Snowpaw- from terror to teddy bear.

Snow paw is a 15 year old domestic longhair mackeral tabby. He has had 3 homes prior to his current owners, and has been with them for about 3 or 4 years. He is declawed in front. Snowpaw has been a client since August 2015.

Snowpaw's first visit was a doozy. For all of us. He came with large pelts (heavy, thick, tight sheets of mats) on his back and rear. He does not allow his owners to comb him. To take off these mats and shave him into a lion cut, it took two people. Snowpaw became instantly aggressive and combative as soon as we began clipping off the mats. When we rolled him to his belly to take off the mats and hair, he would scream and hiss and try to slash us with his claws. When we worked around his front half, he tried to grab our hands and pull them into his mouth to bite. He had to wear a muzzle throughout, and he was very stressed. He was doable without having to be sedated by a vet, but he was close to that line. Snowpaw was so agitated he wasn't able to get a bath, we just cut his hair and sent him home. We were all stressed, and he was very difficult to complete and for us to stay safe. His owners listened when we asked them to bring him in in 8 weeks to see if we could stay ahead of the matting and prevent this from happening again.
Snowpaw's second visit was in 8 weeks. Our notes read: "complete turnaround, no drama today" He still wore the muzzle and did try to bite for combing his groin. Everyone was happy! We were happy to see that our gentle techniques made it a better experience for him, and no mats and clipping helped big time!
The third visit was 16 weeks later. Snowpaw didn't act like his first groom, but he sure wanted to bite us, especially combing the mats out of his legs and belly. We had to wrap him in a towel and hold him to get him completed for his bath, dry, and combout.
Snowpaw's fourth visit was 5 months later....... His grooming got away from his owners for whatever reason. He was covered in mats and need a shavedown all over. It went better than that first shave, but it was very difficult. He was getting older too, and stress isn't safe for a geriatric cat.  I had a frank discussion with his owners about sticking to the schedule, since we had begun to make so much progress in the beginning, but it seemed like we were backtracking. They agreed.

Now Snowpaw and his owners stick to his 8 week schedule, and he is a totally different cat when he visits us. No more snarling, hissing, or biting, no slashing claws. He gets a bath and combout with a sanitary clip. He stays totally mat free between visits and his owners still can't comb him at all at home. He sits up quietly in the bath, enjoying the warm water on his aged joints. The blow dryer doesn't phase him, and we can roll him to his belly without him reaching out to grab or kick our hands. Even combing takes just 5 minutes and he only gets mad if I comb near his declawed front legs, where he has arthritis. One person can easily complete his entire groom in less than 45 minutes.  We have reached a place of trust, and these types of grooms make me the most proud that I chose to be a cat exclusive groomer. I groomed him today and he allowed me to hold and pet him after the grooming, settled right into his carrier with a treat, and looked around proudly. We took about 5 years off how he looked (and I wish I had taken a photo). I was inspired to write this today because I am so happy with his owners and their commitment to their cat. 
 
If Snowpaw can go from a terror to a teddy bear, your cat can too. We always recommend cats see us no less than 4 times a year, and ideally, every 6 to 8 weeks. See our blog below for an indepth look at why we know regular grooming is the most loving choice for cats. Owners allowing us to have a relationship of trust with their cats is a unique privilege, and we are glad you found The Cat's Meow. 
-Jennifer

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