Frequently Asked Questions
What causes matting?
Greasy skin and coat combined with natural shedding causes matting. Once a small tangle forms, it grows very quickly.
The only real defense against tangles/mats is regular bathing and drying and a thorough comb out to remove dead undercoat, grease and any debris in the coat that is preventing shedding hair from falling away from the body.
If matting is not dealt with, it will turn into a pelt. A pelt is a hardened matt that is tight against the skin and pulls. A pelt will form over time when mats begin to form and get bigger and start joining together anywhere on the body. Loose coat, debris (dirt, dead skin, grease), fecal matter and even urine gets stuck in the fur and forms a thick, tight and hard pelt. This is extremely painful and is detrimental to the cat's health.
Matting CAN be prevented. But first they will need to be removed to start fresh. Combing them out is very painful for the cat. Their skin is so thin to begin with and health and age are factors in their skin condition as well. Because the skin is so thin, shaving does post a risk of nicking/cutting the cat. If the cat is not tolerant of the shaving (either it is frightened or is in pain) it may not be possible to remove them safely and the older the cat gets, it is less likely that a veterinarian will anaesthetize your cat to remove the mats as the anaesthetic poses a risk also.
Shaving mats and pelts should only be done once and then the cat should be on a maintenance grooming schedule.
Prevention is key.
Do cats like getting a bath?
Most cats do not mind being bathed. In fact, many are very calm during the process and some even seem to find it relaxing. I gently introduce the cat to the bathing process each time, to avoid startling them. I notice especially with most senior cats, that they seem to like the feeling of the warm water over their joints. Some cats aren't fond of the process but manage very well and as soon as they are done and ready to go home, they are quite pleased with themselves. Many cat owners report they have a very happy cat after they return home from a day at the "spa".
How do you dry the cats?
I use the Catty Shack Vac for most cats. It is a containment drying system that decreases drying time and eliminates loose hair while drying, detangling, and de-shedding a cat. This allows me to work hands-free, reduces drying time by 30%, removes loose hair, gives the cat a sense of security, reduces hair floating around the salon and can even protect the groomer from aggressive cats. I never leave the cat alone when using the CSV, I am always hand-drying them. I use a "Happy Hoodie" that helps muffle the sound of the dryer and keeps air from blowing in their ears and I'll use an e-collar (like a cone) to help prevent air from blowing in their face. Most cats will then be wrapped in a warm towel and held in my lap to dry their underside, inside of legs, etc. I will dry some cats entirely on my lap. It just depends on what the cat's mood/temperament is. Their are very few cats who are frightened of the drying process and, in those cases, there are modifications that can be done to help get them dry without stressing them. Sometimes it is just a towel-dry and comb out.
Will you sedate my cat?
No. I do not sedate cats. In reality, very few cats need any sort of sedative to be groomed. On occasion there is a cat that I feel would be best served by receiving medication and I will refer you to your veterinarian who can prescribe something appropriate for you to administer prior to the next grooming appointment.
Will it hurt my cat to be groomed?
It can hurt your cat to NOT be groomed. Many cats are prone to seriouos matting problems, skin conditions, painful ingrown nails, and a variety of other problems that, if left unattended to, can cause irreversible damage or even death.
In a cat that is groomed regularly, such problems can be prevented. As a groomer, I am handling your cat on a regular basis and looking over every inch of its body during each visit. Because of this, health issues that can arise may be found early on, and the likelihood of effective intervention is increased.
How long will it take to groom my cat?
I usually allow 2 hours for a full groom appointment. It may take a little longer or a little less, depending on the service(s) being done and the condition of the cat's coat and skin. I also like to ensure the cat has the opportunity to acclimate to the surroundings, especially if it is their first time here. I believe cats are better served by not being away from their normal home environment for any longer than possible and, therefore, strive to complete each groom in an efficient and timely manner while, at the same time, being mindful of your cat's comfort level and respectful of their needs in the grooming process. I want your cat to feel as comfortable and calm as possible and to not feel rushed. Your cat's safety and comfort is my top priority.