.

6 thoughts on “Fun with clippers or, How to give your cat a lion cut.

  1. When I read the excerpt that came via email, all I could think was, “oh no, she didn’t clip a cat? But you did, and very well! I bet she’s very happy with her new sleek, cool body. Well done!

  2. She looks beautiful! I love it.

    Daisy dressed up Kitty, but previous to that she’d given her a bath and clipped her. An unusually compliant cat.

    On word: Furminator. Worth their weight in gold on *horses*. I found out about them from Daisy. Kitty is a copious shedder. I used the dog sized blade on a mare that had trouble shedding out, and I want the whoooole line of Furminators.

    1. I love the Furminator for the cats (we have three more) but this one had a coat that was beyond even that when it came to matting. I haven’t tried it on Freedom. He’s pretty thin-skinned (think chestunut TB). If he doesn’t shed out quickly enough in the spring I just body clip him.

    1. There are 3 different widths, but they are all the same thing, so whatever is most comfortable.

      I used a dog sized one on an elderly arabian mare, I wouldn’t want wider. I think it would be harder to get into the curves, hills and gullies with the wider width? Especially with a plump but bony horse with tender skin.

      She loved it so much she let me use it (carefully) on the inside of her hind legs (stifle and above)!

      Liz I think you’re right on target about being cautious with thin skinned horses. Essentially, from what I can tell, the Furminator is a specially designed clipper type blade, without the clippers.

      I like it better for show grooming than a pumice block: the remaining hair doesn’t stick up, it doesn’t seem to split the ends the way a pumice stone can?

  3. Very nice! But be careful with clipping the tail, it takes forever to grow back! Almost a year. We are going to clip our long haired kitty this summer. Fun!

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