Not liking the haircut
April 29, 2010 1:06 PM   Subscribe

How long does it take for a long haired cat to regrow its coat?

We adopted a long haired cat a month ago. She's what appears to be a Norwegian Forest Cat. Her previous owner had her coat shorn because her boyfriend was allergic to cats, but ended up giving her up right after that anyway. The cat is adjusting fine to her new surroundings, but it seems obvious that she's upset about her mangled fur. How long does it usually take to grow back? It's been a month and there doesn't seem to be all that much progress.
posted by monospace to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I seem to recall cats regrow their fur in cycles; they'll get a summer coat and a winter coat, to some extent. You may just have to wait for her next "reboot".
posted by The otter lady at 1:09 PM on April 29, 2010

I have gotten my Maine Coon's belly shaved several times due to the incredible mats he gets in the summer. A shave at the beginning of summer usually holds him for 2.5 months or so. What is your kitty doing that leads you to believe that she's unhappy with her coat? Is her skin dry or something? That you might be able to help her with, but if she's just embarrassed, I think she's gonna have to live with it.
posted by thebrokedown at 1:11 PM on April 29, 2010

It can depend on the age of the cat quite a lot. When my kittens get bits shaved off it's grown back in a couple of months (they're short haired) but when my 15 year old cat had her belly shaved it took about three months to get any kind of noticeable covering and six to be mostly back to normal. It really wasn't until the next winter (three more months later) started that her belly filled in completely. The vet said this is normal. It can also depend on the time of year as many cats grow a thicker coat in winter. Maybe your cat's just in summer none-growing mode? She'll grow both an underlay and the longer guard hairs and we noticed on my old cat the guard hairs grew first, making her look straggly and sad. They're very fine so you may not notice them for a little while. At the same time Norwegians have a really thick underfur and if that's growing too then everything might just get slowly longer at the same pace which makes it hard to tell. Plus really big cats just grow more slowly in general.

A month isn't that long either way given how long her fur would normally be, so if you see even some progress you're probably OK.
posted by shelleycat at 1:19 PM on April 29, 2010

We've got a Weegie, too, and he got peeved when he had his side shaved for surgery. I'd say give it a couple of months. They are very fond of grooming themselves, so your cat is probably disappointed in not being able to generate hairballs!
posted by vickyverky at 1:28 PM on April 29, 2010

We got our Maine Coon a buzz cut about six months ago, and his coat is almost fully grown out now.

For what it's worth, he doesn't seem to mind being shorn at all. We do it every spring because he gets so horribly matted and hates to be brushed.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 1:59 PM on April 29, 2010

my parents' short haired cat (3 year old) went to the vet last fall for an abscess by his tail and got buzzed. that area still isn't quite as long as the rest of the fur.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:18 PM on April 29, 2010

Could take months. If she's embarrassed, is it because the cut looks stupid? My cats always knew when they had stupid cuts (and acted abashed) or good ones (and acted proud).
posted by jeather at 2:23 PM on April 29, 2010

Congratulations on your new Skogkatt! They're wonderful animals. Another month should have her at a nice plush length so that the worst of the humiliation will be gone. I trim my guy by hand about twice a year, and he spends 2-3 months looking velvety before the outer coat catches up. He hates the first few patchy weeks, but seems more comfortable overall (though less likely to preen for guests) at medium-hair length. A fish oil supplement and a daily brushing with a very soft boar-bristle brush will help keep things moisturized and less itchy in the meantime, if that's an issue.
posted by notquitemaryann at 2:24 PM on April 29, 2010

it seems obvious that she's upset about her mangled fur

How can you tell?
posted by y6t5r4e3w2q1 at 4:20 PM on April 29, 2010

My medium-haired cat gets shaved regularly due to matting issues. His predecessory, also a medium-hair got shaved several times for medical reasons. After one month, the razor tracks are just fading. It takes 4-ish (depending on season) months for medium length to fill in completely. For a long-haired cat, I'd expect it to be longer. Your cat has plenty of time to go.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 6:42 PM on April 29, 2010

Thanks for the insights.

It's entirely possible that I'm projecting with regards to how she feels, because I really don't like how she looks now. I had a domestic long hair before, so I know how gorgeous this cat will be when she eventually gets her coat back.
posted by monospace at 9:50 AM on April 30, 2010

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