Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Photographs show a domestic cat sporting a "lion cut."
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2003]
Origins: This is another case where although the explanatory text is probably nothing more than someone's humorous commentary, the pictures themselves are real.
No pet groomer of our acquaintance is familiar with something called a 'line cut' (thus the story about a cat owner's Southern accent resulting in confusion over a 'line cut' vs. a 'lion cut' may just be a funny invention), but a 'lion cut' is indeed a standard grooming technique in which a cat's hair is shaved skin-close all over the body but left intact around the head, feet, and the end of the tail; the style so named because it mimics the large mane and foot-and-tail tufts of a male lion:
Lion cuts are sometimes performed for practical reasons, particularly when a cat's fur has become too matted to brush or comb out and has to be cut right down to the hair line to remove the knots and tangles. Additionally, some cat owners favor periodic lion cuts for their pets because they believe domestic felines (especially long-haired varieties such as Persians) benefit from growing out whole new coats of fur every once in a while; others simply like the look of the lion cut for aesthetic reasons. On the other hand, some feline advocates feel that lion cuts performed purely for cosmetic purposes cause cats a good deal of unnecessary discomfort afterwards, and that this type of grooming should be reserved for situations when matting or other damage to a cat's fur makes it necessary.
Some viewers maintain that the photographs displayed in the example above must have been manipulated because the cat's head looks too ridiculously big and out of proportion to the rest of its body. However, domestic cats (like many small, furry animals) look much larger to us than they really are because their thick coats create an illusion of bulk. We're not used to seeing them without hair, and when we do it's quite a
Last updated: 13 February 2003
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