Is it a good idea to shave a long-haired cat for the summer?

Hangai Lilla

2024. June 4 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

Sometimes it is necessary to shave a cat's fur, for example, if they are being prepared for surgery or if their fur has become so matted that it is impossible to remove it by other means. With the arrival of warmer weather, owners of long-haired cats might consider shaving their pets to make their daily lives easier.


Based on an article from the PetMD veterinary website, let’s examine whether shaving is a good decision for long-haired cats during the summer months.

An indoor long-haired cat will probably be fine in the summer heat in full coat

Cat fur has more functions than you think

In addition to helping keep the animal warm, the fur protects the skin from injuries, keeps it dry, and also plays a role in communication. (Think of an angry cat with its raised back fur.) Interestingly, when the temperature rises significantly, the fur helps keep the animal cooler. The air trapped in the fur can moderate extreme environmental heat to a certain extent.

It is important to highlight that sunburn poses a danger to cats just as it does to us. Thinner or shaved fur exposes more skin to UV radiation damage. Sunburn is not only painful but also a major risk factor for certain types of cancer. Including squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which is common in cats. SCC tends to affect thinly furred body parts such as the nose bridge, eyelids, or ears. It may not be surprising, but white cats have a higher risk of this disease. Their fur is less effective at blocking harmful UV rays compared to darker furs.

From this, it is clear that a cat’s fur serves many vital functions, so when, for example, a large area must be shaved for surgery, many doctors recommend obtaining some kind of clothing to protect the skin and thus the animal.

The outdoor cat also needs its fur, even if it is long

Shaving for long-haired indoor and outdoor cats

If the pet leads an indoor lifestyle, it is not necessary to cut their fur short due to the heat. It is unlikely that your home will become so hot that the cat cannot find a cool place to rest. There is especially no need for this if you have a fan or air conditioner in the house. The cat will be fine as long as it has access to enough fresh water. If you are worried that your cat is not drinking enough, you might consider getting a drinking fountain. Fresh, flowing water can encourage the cat to drink more.

Cats that live outdoors or are allowed outside are more exposed to extreme heat. But for the reasons mentioned above, they need their fur even more for protection. Not to mention, if a shaved cat gets wet or if the outdoor temperature drops significantly, the risk of hypothermia (cold shock) is also a concern.

It is unlikely that your long-haired cat, like a Persian, would live outdoors, but if it does and you are worried about it, the best solution is to keep it inside during the extreme heat. If this is not possible and you are concerned about its situation, before taking clippers into your own hands, be sure to consult a veterinarian or groomer, who can help decide the best course of action.

This fierce look might be due to the lack of a drinking fountain


What is important to pay attention to in summer, as well as in every season, is regular brushing and combing. A long-haired cat with a thick coat needs more time and energy to groom its fur, so it is important for you to help. This not only ensures that its fur and skin remain healthy, free of knots, infections, and parasites, but also strengthens the bond between you and your pet.

Small note: If a doctor has ordered that the cat’s fur be kept short for health reasons, this guidance naturally overrides the above advice. Act as instructed by the veterinarian!

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