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8 Useful & Cute Cat Haircuts in 2023 (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Haircut at the barber's cat

Thankfully for us, cats tend to do the majority of their grooming themselves! Most cats won’t need a special haircut, but they need some extra professional care in some cases. Getting your cat’s hair trimmed can reduce the risk of matting, help them to keep cool during hot summers, and even reduce the effect of hairballs. Not to mention a cat with a great haircut will leave fewer fluff souvenirs around the home to clog up your vacuum. We’ve looked into the various cat haircuts to pick out our top 8. These haircuts are not only functional for our cat’s health but are unbearably cute. There’s something so delightful about giving a very regal and proud cat a precious hairdo!

The Top 8 Useful & Cute Cat Haircuts

1. Comb Cut

A comb cut is one of the most standard cat “hair-dos” for cats. This groom leaves the standard fur around the feet, head, and tails while taking length from the main body of the coat. The comb cut is only able to be done on cats that have no existing mats or knots. However, the cut is used to prevent mats in the first instance by keeping medium to long-haired coats under control. While this cut is most beneficial for longer coats, short-haired cats can have a small amount of fur taken off with a comb cut to help keep them cool in the summer. Comb cuts are also very beneficial for senior cats as the comb does not come in contact with fragile elderly skin. It also avoids the limbs, which can be stiff and uncomfortable to maneuver for grooming.

2. Lion Cut

This spunky cut will not only help your feisty little feline to tap into their ancestral roots of large predator cats, but it’s also stinking cute! Aside from all that, it is a handy cut for managing long-haired cats. The lion cut is most often used to remove matting on a cat’s underbelly. It involves completely shaving the coat to the skin on the torso, leaving the head, feet, and tail. Fur is also left down to the shoulders, giving the appearance of a lion’s mane, hence the cut’s name! This cut can be done on cats with any length coats but is most often seen on long-haired cats due to their tendency to get matted. It can also help control excess shedding of cat fur around the home and hairball issues from a cat overgrooming itself.

3. Kitten Clip

A kitten clip is not a clip for a kitten but rather a general clip for any cat that brings a youthful look. It makes even the scruffiest cats look like a kitten again! A kitten clip is similar to a comb clip in that there is no shaving involved. This differs from the popular comb cut, which does not clip the head, feet, and tail. Instead, a kitten clip is a total-body clip to trim down the length of a cat’s coat. A kitten clip has the same benefit as a comb cut – it tidies up long coats to be more manageable and less prone to mats. It’s also helpful to assist in keeping cats cool during the summer months. The kitten clip is one step above as it offers these benefits while maintaining a uniform aesthetic.

4. Belly Shave

A belly shave is pretty self-explanatory. It involves the underside of a cat from the airports down to the tail to be shaved down close to the skin. This is purely for sanitation. It is particularly favored for cats that are prone to getting matted stomach fur. Elderly, disabled, or simply lazy cats with long fur can often under groom their stomach area due to the strain it takes to reach. A belly cut can deal with mats and knots that arise from this inadequate grooming but can also be used as a preventative cut. While this cut is done for function, not beauty, there’s something pretty cute about the cute pink tummy of cats being exposed. Be careful with them sunbathing on a hot day; they may get a burnt tum!

5. Butt Cut

This cut is usually known as the “sanitary” or “hygiene” cut, but neither is that catchy, so we’ve dubbed it the “butt cut.” This cut is a lesser version of the belly shave; instead of the whole underside being shaved, just the area around the butt is shaved away. This cut is usually used for cats who struggle to clean their own behinds properly and long-haired cats who tend to get poop and litter stuck in their fur after a bathroom visit. As you can imagine, these hitchhikers on your cat’s fur are not sanitary for either your cat or your family home. If this is an ongoing issue, then a butt cut may suit your cat!

6. Dragon Cut

Now, this cut is just for fun! While the general principle of the cut is simply a lion cut, the dragon cut adds a little something extra to make your cat the talk of the neighborhood. The general gist of the groom is shaving the whole torso and leaving the head, feet, and tail. But as a bonus, a trail of hair is left down the spine, joining the head fur to the tail fur. This trip of fur is then shaped into shapes resembling scales. It joins function and fun into a genuinely unique hairdo for your furry friend.

7. Teddy Bear

The teddy cut is more of a grooming add-on to other cuts than a total hairstyle itself. The teddy cut refers to the shaping of the fur around the face to give the appearance of an utterly adorable teddy bear. This shaping can be added to any cuts that leave the fur around the head. The teddy cut can be added shaping to a lion cut, a kitten clip, or a comb clip.

8. Panther Cut

A panther cut is a more extreme version of the lion cut. The lion cut leaves a decent amount of fur around the head and over the shoulders. In contrast, a panther cut shaves off as much hair as possible, leaving only the bare minimum around the head. While only slightly different, the panther cuts make a more significant impact than the lion cut as the meeting of fur to the skin is quite dramatic, where the lion cut aims to blend the difference in. This cut is used for terrible matting and severe skin issues to expose as much skin as possible. It’s the closest a cat can come to a full shave, but it’s named the panther shave to make them feel a little bit better about their predicament!

Related Read: 10 Best Cat Grooming Tools – Reviews & Top Picks

Why Cat Grooming Is Critical

Most cats are pretty good at keeping themselves well-groomed. We cat owners will know all too well how often our cat grooms themselves (let’s not forget waking up in the middle of the night to that familiar gross licking sound.) This self-grooming is not just about your cat’s vanity, but it also keeps fur in order and reduces the risk of matting. This grooming also helps to distribute your cat’s natural oils over the body, keeping her in healthy condition.

Other reasons for cats grooming behavior include:
  • Temperature regulation
  • Stimulating circulation
  • Soothing allergies
  • Exterminating parasites

But some cats either struggle to groom themselves efficiently or at all. Cats with long fur are especially prone to matting due to the high-maintenance nature of their coat. Cats that are disadvantaged physically (elderly, disabled, obese, etc.) can also struggle to clean themselves properly. Without efficient self-grooming, cats can get behind on their hygiene and risk matting and poor skin and coat health.

Signs Your Cat Needs to Visit a Groomer

If the thought of wrangling your cat for any grooming more than just a simple brush probably will make you nervous. We all know that cats are not always the most agreeable critters. Luckily, the groomer profession is here to save us! Professional groomers will not only manage your cat’s coat with haircuts, but they can also provide bathing, nail trims, and anal gland expression. A lot of this will be well beyond the regular owner’s area of expertise.

Here are some signs your cat needs a professional groomer:
  • Mats and knots you cannot brush out
  • They overheat easily and struggle to cool themselves down
  • They’re stinky!
  • Their coat is greasy and rough
  • Urine or fecal staining on paws and butt
  • Food gets stuck around their face and chest
  • Ingrown claws
  • Anal leakage (overactive anal glands)

If your cat is losing fur in a particular spot, smells awful, or is grooming excessively – you should make an appointment to see a veterinarian. Some of the signs of poor hygiene may stem from health issues, not from inadequate grooming.

Why Isn’t My Cat Grooming Itself?

Under grooming can cause a variety of health issues and more frequent groomer visits.

If your cat is not grooming as much as it should be, it may be due to:
  • They’re old – senior cats often suffer from joint pain and stiffness. This can stop them from performing some of the acrobatics cats need to groom some of the hard-to-reach places. Elderly cats may need your help with an at-home grooming regime and more frequent groomer visits
  • Obesity – cats contort themselves in all sorts of yoga positions for grooming. If your cat is above average weight, it may not be able to move in certain ways (we’ve all been there!)
  • They don’t know how – cats have many natural instincts. They know how to stalk, hunt, and chase but not how to groom themselves. This skill is something they pick up from their mothers. If they were separated from their mother too early in life they may be lacking basic hygiene skills and need some help.
  • Illness or dental issues – general illness will often cause a cat to stop performing usual behaviors, such as grooming, due to pain or discomfort. This includes dental problems, as the movement of the mouth during grooming can exasperate dental pain. If they have suddenly stopped grooming as much, a trip to the vet should be on the cards.

You may also like to read: 10 Tips and Tricks for Dyeing Your Cat’s Hair

Featured Image Credit: Sushitskaya, Shutterstock

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