1. Skip the temperament and needs assessment before grooming a cat. Skipping this ever-essential assessment can totally ruin a cat grooming opportunity. By doing this assessment in front of a client, especially a new client, a groomer is able to begin to establish trust with both cat and owner. This is vital to success. In addition, knowing exactly what condition a cat is in when it comes to matting, dandruff, dirty bums, sharp or ingrown claws, flea or skin problems, coat type, body type, skin elasticity and more will give the groomer all information needed to select an appropriate and safe groom for any given cat. And….most importantly, this assessment allows a groomer to know exactly what type of temperament a cat has BEFORE they attempt to groom it. Did you know that an aggressive cat hates clippers/shaving more than anything? When you discover the cat in the crate is aggressive and the owner is demanding a lion cut, you should be able to say “no” to this particular groom style with confidence and be able to explain why to the client. You should also be able to offer an alternate solution to their problem that does not require added stress, danger or risk. Be the expert. Avoid ruining a perfectly good cat grooming opportunity by knowing how to swiftly do a temperament and needs assessment as demonstrated many times over in the Complete Training Syllabus.
2. Work too slowly and surpass the cat’s time frame for a successful and complete groom. Cats have a “turkey timer” of sorts, most of them allowing us about 45 minutes or so to complete a nail trim, bath, blow dry, any shaving that is done, and a complete comb out. Once we get outside this window of opportunity, things start to go downhill quickly. This can easily result in an incomplete groom, an injury to the groomer, or even death to a cat. Stress can kill a cat so getting into a situation you are not equipped to handle is the best way to avoid such a problem. With this in mind, it is of great importance to work efficiently to complete a groom with minimal stress, minimal risk, and with beautiful results. THIS is what will ultimately grow your business. If you want to be successful with cat grooming, efficient grooming must replace wrestling with a cat or wasting time doing things other than actually grooming. This can be done. I’ve mastered it myself and taught it to others over and over again. The methods for mastering time and ensuring each groom is completed within the window of opportunity is covered in great detail throughout the Complete Training Syllabus. Various factors such as having the tools out and ready, using the right tools for the job, knowing the best handling techniques and making sound decisions about what groom style fits each cat best are all a part of this.
3. Don’t degrease a cat properly during the bath. It’s true that the foundation to every groom, whether for a dog or a cat, is the bath. If the final finish on the coat is not right then whatever you do after will look crappy. Yes, I said “crappy.” A greasy, clumpy, separated coat looks like crap. There is an art to bathing cats. It’s not terribly difficult, but first you’ve got to know how to do it and what that final finish should look like in order to actually achieve the desired result. In my experience, most groomers starting out do not know what a good bath result should look like and don’t know how to get it. Hence, the inclusion of so many bathing demonstrations in the Complete Training Syllabus. Get the bath right and start out with a beautiful groom. All the clipping or shaving or trimming that comes after will look SO much better as a result. It’s really hard to convince a client to come back again in 4 weeks or 6 weeks or even at all if they spend the next month looking at a clumpy, not-so-pretty cat walking around the house. The best way to win a client and keep them coming back for more is to impress their socks off!
If you are still on the fence about the Syllabus or have any questions, please shoot me an email. I’m here to answer your questions and assist you in making a decision that best suits your goals and aspirations.