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September 2018

Yes, There Is A Cat Under That Towel

Yes, there is a cat under that towel.



I’d introduce you to Henry, but he prefers anonymity. As long as there is a towel covering Henry, I can do anything to him, including bathing, drying, and brush out.

Needless to say, I go through a fair number of towels during Henry’s groom.

But Henry isn’t an unusual cat when it comes to grooming. As a general rule, I use a lot of towels while cat grooming.

How do I use them?

  1. To relieve stress. Cats will knead their paws or grip on to something to relieve stress. The soft towels are purrfect as they won’t hurt their paws or claws. Whether in the tub or on top of the table, the cat sits on a pile of soft towels.
  2. To establish boundaries. Cats take comfort from defined spaces. It’s why they like boxes so much. For much of the groom, I keep the cat close to my body. Even rolling some towels and surrounding the cat may have a calming effect. It’s why towel wrapping AKA Kitty Burrito works so well while drying cats. Let’s not forget Happy Hoodies. In addition to protecting their ears, they are snug against their heads.
  3. To reduce stimuli. The whole “hear no evil, see no evil, do no evil” in action. Or more specifically; inaction. In the case of Henry, as long as he is loosely covered, he is a wonderful boy.

Towels are an important part of my cat grooming tool kit.

Want to learn more about cat grooming? Check out these recorded cat grooming workshops: and

Successful Cat Grooming- Client Education

Successful Cat Grooming- Client Education


I was sitting with one of my clients who happen to work at one of my local town clerk offices. We estimated the number of cats in a 4-town radius to be in the ballpark of 40,000.

That’s a lot of cats. I can’t groom that many.

There’s a lot that can go wrong with cat grooming which is why I designed this addendum to my normal Terms Of Service. I go over it with the client over the phone before I book their appointment. If it is unacceptable to the cat owner, then I’ve averted a potential problem.

After each point, I have the client sign rather than just initial.


Addendum To Terms Of Service For Cat Owners For Pawsitively Pretty Mobile Grooming Salon LLC 1. As cats are physiologically more

Point 1.

“As cats are physiologically more sensitive to grooming, Pawsitively Pretty Mobile Grooming Salon LLC will cease grooming when it becomes detrimental to the health of the cat.”

I pay attention to body language and signs of stress, which include heavy panting and drooling. If, as the professional, decide that continuing with the groom will cause physical harm to either the cat or myself, I stop. I want owners who are aware of their cat’s limitations and will work towards a solution that is beneficial to the cat.

Point 2.

“Minimum charges will apply regardless of completion of grooming.”

The amount is clearly stated in my regular terms of service, which is also signed by the client.

Point 3.

“In the event of matting or coat removal, Pawsitively Pretty Mobile Grooming Salon LLC will not be financially responsible for condition of skin or injury due to the stripping process.”

In addition to signing this, they are also given after care instructions and sign a more detailed matted release form.

I enjoy my cats as well as their owners. I attribute that to setting clear boundaries before they ever became my client.

Pet First Aid Kit Checklist

Pet First Aid Checklist


Want to know what’s in my pet first aid kit?

  1. Activated charcoal is used to absorb ingested poisons. Any item in my kit that is intended for poisoning will NOT be used unless directed by a veterinarian. Protocols vary and what will help in one instance can cause harm in another.
  2. Antibiotic cream for wounds. I do not use triple antibiotic as I groom cats. While it is rare, cats may have an allergy to such products. The combination of the three ingredients may cause a fatal reaction in some cats.
  3. Antihistamine and safety pin for minor allergic reactions. I specifically look for diphenhydramine gels with a liquid center. The safety pin is used to puncture the gel cap and squirt the liquid directly onto to the tongue of the pet. It is the fastest way for an anaphylactic pet to absorb the antihistamine. Consult a veterinarian for proper dosing. Not all pets can safely use antihistamines as it may interfere with other medications and medical conditions.
  4. Apps for smart phones. I have two that I like. The first is the ASPCA’s Pet Poison app. It’s FREE and will dial the number for the Pet Poison Hotline. As minutes matter in a poisoning, this is invaluable if you cannot reach a local veterinarian for instructions. The second is a veterinarian locator. This is useful if you are either a mobile or house call groomer and need to find the closest veterinarian.
  5. Baking soda to absorb topical poisons or chemicals.
  6. Band aids for myself. This is the one item that is replenished on a regular basis.
  7. Bandanas have multiple uses. They replace triangular bandages and can be used as slings to take the weight off of an injured limb.
  8. Expired gift cards are always saved. They are a perfect size to cushion pad injuries on larger pets. I place gauze on both sides of the card and securely wrap the cards and gauze to the paw with vet wrap. In addition, the cards can flick out bee stingers. Place the card at the base of the stinger where it meets the skin and lift up and out.
  9. Eyewash serves double duty. It can be used to flush out both eyes and wounds.
  10. Gauze comes in three varieties: gauze roll, gauze pads, and nonstick gauze pads. The gauze roll is wider and is good for larger wounds. The nonstick gauze is more expensive, but I will use it as the first pad on the wound and then place the cheaper gauze on top on it. The nonstick gauze will remove the scab when it is time to replace the bandaging.
  11. Honey packets for hypoglycemic pets. Stress, seizures, as well as an owner giving a pet too much insulin can result in low blood sugar. This is a serious condition that may result in the death of the pet. Signs include listlessness, staggering, tremors, muscle weakness, and seizures. Do not give the pet honey unless directed by a veterinarian.
  12. Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in a dog. As this is used for poisoning, consult a veterinarian first. Dosage will vary. Vomiting is not a given for poisoning. If it is caustic, it will burn the throat on its way out. You cannot use hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in cats. Cats cannot metabolize hydrogen peroxide.
  13. Ice will constrict blood flow and slow bleeding. I do not keep ice in my pet first aid kit. If you have a freezer in a shop, then add ice.
  14. Liquid bandage is an asset if you know how to use it properly. Used incorrectly, it can damage surrounding tissue, as well as trap bacteria in the wound. Your veterinarian can instruct you in proper usage. I do not use superglue. It is not manufactured for medical use and as such, the manufacturer can change ingredients and formulation without consideration for safety on wounds.
  15. Muzzles are a must. If you need to use your pet first aid kit, this pet is likely in pain. Any pet that is in pain is a bite risk.
  16. Plastic baggies to collect a vomit or fecal sample. This may be necessary if the pet has been poisoned and you are unsure of what was ingested. When not in use, it can store smaller items for easy accessibility.
  17. Rubber gloves to protect you from any zoonotic and also to collect vomit or fecal samples.
  18. Sanitary napkins will absorb blood.
  19. Squirt bottle to deliver hydrogen peroxide down the throat of a dog.
  20. Styptic powder for use on nails only. It stings and this pet is already in pain. In addition, styptic powder is not sterile and you may introduce bacteria into the wound. There are newer products on the market that functions as a styptic powder and can be used for wounds as well.
  21. Tea bags contain tannic acid. It is effective in stopping bleeding. While sugar is effective, I do not recommend it because the pet may be diabetic or pre-diabetic.
  22. Vet wrap is wonderful. It keeps the wound secure and dry.
  23. Wound cleanser. You have a couple of options. The first is sterile saline solution, also known as eyewash. The second is a Chlorohexidine based cleanser. This is easy to find. Almost any store that sells first aid items carries it. Do not use alcohol as it stings. Do not use sterile, tap, or bottled water and it disrupts the salt balance of the cells and slows healing.
  24. Many of these items have expiration dates and should be checked periodically.



Important Numbers For Pet Groomers

Do you have a list of important numbers handy for your business?


Important Numbers pic

When faced with an emergency and our bodies are pumping adrenaline, having important numbers close by can get the help to us faster. The numbers I have on my list are:

  1. Animal control for each area I service. (I’m mobile.) Could be stray dogs on the road, a pet has gotten away from me, or the pet is what I would consider an abuse case.
  2. Veterinarian on record. While I have a locator app to find the closest veterinarian , the vet on record has agreed to answer questions and help when I need them. If you’re a shop groomer, this vet would also be your go to in the event of injuries.
  3. Utility company. In the event of a gas leak or lines down.
  4. Police Department. Non emergency number in the event of a break in or theft of service. 911 is reserved for emergencies.
  5. Fire department. Non emergency number for inquiries regarding fire safety. 911 for true emergencies.
  6. Insurance company. To file a claim.
  7. Pet poison control. I’ve included space for Credit Card information. This is not a free call. However, in the event a pet is poisoned in your care, this call may save their life. As it has CC information, I would not keep the list visible to clients.

I do write 911 in both the fire and police department slots. Seems like a no brainer, but when you’re in a panic your brain may not offer common sense as an option.

If you would like a PDF version of this picture, send me a PM.