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Handling fiesty cats through behavior modification

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  • Handling fiesty cats through behavior modification

    To the other cat groomers out there; was wondering if anyone else takes what I consider a holistic approach to cat grooming. I don't restrain & am trying not to muzzle. Instead, I spend time building trust with the cat & getting it to cooperate because it wants to. (Some of you are probably thinking I'm off my rocker!)

    Most cats are great but now & then I get one carrying a lot of psychological baggage. Today I had an 18 yr. old feisty bitch who just wouldn't settle. I finally got her to stay on the grooming table without making a break for it, then another forever to pet her head, then slip in with the clippers to work on the bad mats & pelting. It took 4 hours to finish with no restraints, sedatives, cuts, heart attacks, or strokes. Kitty wasn't my BFF but didn't tear off either when given the all clear. The owner sat & watched me the entire time while I worked & worked with her cat to let me touch it. She also told me the cat had recently gone crazy at the vet, bent the needle, & left him scarred.

    Most would say this is a most unprofitable way to groom but the owner was very happy & the ancient cat felt much better & wasn't traumatized that I could tell. Just wondered if anyone besides Anitra Frazier grooms by working with the cat or if I'm just certified wacko/crazy cat lady. I just really wondered after today as I could have had that cat done in an hour or less. But, I might also have had an unfinished or at worst, a dead cat.

  • #2
    I say if you have the time and patience to do it that way you should do what feels right for you and the animal. I however dont see using a muzzle as bad if it keeps everyone safe and gets the job done.

    I of course would charge above and beyond the usual groom fee (maybe double) to do this and the owner should be happy to oblige considering the time spent.

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    • #3
      I use similar techniques with dogs and cats.. I dont use muzzles on either and I havent had to sedate an animal as far back as I can remember.. some take me longer than usual but nothing out of the ordinary.. I do tell clients with pets like these that more frequent grooming is necessary to continue to proceed with these types of techniques.. The pet and I need to have a good relationship.. and its mostly built on trust.. Of course I also let the animals know their escape techniques dont work with me.. Cats are a bit trickier, but I have been quite successful with them.. Much of it is learned skills over the past 15 years, but I truly give credit to have been blessed with such talent from Heavenly Father. It gives me a niche int he grooming industry that generates a very loyal clientele.

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      • #4
        Yes me too. I work with the cat. get to know them, do whatever makes them comfy, you cant escape because i am cuddling you. yes i have the special touch too... most the time not the nutty ones though. Bu i have patience and give it time. Ye si am a nutte too as i am the only one that i know of in my state who is crazy enough to groom cats without sedation.

        www.happysgrooming.com for cat photos

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        • #5
          I have been working with cats, according to their temperaments, age, health, condition, and coat type to groom them without sedatives and restraints for a very long time. It does not need to take 4 hours - for any cat. In fact, stretching the whole process out that long could actually be the cause of stress and any resulting heart failure, etc.

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          • #6
            I have been working with cats, according to their temperaments, age, health, condition, and coat type to groom them without sedatives and restraints for many, many years. It does not need to take 4 hours - for any cat. In fact, stretching the whole process out that long could actually be the cause of stress and any resulting heart failure, etc.

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            • #7
              Catgroomer, what behavior modification do you do, if any?
              "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
              People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

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              • #8
                I wouldn't call it behavior modification really - more like working in accordance with their temperament in a way that brings out the best in them and allows me to get the job done as efficiently and safely as possible with the least amount of stress as possible. Cats are easily distracted, so knowing this and how they respond to various things makes a big difference.

                It's hard to "show" this type of thing via written word. I need a real cat in a real life grooming situation and then I can show you.

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