Ever wondered how to groom a cat?
Meet Bentley. He's a handsome longish haired boy who we groomed recently and gave a lion clip to reduce the amount of hair in his house. Bentley is sitting in the tub after his bath, wearing an e-collar, like the ones your vet uses to keep your pets from scratching or biting stitches when they're healing or a hot spot. We use the e-collar to prevent being bitten by a cat who loses her temper. It's less annoying for the cat than a muzzle. Bentley didn't mind being bathed at all and sat calmly in the hydrobath. Many cats take being bathed, groomed and clipped in stride, particularly if they have been regularly groomed since their kitten year.
The first thing we do is clip nails and clean ears and eyes and do any required clipping. Matted cats need to be clipped very short - what we call a "buzz cut" - in order to get under the mats where they form close to the skin. Contrary to what you might think, a cat with a buzz cut has the softest and cleanest coat you could imagine, like a fine Persian carpet. A long or short "mane" can be left to give the lion look, and the tail can be left full or with a flag or ball at the end. Cats that aren't matted can be clipped to a half or three-quarter inch clip, which reduces hair both inside and outside the cat but looks more natural.
Most cats don't like to be immersed in water, so our hydrobath is preferable. We have warm water pumped through a spray head that we use to massage away dirt, dander and hair. A kitty bath usually takes fewer than 5 or 10 minutes, then on to the grooming table.
Most cats don't need to be restrained on the table. Usually they tuck their feet underneath themselves and lie quietly on the table to be dried and brushed. If a cat loses her temper and won't sit still, we have a soft harness that gently circles the cat's chest and neck that will prevent them from leaping off the table.
It's true that cat grooming requires special skills in handling the cat and preventing injury to their delicate skin, but it's not as stressful for most cats as you would expect and can be critical to their health and comfort.
If you have a cat that has trouble grooming itself, is experiencing hair balls, is matted, or is simply overwhelming you with hair production, give us a call.