Frequently Asked Questions:
- How long will grooming take? Because we hand dry each cat instead of leaving it to dry behind fans or heat dryers for hours, our services take less time than other salons. Most cats take 2-2.5 hours to complete. Nail trims and sanitary trims take 10 minutes. We ask that cats be picked up within 3 hours. If they need to stay longer, a daycare fee will be added and we will give them food, water, and litter and a suite.
- Why does my cat need to arrive in a carrier, preferably one with an easily opened top? Some cats hate their carrier. But, our salon is next to a busy road, and our lobby can get quite busy at times with multiple cats, potentially stressed. If your cat is loose, it could create a potentially dangerous situation for you, your cat, or our staff. A carrier can actually be a comfort at the end of the groom, because it smells like home. We prefer a carrier with an opening top, because most cats don't want to walk out of their carrier. Pulling a cat out of a front opening carrier door is an aggressive move on the groomers part, and starts the groom off on the wrong foot. We prefer to lift the cat out of the top, which is a lower stress handling move. Read our blog post on carriers, and see which we recommend.
- Can I stay with my cat? Due to insurance liability, we cannot have clients stay with their cats during grooming. Our salon is a repurposed home, and so there is limited view for customers into our grooming areas. Feel free to ask for a tour to see the areas where we do grooming. We will call or text as soon as the cat is finished.
- Will my cat go home wet? Never! We blow dry the cats or cage dry them if they are scared to ensure no chilled kitties in any season.
- My cat is sensitive and scared, can she be groomed? Every cat is different, and we don't use a cookie cutter method to groom them all. We are able to groom a variety of behavioral types because we approach each cat as an individual. Some cats want minimal handling, others want to be groomed in the lap. One may like to hide under a towel while getting its rear trimmed, another may need one person petting and holding while another trims. Knowing cat behavior and signs of fear and stress are key in successful cat handling. Not every cat can be groomed, even with veterinary prescribed medication. We reserve the right to stop any groom not safe for the cat or our staff. We will charge for what has been completed.
- Does it cost more if my cat is matted? Yes. Matted coats take more time to remove even when shaving. Mats create folds in the thin skin, so we need to clip slowly and carefully to avoid cutting the skin. Also, the mats are painful, causing the sweetest of cats to become agitated at times. We price by the extra time above our regular fees. Often shaving their coats takes double or triple the time of an unmatted cat, and requires more intense handling to complete. We educate our customers, in how to prevent a pelted coat the first time you bring your cat in for depelting. We no longer accept cats for once per year matted shave downs after the first visit. We consider visits of this nature to be traumatizing and are often extremely distressing for the cat and groomer to get through. Our goal is to reduce fear and stress while grooming, and once per year visits can lead to extreme stress behaviors in cats, such as aggression, accidents, vomiting, extreme vocalizing, and even stress related cardiac and nervous system issues. Visiting our salon at least every 6 months greatly reduces these stressful behaviors. We have rehabilitated hundreds of "difficult" cats simply by having their owners bring them in more frequently.
- Can you prevent/reduce fear and stress during my cat's groom? How? Our quiet, dog free environment is a great start. Then add a low volume grooming environment. We also use cat pheromone sprays to calm them, a soothing fountain and spa music. Our handling techniques start out with minimal handling, using lap holds, towel wraps and gentle, non aggressive holds. Some cats require a groomer and assistant, but even then we do not force down a cat with aggressive holds. Play, treat rewards, and petting are useful tools to make a possibly scary experience less so. Some cats will still become fearful even with our careful methods. We will also require or recommend more regular visits as a way to train and socialize your cat to become more accepting of grooming and handling.
- What if my cat becomes scared or aggressive? Cats often become fearful in strange environments. It is natural for them to use teeth and claws when scared. We are trained in the safe and humane handling of cats. We use Kevlar and neoprene gloves, aprons and towels to protect us from bites. If a cat escalates, we will apply a cone style muzzle, and if they are still combative, we will apply a special round muzzle that prevents bites, but allows full breathing and no smashing down of whiskers. We give breaks to cats that are becoming agitated and aggressive. If a cat is freaking out and has to be held down forcibly to be groomed, we will refer you to a vet for sedation. It is not fair to traumatize an animal for the sake of grooming. Very few cats become this combative, because we try to make sure they stay calm from the beginning of the groom. Cats with known aggression must come in a carrier with an opening top. Please tell us if your cat has been aggressive with the vet or groomer in the past.
- How often does my cat need to be groomed? For most long hairs, cats prone to hairballs, for shedding reduction, and older cats who are grooming themselves less, we suggest 6-8 weeks. Some short hairs and cats who are combed at home can go 8-12 weeks between grooms. All cats should be groomed every season at a minimum, winter,spring, summer, fall, especially long haired cats! Allowing a cat to mat up all year and annually shaving is cruel to the cat and often causes them to have a stressful grooming experience. We require our grooming clients to come in at least every 6 months for something in order to stay on our client list.