One Cat Hissing at Other Cat after Trip to Groomers

by Anneley Van De Mark
(Royse City)

We have a Ragdoll cat and a mutt. Our cat problems occur when the Ragdoll goes to the groomers - after he comes back the mutt hisses, won't eat and hides under the bed for about a week.

We thought taking both at the same time to the groomers would change that since they would smell the same but the mutt had the exact same reaction! We worry about the mutt because he doesn't eat. Is there anything we can do for him to make the experience less traumatic?

Reply from Liz (editor): Cat problems like these are fairly common, although a week is a long time for it to carry on, and your mutt (or moggie, to use the UK term!) seems to have a pretty extreme reaction.

Taking him with you to the groomers was a good idea, but I guess it didn't work because your moggie hates the smell so much that he was just as upset to smell it on himself.

A few suggestions that may help:

  • A Feliway diffuser is available online or from good pet stores (e.g. PetSmart). It's a man-made copy of a cat pheromone which is available as a plug-in or a spray. Humans can't smell it, but it has a calming effect on cats, and some respond really well to it. I think it may be worth your while buying the plug in version, switching it on a day or two before your Ragdoll cat goes to the groomers and then leaving it on for a week or so after the Ragdoll has come back.

  • Ask the groomer what they can do to help. What products are they are using on your cat? Could they be changed? If it's the smell of the room at the groomer's that your moggie hates (rather than the smell of products on the Ragdoll) could they groom him in a different room? It may even be worth trying another groomer - they may use different products / have different smells that are less distasteful to your moggie. Would your groomer (or another groomer) be willing to visit your home to groom your Ragdoll?

  • Keep the two cats separate for a few days when the Ragdoll comes back. I realize this is a pain and not an ideal way to solve your cat problems, but may just help your moggie to keep his appetite if all else fails.

Best of luck with this, I hope you find a solution that works.

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