As you probably know the lion cut as applied to the long haired domestic cat is a hair cut that leaves the cat looking like a lion in that a false mane is created plus a brush of hair on the end of the tail. Also, in this lion cut picture, you'll see the fur on the legs below the hock.
Why request a lion cut? Would the cat consent if asked? The cat is the patient. Note: I don't know if the lion cut was done at a vets or at this clinic. It might not have. Vets do sometimes recommend a lion cut, however. So it must be for health reasons mainly.
|Lion cut cat. Photo copyright Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic|
This cat looks like a chinchilla type traditional Persian but I am probably wrong. The cat has pointing, a sort of tabby pointing (lynx pointing). She is a very pretty cat and it is a good lion cut. Her pupils are wide open probably because the interior was quite dimly lit in that area. It could be argued that the fur of the contemporary Persian cat is too long.
On the basis that a lion cut is for health reasons it must be because cat fur can be too long and pick up dirt etc.. This might apply to the contemporary Persian cat. Although you would be reluctant to shave the fur of a purebred cat as a breeder would have expended a considerable amount of energy in creating it! Long fur can become matted unless groomed almost daily. Someone might not like that aspect of keeping a cat and opt for the lion cut instead. In which case the cut was done for the cat caretaker's benefit.
Or the fur had become matted and the only solution was a lion cut. This must be the most common reason. We have to look to the cat's caretaker again and ask questions. Don't adopt a long haired cat unless you are prepared to groom her regularly.
Another and more obvious reason is fleas. Long fur is a good medium for the notorious cat flea and long fur is an obstacle to the 32 teeth to the inch flea comb. It might be a struggle to get a comb like that through extra long fur unless it is done perhaps twice per day - a lion cut sounds easier doesn't it? But is fair on the cat?
A downside to the lion cut is that it needs to be maintained. Also could a cat become sunburned if he or she went outside into the blazing mid-American sun for a while? A more important downside perhaps is that sometimes a vet will do it and anesthetize the cat. Anesthetizing a cat carries health risks and even, potentially, death in rare cases. That is worth factoring in. This last risk means that a cat lion cut should not be done for the cat caretaker's amusement.
Also we should consider the cat's emotions. It is not unreasonable to ask if the cat feels uncomfortable with a lion cut. A cat might well feel wrong and upset. The emotion might be shown in anxiety, nervousness or aggression depending on the cat. Get grooming....