Monday, September 14, 2009

Lion Cuts for Cats

This is Blacky. He's a short haired cat who I give a Lion Cut to on a monthly basis. He and his buddy, Trouble (who's a long hair calico), have this done so that the family doesn't have to find new homes for them.

The mom and four young daughters all have allergies to the cat dander. But by shaving the two cats and bathing them once a month, the family has no allergy symptoms!

Both cats took a few times to become accustom to the van and the procedure, but now they are very cooperative.

The Lion Cut has the cat looking like a lion when finished, hence the name. Blacky has shorter hair so the "mane" and tip of tail are not as full as a cat with long hair.

I shave with a #10 in reverse to get as short as possible on these cats, but will also use a #7.

Most cats need a cone-like collar to prevent them from biting me, but cats like Blacky who are just scared not mean, less is better. I'll put the collar on during bathing and drying so the water and warm air don't get on his face.

I'll trim cat's nails and then wrap the paws with vet wrap, which makes them calmer - the "bundling effect." The booties stay on during washing and drying, unless I know that cat won't scratch me.
I have work gloves handy in case a cat goes into panic mode and shakes all my protections off. I've learned to have a towel handy as well - for covering the cat's face, which calms him immediately, and for accidents on table when the dryer makes them scared and they relieve themselves.
Most cats don't care for the bath but I've heard some join their owners in the shower! It becomes a health issue if a cat, especially a long haired one, is unable to keep himself groomed. Even if the cat does not receive a Lion Cut, I'll shave a sanitary clip on his behind. Also, I'll shave belly mats if any.
Flea baths are also another reason I'll have a cat as a client.
I don't recommend an owner bathing and clipping their own cat - the cat may act up more with the owner than with me in "my territory."