About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I do not groom a lot of cats.
I have not done a full body clip on a cat in about 19 years.
I am just not crazy about shaving cats.
Don't get me wrong, I love cats.
 I have owned them all of my life.
I understand some cats need to be shaved because of matting or medical reasons, but I would get calls from people who wanted short hair cats shaved because of shedding, or long hair cats shaved because the owner wanted a short hair cat, not because they were matted.
I just did not agree, and at the time I was not charging enough for grooming cats.
So, I decided not to do full grooms on cats.

I do clip nails and do comb outs while the owner waits.
I will also clip out mats on the belly and sanitary clips.

I have been reconsidering doing full grooms on cats.
I have been bathing a few cats over the years.

This guy is a sweet heart.

I worked at a few places that would put cats under a milk crate to bathe them.

I could not believe it even when I saw it.

If I can not bathe a cat free hand, then it will not get bathed.

This cat even accepts the HV dryer.

He does not mind the hand dryer either.

If every cat was like this to groom, I think I would start grooming more cats.
I will admit that most of the cats I do right now are great.

I only do his nails.
I love him.

I get an amazing amount of hair out of this guy.

He just LOVES the Furminator.

He hides his face when I clip his nails.

I Love him too.

This big guy is always a little matted, but he is great about being combed out.

He usually only takes me about 20 minutes.

That is one great cat.

He would chill on my table all day.

I have thought about setting aside one day a month just to groom a day full of cats, but whenever I do, I think back to one of the worst cat bites I ever got.

A few years ago the local cat hospital, Chat, called me and asked if I groomed cats, and would it be okay if they referred cats needing grooming over to us.
They had lost their cat groomer and needed to send cats somewhere.
I thought about it and said yes.

I was not prepared for the number of calls we received.
I had so many people calling for cat grooming, I think I could have booked a cat day every week.
I saw so many cats in various stages of matting.

This sweet guy was some of the worst matting I have seen on a cat.
The owner said that he got this way because he went under their car and got oil on his coat.

His coat had NO oil on it.

Sometimes I feel like looking at the owner and asking them if I really look THAT stupid.
The mats were hanging on to the very ends of the good hair.
I used the last  few teeth on my comb to get under the mat.
I was able to slowly and easily comb him out, no clipping.
He was GREAT.
He was also starved for attention.

Sometimes you just don't want to give them back.

I told the owner to come back in an hour, I did not want them to know how easily I was able to comb out their cat.
I was mad that they let this happen, it did not happen over night like they would like me to believe.
I keep checking to see if I have STUPID written on my forehead when owners try to tell me excuses like this.
Anyway, the reason why I keep rethinking grooming cats...

One day I had someone bring in a black and white medium length cat that had a few mats.
I took him from the owner to my table.
He was very good, even purring a little.
There was no tail twitching, no flat ears, no hissing, no growling, he was a very calm cat.
When I finished, I gave him a rub down.
I do this with all of the cats I do.
He loved his face being rubbed.
Then I picked him up and started walking to the grooming room door.
Half way there he just calmly reached down between his legs and sunk his teeth into my arm.
I stood there in shock waiting for him to let go.
He let go and sunk his teeth in a second time before I could move my arm.
When he let go the second time I got him up to his owner.
I went right to the tub and started squeezing the bites to make them bleed and flush them out.
They did not bleed at all.
I flushed them with alcohol.
 That night the bites were a little red.
By the next morning the red had spread a little, but I had a full day of grooming.
By the time I finished the last dog, the red had moved half way up my arm.
Time to go to the ER.
The doctor was angry.
I got a lecture about losing my arm.
I told him I had a full day of work with no place to move anyone.
He said if I had waited much longer, I would not have had an arm to groom with.

Sooo, is it worth it to groom cats?
Their mouths are so dirty and full of germs.
This cat gave absolutely no sign that it was mad or going to bite.
The doctor did not want me to work for a week.
I said sure and was back to work the next day.
I am just not sure it is worth taking the chance that one cat bite could put me out of work.


I do love cats.
They can be easy money.

Is it worth it?
I just don't know.

Happy grooming, MFF


  1. I have thought about taking cats. I have never actually done one but have seen them done. Good ones and bad ones. I have had to turn away lots of cats because I don't do them. One minute I think of how much money I am possibly loosing. Then I still decide against it. I just don't think I'm ready to tackle that.

  2. Lacy,
    Follow your instinct. If you feel you are not ready to tackle cats..don't. They are so unpredictable. If you are a cat owner and are already familiar with dealing with them, maybe start out slow by taking just comb outs for awhile. You can still make pretty good money brushing out cats while the owner waits. No bath.
    If you don't own cats and have never dealt with them, I would not worry about grooming cats right now, and just spend time improving your dog grooming skills.
    Just one cat bite can put you out of work for a while.
    Lisa, MFF

  3. I truly enjoy your experiences on cat grooming! I wonder if I may guest post this on my blog. If so whose name would it be credited to? Anyway thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi Reginald,
    Thank you for reading my blog.
    I checked your blog out. Very nice! I am honored that you would like to guest post my post about cats. My name is Lisa and I own My Furry Friends Pet Grooming in Maryland, USA
    I will be following your blog :)
    Lisa, MFF

  5. When you get pets that are matted like that cat or come in with serious grooming neglect, do you ever just blow up at the owners for letting their pet get that way or not relinquish the pet to them?

    My dog's old groomer- Pat, did. She'd get people bringing dogs in that were so matted they couldn't move- and she'd go ape on them for neglecting their pet. She was this tiny, 4 ft. 9 little thing with a voice like a rusted steel trap and a mind that's probably illegal in 47 states. Some guy once brought in a Gordon Setter that was literally skin and bones with mats galore. When the guy came to pick up the dog, she told him that it was *her* dog now and he could call the police if he didn't like it.

    So, what do you do when you get pets that come in seriously neglected or half-dead?

    1. Hi,
      I have never yelled at a customer. I educate the customer. I let them know what that matting is doing to their dog. I try to hit them in the heart. I let them know how much pain their dog is in. I try to explain in a way that they will understand and not let it happen again. I don't care if I make them feel guilty or sad, I want them to know how their dog is hurting, but I do it kindly. Yelling doesn't get anyone anywhere. I have turned some really bad customers into really good regular customers. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  6. First I love your blog!! You and I have a lot in common,I also wanted to be a vet but could not put them down. I had a cat bite me with no warning too. He put 8holes in my arm so fast I did not know I was bit, the girl next to me eyes got big and she told me my arm was bleeding. I was lucky I did not know to squeeze the blood out,this was early in my grooming yrs. at the time I work for a groomer and when this happened she did not send me home she made me stay. Well that nite my arm swelled up and my dad made me me go to er, they of coarse cleaned it and gave me a tetanus shot, and ...got information on wo owned the cat. The next day my arm was still swelled up and I could hardley close my hand to hold a dog, well my boss came and picked me up,it was Sat and she needed me to come in. It turned out the cat was owned by a local attorney who later became dist attorney 's cat who was not up to date on rabies shot so they I pounded his cat he got mad at my boss, nd said he would sue her,she got mad at me for going to the er. I never forgot that, and was glad when I finally left her.

    1. Hi Deb,
      Good grief, I had a boss like that. Gave me a hard time when my first Collie died and didn't want to give me a Saturday off so that I could go with my Mom to her cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains to bury my guy. That was just one of many things.
      I am sorry that that happened to you. Sorry about the cat bite, but really sorry about how you were treated. Imagine, your cat bites someone, you don't have the shots up to date, and then have the nerve to want to sue. What a crazy world. He is lucky that you didn't sue him, and your boss is lucky that you didn't claim workman's comp on her.
      So sorry that that happened to you.
      Lisa, MFF