Did you know that a cat’s sense of smell is fourteen times stronger than a human’s? Cats depend on their sense of smell for their very survival. If you combine their sense of smell with their superior hearing, you have an animal who can detect scents and the direction of sounds before you can even smell or hear anything out of the ordinary!
It has been documented that street or feral cats can be completely blind, yet thrive in their colonies due to their strong sensory capabilities. They are still able to sniff out their food, determine their territory, locate enemies and find their mates. The Majestic Feline is a true survivalist!
Why is this fact about the sense of smell so important to groomers? We must remember that the odors in our salons are magnified fourteen times. That is why professional cat groomers always wash their grooming tables between animals and sanitize the environment. A cat can smell every animal or chemical that has been on the table or in the salon. This can turn an ordinarily calm cat into an animal on the defensive mode.
Stress is a big factor when grooming a cat. Every effort should be made to keep it free of fear. An important note to remember is that many ordinary cleaners and disinfectants are very toxic to cats. Plain soap and water along with cat-safe and natural disinfectants should do the trick. Feline pheromones can be infused into the environment which will help cats recognize the area as familiar, comforting and calming.
Have you ever seen a cat breath through its mouth while barring his teeth? While it looks a little menacing, it actually is not a threatening language. He is analyzing pheromone scent signals from other cats in the air. He is able to do this because at the base of his nasal cavity is a sensory organ named the “Vomeronasal Organ”, more commonly called the “Jacobson’s Organ”. Pretty cool, right?
Speaking of teeth, Part 4 will follow with a discussion about the interesting anatomy of the feline mouth. Can you guess how many taste buds a cat has?