Introduction: How to Groom Your Cat (Lion Cut)
If your cat has a problem with shedding, matting, or hot weather then you may want to consider giving your cat the lion cut. The lion cut is a type of hair cut where your cat's coat is shaved with the exception of the face, mane, legs, and tip of tail. This type of hair cut is very commonly used for Himalayans and Persians. But owners with any breed of long haired cat can give their little beast the lion cut. Good hygiene is important for long hair breeds especially with regards to hairball prevention. Most professionals suggest brushing your long haired cat once a day. If this is something you know you won't be able to fit into your daily routine you should probably start shaving your cat. In addition,grooming can be rather costly, you will save a lot of money grooming your cat at home. I used to spend seventy five dollars every 4 months to have my cat groomed. This might not sound like a lot, but trust me it adds up. When you first start grooming your cat at home it will take you at least two-three hours. But as you and your cat become more comfortable with this process the time will decrease to around an hour.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
To groom your long haired cat you will need the following:
A second person to hold/restrain your feline friend
Trimmers along with attachments
Towels or rags
*if your cat has greasy patches or matted clumps you may additionally need:
Step 2: Select a Location for Grooming
It has been my experience that grooming usually works best in an uncarpeted room. Trying to remove large amounts of cat hair from carpet with a normal vacuum cleaner is a huge pain, not to mention it will clog up your vacuum.I would also suggest grooming your cat on a counter or table. Your cat may not enjoy the elevation but it will make the entire process much easier. I usually groom my little fur ball on the kitchen table.
Step 3: Set Up Your Area
1) Cover the counter or table with a couple of old towels or rags.
This will add some cushioning, making it more comfortable for your cat. It was also help protect your table from cat scratches.
2) Find the closest outlet and plug in your trimmers.
You will also need to make sure your trimmers once plugged in can reach the table with enough extra slack to maneuver around while grooming.
Step 4: Bring Your Cat to the Grooming Area
Before grooming begins I like to give my cat a couple of treats while she is on the table and pet her for a few minutes. This helps to calm her nerves and give me a chase to run my hands along her coat to check for any clumps or greasy areas.
Step 5: Clip Your Cat's Nails
1) Hold a paw in one hand and press gently on a toe pad to extend a claw.
2) Clip only the sharp tips to avoid cutting the quick (epithelial tissue that protects the nail bed). If your cat has colored nails you may not be able to see the quick.
Note: If you are uncomfortable with clipping your cats nails wait and have a professional groomer or veterinarian saw you.
Warning: Making a mistake and cutting a nail to short can be very painful for your cat and cause damage to the quick.
Tip: Personally, I prefer to clip my cat’s nails a day or two before I groom her. If I try to clip her nails and groom her all in one go she gets too stressed.
Step 6: Brush Your Cat
1) Brush your cat’s mane, back and tummy with a large pin brush (also called a slicker brush).
Note: you will probably need someone to gently hold/restrain your cat while you brush the tummy area.
2) Brush your cat’s legs and tail with a wide toothed comb.
Note: the following minor steps are only necessary if your cat has clumped or greasy hair
3) Remove matted clumps by holding on to the clump at the base near the skin and brushing through it with the pin brush. (Holding the clumped hair at the base will help from tugging on the skin which can be painful for your cat). It may take several minutes to break up the matted clump with the brush.
Note: if you cannot brush the clump out, you can use a blunt-ended pair of scissors to remove it.
Warning: you must make sure no skin is caught up within the clump before you cut it out. Cats have very thin skin and can easily hurt if you clip their skin.
4) Rub a small nickle size amount of corn starch into a greasy area on your cats coat and comb the corn starch out. This will dry out the hair.
Step 7: Shave Your Cat
Note: If you want the hair to be slightly longer, shave with the direction of the outgoing hair. If you want the hair to be shorter shave against the outgrowing hair.
1) Shave Up the back and sides of your cat. Glide the clippers in a straight line up your cats back.
Warning: Never let the clippers tough the cats skin. This could injury your cat.
2) After each shaving stroke, wipe the shaved hair off of the clips.
3) Periodically stop to brush and pick up shaved hair off your cat. This will make it easier to see if you missed any spots.
4) After you have shaved your cats back and sides, lay the cat on it's side and comb the hair away from each teat
5) While someone is assisting you by restraining your cat, carefully shave around each teat and the rest of the tummy area.
6) Shave up the tail leaving only the hair on the last quarter of the tail.
Note: Not all cats like having their tails trimmed. I have shaved my cats tail twice and both times she seemed less than pleased with it. If you find that your cat dislikes having it's tail trimmed you can leave the tail hair in-tacked.
Step 8: Blend the Mane to the Body
1) Clip the #2 attachment on to the head of your trimmers.
2) Backcomb your cat's mane.
3) Shave up the mane to the top of the neck on all sides.
4) with a slightly damp rag wipe off shaved hair
Step 9: Grooming Is Done, Time to Give Your Cat a Treat
Congratulations! you have successfully finished shaving your cat. It is important to reward your cat with affection and treats after grooming. However, cats that are new to grooming may want to skip the petting and treats part to go hide for awhile. This is normal and after a few grooming experiences will change.
While you may feel like this was a huge challenge and something you would rather pay a professional to do, it gets a little easier each time. It is also much less stressful for your cat to be groomed by you at home than to have to endure a car ride to an unfamiliar place, while a stranger man handles them. I have been shaving my cat myself for the past two years. When I first started in would take me over two hours to groom her. Now I can do it in an hour flat. I hope that this instructable has helped you with learning how to properly groom your cat and that it will assist you with managing your cats hygiene regiment.