Summer’s coming, should you shave your cat?

With the end of lockdown fast approaching, and temperatures set to rise for the long awaited summer of 2021, yesterday saw many hairdressers opening their doors once again, to get the masses looking fresh for the months of fun to come. And that got us thinking, if last year’s heatwave was anything to go by, should we genuinely be considering shaving our cat for the summer?

Now bare with us on this, we know it might sound ridiculous, but essentially our little companions are strutting around in a fur coat all year round (not you sphynx cats, you’re summer-ready 24/7) and we wondered if giving our cats a little summer trim would help them through the hottest parts of the year. And it isn’t just us that’s curious, it’s one of the most common questions asked of vets at this time of year, as well as it being a pretty popular google search. So we took it upon ourselves to find out. 

Logical reasoning would suggest shaving your cats fur would surely help them to cool down, but in truth it’s quite the opposite. The short answer to our question is simply, no. Put the clippers down and step away from the tabby. But let’s have a little look at why this won’t be necessary this summer. Our cat’s fur does some pretty smart things. Not only do they use their fur to insulate and keep warm through the winter, but that glorious floof is actually designed to cool them down in warmer weather. Mind. Blown. Each furry fibre traps the cool air between their coat and their skin, and acts like some sort of fluffy ice pack for our kittens.

Although it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to give your cat a trim, this should always ALWAYS be carried out by a professional and leave at least half of their fur on their body. Over-grooming your cat can actually cause cats to overheat as their coat is no longer long enough to function the way it was designed to. As well as this, shaving your cat comes with added risk of sun-burn due to their skin being more exposed, and can even make them more prone to insect bites. It seems as though these trendy little lion haircuts you might see on the gram could actually be more of a hindrance for your housemate and may be best avoided.

So what can you do to keep your cats and kittens cool in the summer?

– Always make sure they have access to shady spots, especially our precious house cats who might not have access to the breezy outdoors.
– Fresh water should be available at all times, hydration is key.
– Keep on top of brushing, particularly for our long-haired pals to comb out any excess hair that could be keeping them a little warmer than necessary.
– Cooling mats and ice packs can also be a huge help, as well as a few ice cubes in their water (or even just to push around the floor).
– You can even use pet-specific sun cream on your cat’s more exposed areas like their nose and ears if they are seasoned sun loungers.

So it seems the clippers won’t be necessary and there really is no need to give your moggy a new do for the warmer months, let’s leave the drastic post-lockdown haircuts to the humans. Following the useful tips above will ensure you have one cool cat, who can enjoy summer 2021 as much as the rest of us!

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By Lois Roberts

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