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The Well-Coiffed Cat

Maggie Marton//October 12, 2015//

The Well-Coiffed Cat

Maggie Marton //October 12, 2015//

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Many pet owners overlook their cat’s grooming needs. Some cat owners assume that cats can take care of all their grooming requirements on their own. For others, grooming a cat can be a stressful experience—for both person and pet.

However, the cat grooming category is expanding to include fear-free products and simple solutions. Also surprisingly, trends in dog grooming are beginning to trickle into cat grooming. For the intrepid at-home cat groomer or the salon that offers cat grooming, bestsellers are products that help owners and groomers de-shed and reduce dander.

Fewer Scared Cats

A developing trend among cat groomers is the fear-free movement. The emphasis on low stress handling started among veterinarians and is emerging in other pet-related service industries, including grooming.

The Groom Genie is a tool developed for just that. According to the brand’s founder and owner, Rikki Mor, the Groom Genie emerged from its initial offering for people, the Knot Genie.

“Similar to how it worked for humans, the Groom Genie is a great grooming tool for cats and particularly those who are sensitive to being brushed,” Mor said. “During our research and development, and in the few months the brush has been available to the public, we have frequently heard about customers’ cats who hate to be brushed but who love the Groom Genie.”

According to Mor, the bristle design distinguishes it from other brushes because it features a combination of bristle lengths for detangling.

“Pet owners can work through tangled fur without pulling, which can be painful to sensitive pets,” she said. “The shape of the brush is ergonomically friendly and fits into most people’s hands easily with a unique paw shape that actually provides a finger hold for an easier grip. The fact that there is no handle means cat owners can better control their brushstrokes and truly feel their cat’s reaction to the brush, which contributes to a less stressful grooming session because it enables owners to pinpoint sensitive spots more easily.”

The Groom Genie is packaged with eye-catching graphics, like dog- and cat-shaped UPC symbols and a wrapper that unfolds to showcase instructions on the inside.

Beyond tools and in keeping with fear-free when it comes to cat grooming, baths are often avoided.

A spray like Eqyss’ Premier Spray reduces shedding and dander on a cat—no water needed.

“We recommend cat owners use it daily to reduce dander and shedding, and add (that) much needed moisture to the cat’s skin and coat,” said Dallas Van Kempen, president of Eqyss. “The key is to lightly mist the cat and not soak it in spray.”

Creative Cats

Creative grooming is a growing trend among cats.

According to Kendra Otto, Andis’ grooming educator, “Professional cat grooming can be quite expensive, which is why some cat owners look to cut costs and groom their cats on their own. The different styles of trimming your cat seem to be all the latest rage. I’ve seen some cats clipped to make their long hair resemble a short-haired cat, while others are clipped to look like lions. Mohawks are very big right now, and I’ve even seen some cats clipped to resemble dinosaurs.”

Whether your staff or customers are interested in the creative grooming trend or in a standard groom, Otto said that Andis offers a variety of tools appropriate from cats, including brushes, combs, clippers, trimmers, blades and attachment combs. Among those, Otto said that there are several bestsellers for cat owners.

“I would have to say that our pin brush and soft slicker brush are among the most popular with cat owners,” Otto said. “Our small comb and flea comb are also great. For clipping purposes, we have our new line up of EGT blades, which come in a variety of lengths. They’re especially great because you can put attachment combs on them to create longer lengths. The EGT blades also have a special coating on them that not only reduces static, but also allows them to glide through the coat, limiting the amount of clipper lines in the coat.”

Grooming is big business, and even though cat grooming comprises a tiny slice of that segment, it’s worth stocking a selection of products that capitalize on current trends for the owner who is inspired to groom their cat. Salons that offer cat grooming services can leverage the client relationship to offer easy-to-use products that help owners maintain their cat’s coat between grooming appointments.