Soothing Spas for Precious Paws

house cat

Soothing Spas for Precious Paws

As the growing trend of day spas for cats spreads across the country, felines everywhere are learning to love the same kind of pampering people do -- body wraps, massages, hot oil treatments, pedicures -- all in a relaxed, serene setting. Of course, most cats are natural born divas, so taking them to a spa geared specifically to their needs is one opportunity to provide them with the royal treatment they so richly deserve. "Because pets give their owners unconditional love, owners like to pay them back with a luxury experience," says Liz Sands, owner of Lulu and Luigi's Grooming Pawlor in Wayzata, Minn. That's why a visit to a cat spa is so special.

Stephanie Lantgen brings her two long-haired cats, Max and Moe, to Lulu and Luigi's at least once a month for The Shed Reducing Treatment and a full brush-out. "I can tell they're happier after a visit to the spa by the way they strut around afterwards," says Lantgen. "It also gives me peace of mind that their nails, teeth and coat are getting the best possible care."

Most spas get creative when it comes to making kitty feel special. Exotic treatments such as aromatherapy baths and even Thai massages are not uncommon. The blueberry facial is a big hit at The Golden Paw in San Diego, Calif. And at the Biju Pet Spa in Sherman Oaks, Calif., cats can have their hair dyed with organic, washable hair color. Or at The Cats' Inn in Belmont, Calif., every feline spa package comes with a pick-up and drop-off in the "kitty limo."

No time to visit a cat spa? Creating a spa-like atmosphere at home is easier then you might think. Christi Fabisiak, a cat groomer at Claws N Paws Day Spa in Fountain Valley, Calif., suggests using clippers, not scissors, when grooming a cat. "A cat's skin is a lot thinner than a dog's, so clippers are safer," she says. She also suggests wiping your cat's fur down with baby wipes to keep the dander down, which will prevent fur from matting.

Next, bath time! "Before giving a cat a spa-worthy bath, make sure your cat is relaxed," suggests Sands. "Place the cat in a shallow tub of lukewarm water. Bathe the cat slowly with a pet-friendly shampoo. Watch for the cat's reaction -- if it's nervous or skittish, cut the bath short. Have a warm, fresh-from-the-dryer towel at the ready."

After the bath, take a cue from Kelly Roll of Lakeland, Fla., and treat your cat to a salon-style blowout. "I spend ten minutes every day blow-drying my long-haired tabby Annabelle's hair -- first with the round brush, then the straight brush," she says. "She just loves being pampered!"

by Liesl Bradner