First of all I have to apologise for not writing sooner, but life gets in the way! A few things have been on my mind recently – the main being the topic of this blog.
Why do people have such low expectations of a cat groomer?
Yes, it is not an easy job. Cats do not sit as we do in the hairdressers, and people who groom only cats (like me!) are very few and far between, but that does not mean you should expect an inferior level of service because you’re (essentially) a captive audience. These beautiful animals are our friends, companions and babies. They deserve a high standard of care.
Just recently I have been on visits where clients have mentioned previous grooming sessions with another mobile groomer, or more usually a well known pet store chain with a grooming parlour, who haven’t cared for their cats needs in one way or another – just performing the job required (and for an expensive fee!).
So, I’ m going to list below what I think is a reasonable expectation for someone getting their cat groomed. There is no reason I can think of why a pet should be expected to have a lower standard of care than we do – unless, it is down to common sense, or totally unnecessary.
Before I do that I’ll detail some of the usual requirements, what they are and what they entail:
- Claw clip. This is standard, and whilst also being safer for the groomer, it prevents excess damage to the owners furniture etcetera, particularly for indoor cats.
- A dry groom. This should include a full brush out, dry shampoo or conditioning/detangling spray.
- A wet groom. Full brushing out of coat, wet bath with a coat appropriate shampoo using suitable equipment, a full rinse – not just a quickie! Full drying to ensure absolutely no dampness whatsoever. At no time should the groomer wash the cats head using the shower. There is a technique which can be employed to ensure the cats safety, and it does not involve running water over the cats face!
- Ears, eyes and sanitary cleaning. Either during wet bathing, or as part of a dry groom. This should be completed using cat, or pet specific equipment, with care given to lessen any chance of cross-contamination.
A good groom should consist of ear, eye and sanitary areas being cleaned. Claw clipping, full brushing out or clipping (or both), and careful attention to the levels of stress the cat is experiencing and not necessarily in that order. I always ensure the cat is as happy as possible and take my time – so I suppose it is more of a holistic approach that people receive from me, but all are different. As long as your cat is safe and happy, then that’s the main thing.
I don’t believe in holding down a howling cat by the scruff of its neck in order to complete my work, and if you feel the same then you should tell the groomer! This is your animal after all, you know how he/she is and whilst grooming can initially worry the cat (because it’s a new experience) it should become more of a routine, with any adverse reaction lessening over time. On occasion though, some cats just dislike it. What I will say is, by developing a routine with the right cat groomer, you can lessen any negativity of the experience by allowing them the routine of seeing the same person each time.
However, all of the above said, it is critical to remember that your cat groomer is performing a very difficult and quite dangerous job. Those who take the time to come to your home are usually doing so alone, and are accustomed to performing the groom alone too. If you can help them, please do so, but be aware there may be times when you become a teensy bit of a hindrance simply because you love your cat sooooo much, you want to help at all opportunities! Just be aware that the groomer is accustomed to set positions in which they can achieve the job, so will be able to direct you should you wish to help for a speedier grooming session.
If this helps you, even just the tiniest bit, please feel free to visit my website http://www.cat-groomer.co.uk, check out my facebook page http://facebook.com/mastercatgroomer or simply share the link (anywhere!) for the world to see. It’s so important we raise awareness in order to facilitate a better cat grooming experience for all.