Lynn's grooming journey start with her own beloved cat, Totti, who was bought for her as a present. Totti was an incredibly affectionate boy and would warmly greet Lynn with coy "Meows" and head bumps the moment she got home - but there was one problem, he would get matted up very easily. She noticed that everytime she brought Totti to the groomer, he would become a different cat, hissing, and snarling. It was a stressful experience for everyone.
Lynn then decided to pick up cat grooming to save Totti the stressful experience and she learnt to handle the pets under her care with sensitivity and empathy to foster a minimally stressful groom session for cats.
While Totti has passed on, Lynn continues to use these handling skills to give cats and small animals grooms that are both as comfortable and pleasant as she can manage.
Hear what Lynn has to say about her passion.
1. What are some tips you can give us on handling cat grooming at home?
Cats in general are born with self-grooming instincts, but a little help from pet parents will not only keep them looking pretty but also help strengthen the bond between you and your cat.
For starters, try to create a calm and stress-free environment. Always have
its favourite treats on hand and be generous with praises and head / chin scratches.
Regular brushing with a slicker brush will help to remove dirt, excess hair, tangles and matts. For stubborn matts, use a slicker brush first to carefully loosen any knots. You do not want to pull on a matt as that will be very painful and cause him to not want to be groomed. Brushing once to twice a week for shorthaired cats will suffice, while daily brushing may be needed for longhaired cats. You can also use a toothbrush to brush and neaten the fur around the kitty’s face. I also find a toothbrush helps remove tear stains.
Do not neglect the dew claw of the cat if you decide to try clipping her nails yourself. I have seen nails that have curved into the paw pad, making it very difficult for the cat to even walk without pain.
If all else fails, do not hesitate to make an appointment with a trusted groomer to have him / her professionally groomed.
2. Is it true that all cats abhor water?
Unfortunate but mostly true. While there are some cats I have seen that don’t mind water and even tolerate swimming, they are the exception. Almost all the cats that I’ve groomed have an aversion to water. Which also explains the importance of making their first bathing experience a pleasant one. And also, because they are already so stressed, it is even more important to create a relaxing session, to the best of our ability.
3. Do you think grooming cats is more challenging than small animals?
I would say both are equally challenging. Cats can really go at you with their claws and teeth, and their bites can be very nasty!
But I know too many, small animals may seem the easiest to groom. In reality, small animals are the most fragile & easily stressed as compared to their canine and feline counterparts. Also, their skin is much thinner in comparison and therefore requires a lot of focus and precision when it comes to fur trimming or shaving.
We also have to be extra gentle during de-matting as a small tug at the wrong area can cause the skin to tear.
4. Tell us about a positive experience that you’ve gained from the past 7 years with Urban Paws
Well, it’s been a long journey with many ups & downs. I didn't take the traditional route of dog grooming, instead choosing to focus on cats and small animals, and that means there aren't as much resources.
But I’m most thankful for some of the friendships forged with my regular customers & their precious pets. It’s always heart-warming when customers come back with positive feedback or even to ask me for advice pertaining to their pets. It makes me happy when I am able to help them in whatever little way I can.