Kitty Kuts & Doggy Dos
In the News
Kitty Kuts & Doggy Dos was featured in the Beaver County Times on Tuesday January 14th 2014. Below is the article that was written.
Cat owners becoming more frequent clients of pet groomers
Anyone who has ever owned a cat knows that attempts to groom them can by tricky business. Notorious for their independent tempers, feline companions have long eluded the hesitant hands bearing scissors and brushes.
Dogs, always pleased to have any form of human contact, have been regular customers of pet salons for years, but there is a growing trend of people taking their cats to these grooming professionals as well.
Delores Anderson began taking her 7-year-old cat, Lily, to be professionally groomed because of severe matting of her fur. Matting is a common problem among long-haired cats and can cause intense pain and skin damage. After being shaved and receiving a thorough skin treatment, Anderson said there was a noticeable change in Lily’s behavior
“Before, when I would pat her, she would just meow in discomfort. Now, she rolls around on her back and enjoys it. It’s like she’s saying ‘Thank goodness,’ ” Anderson said.
Leigh Ann Donnelly, owner of Kitty Kuts and Doggy Dos in Eastvale, is Lily’s groomer and a certified feline master groomer, a certification she earned in August after completing a two-week program at the National Cat Groomers Institute of America in South Carolina. The program involves hands-on training and instruction in the handling techniques for cats of all temperaments, grooming methods, anatomy and even feline CPR.
Donnelly says it’s a common misconception that cats do not require grooming, and that their own self-maintenance is sufficient in the upkeep of their hygiene.
“People think cats groom themselves, but, in reality, they just lick themselves. They’re covered in dried saliva,” she said.
In addition, regular grooming and bathing helps cut back on irritable household fur and allergies many people suffer from with cats, Donnelly said. “It isn’t the fur that’s the issue. Dander and saliva is the allergy, and so the more regular bathing, the less of the allergy.”
At most pet salons, a standard full-grooming treatment consists of a nail trim, ear cleaning, bathing, a de-shed treatment and an underbelly cut. Some cat owners also request style cuts, such as the lion cut in which the majority of the cat’s fur is shaved, but the groomer leaves the mane, paws and tail-fur fluffy and intact.
Leslie Komlos also began getting her 5-year-old Himalayan groomed when the cat formed severe mats.
“She was really knotted. Knotted and cranky. So I decided to have her shaved down,” Komlos said. She continues to have Sophie groomed in a lion-cut fashion every eight weeks.
“She gets her hair cut more than I do," Komlos said, who added that the extra cost of grooming is absolutely worth it. “I wouldn’t be able to have her otherwise. To upkeep her fur and to constantly vacuum the house would be impossible.”
Anderson is thrilled about her decision to maintain her cat’s grooming on many accounts.
“It was a favor to me and to her. It is cute, but I do it mostly because it brings relief to Lily. I like the idea I don’t have to bother with the hair, but it’s mostly because Lily is at peace.”
Other than the mere practical benefits of ridding a cat of its coat, there’s the consideration that there’s a degree of danger in attempting to groom a cat on one’s own. Rather than risk the possible bite and scratch marks, it may be safer for both the cat and owner to go to a professional.
"It’s hard to groom a cat. It’s very hands on,” said Ezzie Pinkerton, who works at The Grooming Depot in Hopewell Township.
Pinkerton says they only have one groomer on staff who is comfortable enough to groom the cats because they can be so resistant. Still, the shop has a regular kitty clientele that comes in every four, six or eight weeks for grooming, and has picked up more cat owner customers recently.
“If you know what you’re doing, and you’re confident, they’re going to sense that,” Donnelly said. Despite the occasional kitty crank, Donnelly says most of the cats she handles are good, but understands why many groomers are hesitant or even refuse to attempt to work with cats.
“They certainly have a time switch," she said. "And when they’ve reached the end of it, you’re done.”
By Alisha Hilfinger For The Times
Photos by Kevin Lorenzi of The Times