• The Differences in Cat Grooming

  • cat-grooming

    By Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, ICMG

    Would that it were as easy as the adorable photo suggests!

    At Love Fur Dogs we say on our window that we also Love Cats! And we groom them – despite the “species exclusivity” that our name suggests.

    Oh, and by the way, we also groom rabbits, guinea pigs, clip Birds’ wings, and perform any number of services for other small animal pets you might have!

    Not all groomers will groom cats – in fact very few do.

    Why?

    cat grooms selfWell, cats really do not like to be groomed, generally. There are wonderful exceptions, but for the most part cats groom themselves and resist others handling them in a controlling way.

    Some groomers are allergic, others fear the inevitable bites and scratches that come with cat grooming with the uniquely sharp teeth and nails that cats have. Others lack the training. Many find doing the Dogs is all that they have time for.

    Short hair cats generally can do with very little human grooming when they are in good health. They groom themselves daily by licking their coat clean all over. They can keep their own coats fairly clean and get by with just a few baths a year and regular nail trims.

    long haired catBut long-haired cats – a HUMAN creation – require significant grooming. And well-trained cat groomers to do the job.

    Cat grooming is ALL about managing the cat’s environment during the groom. They can’t be trained like dogs are for the process, but they can be well MANAGED.

    At Love Fur Dogs we groom Cats on Sunday afternoons – when there are NO DOGS in the shop. This is the optimal environment to groom cats – quiet. Calm.

    I am a member of the PCGAA and am working towards my Cat Master Groomer credential as we speak. I used to breed and show Himalayan Cats, a gorgeous long-coated with beautiful blue eyes – a cross between Persians and Siamese. Lovely loving pets with plush coats requiring regular human care and intervention.

    himmieCat grooming has its own rules – many the opposite of dog grooming. This is not about training and control. Minimum restraint for the cat keeps them feeling comfortably in control. Some have very narrow windows of tolerance for grooming. So we get done the vital parts of the groom as quickly as possible.

    Cats throats, skin, nails, and hair are constructed very differently. They need special tools and products. Their skin is paper-thin and safety with tools is absolutely vital. Protective gear such as kevlar gloves are important to keep the groomer from being too badly bitten.

    But with our patient hypnotic approach, on a quiet Sunday with gentle mood music playing, we successfully clean, demat, and make gorgeous all the cats brought to us.

    And NOTHING is better than the sandpaper kisses from a cat’s tonque when its all over!