A long-haired cat, said to be a Maine Coon, was left “distraught” after a pet shop worker cut off nearly all of his fur during a grooming session. He was there to have his knots removed but not almost all of his fur!
His owner Natalie Thompson, 25, was upset when he was returned from Pets at Home in Gateshead shaved virtually “from head to foot”. In fact he came back with what is described as a “lion cut”. Staff said that his fur was knotted. Yes there were some knots but Natalie didn’t expect this.
Ms Thompson, a planning engineer, said:
“”I got to the store to pick him up about 20 minutes later and told my 15-year-old son to run in and collect him. He came out and he was white, he couldn’t even speak. I asked him what’s up and he said ‘look at the cat’ and I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. When I saw what they had done to Ollie I just cried my eyes out. He looked distraught and a mess. He is usually an outgoing cat but he seems traumatised. He’s snuggled into each corner in the house, probably to keep warm…”
Ms Thompson’s mother, Aileen, said:
“I read that it takes 4 to 6 months for his fur to grow back. What’s he supposed to do until then? They offered us a refund of £65 and a £100 gift voucher. I said I don’t want your money, but they replied, ‘Well you can go and buy him a jumper to put on.'”
A spokesman for Pets at Home said:
“Cats have a very delicate skin which can be easily torn or damaged. So when a cat has a matted coat like Ollie’s it is sometimes necessary to clip the coat very close to avoid causing any damage to its skin. We have apologised to Ollie’s owner for not explaining exactly what would be involved.”
There appears to be a moral in the story. Both owner and the grooming parlour need to be on the same page and know exactly what each other wants and what they will do. Ms Thompson expected some of the knots in Ollie’s fur to be removed and the remainder of the fur to be combed. However, the grooming parlour decided that the only way to remove the knots was to remove all the fur and leave Ollie with a lion cut.
Ms Thompson has used the pet grooming parlour before and this is the first time this has happened. It must therefore be very disappointing most of all for Ollie. There is, probably, one final point to make which is that medium-long-haired and long-haired cats need to be groomed by their owner regularly but it needs to be done delicately then the cat will enjoy it.
It can be troublesome and people might put it off but it does avoid having to go to a pet grooming parlour where, based on what I have read about them, both cat and owner take a risk. There have been some nasty deaths of cats in grooming parlours when, on one occasion, a cat put in a cage with a dog and the dog killed the cat or a cat has been washed and over-dried to the point where he was killed. I think you have to make sure that you are totally confident with your groomer and that staff are properly supervised. There appear to be no regulations in respect of pet grooming parlours.
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