Fat Free Felines & Fidos

By Sam Kohl

Cats have long been maligned and misunderstood by not only groomers, but the general public as well.

A majority of early pet groomers were misled by the horror stories from unprepared groomers that had been bitten by frightened cats. Still, today, this fear has unfortunately prevented groomers from increasing their income by grooming cats.

In 1997, I wrote the first ever “pet” Cat Grooming Guide for the benefit of the students at my school; to dispel the myth that cats groomed themselves. That first edition would teach how to properly and safely handle and groom all the different cat breeds registered at that time. This would not only increase their income, but would help preserve the health of cat owning families and certainly the cats themselves. Now, in its third edition, I have added not only more new cat breeds, but much more information for grooming steps and safety.

Now, a more pressing problem has arisen. As a rather corpulent human, I realize how unhealthy this same lifestyle is for our cherished cats and dogs, as well. Overweight pets are also susceptible to the same diseases that we contact: arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers.

As we are now encouraged to eat healthy, that is, more fruits and vegetables, less carbs, fats, salt and sugar—we need to include our pets in this regimen to keep them with us for as long as we possibly can.

Overweight pets seriously impact all of you in the grooming industry; lifting overweight cats and dogs can contribute to several different health issues, i.e., arms, back, shoulders and wrist problems, to name a few.

You should scrutinize all packaging labels for your foods and snacks —and absolutely do the same for your own pets. Carefully read the ingredients on all pet packaging labels. Harmful additives are contained not only in the pet foods, but in their treats and surprisingly in their chew toys as well. Be especially wary of any food or chew toys that are imported from China. Chinese products are not carefully controlled by their government.

For many wonderful years to come with our loving four–legged friends, BE VIGILANT! They are our best friends and we should always be theirs! ✂

Sam Kohl’s career in the pet field started after the marine corps, with 3 ventures, “Tropical Fish Center”, “Snails and Tails”, and “Guppy and Puppy”. Customers would ask him to groom their dogs and not knowing enough about grooming, he would only bathe them. Deciding he really loved dogs he took a grooming course at the New York school of dog grooming, became a partner and then bought the school from his then partner. He started writing his “All Breed Dog Grooming Guide” then, and completed the 1st edition in 1973, now in its 4th edition with 193 breeds. He also went on to write many other grooming books. He has designed and patented various grooming tools, the latest being his Rake Superior™ line. His designs have always been to prevent the groomers from excessive stress on their most valuable asset, their hands.