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Can A Cat’s Hair Change Color After Being Shaved?

If you are considering shaving your cat’s hair you may be wondering what effect it may have on its fur color…

Can a cat’s hair change color after being shaved?

A cat’s hair can change color after it has been shaved. This has been reported by other cat owners, for example, a black cat being shaved and the fur returning light grey or white. Many assume because their skin pigment determines the fur color this can’t happen, but it’s possible.

So, now you know. But, is it bad to shave them? Can a cat’s fur change for other reasons? Can you deal with shedding without shaving your cat? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

Is it bad to shave your cat’s fur?

do cats like their fur shaved

do cats like their fur shaved

It is not bad to shave a cat’s fur. However, it shouldn’t be done just for fun, and if it is done it’s best left to a professional groomer. The reasons this may be required is to keep them cooler in the summer, avoid matting, help with shedding, etc.

The point is there are some real practical reasons for considering this. Whilst others may do this strictly for vanity, which is not ideal for the cat, in my opinion.

How long does it take for cat fur to grow back after being shaved?

A long-haired cat may take up to 6 months to fully regrow its fur back. However, a short-haired cat could do it in half the time. Which makes sense, logically thinking.

Also, it depends on how much was shaved in the first place. For example, if it was a small trimming it could return a lot faster.

Can my cat’s fur change color?

Cats fir can change color. The temperature can affect this. For example, if it’s really hot a cat’s fur may become lighter, and the opposite if it’s cooler. Also, age can play a big role in their fur color too.

Regarding age, like us humans, as they age their fur may turn gray. And, younger cats may develop darker fur as they get older.

What happens when you shave a cat’s fur?

When you shave a cat’s fur visually it will look shorter. But, other things can happen such as making an outdoor cat susceptible to being burned by the sun or other related issues.

Top 10 Cat Breeds

For this reason, some cat owners say that an indoor cat should not need to be shaved because their temperature can easily be controlled.

Do cats like to have their fur shaved?

No, cats do not like having their fur shaved. This is because it’s important to them. It not only protects them from the cold and windy conditions, but it also helps to regulate their body temperature in hot weather.

Without their fur, they will also face psychological issues such as feeling embarrassed. This is quite similar to how humans feel. Their fur is a critical part of their body. Let me explain other ways to avoid shaving, the importance of their fur if you should consider the controversial lion shave, and much more, keep reading…

Are there other ways to deal with shedding without shaving?

Yes, shedding is expected behavior from any cat (click here to see if how much Calico cats shed). In fact, it is quite a healthy thing for a cat to do this. Think of it this way, if an animal has fur, it will naturally shed. This is nature’s way of dealing with excess fur and refreshing itself with new growth.

Shaving fur is more of an extreme measure. It should not really be used unless you really have to, are you with me?

Also, even if you decide that shaving is the only way forward, it should not be done at home by you. Instead, it should be done by a professional.

The best way to avoid shaving is to maintain your cat’s fur in the first place. Prevention is better than cure, right?

This includes using a shedding tool or comb (click here to see my best shedding and de-matting combs) which can help to get rid of the unwanted fur leftover from shedding.

Also, you can make a conscious choice to make sure that your cat has a good diet, including proteins. Protein is an important part of fur health. It will help them avoid extreme issues with shedding.

Are there other methods to deal with matting instead of shaving fur?

Yes, grooming your cat, such as using de-matting tools, should be used as a preventative measure to avoid shaving your cat.

I’ll admit, there are times when shaving can’t be avoided. But, this is reserved for extreme measures.

To avoid this, prevent it from happening by using a de-matting tool or comb. Making sure matted fur doesn’t even get a chance to form.

You can even use your fingers and run them through your cat’s fur. It’s not great, but better than nothing. To be honest a de-matting tool is better.

What’s the point of a cat’s fur Anyway?

A cat’s fur has many different purposes. It’s not just to keep them warm. It is used to keep them dry in wet weather and to keep them warm when it’s cold.

Keeps them cool

Not many people know this but, your cat’s fur can also keep them cool during hot weather. This may sound unbelievable, but it’s true. Their fur has the ability to trap a layer of air which can protect them against extreme heat conditions.

It is also used as a communication channel, yes communication! Think of a startled or shocked cat, what do you see? a cat being shocked with its fur standing on end, right?

Skin protection

Cat’s fur also protects their skin underneath from sunburn. Also, from any other injuries that may occur. The reality is the skin underneath their fur is quite sensitive. So, fur is needed to protect it.

If the skin is exposed to too many extreme heat conditions and they get sunburned, there are risks of other health-related issues such as skin cancer.

Do indoor cats need their fur shaved more than outdoor cats?

When is it too late to allow an indoor cat outside?

An indoor cat looking outside.

No, in fact, whether the cat is indoor or outdoor it doesn’t matter. There is not really a strong argument for shaving unless there is a real extreme issue.

Let’s look at indoor cats, to begin with…

Your average indoor cat really does not need its fur shave in the summer. Even though some cat keepers swear by it.

The reality is if it becomes too hot indoors the indoor cat has the luxury of reducing its activity (not that they do much indoors anyway) or hiding in a more cool area within the house to avoid the sun.

As long as they have access to freshwater to stop themselves from getting dehydrated there should be no issues. and thus, they should not need to have their fur shaved.

Outdoor cats

Outdoor cats need their fur even more than indoor cats. This is because they have more exposure to the sun while they’re outdoors. And, fewer places to escape from it if need be. Their fur is needed to help regulate their body temperature. So, it is not a good idea to shave it.

In fact, if you do shave your cat in the summer, you run the risk of exposing them to sunburn. This can cause other related health issues.

If you are really concerned that your outdoor cat is getting too much exposure to the sun and you are considering shaving her, it is much better to bring her indoors. Keep her away from the extreme outdoor heat rather than considering shaving.

What is a lion shave?

There is a trend amongst cat keepers to shave their cats in the shape of a lion’s mane during the hot weather.

Typically the cat’s hair is shaved (click here if your cat is messing with your hair) on the belly and the body leaving the head area looking like a lion’s Maine. Also, the tail and paws are typically not shaved. Leaving the rest of the body shaved right down to the skin.

It is not advised to attempt to do this at home. Arguably, not advised to do it at all.

Why do cat owners decide to lion shave their cat?

In this section, I will go through several different reasons why cat owners decide to use this lion shave.

Weather conditions

The main reason people do this, as discussed in the previous section, is to do with weather conditions. Such as in the summer when it gets hot.

Also, sometimes it is done because of problems with heavily matted fur (Click here to see how to get rid of matted fur on a Maine Coon cat) or fur shedding issues.


Other issues can be obesity.  Basically, the cat is unable to groom themselves due to being heavily overweight.

Also if there is heavily overgrown fur, which may be a health issue, can sometimes cause a cat owner to resort to this.


Lastly, if some cat owners have serious problems with fleas, they may resort to this as well.

Why is it not a good idea to consider this lion shave?

In this section, I’m going to go through several reasons why you should avoid this lion shave trend.

Sensitive skin

Firstly regular shaving of a cat’s fur can cause follicular dysplasia. Something that you need to avoid. Also, a cat’s skin is a lot more sensitive than human skin.

In fact, it is up to 30% more sensitive. So, when the cat’s skin is exposed to the natural elements (outdoors) by shaving its fur, it is more susceptible to health-related issues.

It basically strips their natural defenses against the environment.

Avoid this for Elderly cats

Also, this lion shave is definitely to be avoided if your cat is overly aggressive (Click here to see how to stop your cat from attacking your TV screen), elderly, or has any other health-related issues.

An elderly cat’s skin is even more delicate and susceptible to health problems than your average cat.

Avoid this for aggressive cats

If the cat is aggressive and they don’t have their protective fur, it’s a recipe for disaster.  And finally, Any cat with health-related issues, obviously avoid this. Because it can increase their problems.

Lindsey Browlingdon