On a quick overview of my posts, I realized that cats have not gotten their fair share of recognition. I truly enjoy grooming cats, but they can present a challenge from time to time. Despite what you may have been told cats do need to be groomed. They lick themselves to clean debris from their coat, however, it does not remove odor,matts, dander, parasites and grease. In addition the loose hair that they pick up in their digestive tract can cause a series of health problems. Regular professional grooming helps to eliminate that problem, in addition your groomer can alert you of a potential health issue before it becomes a problem.
Cats don't need a professional groom as often as dogs, but they do need it. Short hair cats actually shed more than long hair cats. Depending on the breed some cats can have a single, double or triple coat, and if it is not cared for properly the can get very matted which causes that cat a lot of pain. Most cats can be groomed professionally every 6-10 weeks depending on their health and coat conditions. The skin of a cat is not attached to the muscle and it is paper thin. It always makes me cringe when I hear a cat owner saying that they took some scissors and started cutting the matts out. That is such a dangerous move for both dogs and cats! When a matt starts is begins to bunch the skin into the matt, the longer the matt remains the tighter the bunching gets which can cause quite a deal of discomfort. Imagine if you will someone taking a piece of your skin a placing a rubberband around it. Each day as you move around the circulation to the blood vessels in the skin are fighting to feed that area. The area starts to swell from the pressure, and if you are not trained on how to remove the matt safely, you can cut a hole in the pet's skin that can lead to a costly vet visit. Once a pet has been injured in this manner, they NEVER FORGET!!! Now when you take them to the groomer you have a terrified animal on your hands that usually gets labeled as "aggressive". Often times they are banished from groom shops and sent to vets who will only groom them if they are sedated. I am not a big fan of sedated animals. They are more dangerous than one that is made a hades and ready to do that Jackie Chan flying nina death drop kick on you! An animal coming out of sedation will inflict more damage because they are dazed and frightened. As a groomer you have no idea when the sedative is wearing off and you can leave yourself open for serious injury because your guard is down.
Cats are an oxymoron. The are very delicate, but they are strong and they can be very dangerous. They can go from zero to sixty with their temperment without a moments notice. They are true carnivores, they bodies are designed for the the kill. Their canines are like needs, they inflict a puncture and the bacteria from their saliva can
cause blood poisioning, which can lead to amputation and/or death if not treated immediately. Bacteria from their claws can cause an illness called "cat scratch fever"
As a groomer you have to pay special attention to the cat that you are working on. No matter how sweet the cat is the general rule of thumb is always be on your guard.
I don't want to make you fearful of cats, but more respectful of them. Cats are loving, affectionate, extremely intelligent, great therapy partners,and they can be trained very easily! They really don't require much! They can entertain themselves with just about anything, and they have tons of personality! They have an attitude of royalty about them, and unfortunately they don't like change! I have friends who have cats that will sit on command, and will play ball with them as well! One person in particular has a cat that if you call her house and attempt to leave a message on her answering machine, her cat will press the buttons to try to answer the phone! Her cat has to have the last word! One time we were talking on the phone, and her cat was dead set on getting her attention, when she ordered her out of her room so that we could continue our conversation, you could hear her cat fussing all the way out the room! It was the most hilarious thing I had ever heard! When she scolded her to be quiet she continued to fuss as she went to her cage!
I am a cat person as well! My cats come to me when I call their name and I trained them NOT to scratch the furniture. They each have their own cat tower, which they happily scratch and there is always peace in my house because of it! My cats are tempermental, as most are! If they are upset with me not bringing treats home for them, the next day I will find all of the pillows on my couch on the floor. It's almost like "take THAT lady!" If I am under the weather, all three of them will curl up next to me and not budge until I am better. One cats shows her anger by dragging the toilet paper throughout the house! If I didn't know better I would think that I had been to a Frat party!
What I love about cats the most is that they are not overbearing and needy! When they want attention the come to you, when they have had enough they go off to themselves. If you ever get a chance go to an adoption agency and watch the kittens at play. It is the most entertaining thing you will ever see! They perform acts of acrobatics that would have you laughing for hours, and those little faces! My Gosh, how can you not get caught up in the cuteness?
Often times cats are misunderstood, because of their personality, but rest assured a cats are fantastic pets, and I enjoy all the simple complexity that they offer!
Have a Great Summer!