While dog grooming is common today, it can still be challenging to find groomers specializing in cats. The cat grooming side of the industry might be intimating for those new to handling cats, but as an author, groomer and instructor, Miranda Geerlings demonstrates and teaches that patience and kindness go a long way with feline friends, especially when it comes to providing them with the skin and coat care that they need.
Geerlings, a cat groomer in the Netherlands and owner of 4Cats Grooming Salon, explains that grooming cats can be a rewarding experience for the groomer, making the groomer pay attention to their own behavior and emotions.
“A cat is the mirror of your emotions, so if you are scared, the cat will be too,” she shares.
For Geerlings, an average workday involves grooming cats with all different types of temperaments, including fearful cats and ones considered to be aggressive. Although she works alone, Geerlings grooms anywhere from four to seven cats each day; sometimes doing so with the human client present. Geerlings enjoys when owners stay because she can ask more questions about the cat’s lifestyle and habits.
Minimizing stress for the cats and providing her undivided attention to each cat is what Geerlings focuses on the most. She explains that her schedule is arranged in a way that the cats do not have to wait around to be groomed.
“The clients and the cats enjoy that they are the only ones in the salon,” she adds.
It was about 15 years ago when Geerlings became interested in cat grooming after she had already been studying and spending time with cats.
“I always had a big interest in cats,” notes Geerlings.
Geerlings is both Fear Free Certified and a member of the National Cat Groomers Institute of America. But the learning process went far beyond grooming techniques; Geerlings was committed to learning about cat behavior, too. She still continues to dedicate time to furthering her education.
“I learned about everything of the mind and body of the cat. I never stop learning,” she shares.
Being the first in the Netherlands to start an exclusive salon just for felines, Geerlings explains that the motive was her passion for cats as well as having an understanding of their grooming needs.
“I combined my practice for cat behavior therapy and cat grooming because that’s what I love,” says Geerlings.
In addition to operating a successful cat grooming salon, Geerlings also teaches others how to groom cats, including groomers who are already successfully grooming dogs.
“I train a lot of dog groomers in the Netherlands and they all are successful in doing cats. Some schedule special cat days or cat hours in their salons,” she adds.
Although cat grooming can be rewarding, it is not without its challenges. Geerlings enjoys challenges—such as cats that can be aggressive—because it allows her to patiently work with the animal. Geerlings emphasizes the importance of being calm when working with cats because it ultimately leads to a successful grooming session and a cat that feels better. She also does not scruff cats, but uses other handling techniques to control movement.
“The most rewarding [part] is that I contribute to the wellbeing of the cat. After the groom session, they feel better and they express it by playing and running again!” Geerlings remarks.
Along with helping cats, Miranda Geerlings hopes to continue to inspire and educate others as well.
“My goal is to inspire and educate more people about the needs of a cat. That’s the reason I wrote a book about the grooming of the cat,” she shares.
Geerlings’ book, called Every Cat is Unique, is available on Amazon.
While working towards the goal of inspiring others and working with cats daily, Geerlings still takes time to appreciate the little moments with cats.
“A head-butt or a purring cat makes me smile every time,” she concludes.
And, for groomers interested in learning to groom cats, Geerlings encourages them to go for it! ✂️