Many cats really, really dislike going to the groomer. Groomer Chrissy MacPherson has an interesting and unique method of helping cats to stay calm and relaxed during their grooming sessions.
For six years, MacPherson has been putting clothespins on the necks of the cats that she grooms. She attaches a few clothespins – usually about three – to the scruff of the cat’s neck. Oftentimes, the strategy works.
MacPhearson first observed this technique when a vet used the approach on a cat who needed x-rays. The cat didn’t want to hold still, but once the clothespins were in place, he relaxed and staff were able to get the x-ray that they needed. The clothespins put pressure on the scruff of a cat’s neck, mimicking the sensation the cat would feel when picked up and carried by its mother.
Today MacPherson uses the approach with many of the cats that she grooms. She notes that owners are often amazed at their cats’ reactions to the clothespins, often taking out cameras to photograph the moment. MacPherson uses gentle clothespins that she’s found, and notes that the technique doesn’t work on every cat. Older cats sometimes don’t calm down with the clothespins, and will even reach up and remove them. But for the cats who are calmed down, the clothespins make grooming sessions less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone involved.