Dogs in Suds Grooming

Professional Pet Groomer

Cats need baths!

Cat’s don’t need baths.  They groom themselves!

 

If I had a penny for every time I heard those words…

 

I have this conversation all the time with both current and potential clients: do cats really need baths? Can we just skip that part?

 

Sometimes the pet parent is just worried.  They envision a violent and soapy fight ahead and just want to save their cat – and sometimes me – the stress.  Other times, they’ve been told by someone – maybe even their vet – that cats don’t need to be bathed.

 

But much like anything else, you should probably only listen to the experts when it comes to this.  And when it comes to grooming cats, I’m an expert.

 

The short answer is yes, cats need baths.

 

But why?

 

Cats need baths just like any other domestic creature.  We take daily showers, and even our canine kids get regular grooming – bath included.  Just like us, and just like our dogs, our cats get dirty and need to be cleaned!

 

Natural oils and dirt debris build up on the skin and hair.  Litter and waste collect on the rear and paws.  Wax builds up in the ears.  And if left unchecked, tangles can form and grow into mats.

 

They get dirty, and they need to be cleaned.

 

Applying water and shampoo has the same effect on the cat’s skin and coat that it does to ours.  It’s cleansing, making the skin and coat a healthier environment as well as making the cat more comfortable.

 

That is the biggest difference most cat owners report after getting their cat groomed – and bathed.  The cat seems more relaxed, more comfortable, and because the skin and coat are clean and fluffy, the owners enjoy sharing affection more, making the cat happier overall.

 

But don’t cats hate water?

 

Everyone knows the adage that cats hate water.  And any cat owner who has ever tried to wash a mess off of their pet knows how beastial their pet can get when it’s forced near the sink or tub.

 

But the reality is that cats are very nervous creatures.  They’re cautious, and often take sudden, loud, and unknown things as a threat.  They get scared.  And sometimes they panic.  This isn’t simply a matter of cats disliking water, it’s a case of cats not knowing that water is safe.

 

This problem is easily overcome with some patience and skill in the handler.  While there are a few exceptions – just as there are with dogs – most cats tolerate a soap and water bath just fine when attentive hands guide them into the process.

 

But don’t cats groom themselves?

 

Don’t get me started!  Licking is not bathing.  Saliva is not shampoo.  Cats need real baths with soap and water!  And until cats learn to operate the sink and handle shampoo bottles, I’ll say it plainly: Cats do not groom.  I do.

What does CFMG mean?

If you’ve seen my business cards or checked me out online, you’ve probably seen the four funny letters after my name: CFMG.  Those letter stand for Certified Feline Master Groomer, and they’re the biggest achievement of my career so far.

  

In 2011, I signed up to attend the National Cat Groomer’s Institute of America, a feline exclusive cat grooming school in Greenville, South Carolina.  I had already groomed a handful of cats, but I didn’t have any real training, and I wanted to do better.  The NCGIA offered a hefty education program and two full weeks of hands on direction – exactly the kind of training I needed to become not only better, but among the best.

I ordered all of their study materials and for nearly a full year before my session, I studied on a daily basis.  My poor family was constantly dragged in to help drill me on behavior, health conditions, and running through my breed and coat color flashcards.  I watched the videos a dozen times over, and did my best to implement my new skills on the few cats I was already grooming.  I read and reread the training materials.  I took notes, and studied them over and over.  After days, weeks, and months, I finally attended the school.

 

For two weeks I attended lectures on the materials I had been studying and practiced hands on skills on real live cats.  It was intense, and I loved it!  I passed both my practical and written exams with flying colors, and was called by the founder, Danelle German, “possibly the fastest cat groomer we’ve seen!”

 

So what does all of this really mean?

 

Well, pet grooming isn’t a regulated industry.  While grooming schools and apprenticeships are common, certification isn’t required by law – practically anyone can pick up a pair of clippers and start charging for services.  And anyone who calls themselves a groomer can go onward to train others.  This leaves the industry weak in terms of quality and safety standards, because there are no consistent guidelines.

I voluntarily spent a substantial amount of time, energy, and money to make sure I was knowledgeable in the safest and best ways to deliver the best quality service.  I pay yearly dues, and routinely refresh myself on what I learned at the NCGIA, as well as the latest industry trends.

 

Basically, it means you can have a certain amount of confidence in what you’ll get when you bring your beloved pet to me.  You can be sure your money is well spent.  You can bet the results you see will be the best in town.  And you can feel safe knowing your cat is in capable hands.

COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a few changes have been made around the salon to ensure we are providing the safest environment possible for you and your pet. In addition to my usual stringent cleaning procedures, I have added the following policies.

As of March 2020, the city of Saint Charles recommends that all businesses maintain six feet of space between all persons, employees and clients. To allow this, I ask that you:

  • wear a mask if you can
  • come with as few family members as possible
  • wait until the lobby is clear of other clients before entering the salon
  • request curbside service and/or pay over the phone if you or a family member is high risk

 

As a salon, Dogs in Suds is also taking extra precautions and has increased cleaning and sanitizing schedules to reduce the spread of the virus (and other pathogens).  If you have any questions or concerns, contact the salon directly for more information.

Thank you, and stay safe!

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