I seldom restrain ANY animals. Being mobile they have my undivided attention and I find that most are calmer, particularly cats, if they're NOT restrained. I iwll use my hand to hold them down as I do a side or belly, but that's about it. I wish I'd had a video last night of the cat I did for the first time. She was a FREAK.. everything spooked her. When I started the bath she went bonzo and went up and out of the tub.. I let her.. caught her and brought her back. Everything I did, spooked her but after a few moments of realizing she wasn't being hurt.. she calmed down. By the end of the groom.. she was rubbing her opposing cheek against the blowdryer as I scratched the other side. She was just sitting there.. necks stretched to get the best of both my hand and the dryer. When we finished.. she curled up.. laid her head on my arm and just purred. I'd love to have been able to show people that it's all about "respecting" them and allowing them to set their pace.
I groom cats at my salon and I agree with you 100%. I have been grooming cats and dogs for 49 years and I never stop learning.
There is a school of thought in the cat grooming industry that says anything is acceptable, as long as it doesn't result in death or injury. I find that way of thinking abhorent as it completely ignores the psyche of the frightened feline.
The cat may have arrived terrified & if so, the owner needs to be counseled on how to work with the cat to bring it in a calm state to the salon. If not possible, a house call groomer should be retained. If the cat becomes agitated & frightened upon arrival, or can't be calmed down once there, the grooming environment needs to be re-evaluated. There are many factors that come into play including, noises, smells, lighting, placement of carrier, location of grooming table, energy & handling methods of groomer & staff, medical issues, & more.
It should be every groomer's first priority to work on building a friendly & trusting bond with the cats (or any animal being groomed). It may take more than one session for some but the result is beneficial to everyone involved. Restraints are counter-productive and delay the building of trust. It takes more work & time to get to this state but slapping restraints on a frightened cat is, IMO, inhumane. Personally, I don't use any form of restraint, including scruffing & muzzles. Respect & affection go a long way with cats.
Groomers would benefit from reading up on the latest thinking in cat psychology & behavior and not rely on outdated thinking & methods, just because they or whoever taught them has been doing it that way for decades. How long a groomer has been grooming has no bearing on whether they're doing it humanely.
There's a picture going around of a cat being restrained for grooming. He has a full face muzzle, a slip lead around his neck and slip leads around both front feet. The leads on his feet are being used to pull the legs way out away from the body.
This is obviously horrible.
It also opens the conversation up for safe and humane restraints.
What have you found works best for unhappy cats?
Surprisingly she was awesome about it. Was just curious about what i was doing. Guess playing with her paws all these years was worth it!
You have to be very careful with cat feet. It is the part they hate trimmed the most. You could almost swear they have nerve endings in their toe hair. LOL! I always scissor them because that generally seems to be the least irritating to the kitty. But you will still likely meet with some resistance, as in twitching or attempted shaking of the foot. So good reflexes are a must. If there is no matting on the belly a guard comb would work. Most cats I groom I usually do a #10 on the sanitary, as that is the safest blade to not catch skin in that tricky area. But if you want more hair left, I would recommend a guard comb over a longer blade, especially if you are not experienced in cat grooming
For feet, I usually skim with a 10 or 15 or just scissor the long hairs even with the pads. I am really cautious as I don't do many cats and their feet are shaped a bit different than a dog's foot. For myself, while I haven't done it, I think it could be easy for me to cut a pad if I wasn't super careful.
A guard comb is a good start to clean up the rear. Again, I don't do many cats, but I find it can be difficult to get cat hair nice and smooth like I can with a dog.
My cats paw pads and sanitary are all i want to trim up. What do i use on the feet? As for the sanitary all i want is a trim so guard comb?
I just finished doing two cats today. #5 with the grain. #7 under the belly and a #10 only where the mats were very close between the legs. I find if you can use a longer blade, the choppieness is far less. As well, if the cat allows, gently air the coat backwards and then clip again after the first run. It will smooth out any bumps. Cats go in a noose the same as dogs and I treat them very similar when grooming other than I go a lot faster, scissor less and really let my blades do the work. I also tell the clients that they will not get the finish with a cat like I can do with a dog as their coat is very different.
The past week has seen me do half a dozen cats, most are cut with the longer #5 or #4 and blended from the back of the head to not leave a line. It seems to work pretty well. I would never consider using a #10 reverse on a cat as their skin is much thinner than a dogs and injuries would be common.
I just bought #5 and #7 cat blades. They're supposed to have a better finish. I haven't tried them yet. Anybody use these? I thought I'd experiment on my own cat since he's such a willing participant.
I actually do VERY few 10 blades... just don't like sending a cat home that short and while I've never had a dog not grow back I have had cats not do so. I prefer a comb cut if at all possible but Yes, agreed that going against the grain will give you a smoother finish. Don't know if you bathe first (I don't do a groom on a cat that hasn't been bathed) but if you are, you MUST make sure the cat is 110 % dry or that will leave you little lines as well.
I just watched Amy's video for the first time, and I have to say that I'd go to Amy's class if I got the chance! My style of cat grooming is pretty much the same as hers, and I'm a huge fan of reverse clipping (both dogs and cats). When grooming cats, I often used a slip lead as a figure 8 harness, so that if they did manage to jump off of the table, they were not going to get very far (We don't groom cats where I currently work).
Does he like catnip? I give my cats catnip before taking them to the vets. I let them do their zoom thing then pack'em up. By the time they get to the vets they are in snooze mode. They aren't sleeping when there, but they seem less tense. If the cat doesn't go through zoom then zone out at home, it probably won't happen. I do hear cats react differently, some not at all.
Omg! Yes Barb!!! That is so funny but true! Mean drunks are almost worse, Idk why but my clinic get sedate forms on all the animals....I only sedate if I think I'd be unable to do it. Or if the owner says "my dog will try to kill you..so we must sedate" I had that last month and my co-workers wanted me to try without so...I did...and then promptly walked back out and demanded the sedation!! Lol now I speak up for myself, hey I'm not willing to die so we can "try", the owner knows this dog needs to be sedated so get to it! :P I get a lot of sedated grooms, dogs and cats...I get a lot of the ones that truly need it too...one dog woke up being a mean drunk and biting at everything In slow motion it was scary! He had to be muzzled and sedated!!
I have GREAT support staff at the clinic. They often wonder how I can get so many done without sedation. LOL
They get sedation forms for all the once a year dogs, all cats, and they've even had them signed on puppies because "He just looked way too wiggly!"
I don't sedate every one that has a form signed, but it's nice to know they think of me and get them.
The only time I ever has issues is with new doctors. They tend to lean toward tranquilizing them, not out right full sedation. They don't understand at first that for safety, I need them totally out. It is not safe to work on a mean drunk....
I tend to try to get our clinic owners, that I've worked with for 15 years, to do the sedation rather than one of the newer staff members.
Great point AmyStylell, I think in their home/natural habitat the cats would be way better!! The cats I get are from half an hrs away so they are already stressed from the car ride, and just terrified. By the time they get here they are panting wide eyed and ready to rumble! I was thinking about picking one day as cat day that way there isn't grooming dogs...and then I realised that I work at a clinic and therefor that would make no difference! Lol
Barb no worries I find the cats are highly stressed out, I have not had a cat that was outgoing and not fearful. I have shaved my own cats without issue..but cats do not react well in most cases to restraints you can't use loops cause if they freak they could strangle. And I always tell the owners...I can try but my concern isn't about being attacked or hurt it's actually for the animals safety because if they are freaking out and bite the clippers or shears they are going to get hurt. Not to mention that most of the time I don't see the shaving as necessary like little Oscar he had Matt's so I get it! But most of the time that's not the case and I'm like ..but I do not wanna shave this beautiful cat ! Lol but I do cause the owners like the way it looks! Once I get some quieter clippers I'm going to attempt a shave down with out sedation. I always hate when vet techs are like...oh I don't understand why you need help holding down this 27 pound cat. Mean while they always have help holding the 5 pound cats that need a ten second shot...soo yes I sedate, I choose the side of safety!
Yep, I've had to give client options of calling their vet, or where I network with a local vet, they can go where cranky kitty will be sedated and I"ll drop in to do the shave down. When those eyes are fully dilated, I know it's time to let go of that job or make a change with it. LOL, they are not like most not so happy dogs, that with certain techniques, can be worked with. When a cat has had enough, I know I'm not going to win that game, kitty paws down. However, I am very lucky, in that I've shaved quite a few kitty's house call, with nice success.
I do not have cat whispering skills. I do not groom them at my own salon. I do groom them at the clinic where I work part time because we have the option for sedation. I will fully admit that I am sure some of the cats I groom there could probably be done without sedation by someone with more cat handling skills. I do not have all of them knocked out, but I do far more sleeping kitties than those that are awake.
Lol Barb! We had a Maine coon in the other week who had some nicely sedated fur...but that's about it! Lol he did well tho with assistance and seemed to really enjoy his bath! Lol only to hiss at me when I was finished as if to say..."just to let you know I actually did not enjoy this". Lol has anyone attempted to groom a cat without sedation that was very angry?! I had to turn down a groom, because I didn't want to do one swipe and have him go home like that.so I brushed him a bit and clipped his nails(free of charge) and sent him home!
I too work in a clinic. It has happened more than once where a dog or cat was so matted and uncooperative that the sedation only made it into a matt!
LOL, thats funny
AmyStylell! Thanks! he will be able to romp about outside much more easily..lol the vet that sedated him was concerned that she might sedate one of his Matts instead of him !!!
Awe, Mister Oscar will be more comfortable now, thanks to you. Nice Job!