People are amazed that Floyd, a full grown Maine Coon cat, has absolutely no problems with me grooming him. He comfortably allows me to brush his teeth, clips his nails, give him baths, use a brush and occasional electric clippers to the underbelly (it gets hot in the summer where I live). My friends are so amazed that they ask me to try and clip their cat’s nails for them, and I’ve tried, and usually end up with scratched arms.
The secret is preparing your pet (and yourself) for grooming while they’re still young.
- Learn proper grooming techniques before you start – Do your research!
Unless you plan on spending a lot of dough and taking your pet to a groomer regularly, you’ll need to take care of some tasks yourself. Do your research! Read books, talk to vets, and attend free courses offered at local shelters and pet stores. Your pet can read you like a book and they’ll want you to be confident when taking care of them so the more knowledge you gain the more comfortable and open your pet will be.
**You have to especially careful with trimming nails – Veterinarians see a lot of patients with injuries from nail clipping so if you’re not comfortable then leave it to the pros.
- Prepare your pet, yourself, and the environment
Make sure you keep your grooming tools clean, organized, and ready for use. Choose a comfortable place for you and your pet for grooming duties. I’ve chosen a sisal rug as it helps keep the cat from sliding all over the place. Get yourself in the right frame of mind with no distractions. Everybody needs to be happy and as docile as possible. I’ve personally found that I have the easiest time grooming an animal right after they’ve woken from a nap. Be cool and show no frustration and if you have a hard time at first take a break and try again a day later.
- Start small and pretend!
Before you go giving any kind of haircut, start off by using a powered off pet hair clipper and just lightly brush the animal with the backside (smooth side) of the clippers while keeping a plastic guard on the trimming side for safety. Next time, try this same method but turn the power on so your pet gets acquainted to the noise. Do this several times before even attempting to trim any hair. During all of the practice sessions be sure to talk to your pet in a nice comfortable and reassuring tone. Frequently and gently inspect your pet’s nails to prepare for the eventuality of an actual nail trimming. For bathing, start off with a nice quick dip and work up to longer more effective baths.
- Be consistent, especially while the pet is still young!
This is key!! Even if you’ve just trimmed your pet’s nails a few days ago, keep in the habit of inspecting their nails, trimmers in hand, and even reward your pet so they’ll welcome another nail trim when it comes time. Brush your pet’s teeth regularly. Pets are comfortable with routines so keep consistent, especially while they’re young!
If you follow some of these simple suggestions, both you and your pet will have a much nicer time together during grooming. Good luck!