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  1. #1
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    Oct 2011
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    Confused Cat Anxiety while grooming older or obese or diabetic cats who fight against grooming

    Most of the time, I am calm and upbeat while grooming cats. Hissing cats do not bother me, other than as an indication that I should try another way of holding or grooming the cat.
    I do not know how to handle my anxiety while grooming old, obese or diabetic cats who fight against grooming.
    I do not show my anxiety to the owner, at least not as far as I know. I do house calls, so they can see and hear me grooming.
    As the grooming progresses, I feel increasing pressure to finish up the grooming.
    I worry that the cat may have an underlying heart condition, or may be exhausted by the grooming. I worry that I may be causing pain to arthritic cats.
    I do ask about medical conditions before grooming.
    I am not concerned about liability, because owners can see and hear how I treat their cat.
    I am concerned about causing physical or emotional distress to the cat.
    Yesterday, I left the paws damp, because I'd been grooming a matted diabetic cat for over an hour. I think that was a reasonable decision. I just don't like feeling so worried. The worry leads to me feeling exhausted after the grooming session.
    Suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Sep 2010
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    Emma, you need to let go of the anxiety
    You are a very in touch with the cats groomer, don't second guess yourself.
    ATM, I have boarders to tend and it is storming like 3 kinds of HELL! I can't stress over it, they won't go out in this rain.....will just have to clean up any messes they make (not their fault) and I am just soothing them at this time. Animals understand more than most ppl realize.
    Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2011
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    Thank you Cyn. I do need to let go of the anxiety.
    I can relate to your boarding situation with the rain. I used to work in a busy kennel. The kennel was attached to an outdoor play yard. When it rained, we had to keep them inside.

  4. #4
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    Welcome! You are good at what you do and know when to call it a day if cat is too stressy!!
    I did finally get boarders , all were good and held it.......they got extra treats and loving for being so good.
    Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    170

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    Cyn has made some very good points Emma. You are good at what you do, and you are in tune with the cats.
    Any chance you can change the conversation? You don't have anxiety, you are professionally extra alert for signs of distress while groomer older, obese, or diabetic cats. I know it's easy to say take a deep breath, remain calm, and trust yourself. Harder to do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    125

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    -Are the owner(s) nearby watching in same room? Nix that. Should be only you and kitty, in my experience if kitty is grumpy or distressed.
    -Old or tubby cats often may have arthritic or otherwise sore joints that hurt. Have to slow down with gentle movements, and lots of reassurance, treats, and sweet talk blarney. Do the best you can with these cats. Slow and easy and extra gentle. Ignoring their complaining as long as you don't get bitten.
    -Housecall clients may complain if you are charging by the minute as I do, when you spend five minutes or even ten, with the cat in a room, small room such as bathroom is good..you just there with them setting up or doing mostly nothing, with easy music on such as Liquid Mind Sleep on, and you relaxed, slow breathing yourself. Kitties are much slower than us to wind down and get accustomed to new situations that may cause anxiety. But even young semi-feral scared kittens will soften up when I climb into a double cage with them, scrunch up, and take a fifteen minute nap. The boldest one eventually climbs on me, and cats, being observational learners, some of the others follow after a while. And then can be touched and petted. No longer than fifteen minutes total. What I'm getting at is time...doing nothing time. Kitties watch and wait. This may not apply to what you're describing.

    You know all this already, I think.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    150

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn View Post
    Emma, you need to let go of the anxiety
    You are a very in touch with the cats groomer, don't second guess yourself.
    ATM, I have boarders to tend and it is storming like 3 kinds of HELL! I can't stress over it, they won't go out in this rain.....will just have to clean up any messes they make (not their fault) and I am just soothing them at this time. Animals understand more than most ppl realize.
    Emma, I found myself smiling at your kindness in your original post and nodding in agreement with Cyn's response. You're obviously a caring groomer and from your tone alone I would be ecstatic (as a pet owner) to have someone like you as the groomer for my pets. The anxiety is difficult to let go of, I know, as I feel the same way when handling an old cat or a cat with a known health problem. Most owners understand sometimes cats put their foot (paw?) down at some point during the groom and when they've had enough, that's it. I've left paws and ears damp myself. If you're in home, it shouldn't be an issue, but working at a salon I call the owners up, tell them that their cat is done but their ears and paws are still damp. If the cat is semi-relaxed when hanging out vs. being on the table, we let the cat stay until it's dry if it's cold out, and if it's warm the owner usually comes right by.
    Cyn, as a boarding kennel owner storms are awful and they always seem to pop up whenever the time for the last pee break arrives! We kept a really sweet Cocker that was terrified of storms and would actively seek out his crate. When I asked the owner why, she said lightning hit their house and blew their chimney and fireplace to bits and the dog was home alone. That would freak ANYONE out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    150

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    Quote Originally Posted by nothingbutcats View Post
    -Are the owner(s) nearby watching in same room? Nix that. Should be only you and kitty, in my experience if kitty is grumpy or distressed.
    -Old or tubby cats often may have arthritic or otherwise sore joints that hurt. Have to slow down with gentle movements, and lots of reassurance, treats, and sweet talk blarney. Do the best you can with these cats. Slow and easy and extra gentle. Ignoring their complaining as long as you don't get bitten.
    -Housecall clients may complain if you are charging by the minute as I do, when you spend five minutes or even ten, with the cat in a room, small room such as bathroom is good..you just there with them setting up or doing mostly nothing, with easy music on such as Liquid Mind Sleep on, and you relaxed, slow breathing yourself. Kitties are much slower than us to wind down and get accustomed to new situations that may cause anxiety. But even young semi-feral scared kittens will soften up when I climb into a double cage with them, scrunch up, and take a fifteen minute nap. The boldest one eventually climbs on me, and cats, being observational learners, some of the others follow after a while. And then can be touched and petted. No longer than fifteen minutes total. What I'm getting at is time...doing nothing time. Kitties watch and wait. This may not apply to what you're describing.

    You know all this already, I think.
    The only time I actively ask owners to stay (or, come by the salon and hang with me) is if I have a pet that's very old, very ill, or has health issues that could be made worse through any kind of stress. Stress can be good, bad, or in between (I had an IBD dog that would flare up with any kind of GOOD stress--dog friends to play with, people that he loved stopping in for a visit, etc.) This way I know that if (God forbid) something should happen, the owner was right there.
    I love the mental image of you snoozing with baby ferals <3 This works with terrified dogs, puppies, and the like. I became the very good friend of an iffy-tempered dog by simply sitting in front of her run, ignoring her defensive outbursts, and ringing a friend on the phone to chat as though nothing was wrong (people talking on the phone is pretty normal to most dogs!) When her defense was down and she had calmed a bit, I turned around and sat with my side towards her, ignoring fear, and by the end of the afternoon she was laying her head in my lap and we were sharing a cheeseburger.
    I grew up in a family that did a lot with feral cats (lots of TNR, rehabbing, finding good homes, etc.) as well as housing and bottle raising orphaned baby cats. I know dogs, I read dogs well, I understand them but at the end of the day my heart is with the cats.
    I agree, kitties are so much slower to wind down...people used to dogs doing what they're told and being super duper domesticated don't understand a cat that won't automatically bow down to a stranger and wear that domestication like a light spring jacket that's easy to shed off in a moment.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Chicago
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    1,548

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    When I listened to NCGIA information I feel that cat groomers face particular stress in what they do. I think Danelle said something like she wants to finish the grooming day by 2 or 3 pm. I think cat groomers should work like a 6 hour day and get paid for 8 if you know what I mean by their prices, and relax.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2011
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    USA
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    Torrance, that was poetic. "wear that domestication like a light spring jacket that's easy to shed off in a moment."

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