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  • Where should I start

    I got this call the other day, this lady on the other end asks, Do you remember grooming a cat named sissy? lol, I told her you'll have to give me a little more info..says her name, and mentioned that I was the only one thats ever been able to handle her cat. I look it up. This cat was last groomed by me 8-06. I remember the cat now, its a 22 yr old hyperthyroid rag doll. It's whole belly was very matted, to the skin, with the paper thin skin and it only weighing 7 lbs, all bones I had a tough time with her. She wanted a complete shave down and I did it w/o cutting the cat. Amazing. What my question is is since its 22 and cats hate their belly done, should i start on that first? Poor kitty I know will be matted again to the skin. Also, it scares me to groom a cat this old. Shes a sweet heart, but grooming is so stressful, and at this age should I recommend a vet grooming? or would the car ride be worse on the cat. I have her scheduled for febuary.

  • #2
    Kim- you are a brave soul! I groom alot of cats, its been a long time since I've 'nicked' one, (knock on wood)
    If you do not feel comfortable, let her take the cat to a groomer who is at a vet. that way if the cat needs medical attention, it can get it asap. The oldest cat I've ever groomed was 19. It was in bad shape and I sweated the whole time I was so nervous. I dont ever want to do that agian.
    Good luck, let us know what you decide.

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    • #3
      I would be willing to give her a try, with the understanding that if there is ANY problem she will not be finished. I might also try to get the owner to stay. This would probably be a good candidate for the waterless shampoo. Luck to you, we all hate making these kind of decisions.
      SheilaB from SC

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      • #4
        kim
        i hate being in this situation,i love to groom kitties,but my cut off age for a cat is 14,but i can understand you wanting to help this cat out,plus youre the only one that can handle the cat,i would probably tell the owner i will only shave the matts,shes going to look funny,but feel alot more comfortable,i dont think i would attempt to bathe her,good luck
        trish

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        • #5
          I guess I'm not so compassionate after all....

          Yes, if the belly is matted and it's her most sensitive area, start there first before her stress level rises. Then, if you need to stop you can schedule a follow-up groom within a week or two and not worry about that area next time. Congratulations on shaving her without incident last time. That is a feat in itself!

          If it were me and I decided to groom this cat again, it would be with some very clear guidelines and agreements. Last groom was August 2006?!?! For a 22 year old hyperthyroid ragdoll!!!??? That weights, what, maybe 4 pounds?? {{rolling my eyes, trying to control my breathing cuz I want to strangle these kind of cat "owners"}} Maybe this is why I don't get very many repeat clients like this one. I'm very, uhm, well, stern I guess is the best word.

          Seriously, before proceeding I would need to know when it was last checked by a veterinarian. What were the findings? I might even request a copy of the medical records. Obviously the cat is matted again. Is this owner expecting another shavedown? Is she willing to stick to a maintenance schedule that works for THE CAT to keep it in good shape? There will be an additional charge on top of the groom fee and the dematting fee considering the advance in age and heath concerns since it's last groom 5 MONTHS AGO! If the cat is such a sweetheart, is the owner wiling to do more at-home care in between grooms? If the answer is no to any of these, I would pass. I love all cats. All of them, even the toughest nastiest scratch your eyes out cats. But I am not in this profession to cause extreme stress to a cat or myself.

          A warm bath might actually feel good for Sissy. I've found when working with frail, old cats that I like to use a large plastic bucket/container/tub filled to chest level with water and let the cat stand in it while I apply the shampoo. Then move it to another bucket to rinse. It seems to help them balance. Just be sure to rinse well. The most important thing is to watch her signs of stress and stop if you don't feel comfortable.

          Good luck. Let us know what happens.

          Stacey

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          • #6
            I'm going to try...Wish me luck. Thanks for the replies. It's a tough situation. Cat was 7 lbs., in August.
            No, owners don't keep her from matting, and she (Sissy) can't remove any undercoat, and yes she wants a shavedown. Poor kitty, she's such a sweetheart. Not her fault her owners are stupid.
            I'll call the client and or vet, and request a vet statement.
            The buckets of water sound like a good idea, I'll definately try that, and start on her belly.
            If this were a siamese or persian, I wouldn't try it, but shes truely got the rag doll attitude. Lover!

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            • #7
              I groom a lot of cats as it does not seem to be big with the other mobilers in my area, but 22 yrs old and matted to the skin?!?!?! You are a brave soul, best wishes and I hope hope hope it all goes well.
              Making Central Florida Pawsitively Purrfect since 2005.

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              • #8
                We groom a lot of cats in Mobile and in our Salon. With any elderly pet, I suggest getting a prior underdstanding and also a Do or Do Not resesitate.

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                • #9
                  I'm with Seleste on this one. I groomed a Maine Coon several times and it wasn't in for a long time, but the brother was. Then the guy called up to make an appointment for both of them. He said the other one was seriously sick for a while, had lost a bunch of weight, spent weeks in the vet and a bunch of other things. He told me that he was still grossly underweight but was all better and had gained back 5 pounds and was still gaining weight. Well this cat before he got sick was over 20 pounds. Not fat, because Maine Coons are large cats.

                  He brought the cats in and the poor thing was skin and bone, his skin was paper thin and was all matted, except the spots the vet shaved to put in iv's. So I explained to him the risks and he had a letter from his vet stating that the cat was able to be groomed. I called the vet and he verified it. The owner understood all the risks and I had him sign a waver. I was going slow and used a 10 blade. I normally used a 7 but wanted to cut down on the risk of cutting the cat. I had another groomer helping me, but with all the precautions I took, I sliced the flank on this cat a good 2 inches. The skin got caught in the blade, I instantly stopped but the skin just ripped. I was trying to be as careful as I could to get the skin out of the blade, but in doing that that skin ripped even more. I called the vet and told him I was brining the cat in, he said not to bother, but to just super glue it for now. So I did that, called the owner, who was very understanding. He took the cat to the vet, it was fine, no infections. He came back again and the cat was like normal for the next groom. I was so thankful I didn't have to do it in that condition again. I'm never doing a cat that frail again.
                  Becky

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                  • #10
                    So, how did it go?? Hope all is well...
                    Making Central Florida Pawsitively Purrfect since 2005.

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                    • #11
                      She's not scheduled until Feb. I'll have my son there to assist and will call the vet. As I said earlier thank you for all the suggestions, and warnings.
                      I've set aside 2.5 hours for the groom, what usually takes 45 minutes to do.
                      (The post about the flank, the first groom I ever did was an emergency groom at a Humane Society, I had never even held a clipper before. It was a matted Commadore. I sliced the dogs flank a good inch, deep it had to have 10 stiches.) I'll never forget that. I'll let you all know how it goes. Hopefully she'll cancel..lol

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                      • #12
                        Sis

                        I did it! I got there and was expecting the worse, which I should never do. Sissy and her owners were able to keep her coat in excellant condition, I did a sani, not a matt there!! The hair was completely grown out. Sweet little rag doll. The only thing was under her arm pitts, one small (I wouldnt even call it a matt). She was totally ok with being groomed this time, not tense at all. Didn't even give me the siamese I hate u look.

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