Why is Cat Grooming suddenly “a Thing?”

It’s kind of fascinating, isn’t it? At least that’s the reaction I receive when someone asks me what I do for a living. “That’s a thing?,” has been said to me on multiple occasions. And let’s face it- if you are here reading this right now, then the idea of cat grooming isn’t exactly mainstream yet. Would you have clicked on an article that said “Why is Dog Grooming suddenly a thing?” No, you wouldn’t. Unless you’re really goddamn bored or grew up in an underground bunker like Kimmy Schmidt or something.

So, why are there suddenly cat groomers now? Short-answer- we’ve been around for decades, but usually worked at a veterinarian’s office where the primary grooming consisted of shaving down severely matted cats, also known as ‘medically necessary grooming.’ Sanitary Trims (also known as trouser trims, panty trims, or poop-paths) were also one of our less glamourous jobs, and to be honest, that was pretty much the end of it.

Meanwhile, the breeders and show-circuit peeps, were bathing, blow-drying, and combing their cats’ coats by themselves at their homes. Since not many people other than them owned pure-bred cats with long-flowing coats, their fastidious grooming regimens were somewhat of a mystery, with the average Joe knowing absolutely nothing about what his cat-lady neighbor was doing in her guest bathroom. (Getting cat hair absolutely everywhere. That’s what she was doing).

Eventually, just as with dogs, owning pure-bred cats became a thing. A BIG thing. I remember it starting with Persians and Siamese first. With Ragdolls, Maine Coons, and finally Siberians coming a little later. Now, I practically see one of every breed that exists on a monthly basis. It’s that big! Not to mention the good ole’ mixed breed cats that just have massive coats. Those have always needed grooming too- but there were really no options 15 years ago other than taking them to your veterinarian for a ‘shave down.’ A few vets still do this, but most require the cat be completely anesthetized for it, which isn’t a great idea to do on a regular basis.

We’re getting close to answering the title question. Can you feel it? Predictably, cat groomers became tired of the futile circle of shaving badly matted cats once or twice a year (me included). We yearned for something more- being able to see the cats awake, not sedated. Then we wanted to give the owners the option to keep their cat’s fur long and flowing, as their breeder intended it to be. We wanted to work in a creative environment where we could offer multiple options, and not be condemned to an assembly-line type of day where we only shaved dozens of freakin’ poop paths. We wanted what dog groomers have! And we finally have it!

You may not have a cat groomer in your area yet, but mark my words, you’ll have one in the next five years. And you’ll either use them yourself, or know several people who do. And you can think back to this post, and turn to your friend and say “WOW- Whitney predicted this!” And whoever you’re with will think you’re crazy, and you’ll both just smile.

~ Whitney


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