A new client form is such an important tool where you take the clients’ contact details and start the grooming consultation, which helps you, the professional, decide on the best grooming service for the individual cat.
Client/agent name: This would be who is responsible for bringing the pet and the pet at time of drop off/pick up.
Address: You may believe that a salon groomer does not need these details, but it would help with invoicing late payments, or no-show fees. If the cat happens to not be picked up, you are aware of where the client is coming from, or in case of forgetfulness, you can drop it home.
Phone number: Reminder texts, phone calls, reminder payments overdue, rebooking reminders.
Alternate phone number: This can come in handy if you cannot contact the original owner/agent that has not come to drop off/pick up. I have had to use these on rare occasions.
Email: Make sure you add a checkbox to add them to your list for updates, reminders, holiday leave, etc.
Vet Clinic Details: For any emergencies or questions you need to ask the Vet.
Pets name: Obvious, but sometimes clients forget to fill this part out!
Breed: Some cats are bigger than others, have more coat, more predisposed to health issues, coat types
Age: Can be a contributing factor to what grooming the cat has, such as kittens and elderly.
Weight: Sometimes you have booked the pet in a small spot and it turns out to be a 9kg Maine Coon! Good to know before the cat shows. Other times I have booked a large Maine coon spot and it has been written as 4kg.
Grooming History: It is important to know if the owner has been grooming the cat, if it has required sedation, if the cat has never been groomed or even had its nails clipped. I’ve heard it all! And just because a client has been grooming the cat at home, doesn’t always mean the cat is happy to be groomed. ‘She doesn’t like me grooming her’; can be so many things.
Why is the cat being groomed: This can help you decide what is needed. Shedding doesn’t always need to be a clip, bathing and brushing also reduce shedding, and when also stating the cat is aggressive at home or elderly, you can recommend a bath instead.
Does the cat have current matting? Location of matting.
Behaviour History: If the cat has signs of petting induced aggression at home or more, then you will require to reassess the grooming type or your policies with aggressive cats. We discuss the health history and how it affects a cat’s behaviour for grooming in ‘Behaviour for the Cat Groomer’.
Health History: Many health issues and health history influence the cats grooming. Anything from arthritis to having a history of fractures or teeth removal. Current medications and vaccination status. Flea/tick/worming prevention status.
Asking where the client found you can help you see what marketing is working for your business, you can also thank those that recommended you.
Terms and conditions of grooming: These are important to add to your form, remembering that this is not admissible in court, but also can show your client what they are to expect for grooming. Always add that there is a possibility of injury. I also state death, is rare, but they need to be aware of the risks involved with having their cat groomed. Include any extra fees that you add on top of the groom including the late fee, no-show fee, parasites, matting, behaviour, extra time taken, behaviour fee, or anything you add to your services. The client is then aware and add a check box or signature box. It is also recommended to state that this form is for any further appointments. In this disclaimer, you may be stating you are not liable, when in fact, any animals in your care, you are liable for. A form will not cover you but deter those that want to use you for dodging vet bills (it happens!) Or those with badly behaved cats that may be a liability to you and your staff.
Specialised forms: It is recommended to make specific forms for the following cases:
Senior Pets- Senior pets have thinner skin, and so have a higher risk of injury. They also may have a higher risk of death post grooming if stress puts them into kidney failure.
Matting declaration form- If the Cat is matted at all, there is a higher risk of injury.
Sedation and medication– If a client have worked with you and a vet to give a medication before grooming. You may choose not to take cats with any sort of sedation before.
This is general advice, ask for specific advice from your insurance provider and legal advisor before starting a business, and writing forms is recommended.