Case Studies From a Feline Beauty Palour: Grooming is something that can easily get out of control if you take your eyes off the ball for more than a couple of days. I run a small grooming parlour in Basingstoke, Hampshire and specialise in cat grooming for those out-of-control moments!! Clients arrive with all kinds of grooming dilemmas and I detail some common problems:

Handling Problems

groomingUnderstanding why a cat dislikes being groomed is key to success in being able to persuade him/her to submit to essential grooming. The usual cause of a cat not enjoying the grooming experience is real fear, often due to the lack of regular brushing and combing. The best way to approach this problem is to {+++}build trust between the groomer and the cat, using complete calm and unlimited patience.


Alfie is a beautiful 4 year old Persian cross Abyssinian cat who first came to me back in September 2004. He was in a very matted condition on both sides, underneath his body and at his rear end. He was a lovely natured cat until anybody attempted to groom him. I soon found this out when he transformed into a ferocious animal trying to tear me to shreds. I resorted to perching him on top of a cat box which he dug his claws in to keep his balance, but at least it gave me a chance to deftly nip in and clip of his matted bits with the clippers. His next visit in January 2005 was a bit less fraught (although not easy!!) so long as I still let him sit on the cat box. However, Alfie has just visited me for the third time and I was quite overwhelmed by the change in him. By the end of the visit he was even allowing me to lay him on his side to attend to his tummy areas!! He had learnt to trust me.

The problem with Water

Despite the popular belief that all cats hate water, some cats just love it! The trouble with this however is that if a long haired coat gets waterlogged or soggy and is not immediately dried and groomed out, it can matt up creating the ?cotton wool look? or the ?lumpy mess?.


Darcy – Blue Persian – Loves to sit in the sink on a daily basis to drink from the taps.

Oscar ? Seal Point Persian – Loves prowling around in the garden undergrowth whatever the weather, and will happily sit in long wet grass for hours.

Belle – didn?t deliberately seek water, but this long haired moggie was unfortunate enough to have a nasty neighbour throw a bucket of water over her!!

The Moulting Problem

Cats with long thick coats are particularly prone to matting during a bout of heavy moulting. Owners can be blissfully unaware that a full moult is taking place for a few days/weeks. Unfortunately even a brief time without grooming during this period can result in a scary amount of dense coat which needs sorting out ASAP.


Toby & Tabatha are two ginger half Persians who come to me every couple of months for a thorough groom to help them shed their constantly moulting hair. They love being brushed under the dryer after their baths. This process removes as much hair as possible, and leaves their coats smooth and sleek.

Trouser Problems

Hygiene can be a problem with long haired cats around the tail end. Trousers that are too long pick up dirt and debris which is often unpleasant and unhygienic.


Fluffy is a silver grey Persian with a seriously long luxurious coat particularly around the trouser area. Fluffy?s owner Tricia brings him every few months for a trouser trim to help cope with the hygiene problems.

Grooming Problems caused by Illness/disability/trauma

General poor coat/skin condition in cats can be the result of poor diet or neglect. Dull coat, dandruff and dry skin can also be due to the cat being unable to self-groom due to illness, disability or trauma. A bath in quality cat shampoo and a thorough brush and blow dry can make a huge difference.


Lucy was only 11 months old when she disappeared from home. Her owner was distraught. Amazingly Lucy turned up again on the doorstep 4 weeks and 5 days later in an emaciated and traumatised condition. She began to regain strength and, after a week or two, a bath and groom helped her poor coat and skin condition.

Annie is a white semi longhaired cat who was recovering from an eye operation. The surgical collar she had been wearing around her head prevented her from being able to clean herself. A bath and groom soon brought her grubby coat back to its full glory.

Tricky is a 19 year old semi-longhaired tortoiseshell no longer able to groom herself adequately. She is a grouchy old lady when it comes to grooming and doesn?t let her owners brush her. Her coat became knotty and smelly and her skin was scurfy. A quality shampoo and a professional groom had her looking and smelling beautiful again.

Finally, a sad story with a happy ending: Four years ago a cardboard box containing a dead mother cat and three dying kittens was heartlessly thrown from a car on a motorway. This despicable act of cruelty was discovered by a passing motorist. The kittens were all close to death but, with the dedication of vets and their new family, they pulled through. Spike, Rex and Angel are all short haired cats but none on them developed the instinct to groom themselves and all suffer with health problems. The good news is they all live together in a loving home and visit me for professional grooming to prevent coat and skin problems.

Abbey Road Grooming Parlour is in Basingstoke, Hants RG24 9EQ United Kingdom


  1. jenny martin

    I have an old silver shaded persian cat called Boris who is unable to groom himself. I will be working in Andover so how can I contact you for an appointment for grooming and nail clipping.
    Kind regards
    Jenny Martin

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