I have read a lot of articles, studied vet nursing, watched webinars, read books, done modules and talked to a lot of groomers and they have all said the same thing, I am going to forward this on to you for your and your clients.
I see it constantly on facebook, people grooming cats taking 2-4 hours
Cats have a time limit, some thirty minutes, some 1 hour, some 1 second, but they all get sick of grooming. The average time limit (when they start scratching biting or getting stressed) is generally under an hour.
I groom all cats from start to finish no matter how matted in an hour or less! Yes that included bath, dry and two clips. As with dogs speed comes with experience but with cats you need to set yourself a limit.
A cat that is in a chronic state of anxiety can experience health problems as well as behavioural changes. One indication of stress is high concentrations of the corticosteroids (hormones secreted by the adrenal gland) in the blood and/or urine, particularly cortisol. If large amounts of the hormones persist in reaction to chronic stressors, the result can be illness or even death.
I stress this limit must not be passed and if the following occurs the groom must be stopped and continued another day
- -panting that does not stop if you stop grooming
- -panting in any cat with medical issues or over the age of 10
- -weeing and defecating more than once
- – a cat over 10 years old and its been an hour of grooming
- – a cats eyes are dilated and do not return to normal when grooming stops
- -high temperature
- – rapid breathing
- – you believe that cat is highly stressed
Even if you believe the cat is not stressed, it is not at home in its bed asleep or relaxed, being out of its comfort zone it is stressed. Did you know cats also PURR when they are stressed?
This can, and has on many occasions caused death or renal failure etc leading to death.
I have only had this happen twice in my grooming time, and I have groomed hundreds of cats. My unfortunate circumstances were both elderly (19-22 years old) extremely matted, and did not show signs of stress. They were not groomed for more than 30 mins, did not have a bath, and both got very sick leading to euthanasia within days.
I have heard stories of cats literally falling over and dying, young, no signs of stress or ill health, yet they must of had heart issues not detected by a vet.
Now I am trying not to scare you, this is a very rare occurrence, but you must do everything to prevent it such as studying cat behaviour and health such as I have.
I drill it into all clients that grooming cats without sedation is both a risk to me and them and they sign a form stating this.
All I am asking is that you set yourself a time limit, even if you just bath or just clip until you get a little quicker.
Please believe me when I tell you to not do more than an hour of grooming on a cat.
Thanks for listening