The cats that are nasty to one another after they come home have most likely been bathed. Bathing removes the familiar smell, so they have to re-establish themselves with each other and aggression is part of that.
If the cats do not need to be bathed then we always recommend that it not be done.
Large chain stores are great places to buy supplies but the "groomers" they employ are not very well trained. In my area they are almost a joke. Really good groomers much prefer to work at a dedicated grooming shop because the clientel is much better in terms of how well maintained they keep their pets.
I have had these "groomers" interview for positions as a bather in my shop and not pass scrutiny on how well they handle animals. Not to mention actually cutting hair. Sorry large chain stores (and any workers I might offend) but grooming is a serious profession, not something one dabbles in.
Here is a brief exerpt from an article I wrote on choosing a groomer. It uses the word "dog" a lot, but just substitute "cat" for a moment:
A great first step in choosing a groomer is to ask your vet for a
recommendation. Vets know area groomers and have an opportunity to see and hear many things about grooming shops. It is a good place to start.
Even better, if you see a nice looking dog on the street, ask the owner who
the groomer is. *No one* will mind talking about how gorgeous their pet is,
and owner referrals are the best indication of a groomers competence that
They know how they like the place,
how their dog likes the place, and how their dog looks when he comes home.
These folks are invaluable.
Groomers are not currently required to have any sort of formal licensing,
so anyone with a pair of clippers can call themselves a groomer. Sounds like
a recipe for disaster? It is.
You will see words in ads like "hand finishing" or "no tranquilizers".
Well, all groomers hand finish and no ethical groomers tranquilize dogs, so
this is no help.
"Member NDGAA" means that they paid their dues this year to belong to
National Dog Groomers Association of America. This is a sign of interest in
staying professionally connected but hardly speaks to their competence.
"Certified", "Certified Master Groomer", "CMG", or "NCMG" is better.
This means that a groomer has voluntarily submitted to actual testing using
live dogs. Once they pass they are "Certified", and once they pass *all*
breeds they are "Certified Master Groomers".
This at least shows you that they are serious about their profession and
make every effort to stay current and competent in all areas of style,
health, and equipment. If you have a
rare breed, a certified groomer will know how to trim it.
*But* this testing is costly and not offered in every city, so a groomer
can be fabulously talented yet not certified.
Generally, grooming shops are a better bet than grooming as a "side
service", like groomers in pet shops or vet clinics. This is of course
variable, but specialty grooming shops pay better and serve a better
clientele (defined as keeping their dogs well maintained) so attract better
How long has the person been grooming?
You simply cannot become a good groomer in a short time. An eye for balance
and style is inborn, but nothing beats practice, practice, practice. All
dogs and all coats are different, and the more experience a person has the
more likely they are to make the proper choice in how to deal with any
specific situation or coat. I would judge about 10 years to be a good
requirement for "experience". Grooming schools are good at teaching basics,
but a recent
graduate just doesn't have the skills to produce top notch work.
Call for a visit.
Someone will be available to answer any questions but obviously cannot
spend an hour talking. Look the place over, but be brief. You are just there
to get a feel for the place and the people.
You should expect a clean shop, but there will be dog hair around. There
should be no bad odors, nor should there be dogs unattended on tables with
no one around. Dogs will be in cages... they are safe, happy, and it
keeps them out of trouble...don't
stress over this one. There might be lots of barking, might not be...
depends on the day.
Watching the actual grooming area from the reception zone may or may not be
possible depending only on the layout of the shop. Most shops will have no
problem allowing you a few moments to watch someone else's dog being
groomed, but don't want you to watch your own dog. They are not hiding
are only trying to groom your dog safely, without him wiggling in
anticipation of getting back to you! A dog that normally stands quietly for
grooming will often turn into an impossible task when "Mom" comes into view.
Scissors and clippers are sharp, and can cut skin... the last thing we need
is for a
dog to whip his head around looking at Mom while we try to scissor around
the eyes. It simply is not safe."
So in a nutshell- call around and find an experienced groomer who works on cats. Visit, get a feel for the place, ask for referrals from cat owners- in other words investigate. Don't just assume that because they charge money for grooming they are any good.
And a Certified Master Groomer who does cats is your best bet.