What is a Lion Cut?

Lion Cut Cat

By Jennie @ Ragdoll Cats World

January 17, 2022

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As we know, Ragdoll Cats can be very docile and loving animals. They’re also known for being a long haired breed with unique features such as blue eyes, silky fur, and large size.

However, in the last few years, the trend has been to turn these gentle giants into fierce felines with Lion Cuts. The cats are often shaved on their back, tummy and neck while leaving long hair on their legs, face and tail so they have some protection. Of course, we all know cats are cute no matter what they look like, but does it hurt? What about grooming them post-cut, and can you give a Ragdoll Cat a Lion Cut?

Lion Cut Cat

Ragdoll Cat with a Lion Cut. Image credit: Facebook


Before you contact your local cat grooming services to book in your cat for a lion cut, there are things you need to know before you make the decision. Learn about these things by reading this article.

Pretty Litter


Why get a Lion Cut?

A lion cut, which mimics the appearance of a male lion, is becoming a popular style for Ragdoll cats, but is it the right choice for your pet? The answer to that question will depend on your cat’s personality. Lion cuts are rarely done for aesthetic reasons, but some owners and kitties like their look and feel.

Before deciding to cut your cat’s hair short, you should consider the following factors:


Benefits of getting your cat a Lion Cut?

Removal of Matted Fur

The most common reason for getting the lion cut on your cat is due to the matting of their fur. If long haired cats start to get mats in their fur that cannot be brushed out, they will need to be removed either by scissors, which isn’t recommended or shaving with clippers. As time goes on and the mats form, irritation may result in damaged skin underneath, leading to pain if left too long. If the cat hair is matted, you may not need to opt for the full lion cut. Instead, a tummy shave may only be required to remove the matted fur.

Lion Cut Cat

Cat stops grooming itself

As a cat ages, it tends to stop grooming itself, resulting in matted fur that can only be removed by being shaved. Once a cat has been given a lion cut, it is essential to carry out a regular grooming schedule to prevent the matting of your cat’s fur as it grows back.

Less shedding and hairballs

When you trim an animal’s coat with a lion cut, you’re also reducing shedding by up to 90 percent! In addition, a lion cut will reduce the amount of loose hair throughout the house, which may be an issue for those with allergies or asthma. If your cat also suffers from hairballs then a lion cut may help the issue.

Some Cats Enjoy Them!

Lion cuts also give your cat more freedom to move, which means they will enjoy playing more often. Many Ragdoll owners report that their Ragdoll seems happier and playful like a kitten due to their new haircut!

Ragdoll Lion Cut

Picture of a Ragdoll Cat with a Lion Cut. Image credit: Facebook

Lion Cut Cons

Some people think that shaving your cat’s fur is an easy way to keep it healthy and clean. But there are some things you need to know before you make the decision to get a lion cut for your cat.


Your cat is unable to regulate their body temperature

Many people believe that giving their long haired cat a lion cut will help them keep cool during the hotter months, but that is a misconception. A cat’s fur is there to help regulate body temperature, and therefore removing the fur can actually cause them to overheat. A cat’s coat is designed to trap the hot or cold air and stop it from reaching the skin and making them hot or cold. A cat is also prone to sunburn without its fur to protect the skin.

Also, if you live in an area with cold weather, this may not be the right style for your pet. If it’s cold outside, then shaving a cat’s fur will leave them more susceptible to getting chilled by the elements.

Ragdoll Cat Lion Cut

Picture of a Ragdoll Cat with a Lion Cut. Image credit: Facebook

Stressful for the Cat

Some cats may not mind being shaved, but for other cats it might be a stressful experience. For example, a lion cut is done by a vet office or pet groomer, so a trip in a car is involved. Cats may feel anxious about being shaved in general, and they may show signs of stress such as hiding, refusing food, and depression.

It can also be hard to get your pet back into their regular routine after they get a lion cut. Cats are creatures of habit, so changing their behavior can lead to stress or depression for some cats. In addition, this may not be the best idea if you have other pets who are used to grooming themselves independently or who need their grooming schedule because they have special needs that require specific care.


Your Ragdoll’s fur may grow back darker

There are certain breeds of cats, Ragdolls being one of them, whose fur will change color after being shaved. This is because the cat’s hair color is dependent on the temperature of the skin from which the follicle develops. Hence color point breeds tend to have dark points at their extremities (face, feet, end of tail) as those parts of the body are cooler, unless there are further genetic modifiers such as bicolour at play. As the skin will have been cool after being shaved when the hair grows back it is common to notice that it has a different color than it once did.  The color change usually isn’t permanent but may take a year or two to clear and grow back at its normal colour with seasonal shedding.

Ragdoll Cat Darker After being shaved

Ragdoll Cat Darker After being shaved.
Image Credit: Facebook

How much does a lion cut cost?

Ragdoll cat grooming can be expensive, but you can find a cat groomer that will work within your budget.

One reason grooming is expensive is because of the time it takes to wash and brush a Ragdoll cat. For this reason, the more you need done, the more it will cost. For example, if you want your Ragdoll cat’s fur trimmed or shaved down like a lion’s mane, it will cost more than just getting the hair washed and brushed.

If your Ragdoll is not in need of extensive grooming, you may be able to get away with paying less. Be sure to ask about the price before you start your cat’s appointment.

Grooming cats requires specialized skills and knowledge, therefore it is important to take your cat to a professional groomer as opposed to doing it yourself. Ask your vet for a recommendation. Most cats can be given a lion cut with clippers without using sedation.

Lion Cut Cat

Tips for aftercare

You might not think that your cat needs any aftercare after a lion cut, but they actually do.

After giving your cat a lion cut, it’s important to keep them calm and reassure them during the first few hours. They might be frightened and unsure of what is happening to their fur. This is the time when they’ll need more attention from you than normal.


How long does a Lion Cut last on a cat?

A lion cut will last anywhere from two to four months. Most Ragdoll cats are shaved between four and six weeks after their lion cut in order to maintain the look, but this will depend on your cat’s hair growth rate. It can take up to 2 years for the fur to fully grow back.


Variations on the Lion Cut

A typical lion cut includes boots trimmed around the front elbow and back hock bone, with a moderate mane and “pom” tail. Other variations include full tails or fuller manes, mohawks or leaving all hair in front of shoulders – which is known as a bolero cut.

Lion Cut Ragdoll Cat

Lion cut with mohawk and shaved tail. Image source: Facebook

What is a Dragon Cut?

Some cat owners are taking the lion cut to a whole new level with the Dragon Cut where the cat’s remaining mohawk and tail is styled in dragon-like spikes! Find out more about Dragon and Dino Cuts.

Dragon Cut Cat

Picture of a cat with a Dragon Cut

Image Credit: beyond.paws Instagram

Fortunately, there are many other ways to keep your pet’s coat healthy and well-groomed and free of mats without having to alter the natural look of their fur. Find out more about how to maintain your Ragdoll Cat’s coat.  If you’re considering cutting your Ragdoll’s hair, be sure to do so responsibly and thoughtfully so they don’t become stressed out and feel like they’ve lost their identity. Have a chat with your vet regarding potential risks of shaving your cat.

If you’re thinking about getting your Ragdoll cat a lion cut, it’s important to consider these things beforehand. Then, when you think about all the benefits and drawbacks of getting your Ragdoll cat a lion cut and know what to look out for, you’ll be able to make the right choice.

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Written by Jennie @ Ragdoll Cats World

I'm Jennie, the creator of Ragdoll Cats World. I have been owned and loved by Ragdoll Cats for almost twenty years after getting my first Ragdoll kittens, Huey and Choo-Choo back in 2003. They lived to the grand old age of 18 and 17 and they even made the move from London to Australia with me! We now have two Ragdoll cats, Violet and Ocean, and a Maine Coon cat named Eddie, and we love sharing our knowledge of all things related to Ragdoll Cats with you at Ragdoll Cats World!

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