Did you know that it is there are an estimated 8.4 million cats in Canada and that 53% are Obese? That means they are at least 20% more than their healthy body weight.
Did you know that Domestic Short-haired cats are the most prone to obesity?
What does this mean for grooming?
If you are still in the Dark Ages and believe cats groom themselves, more than 1/2 are having a grooming and hygiene crisis. We are creating a situation where cats can no longer groom themselves. Their body mass is getting in the way. They just can't stretch and reach like they are supposed to. Take a look at these pictures. Sad but true. I see this on a daily basis, and I'm happy to situation better for the cat and owner.
When a cat gets to an obese size there are many other health-related issues to consider. Be sure the vet has checked your cat and given the green light before grooming. Cats hide illness very well. Just for starters, obesity puts your cat at risk for:
A cat that doesn't feel good is a very cranky cat. A cranky cat is a tough customer to groom. They get very upset about the state of their backend which they can't reach. It's probably pretty sore back there too from neglect.
This doesn't mean you should avoid grooming. In fact, they will feel much better after grooming.
Some people opt for shaving their super sized cats to help keep themselves clean. While this is a good short-term solution along with regular bathing, it does not address the overall mental and physical health of your feline friend. Your cat is hardwired to hunt, scratch, and self-groom A blob can't do any of these, which can lead to depression.
An average-sized cat is 10 lbs. Any weight loss must done slowly and under veterinary supervision. A cat's natural body chemistry and metabolism is a finicky balance and sudden changes can lead to internal organ shut downs.
Professional grooming a super-sized kitty requires special handling skills. Any sign of stress can be particularly dangerous to the health of the cat. Handing the equivalent of 20 lbs of mud or more in a 10 lb bag armed with sharp nails and teeth can be awkward and hard to handle.
Which leads to questions of extra service charges for the over-sized cat....
Is it unreasonable to charge extra for an oversized cat?
It uses more product, time, and energy to complete a groom and they usually arrive in "crisis" condition before getting on a regular grooming routine.
How would YOU feel you were charged a "plus-size cat fee"?
What would be a reasonable cut-off point for healthy-size vs. super-sized?
Would a weight scale be required to be objective and fair, or would it be more humiliating?
I'd love to hear your opinions.
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Janet Wormitt, CFMG CFCG
Cat-a-lyst and Ad-vo-CATe