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Why Would a Cat Require a Professional Groomer?

“Don’t cats groom themselves?”

At Head To Tail Pet Spa, we love it when people ask this question.

Our answer is “No, cats do not groom themselves.” They do lick themselves all over and cover their fur with saliva, which in turn creates dander — a major contributor to allergies in humans. Grooming a cat can truly change its life and that of its owner/s. Many clients have informed us their cat literally changes from grumpy to much more content and compliant — some even say more cuddly — with the Lion Cut. It has been truly remarkable.

Many of our feline clients felt the only way their cat could be groomed is to sedate it. Not only do we never sedate a cat; we also never restrain it during the grooming process. There is a tremendous need for cat groomers to assist with matted/pelted cats, which in the past have had no opportunity to be groomed by a professional. With the right training and equipment, a professional can groom a cat with its health in mind, as well as its safety. Grooming a cat professionally can solve many owner problems, such as shedding, dander, dandruff, scratching furniture, allergies, hairballs, matting, dirty ears, sanitation cleanliness and more.

Most importantly – There is a huge need to educate cat owners and demystify the myths, such as “You could never groom my cat”, or “Cats hate water”, and most of all, the line mentioned earlier, “Cats groom themselves.”

Let’s look at the myths one by one:

“You could never groom my cat.”

The fact is if a groomer is qualified and trained with the proper skills, tools, and techniques; yes they can groom your cat. In fact, most people are surprised that we manage aggressive cats. In saying this, however, we are often surprised at how many clients come in thinking their cat may very well kill the groomer and the groom turns out to be rather uneventful and the cat was totally compliant. There are however some cases that for the health of the cat we recommend they get sedation. We do have this option available as we work closely with Central Animal Hospital.

“All cats hate water!”

The fact is, all cats do not hate water. In fact, the bath can calm the cat down and enables us to complete the groom.

“Cats groom themselves.”

The fact is, daily we see cat clients arriving at our salon greasy, matted, smelly, litter stuck in their pads, ears waxy and full of debris, and packing overgrown nails that look like weapons of mass destruction. It is evident these cats haven’t done a very good job of grooming themselves. There is great confusion. Many people think when a cat licks itself, it is indeed cleaning itself.

When a cat licks itself, it is covering its coat with saliva and an enzyme called Fel d 1.

Fel d 1 is the allergen that is so toxic to many cat allergic humans. The saliva the cat deposits along with the enzymes and the inherent greasiness creates a situation where mating occurs. If your cat is short coated it turns the coat to a lack-luster appearance and it isn’t very nice to pet. The “smelly cat” syndrome exists too.

Sometimes clients are not even aware their cat is mated. A mat or pelt on a cat is so tightly woven that it can be confused with the skin.

When a cat is pelted it causes all kinds of issues. The air cannot penetrate a pelted area and reach the skin. Often moisture and bacteria are harbored in the pelt and skin irritations or even infection can occur. In addition, there’s the fact that the cat’s mobility is impeded. Mats and pelts are painful for cats!

Do not fear, this cat left our salon happy and overjoyed to be freed of its pelt.

When you look at her skin, can you see where the pelt impeded air circulation?

Now not all cats come to us with conditions like this.
Many come to our salon on a maintenance program. The client’s request is to have their cat’s coats cleaned of grease and debris; to have their nails properly trimmed and their ears, eyes and the sanitary area cleaned.

Once our clients really experience what a clean cat should look and feel like, our education is done. The results of a clean cat are more than a visual benefit, it is also a health benefit. A clean, well-groomed cat can eliminate hairball issues, shedding issues, lessen allergies, improve skin conditions, and eliminate ingrown nails and more.

The myths following cats and their grooming needs are being de-bunked and it is through education of both groomers and their clients, that so many of the feline skin problems and coat conditions are being remedied.

Trusting a Professional Groomer is knowing they have been trained not only in the feline grooming aspect but also the physiology and psychology of a cat. This is where safe and successful cat grooming is at its finest!

Written by: Connie Buchanan