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Ever groom a sedated cat?

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  • Ever groom a sedated cat?

    I have groomed cats for some time now and I have a client who has 4 persians and 1 himalayan. the persians are pretty good and don't give me much trouble. but the himalayan doesn't let anyone do anything to her, including her owners. i've tried to groom her twice, with help from her owners. she just is not a one person cat for sure. anyway, the owners talked to the vet and wanted to get them to sedate her and do her there. the vet said they could do that, but what they get is what they get, they aren't groomers. so they asked me if i would be okay with going to the vet's office and do her there. i'm mobile so i can take her out to my van i guess. i was wondering if anyone has been in this situation and what you did. should i groom her or should i pass and just tell them to to let the vet do it??

  • #2
    I have worked for vets offices in the past and yes have groomed many sedated pets for them.if this is something you will concder doing for your client here are a few tips for you number 1 be sure you charge her extra for your time and inconvinience.Heres why in the vets office you will be grooming on an operating table IME this isnt very comfortable ,but im also not a mobile groomer to know what height your table is set at for your comfort .vet tables are not normally adjustable for your the past it has been a huge pain in my back to do these pets.the plus side of this is that you do have someone right there with you to help if need be ,such as holding legs ect to keep the skin tight for has its ups and down just like any other grooming .yes in your case it may be very well worth this extra effort keep this mutlipal pet owner happy.if shes willing to pay for this and trust me having a cat sedated for this amount of time isnt a cheap appointment.i would go for it.prolly cus i already have lol


    • #3
      I don't trust "sedatives"..... If the cat is that fractious, it's best to have it truly anesthetised for grooming. Most of the injectible sedatives wear off rather quickly. If the cat is terribly matted, probably TOO quickly to finish the job. I'd take my equipment inside the animal hospital and insist the cat be intubated (or at least masked) and inhalant anesthetic, rather than injectible, be used.


      • #4
        Are they just giving him a relaxation pill or are they totally gassing the cat?

        I will never ever groom a cat on a mild sedative...IMO it makes the nutty ones nuttier.

        However, while working in a vet clinic, shaving cats while totally "under" was a breeze. I don't believe however that they will let you take the cat out to your truck as it'd be a liability to them. When we'd do sedated cats, there was always a vet tech there for observation of the cat. They weren't done in the normal grooming area.


        • #5
          This is a tough one...

          I have groomed many, many sedated cats, but I am also a tech, and I was monitoring their anesthesia and vitals while I groomed them in the clinic. If they are able to have a tech with you the WHOLE time and you do it IN THE CLINIC where there are emergency supplies and oxygen, then it comes down to your comfort level. If they use full anesthesia, you will want to move as fast as possible to keep kitty under for as short a time as you can. If they just have her heavily sedated, she will still need to be under technician supervision, and you will have to remember to keep her head out of water, etc. If you do go ahead with this, use a grate to bathe her on. It will keep her head out of water and make the job easier. You have to be careful to not let her bend in unnatural positions as you handle her, or you could hurt her back and neck.


          • #6
            I used to work in a clinic, doing as many as 5 sedated cats a day. You will have roughly 20 mins. to work on her, with the injectable sedation. If that's not enough time they can gas her then. But yes, she has to stay within sight and easy reach of the vet, so you would have to be in the clinic. You would have to ask the vet if this would be permissible, since you don't work there.
            I wouldn't suggest a bath, just a clip-down.

            I miss shaving those *sleeping* kitties, made life so much easier!


            • #7
              I agree with everyone else that if you decide to groom this cat, it should be inside the vet clinic so the cat can be monitored. I've worked on both: cats that have been given an injectable sedative and cats that have been completely anesthetized with a mask. The difficulty working with a cat that has a mask and/or is intubated is you have to be EXTREMELY careful when moving and manipulating the cats body. If the mask slips off the cat can wake up very quickly and usually violently. I would always have the nurse re-position the cat as they have all the experience dealing with this kind of thing. Time is of the essence and you want to work quickly. Full anesthesia is a lot more expensive than an injectable. And if the cat doesn't get enough sedative with an injectable they can be even more fractious and dangerous. But if the vet administers just the right amount (which is very difficult) you should have about 45 minutes to an hour before the cat wakes up. The vet can choose to give an additional injectable sedative if the first round wasn't enough, but that means more time to wait for the cat to go under. The doctors I work with suggest 15 minutes after the injection before starting the groom.

              Pre-anesthetic bloodwork should be done to make sure the cat is healthy enough to tolerate sedation, especially if it's 7 years old or older. The vet clinic would need to provide an estimate for the bloodwork and sedation while it would be your decision on what to charge for the groom. Would the client pay you separately or would they pay the vet, then the vet pays you? I place a smal handtowel under the cat's head to elevate it a little to make sure no water gets on or around the face, nose and mouth. Always lubricate the eyes when a cat is sedated. The nurse/vet tech should do this, but make sure it gets done. Keep in mind a sedated animal will have lowered blood pressure and be very sensitive to temperature.

              If you've never seen an animal wake up from anesthesia, it can be frightening. The animal may flail as it regains its bearings. It should be placed in a secure holding unit as quickly as possible with towels and possibly a warming blanket or heated rice bags. I'm fortunate to have an incubator to place the cats in after a sedated groom set at a lovely 76 degrees, nice and toasty. The cat should be monitored for several hours after it wakes to ensure there are no lingering negative effects. We require the animal be able to walk on its own without stumbling before we release it to the owner, this can take a couple of hours or more. This is not your responsibility, but rather the medical staff at the vet clinic. It's important to let the client know that the cat may be groggy once it gets home as it will be back in its normal environment, it's defenses will be down and it will likely sleep a lot that night. It should be observed closely at home, not left alone, to make sure it doesn't try to jump up on something and lose its balance, possibly causing injury. But should return to normal behavior by the next morning.

              Considering all these things, if you're comfortable with it, I say give it a go! New experiences are wonderful opportunities to learn something, to improve your skills and you'll be making your client very happy to know you're willing to go the extra mile to help her out. Please keep us posted on what you decide.

              Good luck!



              • #8
                The other option is to have one of the vet techs come out to your van and monitor the cat. If not, just go inside the vet's office. Charge more for the time it takes and dragging your equipment. Make it worth while.

                It's MUCH easier to groom a sedated cat, they just lay there and you can stretch 'em any way you want.

                I do them both awake and sedated. Often they're getting dentals or other surgical procedures when I groom them sedated. If it's done in the vets office, that would make them liable if the TDK or whatever sedative they use gives the cat a problem. I've groomed MANY o' kitties sedated and not one problem---but we always monitor them, and dry them quickly. Get warm water bottles around them, cover them with blankies and make sure the vet's techs continue to monitor the cat until it's temperature steadies for a while, etc.

                Tammy in Utah
                Groomers Helper Affiliate


                • #9
                  Thanks everyone for all your advice! I'm still not sure what I'm going to do yet. I think I will call the vet and talk to them before I make a final decision. Plus, I'm not sure I can fit it in any time real soon, so, it will depend on how soon they want it done. But you all were very helpful!!