Like many of you, I thought that cats groomed themselves, but I soon discovered that “groom” could mean a whole lot of different things. True, most cats wash themselves, but what does that really mean? They lick themselves. They use their tongues to slide off and ingest surface dirt, and they cover themselves with saliva in the process. The same saliva that makes those with allergies sneeze and itch. AhhhChoo! Cats don’t clean their coats down to the skin, they don’t comb out their own mats, they don’t remove fleas or keep their bottoms clean. They need some help…they need a Cat Groomer!
BUT, WHAT DO WE REALLY DO?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU, GETTING TO LOVE YOU…. First off, we introduce ourselves. Then we talk about the challenges you face, and work to overcome those challenges. What is your challenge? For most people it is a stinky cat, cat hair driving them crazy, or allergies that make them sniff and sneeze. Beyond the shedding and subsequent hairballs, cat owners often find themselves battling tangles, mats, eye stains, and more. This is where the professional cat groomer comes in.
WHAT’S UP PUSSYCAT? During the introduction we assess your cat’s personality. We know that cats have multiple purrsonalities; smart, shy, independent, needy, fearful, spiteful, hateful, loving, clever. The question is how will your cat present all of these personalities when at the groomers? Will they be sweet and purr through the process, or will they throw a hissy fit and need to be handled with extra sensitivity and quick wits? Cat Groomer’s Rule #1 Groom smart. Never trust a cat. Throw in that personality assessment with an exploration of health issues, age and the types of challenges you have already identified, and then a game plan is formed.
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION We start with disarming the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), ( i.e., long sharp nails). The nails get clipped (not removed!) before they can grow into the cat’s paws (it happens!) or be used to shred the sofa. Cat Groomer’s Rule #2 Groom fast. Never trust a cat.
THE MANE EVENT After disarming, the kitties that will be getting a new “hair-do” will receive a preliminary clip. Prelim clips remove excess hair before the bath, which allow us to determine if special shampoos will be needed and will reduce drying time later. This is also the time for a sanitary or hygienic clip for those kitties who can’t, or won’t, keep their heinies clean. If no hair cutting is involved, it is straight to the tub.
BUT, CATS HATE BATHS!!!!!! Turns out most really don’t. When a cat is bathed by a calm, sensitive, and trained person, who uses equipment and products designed especially for cats, they often actually enjoy the process. When enjoy is just too much to ask, they still feel great when it is all done, and they show it. Getting a bath means three luxurious shampoos, and a full body massage including extra attention to the paws. I know I love a good foot massage, and cats love their paw massages too!
WRAP UP THE BURRITO, POR FAVOR What, they get to eat Mexican? Nope, although a margarita might sound pretty good right now, “burrito” time means that your kitty gets tightly wrapped up in a warm, snuggly towel. Like most creatures, cats seem to relax when carefully swaddled, and this is the time for them to take a quick cat nap while the towel wicks away excess water. This is also the time to get ears and eyes clean, and to enjoy a soothing forehead rub. Then it is on to drying time in the Catty Shack Vac.
WE CALL IT THE SUGAR SHACK But the official name is actually “Catty Shack Vac.” What is that you say? It’s an amazing patented containment system (not a cage) where the cat has the freedom to move about (or hide under a blanket) while they are gently hand blow-dried and combed out. The Catty Shack system blows out small tangles and loose hair, produces a superior coat condition, reducing the amount of time that it takes to dry your cat. Your kitty is never on a cage grid, and is NEVER alone.
IT’S CLIPPER TIME! Now, for those kitties who are getting a Lion Cut or Plush Cut, it is time for the final clip. Clippers move smoothly through clean hair, producing a smooth finish and clean lines.
NEXT STOP, PULL INTO THE DE-SHED STATION Whoooo Hoooo! For those parents who love their furrkids, but not all the hair, De-Shedding is the way to go. We easily comb through the clean hair using special brushes and a mild vacuum system. Although a lot of dead hair has already been removed during the warm bath and blow-dry, you will be amazed (ahh-mazed!) by the amount of hair that de-shedding releases.
THE FINISHING TOUCH After the De-shed (seriously, I hope that you all choose this because regardless of whether your kitty has short or long hair, you will be thrilled) it is time for the final brush out and finish. This relaxing time is used to smooth ruffs, shape faces, and receive a light spritz of our natural (but oh so incredibly smelling) signature Meow-Ville conditioning scent.
THE MEOW-VILLE LOUNGE The groom is over, so it is time to relax and wait for the limo to come back for pick-up. For Kujo Kitty this may mean hiding in a cardboard box making lists of ways to get even, but Fluffy or Puff can use the facilities, hang out on the jungle gym, watch Herbie our resident Hummingbird, or test drive a new catnip banana. pssst. At this point there might be some organic catnip for consenting felines.