Cat Grooming. A whole other (hair) ball game. 

Cat grooming is a whole other side of grooming few seem to think about. Did you know cats need to be groomed, too? Let’s talk a little about what that means…

Fuzzy cat looking straight at camera after having been groomed at the pet groomers. Cat has a handkerchief around his neck and has a round face.
No words needed. This is just cute. You’re welcome.

When people say “pet grooming”, they are often thinking of dogs. But cats are people, too! Well, pets technically, but you know what we’re saying. 

Cat Grooming – A Different Kind of Grooming

When people think of “pet grooming”, they often picture dogs, not cats. While cats tend to groom themselves quite a bit and are generally clean animals, they do need some help from their humans. 

The thing is…cats are temperamental creatures! They are not always willing volunteers for grooming and if they’re not feeling it, your cat grooming attempts are futile. 

While dogs may need more frequent grooming than cats, it’s definitely easier to groom a dog than cat. Cats have little to no patience when it comes to grooming, so timing is of the essence. As soon as a cat arrives in the pet grooming salon, let the grooming games begin (may the odds be ever in your favor)! There is a very small window of time when a cat will allow the groomer to handle them and once the cat is done, it’s done. If you try to force grooming, the cat will only become more agitated and that can pose a safety hazard (more on this in a bit).

What Does Cat Grooming Include?

The actual cat grooming procedure looks a bit different than dog grooming. 

You know that stereotype of cats hating water? That’s actually because…cats hate water, with some breeds being exceptions. How often should your cat be bathed, you ask? According to the National Cat Groomers Institute, every 4-6 weeks. Cats frequently attempt to jump out of the tub like kangaroos, so bathing them is an event in and of itself. For this reason, we only give them one bath at our salon, unlike dogs who get two baths everytime. 

If you thought bathing your cat was hard, now you have to dry them. Want to know what else cats don’t like? Loud noises. They do not tolerate being dryed nearly as much as dogs since dryers are quite loud. This is also where cats are likely to bite or attack the groomer and it is imperative for the cat groomer to know how to properly handle the pet. Proper handling ensures that the whole process be as stress-free and calm as possible and reduces the risk of the cat becoming agitated and attacking the groomer. 

The haircut is, once again, only going to happen if the cat decides to allow it. If the cat is already flustered, don’t count on a haircut. However, if your cat has matted fur, then a cut will be necessary. (Check out our detailed blog post about matted hair, here). If your cat is more tolerant of grooming, then the haircut is still a very delicate procedure. The groomer must be incredibly careful as cats have some hanging skin called the primordial pouch. When giving your cat a haircut, you must be cautious to stretch the skin to smooth it out so you don’t nick it as it can easily get caught in clippers. Because of this, there are some blades that cannot be used on cats but are used on dogs.

Cat Grooming Prices

Because it is more difficult to groom a cat and because of the dangers involved, cat grooming is a higher priced item. Typically, in most pet salons, 2 people are required for cat grooming, unlike for dog grooming where it’s a 1 person job.

Safety Protocols For Cat Grooming – Don’t Try This at Home

If you’re currently googling “how can I shave my cat myself”, back away slowly from the computer and the clippers. Cat grooming is more dangerous because a cat bite can turn into a serious medical problem very quickly. While dog bites may cause a more apparent wound as their teeth and mouth are bigger, cats have thinner and sharper teeth that can penetrate the skin deeper introducing bacteria deep inside the wound and causing potential serious harm to tendons and ligaments. If left untreated, a cat bite can lead to cellulitis or cat scratch fever. At our salon, every cat bite is a mandatory trip to the ER! 

For cat grooming, it is very important that a groomer verifies all vaccines before the grooming begins. This is unlike for dogs who typically just need an annual rabies vaccine, though this can vary from groomer to groomer. 

Screenshot from a phone showing some very red and painful looking cat bites on an arm due to cat grooming.

Certification to Groom Cats

Needless to say, cat grooming is a whole other skill than dog grooming. Certified cat groomers have received extra education in proper cat handling, grooming, and cat behavior. If you don’t have a certification in cat grooming, maybe put the cat down and let us handle it for you! Book an appointment today! 

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