Pet Groomers

Choosing the right pet groomer for your cat

Looking for pet groomers? Here you will find tips to find the right cat groomer for your cat.

Cats are very clean animals and groom themselves daily. However, they can get dirty and oily from time to time.

Or, they can get a tough-to-clean or toxic substance on their coats.

In these particular situations, you may want to help your cat but may not know how. If this is the case, a professional pet groomer may be the perfect solution to your problem. Here are some suggestions to help you find a pet groomer that is right for your pet.

What does a groomer do?

Well, groomers make sure that your pet is clean and looks great. Professional pet grooming involves brushing, bathing, nail trimming, and the treating and controlling of tick, fleas, and other parasites. So in addition to enhancing your cat's appearance, grooming can help your cat stay healthy. Therefore, it is very important that you find a qualified, experienced, and reliable groomer.

Now, when looking for a pet groomer, make sure that he or she also caters to cats. It is easier to find a good dog groomer than a groomer specialized in felines (at least, that's been my experience).

How to find a groomer

There are different avenues you can follow when looking for a cat groomer. You should first ask your vet and/or friends for referrals. Many veterinary clinics also provide grooming services. For me, this is the perfect arrangement.

Other places and/or people you can go to for information about finding a groomer include:

Pet stores. Many pet stores offer grooming services. However, if they don’t offer this service, they can point you in the right direction.

Animal shelters. Many animal shelters have information on reliable groomers.

Cat breeders. Cat breeders who actively participate in cat shows know experienced and reliable cat groomers. Many of them use their services in their shows so they can provide you with excellent leads.

Yellow Pages. This is always a good place to start your hunt. Look under "pets & animals" and/or "pet grooming services". This is the yellow pages online. You can search by category, business name, or keyword. Make sure you select your city and state to narrow the search.

Online directories. Take advantage of the Internet - there are several pet grooming directories online.

Kennels, boarding services, and pet hotels. These establishments might have an in-house grooming service, or they might work with or know of a reliable grooming service.

Dog walkers, pet sitters. They might give you helpful tips and leads.

Note: If you find a pet grooming company that looks promising, check the Better Business Bureau website (or call them) to ensure that there are no complaints filed against the establishment.

What should you look for in a groomer

Pet grooming is not a regulated industry so anyone can call himself or herself a "pet groomer". The right pet groomer should be experienced, skilled, and very professional. Remember, you will leave your beloved cat in his/her hands for quite some time.

Here are some questions you might ask yourself during the selection process:

  1. Is the prospective groomer certified? As I said previously, groomers are not regulated by any government agency. However, some states extend certifications. Grooming schools and grooming associations also give certifications (certification is optional though). You might want to find out whether the prospective groomer is certified. You may also want to know whether he/she belongs to any professional association. Belonging to a professional association is always a plus.

  2. Does your state require a certification/license to apply tick and flea medications? Does your prospective groomer have such certification?

  3. What type of training do the prospective groomers have? Many pet groomers attend professional grooming schools while others learn on the job. You might also want to find out how many years of experience they have and how many years they have been in business.

  4. If you can, ask previous customers about the prospective groomer’s quality of service, and visit the place to see for yourself. In addition, you might want to request an interview with the manager/pet groomer.

  5. When you visit the premises pay attention to the place and personnel: Is the place clean, safe, and well-lit? Are the grooming tools clean? Does the facility have enough staff? Is the staff well-trained?

  6. Do the personnel answer your questions promptly? Do they handle animals and clients with patience, care, and respect?

  7. Do they keep dogs and cats in separate places? Are caged animals supervised on a regular basis? Is the facility overcrowded?

  8. If the pet groomer is not affiliated with any clinic, what veterinary clinic would they contact in case of an emergency? Is the clinic close by?

  9. Do they also specialize in cats? (Many pet grooming businesses cater exclusively to dogs). And if so, what type of cat grooming services do they offer? Do they sedate cats? Do they perform surgical procedures?

  10. How much do grooming services cost? Keep in mind that costs will vary depending on the pet groomer, grooming facility, type of service(s) provided, and/or city and state.

  11. What services do they offer? Do they offer special packages and/or pricing? What are the types of payment methods they offer?

  12. Should the grooming facility be close to your home or are you willing to travel?

  13. Do they offer special services such as house calls? This is an excellent service, especially for cats.

  14. Do they offer pick-up services? This is a great service for older pets. My local animal clinic also offers this service to elderly clients who may have trouble transporting their pets.

  15. Do you always have to make an appointment? Does your prospective groomer accept walk-ins?

  16. Are they open on weekends? Do they have a flexible schedule?

These questions will help you find the right grooming for you and your cat so keep them handy.

Different types of pet and cat groomers

There are several types of pet grooming businesses. Consider each option carefully to determine which option meets your individual needs.

Service offered by animal clinic. One of the advantages of this option is that the personnel is well-trained and have ready access to the clinic in case of an emergency. Furthermore, because it is associated with a clinic, it’s more closely supervised.

Service offered by pet store. Many national pet store chains offer this option. These salons offer a wide range of services.

Separate commercial establishment. This is the most common type. Most are centrally located.

Pet groomers on the go. The pet groomer goes to the client’s home. Some mobile groomers have special trucks that have been turned into grooming salons.

Note: Some groomers have a commercial location and also provide house call services. However, mobile pet groomers primarily (and sometimes exclusively) work out of their trucks or vehicles.

Home-based. The groomer works out of his or her home.

Related topics

Mobile groomers information

Cat Grooming Tips

Cat care: home safety, grooming and more

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