The Maine Coon is an extremely hardy cat breed, able to exist in severely cold climates that many other cat breeds cannot. Their robust characteristic is primarily thanks to their impressively thick dense coat of fur, which keeps them warm even in the coldest of temperatures. Whilst advantageous during the Winter months, many Maine Coons visibly struggle when the temperature hots up, leading owners to dabble with the idea of the Maine Coon Lion Cut. If you’ve never heard of this before, keep reading to find out more about this highly emotive subject.
Many owners give their Maine Coon cat a lion cut, to keep their feline friend cool during the hotter Summer months. Others simply adore the look of this Maine Coon hairstyle. The shaved lion cut Maine Coon hairstyle is also ideal for cats prone to severely matted fur. The subject of lion cuts for cats is highly emotive though, with many owners claiming the practise is cruel.
What Is A Lion Cut?
The Maine Coon lion cut is a very emotive subject, sparking hotly debated conversations amongst Maine Coon owners across the world. Whilst many owners are proud to share photographs of their Maine Coon lion cut, others chastise them for shaving their cat, claiming the practise is cruel, not natural, and physically disgusting.
The lion cut involves shaving large parts of the Maine Coons fur, in specific places. Groomers often leave a large ruff of fur around the Maine Coons neckline, which is meant to resemble a lion’s mane. Some owners also leave fur around the cats paws, which is thought to look like fur boots. The tail can either be shaved, or not shaved, but is often trimmed short with a tuft of hair left at the tip, which looks like a bobble of hair. The objective of the lion cut is basically to make the cat look more like a lion.
If you still aren’t too sure what the Maine Coon lion cut looks like in reality, the easiest way to imagine it is by picturing a lion!
Lion cuts for cats will vary depending upon owner preference, however, in general a cat’s entire body is shaved so that there is a clear distinctive line between their ‘mane’ and the rest of their body:
|Body||All of the cats thick fur is shaved off, revealing their skin underneath|
|Neck||Fur is not shaved from around the Maine Coons neckline. Fur in this region remains long, and looks like a lion’s mane of hair|
|Paws||No fur is shaved from this area|
|Legs||Fur is shaved off the Maine Coons entire legs, apart from their ankles which is left furry|
|Tail||The tail is either fully shaved, leaving only a small tuft at the end OR the majority of the tail fur is left|
Maine Coon Lion Cut Pictures
It is often thought that an image says a 1000 words. Well, in the case of the Maine Coon lion cut, this phrase might be right, since these Maine coon lion cut pictures clearly show what this Maine Coon hairstyle is all about.
In the image below you can see that the fur on the Maine Coons body has been shaved close to the skin. A ruff of fur has been kept around the cats neckline:
This picture below shows how the owner of ‘Craig’ the Maine Coon has opted to shave the Maine Coons back hind legs, leaving just fluffy paw boots. They have not shaved the front legs, but have chosen to shave most of the tail fur off, leaving just a ball of fur at the tails tip, like a lion.
What Does A Normal Maine Coon Coat Look Like?
Maine Coon cats are known for their beautiful, thick luscious long hair. If you look at an Adult Maine Coon cats fur, you will discover that it is made up of three distinct layers:
- Undercoats: They have 2 short undercoats of fur. These are very thick and dense, and keep Maine Coons warm in the coldest of climates. Lose hair often becomes tangled within the undercoats, and owners should groom their cat regularly to ensure the ‘dead’ hair does not tangle with the ‘live’ hair, causing matting.
- Outer Guard Coat: The outer guard coat is partially water repellent, and covers the two fur undercoats. This hair is long, and will be either silky or coarse, depending upon each cats unique genetics.
Here is a picture of me with my Maine Coon cat named ‘Pippin’ (aka ‘Pipsteroo’, and ‘Pippy Long Stockings!’). Our cat has natural Maine Coon hair that has never been trimmed. This picture shows you what a Maine Coon, without the Maine Coon lion cut, looks like.
We did consider the Maine Coon lion cut hairstyle for Pippin because his fur is prone to matting. However, we decided not to since I absolutely love his long thick hair which he manages to make look messy within just a few minutes of grooming!
Pros And Cons Of Maine Coon Lion Cut
The Maine Coon lion cut for cats hairstyle really is a thing! The subject itself divides many cat lovers across the world though, since some owners love the varying Maine Coon hairstyles that exist, whilst others simply don’t. Whatever your viewpoint, there are many factors to consider before asking a groomer to trim your Maine Coons thick luscious fur.
The table below briefly summarises the ‘for’ and ‘against’ arguments for trimming your Maine Coons fur:
|Matting||Thick fur can become matted||Owners should groom Maine Coon regularly to prevent matting|
|Weather Conditions||Trimming fur keeps cat cool during hot summer months. It also prevents fur becoming matted during damp Winter months||Trimming fur is unnatural. Instead, owners should provide cat with shaded area to lay, and fresh water supply to keep cool. During Winter, cat may struggle to stay warm|
|Visual Appeal||Hairstyle looks good||Not a natural hairstyle|
|Grooming||Reduces time spent grooming||If you buy a long haired cat, grooming should be expected|
|Cat Stress||Cats become stressed if they cannot keep their thick dense fur clean, and groomed||Regular grooming from owner will ensure cat does not become stressed|
|Hairballs||Reducing fur, reduces cat hairballs||All cats get hairballs. Brushing cat with deshedding tool reduces hair shedding|
|Sunburn||Owners can apply sunscreen to cat, and also make shaded area available for cat to sit||Cats with no fur are more prone to sunburn|
|Hair Shedding||Maine Coons with a lion cut shed less hair||Owners should use a deshedding tool to reduce hair shedding by up to 90%|
|Hypoallergenic||A reduction in hair makes a cat more hypoallergenic||No cat, even the hairless sphynx are hypoallergenic|
|Beneficial For Older Cats||Health issues occur as cat age. The lion cut is ideal for keeping a Maine Coons coat looking immaculate in old age||Older Maine Coons should be groomed just as frequently as younger Coons|
|Function Of Fur||Keeps fur under control. Less fur coat for Maine Coon to maintain||Removing fur may have unexpected consequences for cat|
|Delicate Skin||Maine Coons kept indoors will not encounter impact of outside environment||Maine Coons need their fur, to protect their skin|
|Your Cats Feelings||Cats adjust to haircut within a few days||Shaving cat will bother them significantly|
Why Do Owners Give Their Maine Coon A Lion Cut?
The Maine Coon cat is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds in the world, thought to have originated in Wiscasset, Maine (United States). They are known as the American Longhair due to impressively long thick flowing hair. Despite this title though, many owners like to shave their Maine Coons fur.
So why do many owners shave their majestic looking Maine Coons fur into a lion cut?
Cats are known for being extremely clean animals, so matted fur understandably causes them a degree of stress which no owner wants.
The Maine Coon cat is known for having an impressively thick coat of hair, so is particularly prone to the risks of matted and tangled fur, especially if they live in damp wet climates that aid matted fur to occur. In cases such as this many Maine Coon owners therefore give their cat a Maine Coon lion cut, in order to keep matted fur at bay.
2. Weather Conditions
The climate varies dramatically across the world, and Maine Coon cats are certainly not naturally suited to living anywhere. For instance, this particular cat breed struggles to keep cool in hot weather conditions, due to their thick dense coat of fur. They do however thrive in cold weather conditions, where their thick coat provides warmth.
If you live in a warm climate but are desperate to own a fabulous Maine Coon cat, then you should consider the Maine Coon lion cut, to keep your Coon fit and healthy.
3. Visual Appeal
It is entirely down to personal preference as to whether you like, or dislike, the Maine Coon lion cut hairstyle.
Maine Coon cats require a high level of regular grooming to prevent their fur becoming matted, or tangled. This is particular the case for cats that are permitted to roam freely outside, since they often return with what looks like half the garden attached to their long fur (well, our cat does!)
Owners who are unable to dedicate enough time to brushing their feline friend each week may decide to give their cat a Maine Coon lion cut. This Maine Coon hairstyle will significantly decrease the need to groom their cat, since the majority of hair is removed.
All cats groom themselves regularly, to keep themselves clean. Unfortunately the downside of this grooming process is that most cats will, at some point, develop hairballs. In the case of the Maine Coon, your cat is more likely to develop hairballs (even if brushed regularly) simply because their long hair sheds regularly and often gets caught up in their thick dense fur. Owners concerned about hairballs often have their Maine Coons hair trimmed shorter.
6. Hair Shedding
Every Maine Coon is different, so some will shed hair far more than others. If you are lucky, you may just see tumbleweeds of hair rolling around your home, rather than all over your clothing. All Maine Coons however, significantly shed fur as Spring approaches, since this is nature’s way of them shedding their thick Winter coat.
If you are not a fan of their hair shedding tendencies, you may have considered the Maine Coon lion cut? Alternatively, I would recommend you groom them with a deshedding tool which can reduce their hair shedding by up to 90%! These are my favourite Maine Coon brushes.
I often hear people asking if there is any such thing as a hypoallergenic cat? The truth of the matter is that there isn’t! All cat breeds, whether they have hair, or not, may cause your allergies to flare up. The primary reason for this is because people are actually allergic to a cat’s dander (dead skin cells), not the cats fur. They simply suspect fur to be the culprit because dander often gets caught in thick fur, which owners then stroke.
For owners suffering from allergies, the Maine Coon lion cut might limit their reactions significantly, since this hairstyle removes much of the cats long thick hair.
If you are interested in learning more about this subject, check out my article “Are Maine Coon Cats Hypoallergenic?“
8. Older Maine Coons
Most of our feline friends like to groom themselves continuously, to ensure their fur remains clean and tidy. As a cat ages though, health issues such as stiff joints are likely to develop, which may make self grooming harder for a cat to complete. In order to assist the older cat, a Maine Coon lion cut is therefore ideal, and helps a cat keep their fur looking healthy, and well kept.
Why Owners Shouldn’t Give Their Maine Coon A Lion Cut
1. Cat Stress
Most cats love being groomed, but there will always be exceptions to the rule. In cases such as this, or when the cats hair is prone to matting, then it may be kinder to give your Coon a Maine Coon lion cut, to help prevent them from suffering the psychological stress of tangled knotted fur.
Although this is not an actual reason why owners trim their Maine Coons fur short, it is an important factor to consider for owners thinking of giving their Coon a Maine Coon lion cut. This is because cats that have had their fur shaved off are more prone to getting sunburnt, than cats with fur. Owners opting for this particular hairstyle will need to apply cat formulated sunscreen, to keep their Maine Coon safe during the hot weather. Alternatively, they will need to ensure the cat is kept indoors, in shaded areas.
3. Function Of Fur
The fur of a Maine Coon cat actually provides a function i.e. it keeps a cat warm during cold Winter climates, but also protects their delicate skin from sunburn during the hot Summer months. Is it therefore advisable to remove large portions of their fur with a Maine Coon lion cut? One of the disadvantages of this Maine Coon hairstyle, is that your cat may develop hypothermia if too much fur is removed, or even sunburn.
An additional disadvantage of removing most of the Maine Coons fur, is that nature has not designed your cat to be able to control their body temperature, without their fur coat. Nature has also designed your cats fur as a sensory source which warns a cat if danger is close i.e. when their tips touch and exterior object, it tells them how close they are to it.
4. Delicate Skin
One of the key disadvantages of giving your cat a Maine Coon lion cut, is that their delicate skin underneath is exposed. This is problematic for many cats since their skin is more likely to get scraped if allowed to roam outside in their natural environment i.e. their skin will get scratched by bushes etc.
The Maine Coons thick fur also offers a level of protection to this large cat, since it reduces the impact that another cat scratching them can cause, since the thick fur offers an extra layer of protection for other animals claws, or teeth to penetrate.
5. Cats Feelings
It’s difficult to truly determine if your Maine Coon will be happy about having a lion cut hairstyle, or not. However, if they starting hissing and spitting at you whilst being trimmed, then act aloof afterwards, this indicates yours cat displeasure with the trim.
Many groomers claim cats adjust to their new hairstyle within a couple of days. However, can you really trust the opinion of a person who financially benefits from the procedure taking place?
How To Give A Maine Coon A Lion Cut
The best way to give your Maine Coon a lion cut, is to take them to a professional groomer who is qualified to give your Coon this specific hairstyle. Never try to give your cat a lion cut yourself, since you will likely catch their delicate skin underneath their thick fur.
Although the loud sounding clippers may not phase you, please be mindful that your Maine Coon might be frightened by the close proximity of the noise, like they are when a hoover is operated nearby. It is quite possible that the giving your cat a Maine Coon lion cut might actually stress them out considerably, which is damaging to their mental health.
How Much Does A Lion Cut Cost?
The Maine Coon lion cut is not a cheap grooming option to maintain, so think carefully before you ask a groomer to get out their clippers, and shave all of your Coons beautiful fur coat off.
To get an idea of the costs involved, I reviewed seven groomers in the United States, and the United Kingdom, to find out how much a lion cut would cost me. For the purposes of the tables below, I used costings defined for a ‘large cat’ only, though I did notice that prices were also given for ‘extra large’ and ‘extra extra large’ cats:
a) Cost Of Maine Coon Lion Cut In The UK
In the table below you can see that the average cost of giving a UK Maine Coon a lion cut, ranges from £70-79.
Before racing out to get your cat trimmed though, check your local groomers websites for details, since I encountered one professional groomer that would only provide a lion cut to cats that had severely matted hair. Another groomer did not provide generic quotes, but required in-depth details of the cat in question.
|Groomer||Lion Cut: UK Cost (£)|
|Cat Grooming Specialist (link)||£70 (large cat)|
|Pet Universe (link)||£70 (large cat)|
|Purrs and Furr Cat Grooming (link)||Prices started at £75|
|Abbey Road Grooming (link)||£70|
|Soos Mobile Cat Grooming (link)||£79|
Mobile groomers often cost slightly more, since they have to cover the additional costs of driving to your place of residence.
b) Cost of Maine Coon Lion Cut In The United States
I was not able to obtain specific groomer names, due to the enormity of the United States. I ascertain however, that the average cost of giving your Maine Coon a lion cut, in the United States, ranged from $30-70.
|Groomer Estimate||Lion Cut: US Cost ($)|
|Thumbtack (link) – This consolidation website helps you locate a local groomer||$35-60|
|Homeguide (link) – This consolidation website helps you locate a local groomer||$30-70|
If you live in the United States, I recommend you contact ‘The Professional Cat Groomers Association of America‘ to find an approved cat groomer nearby.
Lion Cut Cat Grooming Timescales
Think carefully before shaving your Maine Coon cats coat of fur, because once cut, your Maine Coon will look dramatically different. It might also take years to regrow their fur back to its former long, shaggy, thick fur this breed is recognised for.
If you have shaved your cats hair to the skin, most professional groomers advise that a cats long coat should grow back within 4-6 months though. Although the coat will grow back significantly during this time, it is doubtful that the Maine Coons thick dense fur coat will have returned to its former glory, due to their unique three layered thick dense hair.
Maine Coon Comb Cut
The Maine Coon comb cut is where the cats hair is trimmed to between 1/2 inch, to 1 inch in length. This is often considered a good halfway house, between not trimming a cat’s fur at all, and the Maine Coon lion cut.
This cut is beneficial for Maine Coon cats with fur prone to tangles and matting, since shorter hair is less likely to become tangled. It is also a good compromise since it does not look as harsh as the shaved Maine Coon lion cut, but does help owners to keep on top of their cats grooming requirements.
For more detailed information on Maine Coon grooming, check out my article “How Do You Groom A Maine Coon Cat“.
Orange Maine Coon Lion Cut
Owners of stunning orange Maine Coon cats are often tempted to give their Maine Coon a lion cut, since these colored cat looks more like mini lions than the other breed colorings do.
Here is an example of an Orange Maine Coon Lion Cut. Credit for image goes to Maria Michelle (link to image). In the image you can see that the majority of the ruff around the cats neckline has been removed.
How Common Is The Maine Coon Lion Cut?
I have not found any available statistics detailing how common the Maine Coon lion cut is. However, I did notice very quickly when analysing multiple groomer websites for pricing, that the lion cut was often listed near the top of the price list. The fact this specific hairstyle was mentioned on most groomer websites would indicate that it is a relatively popular Maine Coon hairstyle to purchase.
Video Of Maine Coon With Lion Cut
This is a short video of a Maine Coon cat named ‘Craig’, who has a Maine Coon lion cut. As he walks, his Maine Coon hairstyle helps to make him look like a mini lion!
Credit for video below goes to Flickr user ‘Brenna’ (link to video) (link to user). License by Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (link to license). Click the word ‘video’ underneath the picture, if video does not automatically start playing.
Maine Coons are renowned for having fabulous long shaggy hair. In fact, their thick fur is one of the key attributes that makes the Maine Coon cat breed so attractive.
Whatever your opinion, the Maine Coon lion cut is here to stay and will always be an emotive subject because owners are very passionate about their special feline friends. Ultimately, the decision to trim a cat’s fur in this manner will always be down to an individual’s personal preference, alongside the Maine Coons grooming needs and requirements.
If you are considering shaving your Maine Coons fur, make sure you have fully considered the pros and cons of this grooming procedure before shaving your treasured feline friends fur off. All grooming trims should be conducted by a trained professional groomer, and should be in the best interests of the cat involved.