Trouble holding cat for claw trim?

I enjoy the challenge of claw trims.  Keeping the cat still can be a game of skill and imagination!  It’s hard to be more clever than a cat when it comes to keeping them from getting away during a claw trimming session.

Some gentle restraint techniques I’ve used:

No restraint. Just put the cat on a counter and trim the claws. Yay!

Hold the cat in my lap with their belly facing up, just like you’d hold a baby.

Wrap kitty up like a burrito in a big towel, pulling out the paw that I need.

Put cat on the counter, slide cat’s body up against mine so she is snug, and trim claws.

Any of the above, plus a snap-on E collar.

Sit on the floor on my knees, with kitty between my knees. Face a wall so kitty can’t run off.

Lay kitty on side with my forearm resting gently but firmly on their shoulders.  Trim the claws I can reach. Turn kitty onto other side and repeat.

Cats are flexible. As long as you don’t put them in uncomfortable positions, you can try different ways of holding them until you find the one that works.  Remember that trimming claws only takes a minute or so, so even if kitty isn’t thrilled, they are only one minute away from treats, praise and play time.  Not a bad deal!

Claw trimmer and cat's claw
Cat on my lap.

Well-groomed cats stay cool in summer. Shaving not necessary.

There are reasons to shave a cat, but temperature is not one of them. Best way to keep your cat cool? Frequent brushing, water, shade.

From MPC of Texas (Mobile Pet Care Clinics)

Unlike humans, the skin of dogs and cats does not contain the vast network of blood vessels and sweat glands designed to dissipate body heat during hot weather conditions. True, dogs do possess sweat glands in their footpads, but these glands play a minimal role in overall thermoregulation. Despite being sweat-gland deficient, dogs and cats have an uncanny ability to vaporize large amounts of water from their lungs and airways, water that carries heat from the body when they pant.

Shaving pets for the summer can actually predispose them to sun burn and to heat exhaustion/heat stroke. Long hair and thick undercoats act as insulation against the sun’s rays and their effects. Coats that are kept well-brushed and mat-free allow for good air circulation through the hair, which in itself can actually have a cooling effect. On the contrary, matted, unkempt hair coats stifle air circulation and do little to help cool the body. In other words, daily brushing is a must during the hot, summer months.

Here’s a prime example: My 2 year old Boxer, Titan (who has a short hair coat) and my 8 year old mix, Gobi ( who has long hair with a thick undercoat) love to go jogging with me. Both dogs are extremely fit, yet after 40 minutes in the Texas heat, Titan’s tongue is scraping the pavement, forcing regular water stops, whereas Gobi continues to just trot along like a canine version of Forrest Gump, seemingly oblivious to the heat. Keep pets cool and comfortable during the summer by keeping them well-groomed and by always providing a source of fresh water and shade. But don’t shave them. If you do, you’re only defeating the purpose and you may end up with a very expensive veterinary bill on your hands.”

BUT MOST CATS DON’T NEED TO PANT IN ORDER TO STAY COOL . . .

So how DO they stay cool? According to Dr. Bruce Carstens of Willow Rock Pet Hospital, “Because cats are generally around 10 pounds in size, they are small enough to regulate their temperature by decreasing their activity level and moving to the shade. The surface area of their skin is large enough in relation to their body mass to dissipate most heat build-up. If your cat gets hot or excited, you may see him pant for a short time, but it is not very common.”

 

Confessions of a cat groomer: You get to be the good guy

I get to be the bad guy. You get to be the hero who hands out treats.  File under “reasons cat groomers exist”.

I love this little cat. She USUALLY loves me.

After the claw trim
After the claw trim
Is she gone yet?
Is she gone yet?

Secrets of a cat groomer. Blow drying without blowing up.

You know the saying, “It’s not the heat. It’s the humidity.”  With cats, “It’s not the bath. It’s the blow-drying.”

I wish cats looked like this during drying.

Womenblowdryer

 

Instead, they usually look like this.

Shockedkitten

How do professional cat groomers blow dry cats without scaring the cat or creating an explosion of claws and fangs?

I choose my tools after doing much research. Dogs tend to react more calmly than cats to loud or harsh noises. I tailor my tools to cats only, since I am a specialist.  I talk to other groomers, spend time online reviewing spec sheets, go to trade shows and generally immerse myself in the topic.

My latest discovery is the Dog Shammy Dog Dryer. The dryer has only been available for a year.  As far as I know, I am the first and only professional cat groomer in Manhattan to use it.

Despite the name, the dryer is perfect for cats. In fact, I think it even better for cats than it is for dogs.

Dogshammy

Why would a professional cat groomer choose this dryer?

  • Due to increased insulation, the sound is soft, instead of tinny and harsh. Soft noises are more soothing to cats.
  • The air flow is adjustable, so high air flow can be used for the body, while low air flow is used for the head and tail.
  • The motor is powerful, so cats dry quickly. Less time spent grooming, more time spent playing with their human.

Dryer controls

 

Here’s to clean, un-matted cats with beautiful dry fur!

 

Is your Persian cat flammable? OMB!!!

Oh My Bastet. (Bastet is the Egyptian cat-headed goddess, of course.) You totally should have known that. You call yourself a cat lady? Sheesh. Go adopt a Dachshund.

Anyhoo, if the fire alarm goes off when you touch your cat’s fur, see below for a magical liquid called Coat Handler Anti-Static Spray. Spritz a little on your cat or dog. The scent is nutmeg-ish or cinnamon-ish or some-other-spice-ish. Smells good!

No more light show when you pet your cat
No more light show when you pet your cat