The Cat’s Meow Our Area’s Certified Feline Master Groomer - theHumm February 2021
The Cat’s Meow Our Area’s Certified Feline Master Groomer - theHumm February 2021
What is a Certified Feline Master Groomer and how can one help you and your cat? For Cassandra Prince, co-owner of The Cat’s Meow, the answer is multifold. Regular cat grooming can help owners who suffer from allergies, find themselves cleaning up an excess of shedding hair, and are frustrated by cats clawing the furniture. Your cat can benefit tremendously by doing away with painful tangles, knots and clumps, greatly reducing hairballs, and maintaining a clean coat, ears, eyes and trim nails.
Becoming a CFMG (Certified Feline Master Groomer) has been a few years in the making for Cassandra. She first passed four written exams which were proctored by Erika Heeson at The Perth Library. Then she built, with help from her brother-in-law, a boutique cats-only grooming salon equipped with specialized tub, dryer and cat-grooming tools. All of this was to complement the existing cat boarding facility at The Cat’s Meow Luxury Inn in Maberly.
Finally, last December, she travelled to Regina to apprentice with a Master Groomer and to pass five practical hands-on grooming exams. The final word came from The National Cat Groomers Institute in South Carolina who issues the certificate.
“I was so excited to become the 336th Certified Feline Master Groomer world-wide! It was a real achievement to hold that piece of paper in my hand. I am so excited to offer these services to my current clients and to welcome new clients from all over Lanark County… I have been trained by the best in the world and I have hours of studying and learning behind me.”
Cassandra says that grooming cats is all about the bath. To get a really clean, degreased and shiny coat, your cat needs to have a warm massage shampoo bath. There is no getting around that. “I have shampooed dozens and dozens of cats and I can tell you, most cats, after getting over the surprise of being wet, will settle right down and enjoy the process of being bathed.”
Why do you need a degreased cat? Isn’t it the case that cats groom themselves? “Absolutely not”, says Cassandra. “Show me a cat that can give themselves a shampoo bath, which is necessary to prevent oily build up causing knots and tangles, dandruff, skin acne, and stud tail (greasy build-up at the base of the tail). Show me a cat that can trim their own nails or properly clean out their eyes and ears. Show me a cat that can shave out painful matting and pelting. All of these things only a qualified cat groomer can do.”
Cassandra says that she tailors each groom to the individual needs of the cat and listens carefully to the owner in order to address the problem he or she has come in to solve. “Not every cat is a good candidate for a lion cut,” adds Cassandra.
Cassandra begins by assessing the cat’s temperament and condition with which they present, and then offers solutions that can range from nail caps as a humane alternative to de-clawing (which Cassandra would never condone) to sanitary trims to complete shave-downs where all the hair comes off. “I prefer to save the cat’s coat when possible, but if a cat is badly matted the most humane solution is to take it off.”
She encourages cat owners to come in and see her before it gets to that stage. Getting a cat on a regular schedule will not only acclimatize cats to the grooming salon and routines so that they look forward to their grooming appointments, but also benefit clients knowing that they have someone looking after the needs of their cat.
Regular grooming can keep allergy sufferers together with their cats. Cassandra is particularly gratified when she is able to keep families together. “People who are allergic to their cat are not allergic to the cat’s hair but actually to the protein in the saliva that has been deposited on the coat. Regular shampooing can really help people suffering from allergies, and that means fewer cats ending up in the shelters. That makes me super happy!”
“I have clients whose cats have had to have operations to remove hairball blockages, which is a life-and-death situation for the cat,” she adds. “Bringing your cat to a groomer for regular de-shedding can greatly reduce the hair your cat is ingesting and may save your cat’s life.”
The Cat’s Meow website offers a fun selection of cat shampoo scents with a local twist. You can choose from, among others, Lanark Highlander (for the rugged cat; a scent made to highlight an independent nature), Pink Lady Slipper (a feminine scent named after the delicate orchid found in Ontario’s forests) or Perth Prancer (for the active cat with a spring in her step).
The Cat’s Meow turns 24 this year and was in fact the Ottawa to Kingston area’s first cats-only hotel. Nestled in the Perth countryside, The Cat’s Meow began as Lanark County’s best kept secret — a single-purpose cottage catering to just a few local felines. But over the years the news spread that it was indeed the cat’s meow and the place to send your special four-legged family members. In fact, the operation now features two luxury cat “hotels,” exclusive 100-square-foot private cage-free accommodations, and huge cedar decks.
“Covid restrictions have really hit our cat boarding business hard. We are hoping that the addition of the boutique cat grooming salon will bring a wider range of clients to our door,” explains Cassandra.
People who are working from home and spending more time with their pets may really welcome the idea of a clean well-maintained fluffy kitty. One with whom they will now love to share their pillow, knowing their little paws have been thoroughly scrubbed clean.
The Cat’s Meow Facebook page features videos where you can see happy cats being bathed. Check them out at facebook.com/CatsMeowInn .
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Feb 17 - Mar 26 Exhibition: Mary Pfaff's paintings
Mar 10 - Apr 16 Exhibition: Jim Hake's Sculptures
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- Hedgerow (where the domestic and the wild mix and mingle)
- Finding Joy in Lockdown
- Back to Better in the Valley
- Dear Little One