Dangers of Cat Groomers

Dangers of cat groomers

Professional cat groomers can be dangerous for a cat. They can be lethal. I clearly remember an article by Darlene. Such a tender, sad and tragic story. Quite unforgettable for me. She loved her cat, Hugs. He had long hair and although she kept Hugs groomed decided to have him groomed professionally. She went shopping after delivering him to the groomers and when she got home the groomers rang up and spoke to her mom. Darlene knew something was wrong and she prayed for her cat. Her mom held her tight and told her Hugs had died at the groomers. It was a shattering event.

“I threw myself onto my mom’s bed and busted out crying. My mom hugged me tight. All I could say was my baby’s gone and I kept on repeating this…”

That still makes me tearful. This is the article: Hugs the cat I loved dearly died at a cat groomers.

At the time, I didn’t have the time to follow up on the story. What can happen at a cat groomers that could kill a cat? It is enough to put you off for life.

I actually had my Missie groomed at a vet’s clinic on one occasion. She came back traumatized and I vowed to never do it again.

There is one comment by Kathy that supports the original article, which provides good advice. This is her comment in full:

“I am a groomer who is not a groomer right now. I first started out grooming dogs when I was 20. I am now 56. I worked at Petco about 5 years ago and that was the last grooming job I had.

However I worked at a petshop/grooming store for 13 years. I did not groom there but assisted a lot when they needed it. We had one cat die on the table. Luckily one of the groomer knew animal CPR and the cat was revived thank God.

Cats can tend to get very stressed out in a strange place with strange people. Some groomers also practice unorthodox practices when handling cats. It can be very stressful for the groomer as well as the cat. In the future I would suggest only taking your cat to a cat only groomer.

You didn’t mention why you took your cat to the groomer or what you were having done to her. It seems if you brushed her every day there should have been no reason to take her to a groomer. If dogs are in the shop that too tends to upset a cat very much.

Barking and being in a small cage also is stressful. The dryer being put on a cat after a bath also is dangerous. I wish you knew what happened to your cat. There is the possibility that she was strangled on the table by a noose being put on her to keep her on the table. She could have been fried by the dryer. Freaked out in the bath and had a heart attack. I hope you do find out what happened to her. We have a cat only groomer in my area. She is specially gentle with the cats and tries not to stress them out. She is experienced in cat behavior.

The groomer should have been able to have some explanation of what happened to your cat. Most reliable grooming shops never leave any animal unattended. I’m sorry for your loss. I know you are heartbroken as I would be if anything happened to any of my babies.”

The comment highlights some important points. I am not sure anyone at anytime should need to take a cat to a professional groomers. Sometimes there is a medical reason as was the case with Hugs.

When there is a medical reason might it not be better to let your vet do the grooming? I have doubts about using professional groomers unless you know the person and have real confidence in their ability to ensure first class procedures at all times with health being paramount. However, I am sure there are many excellent groomers, you just have to know who they are.

You wouldn’t consider a grooming parlour to be a place where your cat could be inadvertently killed, would you?


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Dangers of Cat Groomers — 14 Comments

  1. Oh, I am so sorry to hear this, Michael. We don’t trust our kitties to anyone but our selves, do we? No, we do not.

    We have all made mistakes in our cats’ lives. We learn. And move on.

  2. Laura grooms all of our cats. She uses a Furrminator brush and it gets all the loose hair. If they get into mischief and require a bath she can do that too.

    I took my dog Judy to the vet for grooming one time back in the mid 1990’s. I returned to get a bill for $95 and was told Judy had to be totally sedated to be groomed.

    After that we did it ourselves with a pair of electric shears. It took a few tries for her to learn to be still, but it was much better than the trauma of using a vet.

    I can imagine the trauma a cat would go thru if there were barking dogs at the groomer. When we first brought Sheela back home to us she had to go to the vet and he had to medicate her for 2 days. She was shaking from head to toe and it just wouldn’t stop. All from dog trauma. We had to give her half a pill a day and she’s fine now, but we were afraid she was going to have a heart attack.

    • Wow, the Sheela story brings it home to people that cats can really suffer a huge amount of emotional stress and it is not always recognised.

      My Charlie shakes at the vet and has defecated on the vet’s table. Bless him.

      • Sheela wasn’t just shaking. She couldn’t control it. Nothing was helping. It was horrible. The vet put her on a very low dose just to calm her down. We had to syringe feed her the first 3 days home before she began eating on her own. The adopter had to allow her grown child to move in with her kids and dogs and Sheela was terrorized. She’s doing great and sleeps all over the house now.

    • ‘Lisa, Elisa, I use a Furminator too, on my eighteen yr. old, MuckaLuck, Lucky. She was Oliver’s child, a Tortie-silver Tabby. Muckylucky is still going STRONG! Love her. >..< prowr…

  3. I have been personally grooming my pets since decades. At present i occasionally give my cats a “half-Bathe”,avoiding using shampoo on the neck upwards as it effects their “Sense of smell and recognition”.I normally trim away knotted hair, a common occurrence in my male traditional Persian cat “Matata”. If you personally just brush your cat daily with an occasional bathe there is no need of visiting a professional groomer.This way you save money as well as the tedious and risky process of handing your cat over to a total stranger for grooming.Remember,unlike dogs, cats are very nervous with strangers.

    • Nice comment, Rudolph. The important observation for me is that when a person takes their cat to a groomers they are, as you say, handing over their cat to strangers. You don’t know how good they are or even what they do. When you read about restraints being placed on cats and cats being drugged that tells you all you need to know: don’t use a a professional groomer unless you know the person (and your cat knows the person) and their work and that they have the highest of standards.

  4. Matala? Sounds so much like my Makita. A prrr-ian persian. My Buddha. I have never used a “professional” groomer, not even with my German Shepdog. He was in total love with my cats. My himmie and my Sputnik. I am getting nostalgic. Thank You, Mr. Furrtado! 😉

  5. I remember Darlene’s story too, it was heart breaking.
    Part of my job at the second vets practise I worked at was dematting knotted cats under anaesthetic. I hated it because the same ones would keep coming back despite advice to groom the cats daily so there would be no need to put them through such trauma.
    I dread to think how cats are restrained at professional groomers because for sure most of them won’t lie happily on the table while some stranger shaves or cuts at their fur.

    • Your comment brings it home to me how a lot of people are unsuited to keeping long haired cats that require extra maintenance. You simply have to groom daily in my opinion. If you do that you’ll never get a problem and it is easy. Let long hair go unmaintained and at a certain point you have to chop it off.

      I always question why some long haired cats are unable to self-groom adequately. Is it because the fur is too long or because the cat is old or ill? If the fur is too (as is the case for Persians) nature would not have allowed that to happen.

      Also you comment indicates that if we are honest a lot of people don’t attend to their cats enough. The domestic cat is very accepting.

  6. This is just very sad. It also reminds us that people who work with animals, cats, are just not the right people for the job – they are insensitive and down right dangerous.

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