Contrary to what I said about dogs, I am quite a bit more worried about taking a senior cat into the groomer. Why? It has to do with senior cats and their ability to hide diseases…in this case, I am specifically talking about heart issues. Cats are notorious for a thickening of their heart muscle called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. When they are calm and laying around we often don’t pick up on the symptoms and they can actually be on the borderline of going into heart failure.
When a senior cat is brought to the groomer, the stress and anxiety of the event can cause an elevated heart rate and these cats can go into heart failure and severe distress in a matter of minutes. I cannot tell you the number of times this exact scenario happened at the clinics I have worked at.
My biggest advice for senior cat parents is that I would strongly consider in-home grooming. If this doesn’t help with their anxiety then consider speaking with your vet about a sedative. There are many that can be used with cats and can help keep the negative effects from happening at the groomer. Remember: a calm cat is a happy cat!
– Dr. B