09 Oct

How To Groom A Cat That Hates It

I literally stole this article title “how to groom a cat that hates it” off a Google search for basic cat grooming. It made me laugh. I wasn’t sure if people searching for this information were looking for ideas in how to wrestle a cat into submission, armour themselves for a battle, or attempt bribery and distraction.
Grooming is an act of love between individuals. It should be enjoyable and a wonderful bonding experience. Although this may be true, how does it become so unpleasant between some individuals? We need to step back and get the background story.

Here are nine reasons cat grooming goes awry:

1. “What’s in it for me?” First, take a look at grooming from the cat’s perspective. Is it enjoyable? Rewarding? Trusting humans is a delicate thread. With no bred-in desire to please like a dog, you have to give the cat a reason to want to do this. 

2. The cat wasn’t handled and groomed while young. Obviously it’s a crucial opportunity missed. If started young, any pet learns that grooming is just part of the scenery. It’s a normal activity, no biggie, and it’s quality time spent with the guardian.

3. You didn’t start grooming until there was a problem. Aren’t cats supposed to “groom themselves”? For the most part, not  all cats have ideal hair, weight, and overall health to make self-care a breeze. The guardian goes from oversight to suddenly being all over the issue pestering the cat. Rightfully, the cat  believes you are Jekyll and Hyde. Problem areas are usually painful, uncomfortable, or difficult to get to. Grooming becomes a contest of wills, not a bonding experience.

4. You are using the wrong grooming tools. There is a lot of bad information on the web about appropriate cat grooming tools. There are training tools, and work tools. For example, use a “feel good” tool for training and reward, and an aluminum comb to do the actual grooming work somewhere in the midst of a grooming session. Be sure to use all grooming tools on yourself first to have a good idea of how it actually works and feels. If the tool is uncomfortable, or you would never use it on your own (8x coarser) hair and scalp, don’t use it on your cat.

5. Doing too much at once. If you haven’t been practicing previously, you can’t subsequently expect a cat to have patience for a grooming session more than a minute or two long. It takes time for a cat to build up trust and patience with you. First start with the good enjoyable stuff, and then sneak in one hard-to-get-to spot, and finish on a positive. Finally, keep sessions short enough so that you quit before the cat does. Short and frequent grooming trumps intermittent and arduous. Build on the good stuff.

6. Wrong time, wrong place. For instance, never be in a rush or attempt cat grooming during rush hours in your home. Find a quiet time and place. No interruptions, no distractions. It’s quality time for both of you.

7. Former traumatic experience. Formerly, has your cat had a fear inducing experience? It could be something like bathing or falling in the tub. Maybe a shavedown that pushed the cat too far with multiple people holding it down. Possibly declawing. What ever it may have been, your cat is caught in a fear-based defensive feedback loop anytime it is handled by a person. Only slow, patient rehabilitation using empathic strategies will overcome a PTSD-like fear, or hatred of cat grooming.

8. Level the playing field. Cats are armed with sharp claws and teeth. You’ve just got your wits. In this case wear long sleeves and pants. Groom in your lap with a towel wrap for shy or nervous cats, or on a slippery surface to reduce traction and leverage for the runaways or swatters. In case you are worried about being bitten, use an elizabethan collar, or welding gloves. Surprising, most cats quit arguing when you’ve proven you can ignore and thwart their offence.

9. You are not the original owner. Kudos to you for giving a cat a new home! Undoubtedly you can build trust following all the other recommendations above.

I haven’t told you how to groom a cat that hates it. Instead I have given you direction and mindfulness strategies you need to start over. The goal is, with time and patience, the cat will come to at least tolerate basic grooming, and learn to enjoy it. Every cat and custodian relationship and history is different. If the cat’s grooming needs are beyond what you’re capable of, seek a certified professional cat groomer to get you back on track. Thereafter, work on maintaining the reboot, and go for professional seasonal tune-ups.

29 Aug

The Importance of Cat Guardianship: Benefits and Responsibilities.

Most cats are unplanned acquisitions, leading to a perception of a devalued pet compared to dogs. However, there are significant benefits to cat guardianship.

Good Intentions

Over 50% of cat owners unintentionally acquire their cats, with up to 70% not paying for them. This casual nature of adoption often results in a lack of planning, education and investment in proper care for the new long-term responsibility. New cat owners start with good intentions, but statistics show that despite 83% visiting the vet in the first year, over half never return. This could be due to a lack of awareness regarding the importance of regular maintenance check-ups or reluctance to spend on a bargain-acquired pet.

Pet ownership is a luxury, not a right. If unable to afford proper care, a person should reconsider having a pet in order to prevent possible neglect and suffering later. The average cost of owning a cat over a 15-year lifespan is estimated to be $25,000, excluding emergency care.

Unfortunately, we do see willful neglect by owners. Willful neglect is the conscious choice of ignoring a bad situation. Occasionally groomers will start to groom an already bad situation only to uncover something much, much worst. Neglecting a cat’s well-being and living conditions can lead to dire consequences. Regular grooming helps control shedding, hairballs, and uncovers suspicious changes for prompt veterinarian attention. Attempts at educating and professional advice are unfortunately often met with suspicion, resulting in repeated cycle of grooming emergencies.

Thriving Healthy Relationships

The importance of interaction, play, love, and grooming in cat ownership cannot be overstated. Interaction with your cat promotes a thriving, healthy relationship and prevents obesity, depression, and various ailments. In return, cats contribute to our health and well-being by reducing stress, anxiety, and the risk of stroke or heart disease. They also boost immunity, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and enhance sociability.

Despite cats being mostly unplanned additions to our households, they hold significant value. They provide companionship, love, entertainment, and numerous health benefits. The value and rewards cats give us far exceed any possible monetary value.

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14 Nov

The Importance of Grooming for Your Cat’s Health and Happiness

Regular grooming plays a big role in maintaining the health and happiness of your beloved feline companion. While cats are known for their self-cleaning habits, it’s important to understand that they still need regular grooming to keep their skin and coat in optimal condition. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why grooming is essential for cats and the benefits it brings to both you and your furry friend.

Maintaining Skin and Coat Health

Cats have delicate skin and hair, which requires attention and care. Unlike human skin, their skin and hair follicles are about 1/8th the thickness. This makes them more likely to absorb chemicals, pollutants, and dirt from their environment. While cats do groom themselves using their saliva, it’s important to point out that their saliva contains bacteria and allergens. Regular bathing helps remove excess oil, saliva, dirt, and loose hair and prevents the build-up of grease and matting.

Controlling Shedding and Hairballs

Regular brushing helps control shedding in cats, particularly those with long or plush short-haired coats. By removing loose hair with thorough brushing and blow-drying, you can minimize the amount of hair your cat ingests during grooming. This greatly reduces hairballs in their digestive system. This not only promotes better digestion but also prevents discomfort and potential health issues associated with hairball blockages.

Preventing Skin Problems and Matting

Cats that are overweight, long-haired, or elderly, are more prone to skin problems and matting. Regular grooming helps identify and address these issues early on. Proper brushing, bathing, and coat maintenance can prevent mats from forming. Mats hurt, restrict movement, and lead to skin infections. Keeping your cat’s coat clean and free from tangles also contributes to a healthier overall appearance.

Improved Hygiene and Odor Control

Grooming your cat regularly helps maintain their hygiene and reduces smelly odors. By keeping their face and ears clean, you reduce the risk of infections and discomfort. Additionally, a clean and well-groomed cat is more pleasant to be around. This forms a stronger bond between you and your furry companion. If you are unable to groom your cat, get professional help.

As a responsible cat owner, it’s important to recognize that although cats engage in self-grooming, they still require additional care. Regular grooming sessions not only benefit your cat’s health and well-being, but also provide you with the quality bonding with your feline friend. By adding grooming into your cat care routine, you can ensure a clean, healthy, and happy companion that brings joy to your life.

Additional suggested reading:

Do Cats Need Baths? – 3 Signs Your Cat Needs a Bath – by Janet Wormitt

28 Oct

Should You Bathe A Cat?

Yes, you should bathe a cat. How often depends on the health, age, and habits of your cat.   People with animal allergies react to the proteins in the skin dander. However, more people are allergic to cats because they also cover themselves with saliva which also has proteins.
Just for fun I put together a little infographic comparing professional cat grooming with old fashion spit and tongue.

If I licked myself all over would you hug me?





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06 Sep

The Importance of Regular Cat Grooming: A Key to Cat Health

Regular cat grooming is essential for maintaining your feline companion’s health and avoiding expensive grooming issues. Neglecting maintenance can lead to problems such as mats, imbedded nails, fecal buildup, excessive shedding, allergies, parasites, dandruff, hairballs, and ear and eye infections. By addressing these issues through a consistent grooming routine, you can prevent costly grooming visits and ensure your cat’s happiness and well-being.

Proactive maintenance prevents expensive repairs

Why is regular maintenance vital? Much like a well-maintained car or a proactive approach to personal health, prioritizing cat grooming repairs helps minimize the risk of unexpected issues and expenses. Neglecting grooming needs can result in expensive stressful situations and a higher likelihood of expensive veterinary bills.

When it comes to grooming repairs, prevention is key. Regular maintenance visits are tailored to your cat’s specific needs. This is based on factors such as coat type, age, lifestyle, and your at-home grooming routine. Tailoring the maintenance schedule to your cat’s individual needs ensures health and cost-effective care.

For instance, if you have a young, active, short-haired cat and engage in regular at-home combing, your cat may only need professional grooming once a season. This helps control shedding and eliminates saliva and dander buildup. Regular bathing at least every twelve weeks also promotes hygiene, ensuring a clean living space for both you and your pet. However, if shedding, odour, dandruff or matting become persistent issues, more frequent maintenance visits are necessary.

On the other hand, if you have an older, long-haired cat with medical conditions or weight issues and are unable to manage regular at-home grooming, your cat may require professional grooming as often as every four weeks. Some cats require more frequent grooming to manage health issues and ensure hey are comfortable and happy.

The cost of grooming repairs increases when grooming has been neglected. More extensive repairs take longer, requiring additional time for bathing, drying, combing, and de-matting. A cat in poor condition is often stressed, uncomfortable, and upset, requiring extra effort and time, leading to increased costs. Considering these factors, prioritizing regular maintenance visits is not only proactive for your cat’s well-being but also a cost-effective choice.

One visit isn’t enough to prevent future grooming issues

While some clients dismiss the importance of regular maintenance. They assume a single visit can fix all grooming issues. It’s important to remember that cats, their hair, skin, health, and their environment is dynamic and constantly changing. To encourage awareness of preventable chronic problems, it may be necessary to highlight the financial impact. By understanding that neglecting maintenance leads to increased grooming expenses, clients are more likely to prioritize regular scheduled visits.

To our loyal clients who already embrace regular cat maintenance, we genuinely appreciate your commitment to your cat’s well-being. We express our gratitude for your trust.

To new clients, we welcome you! We are eager to guide you on the right path after your first, and hopefully only, “kitty repair” session.

For sporadic clients, we apologize. You will be charged appropriately due to irregular visits.

Remember, by prioritizing regular cat grooming, you not only promote your cat’s physical health but also save your cat from unnecessary discomfort. Investing in preventive maintenance to ensure your cat remains healthy, happy, and free from preventable grooming issues.




29 Jun

To Trim or Not to Trim: Understanding Cat Paw Hair


In the pet grooming world, it’s a dog-centric world out there. So while it is the norm to trim the hair on the paws of a dog, is it o.k. for cats?


Do you need to trim cat paw hair?

In the world of pet grooming, the focus has been primarily on dogs, leading to a lack of understanding when it comes to cat grooming practices. One common question is whether it’s ok to trim the hair on a cat’s paws. In this article, we will explore the considerations of tradition and practicality when it comes to cat paw hair care.

Tradition and Practicality: Differences Between Dogs and Cats

Traditionally, the hair around a dog’s paws is trimmed due to practical working reasons. Dogs accumulate more dirt and debris between their toes because they are heavier with larger, deep pads, In contrast, cats, with shallow pads and lighter step, do not collect the same volume of debris unless their pads or litter-box are exceptionally dirty. Think of the accumulative difference of snow or mud between cat and dog paws and you get the picture.

There are a couple of exceptional dog breeds that require the hair on the paws NOT to be trimmed at shows. The Pekingese and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel were strictly indoor and formerly “palace” breeds whose paw slippers are traditionally adored.

Unique Features of Cat Paw Hair

Most people are unaware that cats have tactile hairs on more than just their head. Commonly known as whiskers, they are also along the back ridge of their limbs and between their pads. These whiskers provide sensory feedback from vibrations in their environment. If you’re uncomfortable about the notion of cutting your cat’s facial whiskers, then don’t trim their other sensory whiskers.

Cat Breed Standards and Toe Tuffs

Purebred cat breed standards highly prize toe tuffs. Cat fanciers actually fluff and accentuate the hair on the paws for cat shows. As a pet owner, it is worth considering trimming the toe tuffs if they are causing any problems, such as spreading litter box debris. All that’s needed to prevent this issue is regular bathing to remove sticky residue from the pads. Another consideration for paw trimming may be for elderly cats, or those lacking mobility or traction. However, be aware that trimming the toe hair will result in raw blunt whisker ends, rather than the natural supple tapered point.

Grooming Practices: Dog Groomers vs. Certified Cat Groomers

Although dog groomers automatically trim pet paws, a knowledgeable certified cat groomer will not trim toe tuffs unless specifically requested.

When it comes to cat paw hair care, there are considerations of tradition and practicality to keep in mind. Unlike dogs, cats do not usually need the hair on their paws to be trimmed. The presence of tactile hairs (whiskers) and passion for toe tuffs in cat breed standards further highlight the beauty of cat paw hair. In case practical problems such as litter box debris or lack of traction, trimming the paw hair may be necessary. Understand that this results in blunt raw tactile ends. When seeking grooming services, it is advisable to consult a certified cat groomer who understands the specific needs of feline grooming.

09 Mar

Cat Bites During Grooming: How to Treat and Prevent Infections

When the Cat Bites

Cat bites can have serious implications, and it is crucial to understand their potential risks and proper treatment methods. Unlike dog bites that may appear visibly bruised and messy, cat bites are deceptive and can lead to severe infections. In fact, according to medical professionals, even seemingly minor cat bites can result in infection in 80% of cases. As professional cat groomers, we encounter cats with varying temperaments and understand the importance of minimizing risks for both the felines and groomers. In this article, we will explore the best practices for treating cat bites and preventing infections during grooming sessions.

Cats often resort to biting as a defensive reaction rooted in fear. They bite and run. Grooming sessions may require intensive handling, sometimes invading on personal feline spaces to address specific grooming issues. As professional cat groomers, our main goal is to reduce these fears and make the grooming process less overwhelming. It is crucial to recognize and respect a cat’s comfort zone, as handling a fractious cat beyond its limits can lead to bites.

Cats possess remarkable agility, speed, and eighteen sharp claws, along with their fangs. Each cat has its own tolerance for handling and level of trust in humans. It is essential not to underestimate the potential danger and falsely assume that protective gloves or cat muzzles will keep you safe against cat bites. Cats can easily penetrate these defenses, as their teeth are designed to puncture skin, deposit bacteria, which then festers deep within the tissues.

A Cat’s Mouth Harbours Many Infectious Bacterias

A cat’s mouth harbors various bacteria that can cause infections. One of the most common pathogens is Pasteurella multocida, known for its high pathogenicity. Infected bite wounds typically exhibit redness, swelling, and pain within a few hours. If left untreated, the infection can spread through the surrounding tissues, leading to cellulitis. In more severe cases, the infection can enter the bloodstream, causing septicemia, commonly known as blood poisoning. Infected individuals may experience symptoms such as fever, flu-like symptoms, tissue loss, and in rare instances, death, particularly among the elderly, children, and individuals with weakened immune systems.

Several cases within the grooming industry have demonstrated the gravity of cat bites. What may initially appear as a small puncture wound on the hand can escalate into a severe infection that spreads through the bloodstream and up the arm. Treatment often can require weeks of intravenous antibiotic transfusions at the hospital to halt the infection and prevent further tissue damage. Some individuals may need physiotherapy to regain lost hand strength. Others may even require emergency surgery to reduce tissue damage. Ignoring a cat bite can result in prolonged work absences or even the end of a grooming career.

What to Do When You Have Been Bitten By A Cat

If you find yourself on the receiving end of a cat bite, it is crucial to take immediate action:

  1. Rinse, rinse, rinse the wound thoroughly with flowing water for 5 to 10 minutes, allowing the blood to flow. Diluting the bacteria is the first step in preventing infection.
  2. Use an antiseptic cleaner such as iodine or Dettol and refrain from bandaging the wound. Let it drain.
  3. Seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY. Do not wait to see if an infection develops, as it can spread rapidly, causing tissue damage or enter the bloodstream. Although wait times in the physician’s office can be lengthy, prompt medical assessment is vital, especially within the first 24 hours.
  4. Consider tracking the spread of infection by marking the inflamed area with a pen every two hours. Monitoring the speed of infection can provide valuable information during the initial critical period.

Refrain from treating a puncture wound with hydrogen peroxide or antibiotic creams. It is essential to note that while antiseptics can reduce surface microorganisms, internal tissue infections require antibiotics for effective treatment.

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13 Feb

7 Ways to Tell A Pro Cat Groomer From An Average Pet Groomer


You love your cat, and you want the very best for her. You don’t want a trip to the groomer to turn into bad experience, or a bad result. This makes most cat owners understandably hesitant, and sometimes even wait too long before seeking professional help for a grooming problem. Here’s 7 points to either look for, or ask about when you are looking for the right place to have your cat groomed.

1. No dogs. This means the business has made special provisions for your cat to have a quieter, less stressful experience. Whether it’s cat specific grooming days, hours, separate work-space, or a feline exclusive business, this establishment has made an effort to put kitty at ease while it’s visiting.

2. A certified cat groomer will insist on bathing your cat as part of the grooming. Grooming means cleaning, actually washing away impurities that cause the hair to mat, plus other debris like the flaky dried saliva people mistake for dry skin, or smelly bottoms. Bathing benefits the long-term health and hygiene of your cat. Water-less  sprays or wipes just leave more debris in the hair. Would you use the same approach to clean your hair? Groomers who avoid bathing cats are either inexperienced, or misinformed.

3. A certified cat groomer will offer you choices and solutions for your grooming challenges depending on your lifestyle, grooming issues and budget. Yes, I said choices. There are a variety of styles beyond just shaving to resolve issues from mats, hairballs, excessive shedding, dandruff, etc. They will also recommend long-term solutions or schedule to put your kitty issues at ease.

4. A certified cat groomer is knowledgeable about cats. This means they can identify more than just three cat breeds. They can name the viruses your cat is vaccinated for, they can tell you about where breeds originate from, personality traits, colours and coat types, etc. In short, a pro cat groomer knows as much about cats, as a dog groomer should know about dogs.

5. A certified cat groomer is transparent. They will tell exactly what they can or can’t/won’t do. They won’t hem-and-haw. As Yoda so famously said “Do, or do not. There is no try”. They’ll talk you through the entire process; what they do, and why. They’ll let you have a look around their facility and ask questions. They’ll point out the little differences that make their grooming facility cat friendly, for example, the products they use and the grooming tools.  You won’t be able to participate in the actual grooming process (due to insurance policy coverages), but they won’t mind if you want to watch.

6. A certified cat groomer has credentials. Whether it is diplomas of certification on the wall, a portfolio of a body of their own grooming work, or insignias of memberships. They’ll post recent pet industry events they’ve participated in. Don’t rely on just photos on a website. These are easily stolen. Ask for proof their credentials.

7. A certified cat groomer won’t do dog-centric trimming. This means shaving the legs, the face, trimming whiskers, or trimming pads (although triming toe tuffs can be done on request, it is considered a faux pas by cat fanciers). There are sensitive whiskers that run along the back of the forelimbs and interspersed in the toe tuff hair. The legs have very delicate ligaments and tendons prone to nicking. There is no professional justification in shaving any of these areas.

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