Do Maine Coon Cats Need to be Shaved in the Summer? Maine Coon cats are noted for having a long, luxurious coat. It’s one of the things that makes them stand out in a crowd of other cats!
But if you live in a warmer climate and you want to get a Maine Coon, you are probably worried that their coat will make them overheat, causing them a great deal of discomfort and even heat sickness.
Many owners opt to shave their cats in the summer or at least give them a “lion cut” with the idea that it would make them more comfortable. But is this actually true? Do Maine Coon cats need to be shaved in the summer?
Short answer: No. You should never shave any cat unless the mats in the fur are beyond anyone’s ability to comb out or if there is an injury that needs to be tended to. Maine Coon cats may have long coats, but they do not need you to shave them off!
Why Do Maine Coon Cats Need their Coat (Even in the Summer)
Us humans are probably very uncomfortable wearing winter clothing in the summer, so it’s natural that we assume our pets are uncomfortable too. But in the case of Maine Coon cats (and in fact most cats and dogs for that matter), this is not the case.
A Maine Coon cat’s coat does several things to protect them, and cats are perfectly capable of regulating their own temperature without losing their coats.
Why do cats need to keep their coats year-round?
- Protection from other cats. A Maine Coon’s coat is thick enough to double as armor if they get into fights with other cats. Without their coat, they are far more likely to be seriously injured.
- Protection from the elements. Cats can get sunburn just like humans and they are more prone to skin cancer as well. Their fur protects them from this.
- Protection from biting insects
- Protection from thorns and barbed wires or stinking/thorny plants
- Protection from wet weather. Without fur, cats will get soaked when it rains and they also lose their ability to regulate much of their temperature, leading to hypothermia
And that seemingly heavy coat actually does a really good job of keeping your cat cool in the summer. The coat will absorb the heat and keep it off your cat’s skin.
But a cat’s coat is used for many other things as well. It is an important sensory tool – every bit of fur is sensitive and can warn a cat of objects around it. Cats also use their fur for communication; for example, puffing out their tail to warn enemies off.
And finally, there is something of a psychological piece that is a problem for cats. While they probably don’t care how they look, they often do care a lot about the process of being shaved and this can cause them a great deal of anxiety.
Can I Give My Maine Coon Cat a Trim?
This depends entirely on the cat. Giving them a bit of a trim can help to get rid of minor mats that form over time or to get rid of something sticky. But some cats get anxious even with trimmers, so it’s best to take it slow and give lots of treats. Even trims should only be given as needed for things like cleaning up sticky messes or mats
When Would a Maine Coon Cat Get a Shave?
There are only a few instances where a Maine Coon cat would need to get a shave and they are highly specific and not for aesthetics.
The first reason is if there is severe matting from a cat being a stray. Matting is preventable in house cats through grooming every few days (critical for Maine Coons), but if you found a stray, it may be completely matted.
In this case, shaving the cat may be the only way to make it comfortable again and get rid of dirt, twigs, and bugs. If the matting is severe, shave it all off, and then take care to keep your cat warm and out of the sun until the fur starts to grow back.
The other reason is for medical concerns like skin problems, injuries, or surgeries. In this case, only the affected area is shaved, not the rest of the cat.
These are really the only reasons why a Maine Coon cat would ever get shaved. It should never be done just to ‘look cool’ (like lion cuts) and it is unnecessary to do for summer. Healthy cats can regulate their own body temperature just fine!
Who Should Trim (or Shave) My Cat?
Unless you have a Maine Coon who is incredibly laid back, it’s best to get a groomer to do a trim or the rare shave in the case of you finding a matted over stray. If a cat is injured, take it to the vet and let them handle it.
Shaving should only be done by a good groomer or vet while trimmer could be done by you, so long as you know what you’re doing, and your cat is very easygoing.
We’d still recommend a groomer even for a trim though since they would also be able to prevent accidents and will likely do a tidier, swifter job.
Also, do your research before hiring a new groomer. There are horror stories of groomers who just shaved cats rather than deal with knots and this is something you really don’t want your cat to endure if they don’t have to!
Maine Coon cats absolutely do not need to be shaved at any time, including in the summer. A healthy cat will regulate their own temperature and their coat is too vital for protection and as part of their ability to sense the world around them.
The only time a Main Coon needs to be shaved is if it is injured (and then only the injured area is shaved) or if they are so thoroughly matted that there is no choice. Otherwise, comb and brush your cat a few times a week and let the coat do what it’s supposed to do: keep your cat happy and healthy!
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.