grooming scared cats

Many cats hate the grooming process. They dislike not being in control and some dislike being handled or held, especially by a stranger. When grooming becomes a problem the chosen groomer has to decide on the groom how to move forward with the least stress caused to the cat and, of course, the owner. Well, I say this but many groomers do not use this approach. Some see the groom as a way to control the cat. They have been paid to do a job and they will get that job done. Holistic grooming works in the total opposite way.

Decisions are made on the day of the groom once the cat has been assessed and history taken of the background of the cat.

Questions should be asked like:
1. What’s the history behind the cat’s dislike of being groomed
2. Do they generally like being touched or picked up
3. Are they scared of strangers

The answers should determine how best to move forward with the cat. What happens on a groom could affect all future grooming sessions.

The video above shows holistic handling at work on a mobile cat groom.

It is important to note that:

A: No face muzzles were used
B: No scruffing
C: No rough positioning
D: No restraints except a towel

All of the above may have caused problems for the future and a cat even more scared than in the video. Unfortunately June had to be shaved but all went smoothly and June recovered quickly from the ‘ordeal’. This may not have been the case had she been hooded or scruffed.

See my article on Scruffing.

Educating clients is key. June’s cat guardian had the incorrect tools thus making June terrified of being groomed. June’s personality was also weary of strangers especially one’s that smelt of other cats like me!

When you choose a cat groomer ensure all testimonials are read, not just on their website, but on sites like and Google Maps or Facebook. The testimonials cannot be changed and so give a realistic view on what other clients feel about the service offered.

If you live in london and have a cat that dislikes grooming then please contact

I am here to assist you. Your cat is unique and each grooming approach should be tailor made for your cat alone.

Good luck!



About Anita Kelsey - Cat Behaviour Consultant

Anita Kelsey holds a first class honours degree in Feline Behaviour and Psychology (work based BA Hons) and runs a vet referral service dedicated strictly to the diagnosis and treatment of behaviour problems in cats. She is also a qualified cat groomer and specialises in grooming aggressive or phobic cats. Anita writes for Your Cat Magazine and is on their experts panel answering readers questions on cat grooming. She also advises on feline behaviour for the CFBA (Canine and Feline Behaviour) magazine as well as being a full member. Anita is based in Notting Hill, London but consults all over the UK as well as international requests. She lives with her husband, a music producer, and two Norwegian Forest cats, Kiki and Zaza. Anita's debut book, Claws, Confessions Of A Cat Groomer is published by John Blake Publishers and is out on 7th September 2017 (available for pre-orders on Amazon UK)
This entry was posted in FELINE BEHAVIOUR ADVICE. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s