Jan Littlemore – based in Cobham and covering Esher as well as the surroundings areas, answers common questions about cat grooming.
Q Why does my cat need to be groomed professionally? Don’t they groom themselves?
A Many cats can certainly manage to groom their own coats without assistance but those who have arthritis and suffer from stiffness and can’t reach their backs or back legs or are elderly and unwell need help to keep their coat in good condition to prevent mats forming in the areas the cat is unable to reach.
Q What are the main reasons for helping a cat with its grooming?
A Helping a cat with its grooming keeps the coat free of loose hair which helps prevent hair being swallowed and hair balls subsequently forming in the cat’s stomach and mats forming in the coat. It also helps with the animal’s overall health and well being. Think of all that hair that won’t be left on your carpets and clothing if your cat is regularly groomed, not to mention less incidents of hairballs being sicked up on your carpets!
Grooming also keeps the coat waterproofed which helps regulate the cat’s temperature. It also helps with the animal’s overall health and wellbeing. There’s also all that moulted hair that will be left on your nice carpets if you don’t groom your cat!
Q Can’t I groom my cat myself?
A Cats who are difficult for their owners to groom and/or have very dense long coats will need the help of a professional groomer several times a year. I encourage owners to regularly groom their cat and can recommend the best grooming tools and demonstrate grooming techniques to use between regular professional maintenance grooms.
I can also help owners gain confidence in working with their cat on their own to check for knots and deal with them to prevent serious mats developing.
If mats do develop and become tight to the skin they will need to be removed professionally. I never advise owners to cut out the mats with scissors as the skin which can be pulled up inside tight mats could be accidentally cut along with the matted fur. This could lead lead to a costly visit to the vets and a very unhappy cat.
Q Does a professional cat groomer do anything the owner can’t do?
A A professional groom will remove all loose hair from the coat and leave it mat and tangle free. Any mats will be combed through or shaved out. The eyes and ears are also cleaned in a safe and hygienic way and claws needing attention are cut along with a hygiene trim, and a belly and mane trim where necessary.
I also incorporate massage and aromatherapy into my sessions to help calm nervous cats and put them at ease.
Q Do cats enjoy being groomed?
A As a cat owner you’ll know how stressful it can be to groom your cat yourself if your cat does its best to avoid being combed and brushed.
Some cats are more sensitive than others to bring brushed and combed and owners can get upset if their cat won’t allow them to touch their hind quarters and tummy, for example, causing those areas to become matted. That is where a professional groomer can help with a gentle but firm approach to tackle those difficult areas. A cat needs continuity and familiarity with the same groomer to build up trust over several sessions and they may then begin to enjoy the grooming process.
A calm stress free grooming environment can also help. Cats are more at ease being groomed in their own homes with familiar smells and surroundings.
I am a specialist cat groomer trained to Master Cat Groomer level by Svetlana Broussova. I work only with cats both large and small in their own homes, and cover Esher and surrounding areas as well as Surrey and South West London.
Why not get in touch to see how I can help.