Does Every Cat Need Grooming?

It depends on your definition of grooming, but yes, eventually it will…

We get this question a lot… and when I say a lot, I mean hundreds of times a day on social media! People love to recount stories of their beautiful, shiny cats who have never been groomed a day in their life. They RELISH the chance to argue with the whole premise of cat grooming in general, citing years of owning cats themselves that never needed grooming. They paint pictures of beautiful, snow-white Angora coats flowing in the breezes amongst a back drop of picturesque mountains… (maybe I imagined that?) So, are they living in a fairy tale, or are we, as cat groomers, creating our own fantasy in order to rake in the big bucks (HAHAHA) shaving cats and cleaning kitty bums? We definitely aren’t spinning fictious tales or making big salaries, but those naysayers aren’t necessarily living in denial either. Let me tell you why.

Fact: The majority of domestic cats have short hair.

Fact: The majority of young, short-haired cats groom themselves fairly well.

Fact: Their is a double-standard on dog cleanliness vs cat cleanliness.

Fact: People aren’t idiots- they aren’t going to bring in a cat regularly for grooming if its coat is staying clean on its own.

Fact: Nothing HAS to bathed. We once met a 15 year old Doberman that had never had a bath. Guess what? It stunk.

Not every short-haired (or even long-haired) cat needs to be professionally groomed. We occasionally see a cat come in for a bath (very occasionally) that doesn’t appear at first glance to need a bath. Usually after talking with the owner, we find out that someone in the house is allergic (great reason for regular bathing), or that the cat was recently at a boarding kennel and came back smelling weird… usually the owner has a good reason. But even if they didn’t have some other unseen issue going on, we would still groom the cat- because EVERY CAT CAN BENEFIT from grooming- ESPECIALLY if it’s just to get them used to the whole process for when they are older and arthritic, and unable to take care of their coats anymore.

Kit Kat is short-haired but his Dad likes to keep him clean. He comes in monthly for baths and he loves it!

The absolute worst part of being a cat groomer is trying to groom matted or filthy cats who have never been exposed to grooming because when they were younger they didn’t “need” it. Well, whether they needed it or not is definitely relative- but you get my drift. The same people who had short-haired cats growing up that their parents never took to the vet and that just “wandered off into the woods” when it was time to die, are some of the same people who now protest the fact that some of us want to keep our cats indoors and clean! And why not? We’ve been getting our dogs groomed for years, because we prefer it when they are clean and smell nice. Today’s cat people want the same thing- our cats aren’t living outside and sleeping in the garage. They are taking up prime real-estate all day on the same pillow that we will later rest our heads on, and that- my friends, is a good reason to make sure that Kitty doesn’t have poop clinging to his long, luxurious butt fur. Am I crazy for thinking this?

If you have a short-haired cat, this tool is one of the absolute best choices for at-home regular combing. You don’t need anything fancy, and you don’t need a brush.

The absolute bane of a cat groomer’s existence is an old, matted, short-haired cat that has never been exposed to any form of grooming whatsoever. We get at least one a day, and believe me, it is ALWAYS, without freaking fail, the worst cat of the day. I’m dead serious. Ten times harder than the Persian that comes in matted. Twenty times harder than the Ragdoll. Want to know why? Because someone told their owner at some point that cats don’t need grooming, and this theory holds true for ten years or so of the cat’s life. Then… one day we get a call. On the other end of the line someone says something like “I just don’t know what happened- he’s never been matted before! He’s short haired!” Said cat comes in, hates every minute of this new grooming thing (because no one ever bothered exposing him to it in the past), and tries to kill all of us. We survive, because we are bad-asses, but when we recommend that the cat return in 8-10 weeks for another bath/comb-out to keep him from having to endure de-matting or shaving again, owner replies with “I’m sure he’ll be fine from now on- he’s never gotten matted before, I think it was just a one time thing.”

Ray is one of those older guys that didn’t have a problem until recently. Mom brings him in regularly now to prevent any future issues!

It’s not a one time thing. It’s not just an old cat thing. And it’s certainly not just a long-hair cat thing. Every single cat can benefit from regular grooming sessions, whether it is you doing the grooming at home (YES- we love it when people home groom!) or whether you would rather let a professional do the dirty work. Regular grooming removes loose hair to prevent excessive shedding and hairballs, keeps nails from growing into paw pads, and can prevent matting, urinary tract infections, and even litter box issues (we’ve seen cats with so much matting around their bums that it was causing pain during bowel movements and the cat had begun pooping all over the house. Once the matting was removed the owner reported all of that stopped).

You bathe your short-haired dog, right? So why not your cat?

Oh yeah, it also makes them shiny and smell good, so you don’t mind when they lie on your satin pillow all day while you slave away to make money to buy them expensive toys and furniture that they’ll never use. Or you can just wait until they are older, when it becomes a big production because no groomer wants to take him because he’s such a freak about it, you have to rearrange your whole life to drive an hour to find a salon like ours that isn’t scared of little old short-haired cats, then we write a blog post about it.

Your call.


Shannon & Whitney


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