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I HAD to share this with someone!!!!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
First, let me explain: I am a groomer. My job involves washing pets (mostly dogs, but a few cats have had to visit the tub). At a previous job, I was fairly badly bitten by an angry cat who REALLY did NOT want a bath. Ever since then, I've been very nervous about washing cats. Decided yesterday to try my luck with our DLH, Elmo. At 5 months old, he is a true sweetheart, but he smelled like peanut butter (don't ask, because I don't know why... lol ) and as a kitten, his reactions are lightening fast, and he's been known to pull off small chunks of fur from our 2 yr. old female's back when he gets excited... So I brought him to work with me, put the grooming noose around his neck (what a life saver that little loop of rope is!), gave him a quick once over with the comb to get rid of dead hair, trimmed his nails, and chucked him into the tub. He clearly had ideas of what he'd RATHER be doing during that time (pretty much anything that would get him out of the tub and away from the shower head!!) but he didn't raise holly hell. Come time for the drying, I pull out my high-velocity dryer, turn it on "low" and get most of the 'big' water out of his coat. Again, he tolerated, but didn't enjoy. Decide to use the hand-held dryer for the finish work, and would you believe it? A** end up in the air, flopping over on his side and lying on his back with all four feet in the air!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And PURRING too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I swear, if my jaw wasn't physically attached to my head, it would have been down by my ankles!!!!!!!!!!

And guess what? He doesn't smell like peanut butter anymore! And he's soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo soft!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(I'm easily amused)
post #2 of 16
I'm not a professional groomer, least not yet, I AM interested!

I have bathed all of my animals, and a lot of my fosters that come through, and YES this includes cats!
I've only bathed maybe 6 or so cats. But so far I've been lucky and not seriously been injured!
However I did learn to trim their claws before the bath! =O *doh*!
I'm glad your kitty was good for you, a lot of people think a cat bath can't be done, but now we know better in some cases.

I have only tried a blow drier on a few cats Isha when she was a lot younger, and she did NOT like it, at all! And 5 kittens (from different litters) they didn't mind, one of the litters was so sickly it was all they could do to stand up, they layed down and the warmth of the blow dryer probably felt like heaven.
I normally just give them a really good towel dry with some warm towels, and then let them air dry in my warm house, then brush them.

Question, I've asked this before but I don't think I've ever gotten a reply. Can I use a normal hair dryer for a human on animals, if I put it on the low setting and keep it a fair distance away from their fur/skin?

I used to have some photos of a cat named Zene that I would love to show you, but I don't think they exist any longer. It was basically her sitting in a nice bath... just sitting there... not restrained, not trying to get away. I wish all cats were like that!

I'm sure you'll be able to apprechiate these pictures however!

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
lol great pictures! Elmo looked almost insulted to be wet, but wrapped in a towel and being told at nauseum what a good boy he was probably helped

about the dryer... I use a 1200 dryer (Andis), and if I do use a human hair dryer, I keep it on low speed/heat, a good distance away from the animal and never concentrate the air on one spot for more than a few seconds. It is much easier to burn a cat's sensitive skin with a human hair dryer than one specifically designed for use on animals.

It sounds like you have a lot more courage when it comes to bathing cats than I ever will! (I think if I tried to wash our 2 yr. old female, she'd leave with most of my nose and go and wedge heself in the darkest, furthest (dirtyest) corner she could find)... Give me a Rottweiler to wash over a cat any day!
post #4 of 16
I think it's just that I've learned to read the warning signals of cats really well. So I can stop doing something or prevent a situation before they get fed up and act out! And I've learned pretty well how to stop your tamed/domestic cat from jumping (aka out of tubs!) with out having to scruff them. I've even bathed cats with out any restrants at all, other then my own hand, and never had any escapies. Just something about where I place my hands kinda takes the lift out of their jump and they don't wind up going anywhere but leaning on my hands more, hee hee.

Then again, I never bath cats I don't trust to cooperate. I'm not a complete idiot. (No offense, I mean I know grooming is your job and everything, but even groomers have their limits.)

Yeah I just keep the dryer about 2 or 3 feet away from the animal, on low and just sweep it back and forth on their body, sometimes use my fingers to puff up the fur as I go over an area.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
no offence taken... I know what you mean! I'm very fortunate where I work now in that we ask the owners of the cats to stay and help. If someone is going to suffer the consequences of an angry cat, I'd rather it be the owner! which is not to say I don't take my time and do my best to keep the cat calm and comfortable. If that means muzzling him or wrapping him in a towel, then that's what I'll do. Pets come first. ALWAYS.

We do the same with the large dogs (anything bigger than a border collie pretty much), but that's mostly because I'm a small person and don't have the muscle strength to lift a dog that weighs almost as much as I do! Unless I can lift the dog myself, and have the owner 'certify' that the dog is well behaved and won't freak out...
post #6 of 16
Yeah. I think the biggest dog I have ever bathed was about 52 pounds. And that's plunty! He was also well mannered, I wasn't fully sure how he would act, but he was a perfect angel! He looked pretty degraded by the whole process but he put up with it, and then continued to run around my house, jumping on the bed, jumping off walls, doing the shiba 500 while he was still pretty good and soaked!! Haha, oh well it was cute!

That's a good policy to have the owners come in with the animal!
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
the biggest dog I've ever groomed was a Great Dane mix... what a sweetheart! His owners put him in the tub for me then left.

Where I work now, I've been very lucky with the cats I groom. Most of them are well manered. Those that are REALLY inconvenient to groom, we clip them under anaesthetic. I've noticed that for dogs, the bigger they are, the bigger the baby they are! I tend to trust Goldens, Labs and German Shepherds more than I trust Lhassa Apsos. Besides, smaller dogs tend to be fussed over more than the big dogs. The bigger dogs are "expected" to be better behaved than the little yappy dogs. I always enjoy observing the owners' reactions when they come by to pick up their dogs... most of them follow this line: "ooooooooooooh you're so CUTE!!!!! And with your little bows (or bandana for short-haired dogs) too!!! And you smell so goood! Awwwww!!" all this while the dog is leaping at their ankles and wagging his entire behind. I LOVE my job!!!
post #8 of 16
LOL. I'm glad you see a good side to it too!
I've never brought my animals to a professional groomer yet. None of them have really needed it. And I LOVE brushing and bathing my animals, so it would never get to the point where I would need to have someone brought in to shave all of kitties or puppies fur off.

Like those owners who bring their Long haired cats in truley matted and SWEAR they only stopped brushing their cat for a week (yeah right lady!).
I had one stray brought in once, took care of her the best I could, but there was a couple matts very close to her skin that appeared to have been there for ages, I don't have my own clippers so I got those taken care of at the vets.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I can sort of understand it when an owner brings in an extremely matted cat because (for example) they have been ill for a long time and can't/ haven't had the strength/energy to groom the cat. But it bugs me to groom a cat who'se owners "don't know how" or who'se cat "won't let them"... It's not that hard to learn, and the cat will most likely learn to tolerate it if they take the time to desensitize/train him! And I feel especially guilty lion clipping cats that are impecably brushed, simply because the owner doesn't like the hair lying around the house (then why on EARTH did they get a long haired cat?!? Seems perfectly logical to me!!)... I think all this stuff... I never have the courage to say anything, unless they specifically ask me for advice on a problem... I tend to keep my mouth shut!
post #10 of 16
Hey thh - can I ask you some tips on how to get Peedoodle to tolerate being groomed by me? I have a long haired russian blue coloured cat who sheds like crazy so I have to brush him every day, but he HATES it with a passion, I have tried tricking him with treats so I can brush him without him biting me but he gobbles those up fast and then runs off, and I need to keep him around me longer so I can groom him longer. Any tips? I have no problem with Kahu - he loves it.

Thanks in advance!
post #11 of 16
LOL. Most the cats I see with the lion cut, or the boot cut, I just feel so bad for them. They look like they have really been stripped of all their dignity and I just say to them "I'm sorry hunny." lol
I too can understand some situations.
But some of the cats I've seen, and you as well I'm sure, no one can tell me a cat got like THAT with in just one week of no grooming. The type that look like they've been spending most of their lives outdoors without ever being groomed.

I know this family who owns 3 cats, 2 of them long haired and these poor things have so many problems. They were forced to live as outdoors only once one of the kids (who no longer lives at home) developed allergies. Their fur is just THE WORST, it's the sickest I have ever seen it. I'm afraid to touch them because they look like they are in so much pain. It's not a bunch of little matts everywhere, their whole body is one HUGE matt! I can only imagen what medical problems they have. They always look like their struggling to poo, and never get their shots. Anyways, sorry I'm getting a bit OT =p
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
You have to think of your cat as a 2 yr. old child. He's got a very short attention span, and wiggling is his solution to something that takes too long! To get a cat to tolerate/enjoy being brushed, you have to start slow and go gradually. Fill your pockets with treats, grab the brush, and pick a time when the cat is calm. Go to him, don't bring him to you. Start by brushing his head (or wherever he's most comfortable), and stuff him with treats and praise as you gently brush. You have to anticipate. If you see he's going to start to fight back, stop BEFORE he starts. If he starts fighting and you stop, you've just taught him that arguing with you will get him what he wants. The first session (depending on your cat's tolerance) should be no more than a few minutes. Every day, repeat the process, and gradually increase the amount of time you spend brushing, and your cat will, with time, learn to at least tolerate the process. Keep in mind that most cats find the legs and tail least comfortable being brushed. Take extra time with those. If the cat tenses at the sight of the brush, try putting it next to his food while he's eating, and starting (even before you start brushing with the 'teeth' of the brush) by desensitizing him to the brush by rubbing the flat end against his body. Once he figures out that the brush is not a cat eating monster, start brushing as described above.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes!
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
our neighbours have 2 cats (that I'm aware of), one female who had a litter, which lived outside (we wanted one of the kittens... a longhaired tortie that was the runt, she'd come teetering up to you and curl up between your feet, look up at you as though to say "take me home", but by the time they were old enough to leave the mother, they were nowhere to be found... heartbreak #1) and another cat, a longhaired grey and white. This cat is matted, scrawny and has a lower jaw that doesn't close completely. He looks so sad... I want to do something for him... report his owners as neglectful (we NEVER see the cat being let into the house, and no one seems to feed him or take care of him... I've seen him huddled by the front door, in sub-zero weather, rain and howling wind...our other neighbour feeds him when he comes by) but my mother tells me we have no proof, and he's not physically injured or in fear for his life. He's quite friendly. When he sees me, he'll come right over, squeak at me and wrap himself around my ankles. I've given him a few handouts (which my mother discourages, since we already have 2 indoor cats, and she doesn't want this cat to "adopt" us) and petted him, but I don't know what else I can do for him. heartbreak #2. Which ticks me off, since I was a volunteer at a local shelter for over a year. I feel it's almost my duty to help him... This "family" he "belongs" to doesn't look like ideal family #1. During the summer, the mother is nearly always screaming at someone, they're coming and going at all hours of the day and night, and the sweetheart of a dog they had permanently tied to the back porch seemed to be only there for the frequent "Oreo!! SHUT UP!" The dog is no longer there... which is too bad, because on a few occasions, he got loose and came to say hello to our dog. A big dog (pointer/dane mix?) who had so much potential, I wanted to adopt him. heartbreak #3. (Can you see it? 2 big dogs and 2 cats in a small rural house?!? lol what a zoo!)

The neighbour who feeds this cat has 2 cats herself. Both well-fed and friendly. The larger of the 2, a very friendly (overweight) cinnamon-brown tabby came to see us one day a few years back. My mother was petting him and noticed that he had mats. Enter groomer #1. I go into the house, grab my comb and give the cat a once over, getting the mats out while the cat is rolling around on the ground, his outboard motor going full tilt. Heaven. Then he heads home, surely to say "look mom. Tell me how handsome I am!" I live for moment like those!
post #14 of 16
Actually, the condition of the animals coat and jaw, might be enough to have animal control come out and take a look at this animal. Or the police.
IF these "owners" admit to being the cats owner. Then they will also have to give GOOD explination as to why the cats coat looks the way it does, and why the cat has the jaw problem. They have to have vet records stating that this animal has recently been seen about the jaw issue and that everything is a ok. If they do not have such vet records, the police will probably ask the "owners" to take the cat to the vet by a certain date. If they do not complete this demand, the cat can be taken away from them, so that it could get the medical help (and coat care) it needs. And ultimately, as we all hope, for him to be rehomed.
Coats that are VERY bad for an extended period of time are a sign of neglect and owners can be charged as such.
But I think the jaw problem might be one to win animal control over and convince them to take the cat away, if the owner hasn't tried to help the cat.
Specially if you are a groomer they will listen to you about your concern for the animals matted coat.
Also you can tell them when you have seen him sitting outside his "owners" door during storms, but the owners do not let him in.

I don't think you have anything to loose, and if you stress all those points the police and/or animal control might take action. At least I know if I had seen an animal in that condition frequently, and knew who the owners were I would report it.
post #15 of 16
when you were talking about the jaw problem on that cat(which is so sad) it reminded me of a friend of mine who has a cat with on odd jaw. We call it the reverse sabor tooth tiger (his real name is Elmo) because he was a persan mix and the top jaw was like the persan(flater) and the bottom jaw was like the other type of cat(with the normal sorta rounded jaw), so his bottom teeth stick out so that you can see them. At first its creepy, then after awhile it starts to look cute and special. (btw they checked w/ the vet and its not a horrible jaw problem, just incase there was doubts or misbelieve)
post #16 of 16
Originally posted by thh20
the biggest dog I've ever groomed was a Great Dane mix... what a sweetheart! His owners put him in the tub for me then left.
LOL I have a Great Dane...I consider them wipe n wear dogs! I do not bathe mine anymore, he's just gotten too big. But mud and stink just fall right off him! It's bizarre!

I do bathe my cats though. They don't really like it, but they don't really care. It's mostly resignation.
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