Secrets of Professional Cat Groomers

Trade secrets from the pros can help keep kitty looking clean, polished ? and relaxed.

By Kristin Grant | Posted: Sept. 9, 2009, 3 a.m. EDT

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Cat Fancy's Professional Grooming Tips
When cats leave the groomers, they flaunt flawless fur, perfectly trimmed claws and sparkling eyes. To the average cat owner, this polished look may seem impossible to achieve without the help of professionals. Lucky for us, a handful of grooming experts have shared some of their best trade secrets, so kitty can get that glamorous look right at home.

Combing Persian cat
Here are some tried-and-true tricks to help keep kitty looking like a show cat:

  • Rub a small amount of corn starch through kitty’s coat to make the fur fluffier and less oily.
  • Remove the dark stains from the fur around the inner corners of kitty’s eyes by gently swabbing on a dab of tear-stain remover, readily available at pet stores.
  • Place several fluffy towels in the dryer on high heat while bathing kitty, and use them to pat down her fur for a quick and easy way to dry your feline friend without the disconcerting noise of a blow-dryer.  
  • Gently swipe a nonscented fabric softener sheet across staticky fur to quickly and effortlessly “tame the mane.”
  • Use a sprayer or showerhead attachment to rinse kitty during grooming rather than submerging your feline friend in standing water.
  • Wash the tail end of the cat first when bathing, and work up to the head. Cats typically react more adversely to initial water on the face as opposed to on the back, and that first reaction can set the tone for the rest of the washing.
  • Use a large metal comb for the first step in brushing a shorthaired cat’s fur, or a plastic brush with beaded-tip bristles for longhaired breeds. Then move to more precise tools such as de-matters and tangle-splitters only for stubborn knots.
  • Use a tuna-flavored toothpaste to make brushing kitty’s teeth a less stressful experience.
  • Wrap a towel around kitty’s body before swabbing eyes and ears with clean, slightly damp cotton balls. 

Trimming Persian cat's nails
Grooming cats can at times be a difficult task. The poking, wiping, combing and swabbing can lead to a not-so-pleasant experience if kitty does not feel like cooperating. For this reason, some of the best tips groomers have involve ways to make grooming a less stressful event. Using these techniques can turn a potential melee into a relaxing activity. The result? A lovely cat and a satisfied owner.

Kristin Grant is a freelance writer who has learned first-hand by grooming her three cats, Max, Jasmine and Daphne, that any shortcuts to help expedite the grooming process should be employed — immediately.

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Reader Comments

Amy    Fort Lee, NJ

9/14/2012 12:49:10 PM

Can you recommend or suggest Cat Grooming schools in New York City or New Jersey? Thank you.

M    O, KS

5/22/2011 8:42:26 PM

I HAVE A BETTER IDEA--I WILL PROVIDE A KITTY NAMED FUZZY {WHO HATES BATHS,ETC} WHILE YOU SHOW THOSE TIPS TO US. A PICTURE & WATCHING IS BETTER THAN A 1000 WORDS. WHAT IS WEIRD AFTER SHE GETS THIS DONE SHE BECOMES YOUR VERY VERY BEST FRIEND TO WHERE YOU BEGIN TO THINK THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU.

Calico    Chicago, IL

9/30/2009 7:13:13 AM

What is the best tool to remove bad matts on a cat with regular length coat. He keeps getting very matted on his rear back and sides.

KinKy    Lake City, FL

9/29/2009 8:11:24 PM

I used to always wash my first cat - at least twice a year to help remove loose fur before warm or cold weather. She has never liked being held, unless it's her terms - an issue probably due to the kids in the family who turned her over as a kitten to the shelter where I got her, who might have held her too tight.

Getting her to hold still within a towel wasn't easy, but she loved when it was all over and she could go crazy. As she's gotten older, I've given her less baths, to keep her from suffering any unnecessary stress.

I might have to give the corn starch a try, to see if it helps make her fur look freshened. ThanX!

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