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We encourage you to share blog posts written by NCGIA in order to help educate your clients and potential clients. Please use appropriate credit to the National Cat Groomers Institute of America, Inc. when using any images or content. 

  • November 02, 2016 7:00 PM | Danelle German (Administrator)

    Stuck in a cat grooming rut? Join Danelle German, President/Founder of NCGIA, as she takes you through the 

    3 Biggest Mistakes Groomers Make When Grooming Cats (and how NOT to make them)

    This free hour-long webinar will only be offered live, so snag your spot today!

    Join us on either:

    • Wednesday, November 2nd at 7pm EST
    • Thursday, November 3rd at 8pm EST

    We hope to see you there! FREE Webinar Registration

  • November 01, 2016 8:30 AM | Danelle German (Administrator)

    This article is one of the most popular for cat owners to learn more about their cat's grooming needs. Feel free to share on your grooming business page with credit to the NCGIA.

    WARNING: Some may find this offensive and/or be angered by what I write here. I make no apologies. This needs to be said. And I will keep saying it for as long as it is necessary.  Read at your own risk.

    I am a cat groomer. I groom cats for a living. That means that I actually charge for this service and make money at it. And in doing so, I make life better for kitties and their owners.

    I am also an advocate for cats. I do not like the fact that too many of them are living life severely matted, pelted to the skin, infested with fleas, covered in waste, or just generally dirty, greasy and smelly. I surely would hate to live that way myself!

    Cats are narcissistic little creatures. They like to look good. They like to feel good. They were made to look and feel good.

    Any cat, regardless of breed, has the potential to be kept in show condition.

    Cats have skin and coat, which requires regular cleaning in order to maintain optimum health and condition. I can pretty much bet that not a single cat on the planet would choose to be matted, pelted, flea-infested or have dried excrement stuck to its hindquarters, if offered the choice.

    Cats are also easily stressed and highly reactive to seemingly threatening situations. They tend to be fearful creatures, ready to take the offense than ever be put in the position of playing defense.

    Understanding a cat’s reactive nature and disposition, as well as its individual skin and coat needs, are the first steps in providing humane treatment. Some believe that bathing a cat is inhumane, particularly if the cat is being disagreeable to the grooming in any way. But I believe that not bathing the cat (unless there are unusual, extenuating circumstances) is the inhumane option. Let me explain.

    Let’s consider the facts of the situation:

    Cats have skin and coat, which need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Cats are no different from a person or a dog or a horse. All need to be regularly bathed/cleaned. No bath = more grease, more filth, more hairballs, more mats, and unsanitary conditions overall.

    Cats have greasy skin and coat.

    Tangles and mats exposed by the HV dryer

    Grease causes the hair to stick together rather than fall away during the shedding process. This, in turn, creates a tangle – or many tangles. And tangles grow up to be mats. Mats, if left alone for a time, will turn into a pelted mess. Tangles, mats and pelts must be removed, and the act of doing so is painful to the cat, or highly uncomfortable at best.

    Thoroughly de-matted during the drying process, made easier by the forced air.

    The coat restored to good condition, as it should remain with regular grooming

    Cats have hair that sheds and will also felt together into a hard knot if left to air dry.

    Handbag made from cat hair yarn

    The shedding hair, if not removed on a regular basis, contributes to the matting/pelting process. Shedding hair is also the root cause of hairball problems, which are disgusting and bad for a cat’s health. And wet cat hair does felt! I can prove it. If you’ve ever seen the cat hair handbags I used to make back when I had more time for such things, you will know what I’m talking about. I’ve intentionally felted cat hair yarn to make these handbags. It felts easily (and rather tightly) simply by getting it wet and then letting it air dry. Bathing a cat and then not thoroughly drying it will produce the same results. Only, in that case, it is still attached to the cat, thus making the removal process a painful experience for the cat.

    Mats are not good for a cat.

    A cat with a pelt, which could have been prevented by regular bathing and blow drying.

    Matted, tangled, or pelted hair creates discomfort, sores, infections, and even death. A pelted cat that cannot freely move about or potty because of blockage will die a miserable death. Even if none of the above occurs, the necessary removal of the pelts or mats causes undue pain and suffering for the animal. Prevention is always best. Prevention is the humane choice. Mat removal, although necessary when matting and pelting become a problem, is never the preferred course of action. Mats MUST be removed to avoid eventual death. Whether this is done with clippers or during the drying process with a comb, is determined by several factors, including the severity of the mats, the skin condition of the cat, age and health of the cat, and the cat’s temperament. When severe matting or pelting is present, shaving becomes the only option for removal. Shaving, for cats with certain skin or health conditions or those of an aggressive nature, is very dangerous. If it is the only option for rectifying the situation, it must be done. But it should only be done ONCE (because it has to)! Prevention is the key from that point forward.

    Pelt removal. Not so pleasant for even the nicest of kitties.

    Cats generally hate the process of having their hair ripped out by way of a comb or brush. I don’t like having my hair ripped out either.  If a cat is already stressed or on the defensive, it will only become more agitated by the act of placing it on a table and attempting to comb or brush its coat out, particularly if the coat is matted at all. This then produces an angrier cat and a more stressful situation for both cat and groomer. A stressed cat can become a dead cat very quickly. Repeating this process every few weeks (because the mats continue to present themselves when degreasing and blow-drying are not done) is a great way to torture a kitty and possibly kill it.

    Cat is now free from the pelt that was attached to his body.

    Cats are easily distracted. This works in our favor when de-matting. I use a Catty Shack Vac to dry every cat I groom. The circulating air movement causes most of the cats to totally relax, even the highly aggressive ones. Any de-matting that needs to be done, can then be accomplished with minimal effort on the part of the groomer and minimal discomfort for the cat, especially when the high velocity dryer does most of the work by blowing out or loosening the tangles and mats. I’m not making this up! Every student who has attended our school can attest to this as I have demonstrated it over and over again, and the students have experienced it personally on a wide variety of felines.

    A tightly pelted coat now separated from the cat's body. Regular bath and blow dry is the key to prevention now that the pelt is removed.

    Regular bathing and blow-drying will prevent mats and pelts. I know this to be true because I’ve lived it for the past 13 years. If a good degreasing bath is done on a regular basis (4-6 wks for most cats) and the coat is thoroughly blown out with a high velocity dryer, matting becomes a thing of the past. It is important to also comb out the coat thoroughly once it is dry, to remove any loose hair that is still hanging around. I have a guarantee that I offer all clients: if they allow me to groom their cat on the prescribed frequency (normally 4-6 weeks), I will guarantee their cat never gets matted or pelted. I offer a free groom if I am wrong. And in all these years, I have never had to give away a free groom because of that. If I did not bath and blow-dry the cats, this would not be the case. Grease would build up, dead coat would build up, and mats would form. Simply combing or brushing the cat’s coat out every few weeks does nothing to remove the mat-causing factors (grease and loose hair). Instead, I would be torturing the cats on a bi or tri-weekly basis and never solve any problems. In addition, combing or brushing a greasy, icky coat moves the grease and ick all over, creating an even bigger problem in time. I don’t believe in charging a customer money to send home a dirty, smelly cat. This is not professional grooming. This is inhumane. And really, when you get down to it, it’s a lot like stealing – charging money for something you’re not really doing.

    The facts are the facts. If you don’t believe me, I will prove it to you.

    Because these facts are true, it is easy to determine the most humane treatment of a cat during the grooming process.

    Look at it this way:

    Kitty is pelted. He has thin skin and is aggressive and hates clippers. He can’t be sedated because of his age. The pelt will only come off by using clippers to remove it. Shaving is dangerous because the cat’s skin is so thin from age and/or health issues. The risk of nicking or cutting the cat is very high. Shaving the pelt off requires using a clipper blade very close to the cat’s skin, and sometimes the ability to see what is underneath is inhibited by presence of the pelt. In addition, the cat’s temperament makes him very disagreeable to the shaving process under normal conditions. How much more stressful when it involves lifting and pulling on a tight pelt that has created open sores underneath!

    Because of the cat’s age or health, anesthesia or sedation is too risky and will not be done by the client’s veterinarian. So what are we left with?

    If the pelt isn’t removed the cat will die. It might take a few more weeks or months. But eventually the cat will die. And it will be a long, painful death, filled with tremendous suffering as the cat becomes septic. (I’ve actually seen this happen.)

    Or the pelt can be removed. However, the risk of cutting or nicking the skin still exists. There is also a possibility that the cat will die from the stress of the pelt-removal shaving.

    Which do we choose? It really is the lesser of two evils in this scenario. Neither option is a good one. On one side, certain death. On the other side, risk of harm or death. This is the reality of the situation.

    Why does this happen?

    Sometimes this happens because the cat owner is ignorant of their cat’s grooming needs. This is not the owner’s fault. We have heard for way too long the myths that “cats groom themselves” or “cats hate water.” Perpetuating these myths is a disservice to cats and their owners.

    Sometimes this happens because owners don’t care.

    And sometimes this happens because grooming professionals believe that bathing a cat is inhumane. If only groomers would advocate for the cat and offer preventative bathing and blow-drying to begin with! Prevention is humane! If we can work toward total avoidance of the “lesser of two evils” scenario – of a choice between certain death and risk of harm or death, why are we not doing this? Let’s stop being inhumane and make a concerted effort to work toward the betterment of these little fur balls we are supposed to be helping.

    If anyone is telling you that cats don’t need grooms that consist of a real bath and blow-dry, then they do not know what they are talking about. One has to consider if one speaking such nonsense is afraid to actually groom non-feral, household cats or if they simply don’t know what they are doing and thus have had bad experiences.

    Personally I am disheartened by the amount of misinformation floating about that ultimately makes a mess for cats and their owners and puts groomers in a position of having to make hard choices like the example above. That, my friends, is the epitome of inhumane. There are no excuses for this to continue.

    I am all for humane treatment of felines. I’ve worked pretty hard over the past 13 years to dispel the myths and change the way of thinking about cats and their grooming needs, in an effort to prevent these bad scenarios from happening any longer. Education is the key to prevention. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, then how can it be effectively communicated to your clients so that they understand it?

    Training is also vitally important. If a cat is mishandled, the outcome can be devastating. Education and training make all the difference! It can turn a bad scenario into a productive and hopeful one. It is our job to ensure that this is happening each and every time. Let’s make the industry better by being truly professional and humane. Let’s make the world better one cat groom at a time!


  • April 09, 2013 12:27 PM | Danelle German (Administrator)

    This is the final post in the Grossness Series.  Because I want it all to end on a good note.

    There doesn’t have to be any grossness.  Cats don’t have to be dirty and smelly and matted and pelted and covered in icky things. There is a better way! And it’s so easy.

    Bath, blow dry, nail trim – on a regular basis and done by someone who knows what they’re doing.

    Remember, not all groomers know what they are doing. The pet grooming industry remains unregulated, meaning each and every pet groomer is left to figure out how they’re going to figure it out. Some groomers attend a grooming school. Some learn from a mentor. Some learn by trial and error. And some don’t learn much of anything.  It’s up to the pet owner to find a reputable groomer. When it comes to handling and grooming cats, the choices are minimal.  (We are working on that!)

    If you don’t actually care about your cat, at least care about your own reputation. And the cleanliness of your home environment. If a smelly, poopy, matted cat is walking around your house and sleeping on your furniture, it is gross. Plain and simple.

    No more excuses. You’ve read this series so now you know. You know there’s a better option for you and your cat. Bath, blow dry, nail trim on a regular basis. What a difference it makes!

    Remember this, too…….actions speak louder than words. Groomers know this. So, you see, when you say that you care about your pets yet don’t actually take care of your pets (i.e. preventative grooming maintenance to avoid painful and unsanitary conditions), your groomer knows you are lying. They just don’t say it out loud, in an effort to remain professional and tactful. Since I’m not concerned about that while writing this bluntly honest Grossness series, then I will say it for them. I speak for groomers everywhere: To those pet owners who neglect their pets by allowing the dog or cat to become overgrown, matted and filthy, we KNOW you don’t love your pet. We know you’d rather spend your money on movies and cigarettes and cheeseburgers. We are not fooled. Actions speak louder than words. If you want us to think of you as a loving, caring pet owner, then act like one. It really is very simple.

    Why wouldn’t you want your cat to look like this?

    IMG_6054
      
     

    Why wouldn’t you want to run your hands through beautifully clean and silky hair?

    Finish after bath/blow dry.

    Finish after bath/blow dry.

    Why wouldn’t you want to snuggle up to a cat that actually smelled good – like cloves or cookies or Christmas?

    Why wouldn’t you want a happy cat?

    Well, it is possible. And now you know.
    Call the groomer, schedule a appointment. Follow through with the recommended preventative maintenance plan (average every 6 weeks) and make life better for you and your cat. It is a good thing.

  • March 29, 2013 12:25 PM | Danelle German (Administrator)

    Who is to blame for this?  It’s not rocket science. We (the people) have skin and hair. We wash it on a regular basis. Dogs have skin and hair. We wash it on a regular basis. Hopefully. I mean, at least the general population of human beings on this planet “gets” that dogs need a good scrub down from time to time. You’d be hard pressed to find a dog owner, a veterinarian, or just a person in general who would argue that filthy Fido shouldn’t have a bath. So how is it that felines, with skin and hair, get the “no bath for you” shaft?

    Cat owners are really not to blame here. A fat chunk of pet groomers have no clue what to do with a cat, much less what to recommend for a cat owner seeking some form of remedy to typical life-with-a-cat problems.  I know groomers who think cats cannot or should not be bathed. I know some that think spritzing a cat with a bottle of scented spray equals “groom.” And others think that some attempt at ripping out mats with a comb constitutes a complete and thorough groom. Shame, shame, shame.

    So a cat owner is told, by a grooming professional, that their cat can’t be groomed. Or shouldn’t be groomed. Or doesn’t need to be groomed.

    Or, worse yet, the cat owner actually paid a grooming “professional” to take care of the problems but no real solutions were provided. Greasy kitty goes home with fewer mats and a little pee mixed in as a bonus.  (I know this from first hand experience.)

    And then, on top of that, the vet is telling the cat owner that Fluffy can’t or shouldn’t or doesn’t need to be groomed. And, after all, the vet is a doctor. With a title. DVM. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. And a lot of education. All fine and dandy when it comes to surgical procedures and treating a bad infection. But how, please tell me, did the educated DVM that believes cats do not need to be groomed, come to this conclusion? Like I said, it’s not rocket science. They seriously need to add a class to the DVM program about proper skin and coat needs for a cat. Seriously.

    And, as if that isn’t all bad enough, the cat owner can google stuff.  If it’s on the internet it’s true. Right? So if Purina.com or AnimalPlanet.com (it’s on TV so double whammy! It MUST be true if it’s on the internet AND TV!) or Wikipedia says a cat hates water and it grooms itself so don’t bother thinking, ever, that your greasy little furball might need a bath, well, then it’s absolutely true.

    So there ya have it. Cats hate water. Cats groom themselves. Cats should not be groomed because they do such a fine and dandy bang-up job of it themselves. What was I thinking? What is a cat owner to think?

    I’ll tell you what to think.

    Bath, blow dry, nail trim by a pro. On a regular basis. So easy.

    fleas1 copy

    This can be avoided. This is a good thing to avoid unless you are totally into living amongst an angry, hungry mob of fleas that are out to devour your pets while they still walk this earth. 

    IMG_9032 copy

    This can be avoided too. Fleas, grease, matted hair, and an infection thrown in for good measure. Trust me. This really should be avoided. Your cat will thank you.

    IMG_9043 copy

    This could be avoided too. I’m not even sure what to say about this except that the cat is rotten. Literally rotten. I can’t think how this is not noticed by the people that live with this cat and supposedly love it so much. Really? Actions speak louder than words, my friends. Much louder.

    My fellow groomers, esteemed veterinarians, people of planet earth – let’s do something about this. Please. Get your facts straight. A skilled, knowledgeable and astute cat groomer can be your new best friend.  Let go of your egos, learn something new. Admit that maybe you haven’t been right about this after all. You could save a cat’s life. 

    To wrap this up, I leave you with a fun photo album of snapshots from another of our members (Sally from Canada, thank you!).

    I hope this keeps you up at night and gives you nightmares when you finally do fall asleep.  And you can be mad at me in the morning. It’s okay. I get mad about this myself sometimes.

    DSCN2256IMG_1257IMG_3560

    IMG_3814

  • March 28, 2013 12:18 PM | Danelle German (Administrator)

    In case you’re wondering what I mean when I refer to a “pelt,” let me explain.  A pelt is a mass of fused together mats that form over a cat’s body. A pelt can be small, covering only a portion of a cat’s body, such as a hip or the belly. And a pelt can be large, covering nearly every part of a cat, even to up around the face and to the ends of the tail.

    I’ve heard other groomers refer to a pelt as a ‘turtle shell’ or a ‘body cast’ before. These terms surely fit, as a pelt by any name is hard, solid, and stuck to the cat. The only way to remove a pelt is by shaving the hair completely off, very close to the skin. As you might imagine, this is very tedious and dangerous work – most cats are not fond of pain or of being handled to the degree required to free a cat from a body cast of matted hair.

    But, unfortunately cat groomers must deal with the difficult and dangerous task of pelt removal on a regular basis.

    Why?  Hmmm….yes, why?

    And here we are right back to my initial questions at the start of The Grossness Series.

    So in an effort to eradicate this problem, let me explain how a cat ends up pelted:

    1. Cats are greasy.
    2. Cats shed (pretty much all the time)
    3. Greasy shedding hair sticks to greasy hair still attached to the cat, forming a tangle.
    4. Tangles grow up to be mats.
    5. Mats fuse together to become a pelt.

    If this is true (which it is) then wouldn’t it then make sense to attack facts 1 and 2 right when they start? I think so. I know so. I guarantee to my clients so.  

     HERE IT IS, INA NUTSHELL. TAKE NOTE: If a proper and thorough degreasing bath is given on a regular basis AND a cat’s properly and thoroughly degreased, squeaky clean coat is properly and thoroughly dried with an appropriate drier and then properly and thoroughly combed out to the point of “glide,” then facts 1 and 2 never lead to 3-5.

    (if you are confused by this, no matter. That’s what Certified Feline Master Groomers are for! They know what this means and how to do it!)

    The greasy-sheddy stuff is gone. Eliminated just when it starts to rear its ugly head. Stopped in its tracks! No more 3 through 5. No more pelts.

    This is so completely, utterly, and entirely possible. It’s just that easy.

    IMG_0869 copy

     

    This photo shows the transition that occurs in fact 4 listed above. Tangles growing up to be mats. Our HV dryer exposes this so clearly. This particular cat is on the verge of having its mats fuse together to become a pelt. Not quite, but almost. And at this point, the mats are pulling on the skin, causing sores and other painful consequences such as not being able to move the legs freely. No wonder cats tend to be cranky. I’d be cranky too if I was all wrapped up in knots that pulled at my skin and left me unable to walk about freely,

     

     

     

     

     

    IMG_2139 copy

     

    Here is pelt removal in progress. Note how thick the encasement is. The cat’s skin has not been touched for many months while this lovely pelt was forming over its body. Often we find all kinds of wonderful goodies underneath: thousands of fleas that are eating a cat alive (literally), open sores, infections, prickly outdoor debris, and more. It’s almost like a treasure hunt!

    Pelt removal at my salon costs a pretty chunk of change. It requires a great deal of time (groomers are in the service industry and thus paid for their time), it puts unnecessary wear and tear on my grooming equipment (dulls those expensive clipper blades!), and it’s downright dangerous!

    (My hands are my livelihood. If a cat causes damage to my hands- permanent or otherwise – I am out of work. This is why MOST groomers opt not to groom cats. There is way too much risk involved. If you find a skilled and knowledgeable expert cat groomer who is WILLING to take on your pelted angry kitty, then consider yourself very, very lucky!)

    If you are thinking of saving yourself a bit of money and doing some at-home grooming, think again! Here’s a photo showing a cat’s skin cut wide open by a frugal do-it-yourselfer with a sharp pair of scissors. So much for frugality. This turned into a hefty vet bill in addition to a professional groom. And a scar for the cat – a forever souvenir of the occasion.

     

    cat cut w scissors

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    If you want a keepsake to remember how much you loved your cat, ask to have the pelt after it is removed from your cat’s body. A stinky pelt with flecks of dandruff and dried nuggets of poop is definitely more fun to show off than the scar from the sutures would be. (Or maybe you could have both!)

    IMG_6279 copy

     

    Save the licking to the cats. And save the grooming to the pros. It’s so much safer that way.

    Here’s the deal….. you can save your cat’s life by having it groomed on a regular (i.e. 4-6 week) basis by an expert cat groomer (find a CFMG – they are the bestest!).

    You can also save yourself some fat vet bills and visit to the ER.

    And then, once kitty is freed from imprisonment by its own hair, you can do your part by visiting the expert cat groomer every 4-6 weeks so your precious little princess furball foo foo is treated like a precious little princess furball foo foo. A groomed cat is a happy cat!  I promise.  And it’s just so totally that easy.

     

     

     

    I leave you with this to wrap up Part 3 of The Grossness Series.

    From my salon – The Wall of Shame.

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Some of these works of art had to be aired out a bit before they could hang on the wall. They were rank. Bleh! Formerly worn by real, living cats that walked around in someone’s house…..through the kitchen (where people eat and store food)….. on the bed (where people lay their heads at night)……… with the children (who touch everything)……..


  • March 27, 2013 12:16 PM | Danelle German (Administrator)

    I love cats. I always have.

    They are such narcissistic creatures, totally full of themselves and doing everything on their own terms. What’s not to like?

    I “fell” into cat grooming quite by accident when I obtained a Persian and was invited to show him at a CFA show. Back then I knew nothing about grooming cats. But I did understand the very basic principle that a cat should at least be clean, and it should not have matted hair.  The education I received in the show ring taught me just how to go about that.

    It’s so easy really. A regular bath, blow dry and nail trim. Of course there are many more options when the cat isn’t headed for the show ring. A de-shedding treatment, lion cut, comb cut, belly shave, Softpaws, and the ever popular sanitary clip……just to name a few.

    Cats do none of the above by themselves. If you think a cat grooms itself, think again!  Licking and professional grooming are. Not. The. Same. Thing. Period.

    (I could have saved myself a TON of money if all I needed was my tongue to groom cats. Forget the Forever Stainless Mini Tub, HV dryers, Catty Shack Vac, expensive shampoos, clippers, combs and such. A tongue is all you need!  Ready, set, go! Start licking!)

     

    Loricoates mattedcat copy

    Here ya go – start licking this. I don’t know the back story on this cat as the photo was submitted by one of our members in Ohio (thank you, Lori!). But I really think the picture says it all.  Imagine this nestled on the bed, next to your pillow. Or basking in the ray of sunshine on the kitchen table. Simply delicious, don’t you think?

     

    What I do know about this particular cat was that it had to suffer a great deal while the pelted encasement of hair was shaved from its body. Very tedious work. I would think that the bath that came afterward was rather soothing and refreshing since the cat’s skin hadn’t been touched in quite some time.

    In case you’re wondering, pelts can kill a cat. Yep, it’s true! Notice how the matted hair covers the entire backend of the cat. When that happens, the rectum gets blocked which leads to intestinal blockage, which eventually leads to death. It’s a slow, painful death as the cat essentially rots from the inside out. I can’t think of a better way to die really.

    I groomed a cat once that was septic from this exact scenario. Fortunately one of my fabulous, caring clients was willing to save the cat’s life by paying for multiple surgeries and providing regular, ongoing professional grooming care so that it never happened again.

    And to think this could all be avoided so easily. Regular bath, blow dry, and nail trim. By an expert who knows what they’re doing. Not all groomers are experts because we are not required to be. But some choose to be experts. Find an expert and use them to avoid problems like this one.

     

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    I post this just for fun. What’s not fun about a cat pelt – or “Persian rug” as I like to call them?  I have an entire collection of these.

     

    The only thing this rug needed was a decorative frame to turn it into a true work of art. The other half of this pelt – the cat part – went home naked but with cute little “go go boots,” a puff of hair at the end of his tail, and most of the hair on his head still intact. The raw sores on his body eventually healed.

     

    Bath, blow dry, nail trim. By an expert. Easy.


  • March 26, 2013 9:00 AM | Danelle German (Administrator)

    I was looking through “before the cat groom” pictures the other day, in hunt for something very specific.  Afterward I felt gross. Downright dirty. Disgusting.  Bleh!

    I had sifted through hundreds of dirty cat pictures (that’s “dirty” as in gross – not the other kind of “dirty”) and thought to myself, “How does this happen?”  How is it that people can live with something so disgustingly filthy? How can human beings be so intentionally unsanitary by their inaction? Never mind the health, comfort and well-being of the cat. How is it that PEOPLE are okay with stuff like this?  I don’t even have an answer.

    In lieu of an answer, I decided to pull out some of the photos and write a blog series about them. So far I’ve selected 16 photos to start with, and this doesn’t even scratch the surface of icky-ness. But it will give you an idea. 

    And just in case anyone thinks what I write in this series is offensive in any way. Good. Because I’m offended at the condition these cats are in. (The cat is, most likely, offended too.) So now we’re even.

    To start with…….

    IMG_2090 copy

    Ingrown nails. This has to be painful. I have a hard time with a hangnail. Imagine the pain and suffering for a cat to walk around on paws that have sharp claws growing up into them. Wow! And the unsanitary-ness of it all. Imagine the germs that have collected in the black gunk buildup on the nail and inside the puncture wound. Litter box germs, household germs. Great stuff  there.

    This could be prevented so easily. Regular bath, blow dry and a nail trim. Easy.

     IMG_9010 copyIMG_9018 copy

    This cat smelled like pee when she was brought in. No wonder since her entire body was covered in a pelt that extended down both back legs and across her private parts. Every time she pottied, the pee ran down her matted legs where it stayed until we shaved it off. Notice the red, raw skin underneath. That’s because the matting was pulling so tightly. It addition to the pee saturated, pelted coat, the cat could barely walk. Her range of motion was restricted because her matted hair had all fused together.

    The pile of hair on the floor is a part of the sum total removed from this poor kitty.

    This could be prevented so easily. Regular bath, blow dry, sanitary clip, and nail trim. And in this case, a face trim would also be done since the cat is a Persian. Easy.

    And before anyone starts adding comments to this that combing and brushing would prevent all of this. It won’t. An argument could be made that combing and brushing can cut down on or even eliminate mats in the first place. However, because cats are so oily (Yes, they are!) and because they continuously shed, the coat needs to be properly washed and dried to eliminate both greasy hair and loose hair.  Thus, combing/brushing does not CLEAN the cat. Nor does it remove urine and feces. The act of combing and brushing does spread around the grease and cat saliva (since cats are so good at licking themselves) and removes some of the dead, loose hair. So you have a combed cat with dirty hair. Fabulous.

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    This cat has flea bite dermatitis. That means it suffers from an allergic reaction to flea saliva. Each time the cat gets bit by a flea, the skin reacts by becoming itchy and oozy. The cat tries to scratch at the infected area (hard to do for this cat because of the location of the rash and the fact that it was previously covered with a thick pelt of matted hair).

    Imagine hundreds of hungry fleas crawling around under matted hair, feasting on the cat for weeks on end. All the while, the cat is suffering from an incredibly itchy rash that it can’t scratch. That has to be loads of fun!

    This could be prevented so easily. Flea bath, blow dry, nail trim. Easy.  If a cat is groomed on a regular basis (i.e. every 4-6 weeks), a groomer can spot fleas BEFORE an infestation occurs. Wouldn’t that be great?

    I’m not done yet. Part 2 is next. And then after that……well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

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