I'm Gillian Harvey and I'm passionate about cats, having lived with a huge variety of feline characters over the past 35+ years. I am fascinated by feline behaviour and have taken studies in the subject. This knowledge of feline behaviour has been very useful to my grooming services, helping me to tailor each groom to suit the particular cat.
Established in 2001, my exclusive cat grooming service, based in Calne, Wiltshire, has now been in operation for 17 years. It was set up to help owners maintain the coats of longhaired cats, to avoid problems such as knots and mats, keep the coats looking beautiful and the cats comfortable. It was through owning my own Persian cats that I realised many owners struggled to keep the long coats maintained. Its not only longhaired cats that may need help - short coated cats can also need help with their coats at times of illness or if they are elderly. Click here to see the range of cat grooming services I offer and prices.
My very first Persian kitten, Joe, became the 'Face' of the business. (Sadly, Joe passed away on 6th Jan 2017 at the age of 19) and when he was a kitten his fur used to stick out every which way, earning him the name Scruffy Joe! He started my passion for Persian cats, and since Joe, many more Persians have joined the family, including several rescues and elderly ones. As you can see - he wasn't such a 'Scruffy' Joe!
My current cats are Tootie (suddenly and unexpectedly passed away 25th July 18), she's a seal tabby point Persian, 11 yrs old, Ebony, she's a black Persian and she's 8 yrs old, and fairly new addition to the household is Pockets, a blue cream Persian, she's 12 yrs old and I adopted her from a client in January 2017 - she fitted into the household so well, just like she'd always lived here!
Fluffy gets fed tuna by her owner, while I get on grooming her tummy!
So what is holistic cat grooming you may ask? Well, I like to take the time to make your cat feel 'at home' and put a lot of effort into making my grooming studio a calm and relaxing place to be. I use feline pheromone products such as Feliway, low-stress handling techniques, incorporate play and last, but not least, offer food treats which can be a useful distraction! So, to me, holistic cat grooming, means considering the needs of each individual cat and tailoring my service accordingly, working within their comfort zone to ensure a positive experience.
I was particularly inspired by the late Dr Sophia Yin, a veterinarian, who sought to promote better handling practices amongst animal professionals, and whose book 'Low Stress Handling, Restraint and Behaviour Modification of Dogs & Cats' was a groundbreaking work on the subject.
I am also proud to be a member of the Holistic Cat Groomer's Alliance, which is an organization founded on the philosophy of compassionate grooming care for all cats.
Qualifications & Ongoing Training
Honey relaxes during her colour and crystal therapy
Until very recently, there was no recognised cat grooming qualification here in the UK. In 2012/13 an industry recognised qualification was at last introduced - The Certificate of Competence in Cat Grooming, offered by the Pet Industry Federation. In 2014 I was assessed at KD Grooming Studio (one of the PIF centres) and was very pleased to be awarded my Certificate.
I started cat grooming 17 yrs ago and had a lot of help in the beginning from Audrey, the breeder of many of my own Persians. Although I have developed my own techniques over the years, I continue to learn and seek new ways to compliment these techniques, such as the use of holistic therapies in the cat grooming environment. I've attended a workshop run by Lisa Rendall of Kathverena Groomers & Animal Healing Centre, to learn about these, including crystal and colour therapy, and I also have plans to undertake an animal Reiki course in the future.