What does a bath and comb include ?

Our superior bath and comb service includes a purifying hypo-allergenic organic bath with blissful warm towel wrap, nail trim, ear and eye cleansing, professional blow-dry, and 10 minute comb out. Optional face sculpting and/or mini-sweetbottom trim is included. Hair trimming or de-matting is not included with our premium bath service but may be added. A professional bath and comb will reduce shedding, allergies, hairballs, dandruff, grease, mats, and litter box debris.

All our grooming services include a bath and comb.

Where are you located?

We are in Barrhaven at the intersection of Strandherd and Kennevale in the building 200 Kennevale (in cluster of three, not 220 or 240). We are about a half kilometre south of the Barrhaven Costco, but not as far as the railroad bridge, and across from the automotive park.

It is important to note we are on the second floor (above Art Haven) and there is no elevator. But we have a fix for that, so don’t be discouraged! Since day one of opening at this location in 2015, we have provided curb-side service. If you need assistance with bringing your cat carrier upstairs or prefer to be checked in and out at your car, just let us know. It’s part of our regular service and we’re happy to help! This was the trade-off for privacy, quiet, and to prevent feline escapees.

Do you offer just nail trimming?

No, we do not offer nail trimming as a stand alone service, and let me explain why.

Most of the clients who come to us wanting only a nail trim have difficult cats. Difficult cats are usually anxious about having their paws handled and get themselves caught in a mental anxiety loop ready to flee or fight. Because we don’t use force or fear to groom and handle cats, we need an alternative method to redirect the cat’s brain out of it’s defensive anxiety loop without causing additional fear or harm. That’s where the bath comes in.

Surprising to most people, being lowered into a warm bath has the same effect on cats as it does humans. A big sigh of contentment, and the mental defensive anxiety loop dissipates.  The normally sweet cat is back. This is why we do the nail trimming for anxious cats while in the tub. All nail trims come with bath and comb service.

I’m not sure how my cat will behave…

We don’t claim to be able to groom ALL cats, however, we can groom most cats. Starting with an introductory bath and comb builds a positive foundation of trust. Don’t worry if your cat has never had a bath. Newbies are actually the easiest to introduce to bathing! Cats actually love baths if you know how to properly introduce them.

If your cat exhibits excessive fear, we will not force or use two people to complete a grooming. Using force only reinforces the cat’s fears and makes matters worse long-term. Which brings me to the next common question….

Do you groom sedated cats?

No. Sedation is a tricky thing. Its effectiveness relies on the experience and competence of administration by the cat custodian (too much, too little, not at all). Sedation’s effects also rely on the size, temperature, metabolism and most recent meal. Affects can vary greatly. During sedation the cat’s body temperature, heart and respiratory systems need to be closely monitored. No pet grooming school provides has any training in the handling and care of sedated animals (assuming your groomer has even attended an accredited school). Things can potentially go wrong very quickly. Those precious minutes of getting veterinary care can mean life or death.

Our opinion is that if a cat has behavioural or medical issues that requires it to be sedated to be handled, it is outside the realm of pet groomer training, Therefore sedated cats should be done under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Do you shave cats?

No, we do not shave cats to the skin. It is damaging long-term to the fur quality and natural skin environment, therefore contrary to our core values.  Repeated shaving eventually kills the guard hairs and only leaves the woolly undercoat. This makes the undercoat more vulnerable to absorbing debris and dirt, thus more prone to matting. Spot shaving may be necessary to remove very tight mats (never use scissors!), but it’s not recommended as a long-term maintenance solution. Many cats also react poorly to clippers and excessive handling and increases the likeliness of injury.

As an alternative, we offer hair trimming. This may be called a comb trim, teddy-bear trim, or a pajamas trim. Trimming the hair to 6mm to 26mm length keeps many cats and their guardians happy and reduces the risk of longterm fur damage comparatively to shaving. Trimming requires the fur needs to be in comb-able condition and mat-free. The cat must also have experience and suitable temperament. Full body hair trimming is not for first time clients. 

My cat has mats…

Mats are the catalysts for many first-time  visits to our studio. Hair that normally sheds out, stays stuck in the fur because of dirt, dander and oil. Saliva then binds it all together and the fur becomes matted felt. There is no method or product to un-tangle a cat mat. Mats can only be removed by combing/pulling it out, or shaving under it. 

If your cat has a few mats we can de-mat (comb them out) or remove the mats (spot shave). No cat can mentally endure more than 10 minutes of mat removing discomfort. If your cat is more than 50% solidly matted or pelted, then it is considered a distress groom and should seek veterinary assistance to kindly shave the cat down and start over. Shaving mats repeatedly is a temporary band-aid remedy and doesn’t address the core issue.

Having your cat regularly washed reduces the development of mats. Yes, indoor cats get dirty. Cats are naturally oily. All that grease, dander, and shedding build-up stays stuck in the fur. Commercial wipes, waterless shampoos, and powders just add more sticky debris and will worsen the situation.

If you notice mats developing and reoccurring once combed out, your cat is definitely dirty. Our rule of thumb is any household pet that shares your living space (pillows, bed, couch) should be bathed a minimum of once every three months; sooner if mats occur before that. Every cat has different hair, health, and habits, so maintenance cycles vary. Who wants to live with a roommate covered in saliva who hasn’t showered for three months?

Why is my elderly cat matting?

Cats age differently. Many clients come to us as senior cat citizens. It’s perfectly ok that your cat has never had a bath before. They REALLY appreciate the warm bath.

A lot can change as cats age; how much time they spending grooming vs. sleeping, their fur quality and skin environment, mobility and arthritis, and undetected medical conditions. Regular bathing will greatly improve the quality of your cat’s golden years. They are cleaner, happier, and we will help you spot significant changes along the way.

Elderly cats are very frail with special needs. Shaving mats off an elderly cat is like trying to shave wet tissue paper; extraordinarily easy to tear or cut. They need extra time, care and understanding combing out mats. We help get them back on track, feel and look better, and make recommendations on how to keep them that way.

Vaccinations, parasites, wounds, skunked, and breeding adults…

We have to be conscientious of our neighbours and visiting cat clients. It is a privilege for a grooming establishment to be in such a nice commercial location.

Vaccinations: Our facility is immaculate and with ongoing UV and steam sanitization practices. Cats are very susceptible to respiratory diseases. Does it make sense to bring your fur baby lacking in current vaccinations to a high feline area? Of course not. Allow for 48 hours post-vaccination before making an appointment. Any cat showing showing the slightest signs of illness is sent home without being groomed. We put no cat at risk.

Parasites (Fleas, ticks, mites): There is no satisfactory Canadian Veterinary approved flea/tick shampoo for cats as the 24 currently registered with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) are all pyrethrin-based pesticides. Cats are sensitive to pyrethrin and pyrethroids as their livers are unable to metabolize these agents quickly. Additionally, there is all that post-bath licking.

If your kitty is found to be harbouring passengers, the groom stops immediately, and the cat is isolated until pick-up. You are then referred to veterinary treatment. Once the cat is given the “all clear” by the vet, you are welcome back to have your cat groomed.

Open Wounds: It not uncommon to find open wounds on cats. This is especially true for outdoor cats, multi-cat families, or from owners who has been attempting to cut out mats. Common sense prevails that an open wound cannot be bathed, nor will a wounded cat be thrilled about the degree of handling grooming requires. If a wound is discovered, the client is notified to pick up their cat and seek veterinary attention. The cat can be rescheduled to permit time to properly heal.

Skunked: We are located inside an office building on the second level flanked by a beauty spa, and family councillors. Bringing a skunked animal into the premises would create very unhappy neighbours for days.

Breeding Adults: It makes no sense to put a pregnant or nursing female under stress or expose to them (or kittens) to possible illnesses in a high traffic cat area. Females in-season are also not  accepted as they are usually moodier and can distract other cats on the premises. We can groom breeding females out of season and in-between litters.

It’s only natural for an intact male to do territorial spraying in a high traffic cat area. A male’s spray is on par with a skunked cat; it takes weeks to dissipate, it’s upsetting for the other cats, and it makes for unhappy business neighbours. We do not groom intact male cats who have reached sexual maturity (8 months), even if your cat is not a breeder but just hasn’t been neutered yet.

All cats not intended specifically for breeding should be spayed or neutered to reduce unwanted populations, and behavioural or health conditions associated with sexual maturity.