Who is to blame for this? It’s not rocket science. We (the people) have skin and hair. We wash it on a regular basis. Dogs have skin and hair. We wash it on a regular basis. Hopefully. I mean, at least the general population of human beings on this planet “gets” that dogs need a good scrub down from time to time. You’d be hard pressed to find a dog owner, a veterinarian, or just a person in general who would argue that filthy Fido shouldn’t have a bath. So how is it that felines, with skin and hair, get the “no bath for you” shaft?
Cat owners are really not to blame here. A fat chunk of pet groomers have no clue what to do with a cat, much less what to recommend for a cat owner seeking some form of remedy to typical life-with-a-cat problems. I know groomers who think cats cannot or should not be bathed. I know some that think spritzing a cat with a bottle of scented spray equals “groom.” And others think that some attempt at ripping out mats with a comb constitutes a complete and thorough groom. Shame, shame, shame.
So a cat owner is told, by a grooming professional, that their cat can’t be groomed. Or shouldn’t be groomed. Or doesn’t need to be groomed.
Or, worse yet, the cat owner actually paid a grooming “professional” to take care of the problems but no real solutions were provided. Greasy kitty goes home with fewer mats and a little pee mixed in as a bonus. (I know this from first hand experience.)
And then, on top of that, the vet is telling the cat owner that Fluffy can’t or shouldn’t or doesn’t need to be groomed. And, after all, the vet is a doctor. With a title. DVM. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. And a lot of education. All fine and dandy when it comes to surgical procedures and treating a bad infection. But how, please tell me, did the educated DVM that believes cats do not need to be groomed, come to this conclusion? Like I said, it’s not rocket science. They seriously need to add a class to the DVM program about proper skin and coat needs for a cat. Seriously.
And, as if that isn’t all bad enough, the cat owner can google stuff. If it’s on the internet it’s true. Right? So if Purina.com or AnimalPlanet.com (it’s on TV so double whammy! It MUST be true if it’s on the internet AND TV!) or Wikipedia says a cat hates water and it grooms itself so don’t bother thinking, ever, that your greasy little furball might need a bath, well, then it’s absolutely true.
So there ya have it. Cats hate water. Cats groom themselves. Cats should not be groomed because they do such a fine and dandy bang-up job of it themselves. What was I thinking? What is a cat owner to think?
I’ll tell you what to think.
Bath, blow dry, nail trim by a pro. On a regular basis. So easy.
This can be avoided. This is a good thing to avoid unless you are totally into living amongst an angry, hungry mob of fleas that are out to devour your pets while they still walk this earth.
This can be avoided too. Fleas, grease, matted hair, and an infection thrown in for good measure. Trust me. This really should be avoided. Your cat will thank you.
This could be avoided too. I’m not even sure what to say about this except that the cat is rotten. Literally rotten. I can’t think how this is not noticed by the people that live with this cat and supposedly love it so much. Really? Actions speak louder than words, my friends. Much louder.
My fellow groomers, esteemed veterinarians, people of planet earth – let’s do something about this. Please. Get your facts straight. A skilled, knowledgeable and astute cat groomer can be your new best friend. Let go of your egos, learn something new. Admit that maybe you haven’t been right about this after all. You could save a cat’s life.
To wrap this up, I leave you with a fun photo album of snapshots from another of our members (Sally from Canada, thank you!).
I hope this keeps you up at night and gives you nightmares when you finally do fall asleep. And you can be mad at me in the morning. It’s okay. I get mad about this myself sometimes.
Need some help getting clients off the neglect cycle and onto a regular maintenance groom schedule?
See the full Grossness series of articles:
Part 1 – The Gross Side of Cat Grooming
Part 2 – Cats Groom Themselves?
Part 3 – How to Remove and Prevent Pelting