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  1. #1
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    Default Cat groomer paradox. Don't use words clean, bathe or groom?

    There are some people who work with animals in a professional capacity -- vets, shelter managers, etc. -- who express anger about bathing cats. They believe all cats successfully self-clean, so anyone profiting off cat grooming is a scammer, like someone selling non-existent real estate. These professionals share their views with other people.
    I'm wondering if one solution for my house call cat grooming service is to avoid using the words "clean" or "groom" re: cats. Those are loaded words, it seems.
    Perhaps only use words that are very specific?
    Remove dandruff. Remove excess oil. Brush out shed fur stuck in coat.
    I'm trying to figure out how to avoid triggering anger or suspicion. I suspect the anger/suspicion has a big impact on the number of potential clients.

  2. #2
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    Are there really vets who think cats self clean? Because in my 16 years as a vet tech we had to do multiple cat shave downs a year.

    I wouldn't avoid using the words groom and clean, but adding the others is a great idea.

  3. #3
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    I remember being one of those people. I had a groomer that bathed her cat, and I just couldn't understand it. Until I got my first purebred cat. At one point she had a little skin problem and needed bathes, and the world of a really clean cat opened up to me! I bathed her the rest of her life and all my other cats after her.
    There is just nothing like the feel of a clean cat!

    There seem to be two types of people...those that leave their cat for a week with food and a litter box....and those that pay the money to board them...and have them groomed.

    I think it's hard to change the minds of the former...and the later might just need a small push.
    While I don't normally suggest a discount of services, perhaps a discounted first groom would help. That's what it took for me. Just feeling the difference for the first time.

    I would still use the words "bath" and "groom" and then add the benefits of that.
    Don't get discouraged. You cat groomers ARE making a difference. One cat owner at a time!

  4. #4
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    I'm trying to think of how you could educate them. I use those words all the time. Sure people ask me "don't cats bathe themselves?" Well.. yes and no. It all depends. Depends on their age, their teeth. Yup, teeth.

    So, I had this purebred Siberian. All breeds can have teeth and gum issues, but she had stomatitis and FORLS. And it's quite painful, you know. Add to that she didn't have her front teeth. Well.. her bottom teeth never erupted, and who knows where her upper teeth went. Well, cats use their front teeth mainly for grooming and digging out things.. and when they have a painful mouth, or no teeth.. how do they groom? They don't just groom with their tongues and those naysayers, especially vets should know better!!!

    Now, say you have an older cat that doesn't feel well.. well, the last thing they usually want to do is give themselves a thorough bath. So, I would work on educating. Yes.. cats need baths.. bullet points, reasons why.

    Or you could say.." We lustrate the coat, leaving it clear of dirt and debris that the teeth and tongue often miss!"

    I'm kind of giggling at the word "lustrate".
    Debbie
    There's always room for another rose in the garden.

  5. #5
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    I love the word "lustrate"! Sounds silky

  6. #6
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    Sep 2011
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    Georgia
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    Refine, cleanse, clarify, suffuse, elutriate, ,and groom (and love lustrate!) are all acceptable imho.

  7. #7
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    I am thinking about using the suggested words in a postcard mailing I send to local veterinarians, shelters and pet stores. Thank you very much.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2009
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    NY
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    I have no hesitation telling anyone in animal work that "just as some people stay naturally cleaner than others, so are some kitties. But not all. And that
    of course, cats do not 'self-clean.' They only lick themselves. I ask if they understand *why* the Cornell Book of Cats says "Cats require medical care, personal relating, sound nutrition, hygienic surroundings, an occasional bath, grooming, and a clean toilet area." -- Page 11. If they are a professional in the cat care business and further insist, I'm old enough to not care telling them directly that "You are simply ignorant and need further study. Go do your catch-up homework. Get up to date. No need to keep embarrassing yourself." They may dislike me after that but I care more about the cats than being liked by dummies.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    198

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogma View Post
    I remember being one of those people. I had a groomer that bathed her cat, and I just couldn't understand it. Until I got my first purebred cat. At one point she had a little skin problem and needed bathes, and the world of a really clean cat opened up to me! I bathed her the rest of her life and all my other cats after her.
    There is just nothing like the feel of a clean cat!

    There seem to be two types of people...those that leave their cat for a week with food and a litter box....and those that pay the money to board them...and have them groomed.

    I think it's hard to change the minds of the former...and the later might just need a small push.
    While I don't normally suggest a discount of services, perhaps a discounted first groom would help. That's what it took for me. Just feeling the difference for the first time.

    I would still use the words "bath" and "groom" and then add the benefits of that.
    Don't get discouraged. You cat groomers ARE making a difference. One cat owner at a time!
    I remind cat owners, too, that getting their cat USED to being handled, wet down, toweled, dried if necessary, etc. will make life so, SO much easier if the cat should ever get into something that could cause them harm should they ingest it, as well as making life way easier for everyone involved if they ever come to the point that self-grooming is a thing of the past and they MUST have help.
    When I was a teenager we had a very sweet little cat that was absolutely terrified of water. She got older and self cleaning became a problem. I had little cat grooming experience at the time so I simply used a damp cloth and went all over her and got her used to the feel of being damp. By the time self grooming no longer happened I could bathe her with ease. It was so much kinder for her to help her get over this fear vs. dunking her in the tub and fighting/terrorizing her in her older age. It was also kinder and more pleasant than letting her build up with oil, dandruff, mats, poop, urine, etc. until a vet sedation was in order.
    If people put the effort into a new kitten that they do a new puppy, I feel there would be many happier cats on this planet.
    Now at the risk of sounding like a complete hypocrite, I don't bathe nor have I ever bathed my house cats. They're all short haired and used to being brushed, combed, flea combed, and dampened with a wet cloth, combed out, and toweled--dry bathed, if you will. My next kitten will discover what being a groomers cat is all about and will experience it all, as I'm hoping for a long haired kitty next go 'round

  10. #10
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    Apr 2011
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    Chicago
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    I see your angst Emma but I wouldn't change. It is part of your life I suppose with as a cat groomer to frequently "enlighten" people who are not aware. Perhaps there is some sort of video on this topic that could be in a YouTube format and you could post on your web page. Be proud that you are enlightening people, with a quiet sigh and some patience, you are doing good.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emma123 View Post
    There are some people who work with animals in a professional capacity -- vets, shelter managers, etc. -- who express anger about bathing cats. They believe all cats successfully self-clean, so anyone profiting off cat grooming is a scammer, like someone selling non-existent real estate. These professionals share their views with other people.
    I'm wondering if one solution for my house call cat grooming service is to avoid using the words "clean" or "groom" re: cats. Those are loaded words, it seems.
    Perhaps only use words that are very specific?
    Remove dandruff. Remove excess oil. Brush out shed fur stuck in coat.
    I'm trying to figure out how to avoid triggering anger or suspicion. I suspect the anger/suspicion has a big impact on the number of potential clients.
    Go figure, we clean lots of the residue left over by cat's "grooming" themselves.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2017
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    198

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    Quote Originally Posted by coldnose View Post
    Go figure, we clean lots of the residue left over by cat's "grooming" themselves.
    My cats are excellent self groomers. They choose to start a rather long, loud, and slurpy bath next to my head whenever I try to sleep LOL
    When I comb them, I find dandruff and dirt in their coats, usually from the base of the ears back to the withers (top of the head, neck, etc.)
    If a vet or shelter manager is too (sorry) stupid to realize that not all cats can completely self groom due to weight issues, heavy coats, and are so (sorry) stupid to realize that a lot of geriatric cats quit self-grooming all together, I wouldn't allow those people to go near my cats.
    My cats were holy terrors when I started a grooming regime. They hated it. Years later they love it, and two out of three of them clamber around to get in my lap first. One of them lays on her back and stretches her front legs up and over her head for me to get her chest and belly!!! What a relief to know that should something keep them from self grooming in their old age that it won't be a battle.
    JMO, but "cats don't need grooming ever" goes in line with Koehler-style dog training. It's not 1950...

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