If you’re a longtime cat owner, you’re probably aware that cats can be very sensitive when comes to changes. It’s scientifically proven that a change in the cat’s environment and stressful situations can be harmful to their health. This is the reason some cat owners are afraid to take them to the groomer or even vet appointments. The truth is that with the right preparation, a visit to the groomer can go smooth and sudsy.
Here’s what you can do before taking your cat to his first professional groomer visit:
Start Grooming Early
The earlier you start, the sooner your cat will get used to the process. Cats are smart cookies continuously learning new things throughout their lives, but we all know young pets can absolve more information and get used to situations easier.
Rehearse at Home
Rehearsing at home and exposing your kitty to everything he or she will encounter at the grooming session could be a great idea. Getting a set of tools will help you cat learn that the tools the groomer will use are not a threat to them. At the grooming salon, your cat will be exposed to brushes, clippers, hair dryers, nail clippers, among other tools, but you don’t need all of them. If your cat is familiar with at least some of the tools, the process will go a lot smoother. Don’t worry, you can still use the tools for basic maintenance in the future in between visits.
Calming products such as sprays, diffusers, and even Thunder Shirts can be your ally to smooth the whole process. You can turn on the diffuser a few hours before you leave your house, so your kitty cat will be calm, and put on a Thunder Shit on the way to the grooming salon. Once you’re there, you can use sprays and pet them, so they know everything is okay.
Consider Taking a Preliminary Trip to the Groomer
One of the main reasons cats get anxious when they go to the groomer is because they see it as a strange place. There will be new smells, sounds, people, and several other pets. Talk to the groomer and ask them if it is possible to visit the saloon once or twice ahead to the grooming session. If your cat is too nervous about the preliminary visit, you can always find a groomer who can make house calls.
Make Every Visit Fun
If your associate the trip to the groomer as a positive event, each visit will be easier and maybe something that your cat will look forward to. Make sure to pet, play, give treats, and send positive messages to your cat all the time. The process doesn’t need to be tense, try to make it fun!
Stay with Your Cat During the First Few Visits
Some groomers allow the owners to stay with their pets during the grooming sessions. Talk to your groomer and express your concerns about leaving your cat alone. You don’t need to do this at all the sessions or the entire process, just in the beginning, while your cat is getting used to it.
Be consistent with the regularity of your appointments. Don’t expect to take your cat to the groomer once and then just show up again a year later when your cat desperately needs to be groomed. The consistency of visits will bring familiarity with the process and each time will be easier.
In Between Visits
In home maintenance between visits will help your cat to be accustomed to grooming and the next visit won’t be such a strange thing for them. Brushing, teeth cleaning, and nail trimming should be something that is part of their routine.