Cat Groomers Are Heroes!
Well I just did my first cat bath. Didn't intend to, just kinda happened. I started out by feeding a feral mom who was nursing kittens. She eventually abandoned them, and I have tamed and am feeding the two half grown cats. Made sure they will not add to the unwanted cat population, and am getting more and more worried about finding them homes before winter hits. Then tonight another cat shows up. Very friendly female. Black and orange with white boots. Gorgeous. Unfazed by the poodles. Carried her inside to my grooming shop to get a better look at her and $&^! she has fleas!
And then kinda went into auto pilot. Called daughter out, grabbed the Quadruped and went to work. Kept her scruffed while lathering and letting it work, and she was great. Didn't like the rinse water poured on her so much, but I was able to hold on. Then bundled her in a towel, and by uncovering her part by part we were able to get her mostly dry, and not even one scratch, even though she definitely didn't care for the dryer. Giving her a warm room for the night and will have to figure out my next step tomorrow.
But the point is, I have major respect for those of you who have learned the proper way to groom cats and go daily to care for those crazy beasties with no bite inhibition. I got through that bath because I didn't give myself time to think, I just acted. But you real cat groomers knowingly bathe them on purpose. Can hardly wrap my mind around that. Major props to you!
Meanwhile, I would be fine if that was the last time I had to bathe one myself. Think I'm suffering from ptsd (and I know it could have turned into a very bad situation at any time-unknown animal, no experience, just a little book learning and some reading on here- hence the ptsd!)
Scotch is earned. Kudos for doing what's best got the cat but you're tight--- could have been a major mess.
I only do vet supervised, medically sedated grooms anymore. Even my own cat scratching me sends me to the ER for treatment after too many bites and arm lacerations (and one scar on my upper lip ).
I try to recommend housecall cat groomers for those who don't want to brush their own cats. Have the greatest admiration for those who feel cats routinely. Beyond brave.
Good for you! I house call groom cats, only cats. Not a hero. Frankly, it ain't that hard, ha ha.
I started working with cats long ago doing medication house calls for a vet -- insulin injections, fluids, etc. He showed me how to inject, and I was off and running. No bites. No scratches. Then handled all sorts of cats at shelter clinic when I worked there. No special training. Just went for it. Va voom!
Grooming is harder because it takes so much longer than medicating. A few cats I groom make a show of being tough, but it's mostly a show.
Keep on grooming cats. You'll learn to love it. I bet you have the instinct for it.
Agreed Honey-I didn't stop to think it through. Fleas just make me throw animals in tub and grab the shampoo! I just got lucky with this cat and I know it.
Emma I too have been handling cats for a long time (over 50 years). I have purple hair and walk barefoot in the snow, but clippering a cat is a whole new level of crazy to me! I simply can't imagine holding a cat in one hand and a clipper in the other. I think I will continue to brush my own and leave the hero stuff for you !
Aannddd yesterday as I was brushing one of my dsh kitties I found myself thinking he could use a good bath. Because I'm stupid (for letting the idea take hold) I decided to watch a video on learn 2 groom by Danelle German (sp?) on bathing difficult cats. Fascinating! SO I just tried the scruff technique she demonstrated on one of my semi-feral cats, and by golly it worked! Petted his belly without getting any holes in me! I know there is tons of learning to be done if I do go that direction, but I can't seem to get it out of my mind. The school I went to for dog grooming is only 20 minutes away, and she does have the experience to teach cats. I have 4 kitties of my own, none of which are nice calm mentally stable cats, that I could practice on. Reading on here, it seems housecall would be the best option for the cats. But I dearly hate new situations, finding my way to unfamiliar houses and would have to face a unique layout/setup in each one. The finding new places is one of the major reasons I opted to be homebased as opposed to mobile.
Someone please tell me to get the notion out of my head and stick with having dogs brought to me in my own safe little haven here. Tell me I'm obviously not mentally stable enough to get into grooming creatures that are often not mentally stable and going into their environment to do so. I'm tough. I can take honesty. Have at it.
Yes, if you are mentally unstable, it will be harder to do house call cat grooming. For house call, you do need to be comfortable with strangers and with new locations.
I don't know if you are joking or not, so I'll assume you are sincere when you say you are unstable.
Different cats have different personalities. I groom cats, and find that they follow their own logic. Personally, I would not use the term "mentally unstable" to describe cats in general. If your mental instability takes the form of mild anxiety or self-consciousness or something like that, perhaps you could study up and at least do claw trims in your home salon. Good luck.
Originally Posted by poodlefeet
Sorry Emma-I forget that not everyone gets my brand of humor. My mental state is just as strong and ok as the next guy's.
As for cats, I can't remember the last time I had a cat that was born in a house and handled from little on up. The kind that jumps up on your lap and curls up there, purring. Mine have all had somewhat traumatic kittenhoods, and although they have all learned to trust and enjoy attention, none have ever become lap kitties. One minute they jump up and demand attention, the next they run for the hills if I simply look at them. I always just dismissed their abrupt mood swings with an exasperated "Cats!" Now I find myself wanting to study their reactions and behaviors more to figure out what exactly is going on. It seems like sensory overload happens so quickly with them, and the idea of successfully brushing, bathing, and drying them seems like the stuff of fantasy. And yet it can obviously be done. I do plan to keep studying and learning, and will see how it goes when I apply that on my own cats. Then I can decide if I want to pursue formal training and offer services to others.