A Lesson in Every Cat Groom – Part 2

A brown mac tabby DLH named Zachary was brought in last week for grooming. Seeing Zach again reminded me of several lessons when it comes to the grooming or handling of cats. First, make sure all carriers or cat crates are securely fastened when transporting a cat. The reason I say this is that the last time I personally had my hands on Zachary the cat, it was after chasing him down our city block along a busy main street into a thicket of sticker bushes. You can read about that adventure in a past blog post. Because of that incident, every time I see Zachary again I can’t help but smile. I’m so glad that story had a happy ending!

Another lesson that Zachary brought to mind was the importance of regular grooming to keep dandruff at bay. Cats are greasy and most of them tend to build up flaky, greasy dandruff over time. Poor nutrition or health issues can add to the problem. A regular degreasing bath and blow dry can make a tremendous difference! Zachary the cat is living proof that that.

Another lesson – that greasy coat combined with shedding hair leads to tangles which lead to mats which eventually end up as pelts if left unattended. As I was blowing Zach’s coat dry with the HV dryer I could see the webs of tangles starting to form in his coat. Fortunately they were not really tight, and I was able to flick out the mats with ease during the drying process. Another lesson – wait until that coat is dry to do any flicking. It is best to avoid bald spots from mat removal, if it all possible. Best mat removal method we teach at the National Cat Groomers School: flick don’t pick. It works like a charm.

Another lesson, don’t let a cat scare you by aggressive behavior during the nail trim. Many groomers are put off by this behavior at the start and inaccurately determine said cat to be “un-groomable” or too aggressive or in need of sedatives. In my experience, however, most of those cranky nail trim kitties end up being a big mush once we get to the bath and blow dry. It’s important to know the difference between a scared cat, an angry cat, and a spoiled brat cat. There is a difference. And that difference will determine what groom styles are chosen, in what order the groom elements are done, and in what manner the cat should be handled in order to keep things snappy, stress-free and safe for all parties involved.

From the time I pulled Zach out of his crate to begin the groom until the time I put him back into his crate sporting clean, fluffy mat-free hair and a sani clip, 40 minutes had elapsed. Zachary also got a de-shed treatment after his bath and blow dry. He’s a lot of cat with a bit of attitude, but totally manageable by one person in less than 45 minutes.

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