There are millions of cats living in the United States and around a third of them are old enough to be classed as senior pets. Your kitty may be stubborn and resistant at the best of times, but as she gets older, her desire to do anything that doesn’t fit in with her personal agenda diminishes even more. Nevertheless, she still needs to be groomed with some degree of regularity so that her coat and skin remain as healthy as possible, her claws aren’t too long, and she is in the best condition she can be.
Grooming forms an essential part of the care of any domestic animal, including your cat. While she almost certainly has her own fastidious cleaning and grooming routine, she can still benefit from some professional attention. Some types of illness and disease manifest with symptoms that your groomer will be able to see and/or feel, such as a lacklustre coat, a skin infection or swollen joints. Symptoms such as these can be indicative of underlying health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and even thyroid problems. By identifying a potential health problem early and getting prompt treatment, you can minimize the effect that it could have on your cat. You could also save her from the pain and discomfort of more serious symptoms and extensive and invasive treatments, as well as potentially avoiding expensive veterinary bills.
Whether your senior cat suddenly becomes resistant to being groomed, or has never tolerated the process well, but is now making it unbearably tricky, here are our top tips for encouraging your older feline to tolerate a visit to the groomer.
Choose your groomer wisely
Much like us, as cats get older their senses begin to become less effective. She may not hear or see as well as she once did, and she may become more sensitive to being touched. She may also find herself cognitively impaired with her memory, concentration and even balance and co-ordination adversely affected. All of these changes could cause your kitty to feel anxious or even vulnerable. Therefore, it is essential that you find a groomer that your cat feels comfortable with – ideally someone you have used before. You should also try and ensure that your feline isn’t being groomed at the same time as another animal as this could cause her to feel threatened or scared.
Make sure your groomer takes your cat’s age into account
A good groomer will understand that the ageing process can take a physical toll on your cat’s body and that adaptations may be needed to way that they would usually groom her to help her remain comfortable. This could include things such as using a different grooming brush, a gentler shampoo on her coat or letting her sit or lay while various treatments are being carried out.
Learn how to use massage therapy
Animals can benefit from massage therapy just as much as humans can, and studies have shown that it can help your cat to relax ahead of her grooming appointment. Massage can also promote healing, reduce inflammation and reduce any age-related pains that your kitty might be experiencing. Some groomers will have experience in pet massage and can undertake this task for you. However, if your chosen groomer does not have this skill, it is definitely worth taking a massage for cats’ course yourself so that you can perform this on your cat as and when you feel it would benefit her.
Show her how much you appreciate her good behavior
Your feline furbaby will probably appreciate lots of love, fuss and attention that shows her how proud you are of her for being groomed. A few treats certainly wouldn’t go amiss either! By making the experience a positive one, you are likely to meet less resistance when taking your cat to the groomers next time around!
If your senior cat is overdue an appointment with the groomer and you would like further advice on the best way to encourage her to tolerate the appointment, please contact our office in Warrior, AL, and speak to our friendly and knowledgeable team