In one of her Instagram posts, Saedah details her experience with a pet groomer regarding her cat, Zain. She details how she was refused service at an undisclosed groomer on account of Zain’s aggression. In an interview with us, she also mentions how important grooming was to upkeep the quality of his fur, which in turn affects his health and well being.
“Zain’s fur is really matted and we have a hard time managing it at home as he does not allow me to comb or brush him. Many times I have to wait for him to fall asleep before I can attempt to brush out his matted fur. We have resorted to shaving once however, it did not seem to help as his fur grows out way too fast. As a result, he develops frequent hairball problems too.
We intended for the Groomers to assist us with this issue. It was disappointing to be rejected. Groomers should be trained and well-equipped to manage aggressive cats. Grooming is a professional service that cats truly need, especially for cats like Zain who strongly needs the service. Only a cat groomer can help. It appears redundant if the groomer is not ready to offer their services to aggressive cats. Who else can I turn to? Vets do not entertain hair matting issues.”
Saedah is not alone in her struggles to seek out grooming services for her aggressive cats. Owners often struggle to locate a suitable groomer for their cats. In addition, grooming centres can charge cat owners additional fees, which in turn, may further exacerbate the owner’s stress.
Luckily, Saedah eventually located a suitable groomer: Pet Pat Grooming.
With a perfect 5.0 Star score on Google Reviews, Pet Pat Grooming is located in Singapore and offers over 5 tailored services for their kitty customers. In particular, they promise to provide a low-stress handling experience which helps to greatly reduce cats’ stress levels.
Jen of Pet Pat has kindly agreed to share her insight on providing grooming care to cats. We also inquired regarding her experience with aggressive cats to take a better look at what it entails.
Why is Grooming Important?
Matted fur develops due to inflamed and dry skin. Regular grooming schedules help to reduce such risks and keep cats clean right down to their skin. Plus, maintain that their fur is matt-free.
Cats do like to be clean. They’re much happier. Imagine if you never took a shower or brushed your hair. That’s what an ungroomed cat feels like. They turn into a much more social creature when they’re clean.
What agitates cats when they visit a Groomer?
From the cat’s perspective, they are being cautious. Especially in a new environment, they are looking out for potential predators here. As a result, they can go into fight, flight, or freeze mode.
Your salon offers a low-stress handling experience. How do you accommodate this?
When the cat is showing signs of aggression, we designate a single groomer to handle them alone. Occasionally, we may do a two-person groom which involves the handler and a groomer. Our priority is to go as fast and safe as possible to minimise the cat’s exposure to unfamiliar territory.
We always do pre groom assessments for our clients. Find out as much info as possible. Once the expectations are established, We can work our magic. We introduce the cat calmly to the grooming process. We want it to be a pleasant experience for both the cat, and its owner.
Lead us through a grooming session with an aggressive cat.
There are 4 things to note before grooming cats.
- Assess the fur situation.
Aggression is not caused without reason. At times, there is a reason for their behaviour. For example, we once had a customer named MoMo who had several large matts on his body. It was extremely tight on his skin and was impossible to comb out. In such situations, the cat will definitely respond in an aggressive manner due to the intense discomfort they are feeling. Certain fur conditions require a different approach to grooming.
2. Protect yourselves.
Cats can have you out for lunch! Regardless, our service does not believe in using restraints as it might stress the cat even further. Instead, we ensure we are well-protected before handling aggressive cats. Dog handling gaiters (a.k.a Dragon Slayer Gloves haha!) can be necessary. We also use an Elizabeth collar, and a towel for extra padding.
3. Act with firmness.
Establish an equal distribution of control over the situation. When a cat is trying to intimidate vocally, the best course of action for a groomer is to not be intimidated and act with confidence and firmness.
4. Take breaks and respect the cat’s need for space.
Most importantly, is to respect the cat. We might also opt to take many 5 minute breaks in between grooming to give the cat sufficient time to cool down and rest. It also helps us to think of the next move. Regardless, remember to treat the cat with the same amount of understanding and respect as you would a human!
When we groomed Zain (Saedah’s cat), we first introduced him to happy things such as treats, toys, catnip and more. We spoke in hushed tones and patted him occasionally to provide reassurance. He was a lot calmer at his session with us and showed no signs of aggression! He was a very good boy.
We always advise pet owners to do their research before committing to a groomer. Things you can take note of include:
- Certifications or professional training
To be a cat groomer is very different from being a dog’s! Make sure you locate a groomer that is competent to handle the type of pets you own.
- Salon Hygiene
- Cats-only environment
How can we do our part to take care of our pets at home?
Brushing your pet’s fur at home is a great way to maintain your cats in between grooming sessions.
Here’s how you can do so:
- Begin by creating a positive association with your brush. Place it near your cat and reward them with a treat when he/she starts to investigate it.
- Build their association with the brush. When you are interacting with your cat in a calm way, allow your cat to sniff and rub against it when they wish.
- After a few days doing so, or when you think your cat is ready, stroke your cat with the brush in your hand. Hold the brush out for your cat to sniff again. If they rub against it reward them with a treat and praise them with more physical attention.
- Once your cat is actively seeking the brush you can gently move it against your cats face. Gently and slowly stroke in the direction of the cats’ coat for 2 minutes a session.
- If your cat is relaxed and enjoying the experience try grooming different areas. Cats love the neck and head region and also the back and base of the tail. All the best!
Special thanks to Saedah of @zainthemainecoon for sharing her experience with us. Visit her Instagram.
* This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Pawjourr. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.