Dear Miss Behavin’: We tried to give our cat a bath and ended up with kitty scratches all over our arms. Ouch! We want to try a groomer but don’t know what to look for. Any tips?
Reply: A cat groomer is a specialist to say the least. They’re able to keep the grouchiest felines calm in one of the most uneasy kitty situations — getting wet. Lots of experience, referrals and a dog-free zone are all things to look for.
An experienced groomer knows how to keep cats calm under pressure. They won’t be rushed or pushy and should have a gentle, positive, yet effective approach. They should have a flexible schedule that allows your cat to settle in or take breaks if needed. For example, look for a scheduled drop off time but a TBD pick up — you can scoop her up as soon as she’s done instead of having her kenneled until the end of the day.
Referrals are key. Ask your veterinarian or friends who have cats if they’ve used a groomer or have a recommendation. If they have someone they like, put in a call and ask a few questions. Your impression is important as well. It’s one thing to be a cat groomer, and another to be good at it. Inquire about bathing options and how long the process takes.
If you can find it, a grooming salon that only grooms cats is ideal. Dogs need grooming, too, but their presence alone can add unnecessary stress for your kitty. If a salon accommodates cats and dogs, they should have separate areas for feline and canine grooming. If they don’t, keep looking.
Lastly, when you give a place a try, see how your kitty feels post bath. Is she friendlier? Does she seem relieved? Let her be the judge.
Samantha Lundquist is the Coordinator for the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA Behavior Department. For more information, please visit www.phs-spca.org, call 650-340-7022 ext. 418, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: East Bay Critter Corner: Dog-free zone ideal in search of cat groomer