The questions below were recently posted on the cat grooming forum on the GroomerTalk message forum. I wanted to address each question individually and decided to do so in my blog.
These are excellent questions, each deserving of its own answer. I will address each of the 9 questions in a separate post over the next week or two.
Thank you to Cattledawg for asking and for allowing me to use these in my blog.
I hope readers find this information helpful.
1. Should you do all [of] the clip you can before the bath and then just neaten up after?
2. Or bath first?
3. What do you find is most cats’ tolerance limit on time?
4. If a cat gets really upset do you put them up and try later or is it a one shot deal and it only gets worse?
5. Lion clips – blend the mane into the neck but leave the ruff kinda natural or scissor it all?
6. Boots – leave the front legs higher than back or try to have them the same height or [vary on a] cat to cat basis?
7. Boots- blend into legs or just take off the long scraggly hair?
8. Feet- take the long tufts off of the pads or leave them sticking out? which I’d rather not.
9. Price should I charge a lower fee until I feel confident in what I am doing?
Question 1 & 2:
Should you do all of the clip you can before the bath and then neaten up afterward?
Or bath first?
Clip first, before the bath. There are a couple of good reasons for this.
1. There is no need to wash and blow dry hair that will ultimately be shaved off. Removing the coat before the bath and blow dry makes for a much faster groom and less stress for the cat. Additionally, there may be times that the coat must be shaved due to severe matting or a pelted coat. If this is the case, the matted/pelted coat MUST be removed before bathing in order to adequately clean the cat during the bathing process.
2. Another reason to shave before the bath/blow dry is the Dirty Hair Project ™. Any Certified Feline Master Groomer (CFMG™) can sell their dirty cat hair for $113/lb to a laboratory that uses it to extract dander and make human allergy shots. If the hair is washed, it is useless for this purpose and, therefore, monetarily worthless. Once washed, it must be thrown away and eventually ends up in a landfill somewhere. Dirty cat hair, however, reaps a big reward and is part of a wonderful recycling process that helps people with allergies AND puts a lot of money in a CFMG’s pocket!
When shaving a cat into a lion cut, do a rough shave first. This means getting a fairly smooth finish, but not putting a whole lot of effort into setting neat lines at the neck, legs and tail lines. This will come later, when the cat is clean and degreased. I typically try to have my lion cuts about 95% finished before the bath. Then, after the cat is clean and thoroughly dried, I do the final work, creating straight, neat lines at the edges and making sure the finish over the entire cat is velvety smooth.
- A cat in need of a lion cut. Has severe matting in all that mess. Rough shave was done before the bath, finish work after the bath/blowdry.
- Finished line at neck edge. Done after bath/blow dry. There is a great trick for getting a neat, straight line at the neck edge – one of the many things we teach at the school!
- Dirty Cat Hair…..collecting….waiting to be shipped to the lab and $$ collected. We love dirty cat hair!