Tag Archives: Cat groomer

closeup photo of gray cat

Latest Feline Research: Repetitive Treatment Syndrome (RTS)

Repetitive treatment syndrome is a term I coined to describe a cat’s extreme reaction to being restrained or handled. I have seen this in cats who have undergone long-term daily treatment for a condition. For students of cat behavior, veterinarians, vet techs, animal handlers and animal shelter staff, RTS is a useful term to know.

This condition they were treated for can be something common, like ringworm, diarrhea, or a cold — or it can be a life-threatening virus such as FIP. The feline treatment might be applying ointment to the ears, eyedrops to the eyes, cleansing the rear area, intramuscular injections and so on.

What does RTS look like in real life?

A cat I visited for years changed his behavior. Each visit is now a struggle. He hisses, hides, and fights to get out of my arms. In the beginning, he used to sit in my lap, seeming to enjoy the claw trim. He acts like a different cat.

What changed? Due to an eye condition, he must now be given eyedrops two times a day. I don’t know if his eyesight has been affected, but I assume that there is some difference in the way that he sees things.

grayscale photo of person holding tabby kitten
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

This is what I mean by repetitive treatment. The treatment is given day after day, relentlessly. A cat who associated handling and gentle restraint with affection or play, now understandably associates it with strange, unpleasant or even painful experiences.

While their owner will be forgiven for such a violation of a cat’s personal space and dignity, or to put it more plainly, forgiven for causing discomfort, the infrequent visitor such as a groomer, is viewed with intense suspicion.

Unfortunately, I have no solution. Once a cat loses trust, the groomer will have more difficult task. Gabapentin can be given as a way to soothe the cat’s nerves.

The reason I bring this up is that reactions are something to consider when a cat is given repetitive treatments. There may be an aftereffect. Where possible, every effort should be made to make the treatment pleasant, even the treatment is merely wiping a cat’s rear. Treats, praise and playtime may help prevent RTS. Going to a Fear Free vet clinic might help too, since they focus on making treatments into pleasurable experiences.

#cat behavior, #cat anxiety, #cat grooming #cat medication #feline #cat aggression

Groomer term “Float the coat” defined.

Add water to the sink so that the Persian cat’s fur is floating on top of a layer of water.

You want the coat and skin to be completely wet, except for the cat’s head.

Then you shampoo the wet coat.

Watch me groom a sweet Persian cat named Estelle

Grooming cats is fun! As a well-established cat groomer in NYC, with 12 years of cat grooming experience, I get to groom some beautiful cats. I look forward to grooming your cat.

Young Ragdoll

Sweet kitty about to be groomed by me during a housecall.

Grooming needs for this cat: trim claws, brush and comb fur, remove mats. Wiggly and vocal during grooming, but very sweet.

Pro cat groomer tip: Distract with treats while trimming claws.

To learn more about this fun and pretty cat breed, check out https://www.thesprucepets.com/ragdoll-cat-breed-profile-4583144

Set-up for cat grooming in a bathroom

spiffy kitty cat grooming
This is how I use a bathroom counter for grooming cats.

These are tools and equipment I use to groom a beautiful Persian cat during a house call. There are cat combs and brushes, a Zoom Groom, claw trimmers, IV San Bernard moussette, a tiny shaver, and a suction deshedder. This well-designed bathroom is large and comfortable.