“You groom cats? You mean you actually give them a bath? You must be out of your mind!”
I’ve heard this countless times from cat owners. And I admit, sometimes it seems like I might be. Despite the state of my mental health, most cats do need grooming. If you are the proud owner of a long-haired feline you know this all too well. Those of us who claim ownership of such a breed have come to understand that black outfits are no longer allowed unless we are into the white-cat-hair-all-over-black-pants look. Last time I checked it wasn’t in fashion.
And then there’s the hairball – a most unusual specimen that typically appears just when guests are about to arrive. This indescribable blob on the floor is almost always discovered by the guest rather than the cat owner. And if having your obsessively clean mother-in-law find a hairball on the kitchen floor isn’t bad enough, the sound of your cat working one up is.
Beyond the shedding and subsequent hairballs, cats and cat owners often find
themselves battling tangles, mats, eye stains, and more. This is where the
professional cat groomer comes in. The professional cat groomer, has a set of skills
and equipment developed specifically to manage the challenges of cat grooming.
Yes, I am a groomer of cats. I have scars to prove it. And I love my job immensely!
Grooming and grease
Cats get greasy. It’s a fact. You may not realize it because you are used to the way
“Fluffy” looks and feels. But, trust me, cats get VERY greasy, as though they’ve been
rubbed down with a stick of butter. Imagine if you didn’t wash your hair for a few
years. Natural oils build up over time. Combined with the oils from our hands that are left behind when we pet our feline buddy, grease eventually takes over. Natural
shedding takes place throughout the year, most often in the spring and summer when the temperature warms up and the days get longer. As the hair sheds, the greasiness of it causes it to stick together in a clump. This clump of hair is small at first but grows about as fast as kudzu. Before you know it, “Fluffy” is no longer fluffy. Instead, “Fluffy” looks like he’s wearing a toupee of matted hair. At this point “Fluffy” must be shaved to remove his new “do” thus provoking what I like to call the “Samson Syndrome.” This is where your usually stealthy and outgoing cat now slinks around the house with his belly to the ground as though weak and totally embarrassed by his new nakedness. With time he gets used to his new look. And with time, his hair grows back in, and his strength and personality return. “Fluffy” is fluffy once again.
The cat groomer’s job is to wash that grease right out of the hair. Keeping the grease away with a good bath, blow dry, and comb-out will do wonders for any feline. It is a known fact that after a thorough grooming session the amount of shedding and hairballs is significantly lessened. This in turn makes you fall in love with your little furball all over again now that life and the living room carpet are a lot cleaner. “Fluffy” is still fluffy and looking mighty fine.
Feline health is important to you, and us
Besides coat care, a good cat groomer will also take the time to thoroughly clean the cat’s ears and clip all nails so they are no longer vicious weapons used on you just when you least expect it. A cat groomer also keeps a sharp eye out for signs of fleas, ear mites, and an assortment of other feline-related inconveniences. Catching these conditions early on can help prevent more serious problems and the huge vet bills that accompany them.
If you share a home with a longer-haired breed, you may want to take advantage of such options as a belly shave, sanitary clip, or lion cut. All of these will help
tremendously in making life cleaner, neater, and more manageable for you and your feline bed-buddy. And a good cat groomer will be happy to share with you some tips on what you can do at home in between grooming sessions to help keep your kitty in the best condition possible. The right tools, products, and techniques can make all the difference in the world. And having a happy, well-groomed cat can make all the difference for you.