Felines are exquisite creatures. Anyone who is fortunate enough to be loved by a cat knows this. The cat makes sure if it.
Cats are definitely unique in their behavior and attitudes. They are special, they know they are special, and they are very good at making sure no one ever forgets it. Unlike dogs, which are generally eager to please their human companions, felines are more interested in being the pleased rather than the pleaser. You can’t help but love a cat for this!
I’ve been around a lot of cats. My career as a professional cat groomer has made it possible for me to bathe, dry and tidy up some 30,000+ felines. Besides the fact that they all had whiskers and most of them had teeth, they all had one other trait in common: they liked to look and feel good. The transformation from pre-groomed feline to one fit for a show made each and every cat act as though they were quite pleased with themselves. I can see the transformation while I groom and often I hear corroborating feedback from clients who have taken their newly groomed kitty back home after a day at the “spa” and find that kitty is quite pleased with its new appearance.
Well why not? I love a day at the spa! There’s simply nothing like the feeling of being pampered, coiffed, and fluffed. So it makes sense that cats would feel the same way. Once a client reported to me that her freshly groomed cat, upon returning home from a day at my salon, stood in front of the full-length mirror and stared at itself for over an hour. This I can believe! Cats are narcissistic creatures, after all.
Some BEFORE & AFTERS and a few AFTERS (I’m sure you can figure out which is which) - just to see the difference it can make!
Many of my clients have reported instances of their cat strutting around the house after being groomed when normally the cat would curl up in some corner or under a piece of furniture, steering clear, for the most part, of the humans in the house. After a visit to the groomer, however, the cat begs to be noticed, touched, and held in awe.
Personally, I find a freshly groomed cat to be therapeutic to my soul. I love the feel of a clean, silky coat on one of my cats, whether it is in full coat dripping to the floor or shaved down into a lion cut style, smooth as suede. Ahhhhhh. Have you ever sniffed a freshly bathed feline? Try it sometime.
The two most satisfying aspects of my job as a cat groomer are transforming a cat into what it knows it was meant to be and making life better for my human clients. I have the ability to eliminate common cat problems such as excessive shedding, hairballs, destructive claws, dangly thingies on the back end, dandruff, allergy problems, matting, and bad hair days. Any skilled professional cat groomer can offer a variety of services to eliminate these problems and more.
Professional cat grooming should include these basic services :
1. Bath and blow dry - This is necessary for removing oily build-up on the skin and in the coat. This oil build-up is one of the main causes of matting and pelting. It is also the root cause of most dandruff problems. Sometimes dandruff can be caused by food allergies or other conditions. But, in my experience, a vast majority of the time regular and proper bathing will eliminate dandruff altogether. I recommend this be done every 6 weeks for most cats. Some cats can benefit from more regular bathing and some need it less often.
2. Nail trim – This should also be done every 6 weeks, on average. Kittens, whose nails grow much faster than the nails of the average adult cat, should be trimmed every 4 weeks to keep them from turning into finely honed weapons of mass destruction. If nails are not trimmed regularly they can grow in a curved shape and into the paw pads, resulting in punctured paw pads, pain, and possible infection that would require veterinary care. Nail trims are quick and easy for a skilled cat groomer to perform. Nail caps called SoftPaws™ or SoftClaws™ are a fantastic alternative to de-clawing. Nails caps are inexpensive, safe, colorful and fun, and can save furniture, skin, and clothing from the destruction of a cat’s sharp claws.
3. Ear cleaning – Cleaning a cat’s ears on a regular basis (every 6 weeks recommended) is essential to maintaining good ear health. It allows a knowledgeable cat groomer to check for signs of ear mites, infections, or other problems on a regular basis. Should any of these issues occur, treatment can obtained in a timely manner before things get out of control and cause permanent damage. Generally the ear area, especially on longer-haired cats, is prone to collecting earwax and oil build-up that cause tight mats to form. Regular ear care done in conjunction with a bath and blow dry will help eliminate this problem completely.
In my next article I’ll explain other grooming service options that are available to keep a cat in tip-top shape and make life easier for everyone involved.