How to Become a Bad Ass Cat GroomerAnd how to be the cat grooming expert your clients desperately need
Is Cat Grooming Right For Me?
We think being a professional cat groomer is pretty awesome, but we know that it’s not for everyone. Whether you are already grooming cats, primarily groom dogs, or are totally new to the grooming industry, check out our Day in the Life video and our benefits of being a cat groomer below.
Here are some of the most mentioned benefits:
- Less physical wear and tear on the groomer’s body
- Less standing up time while grooming
- A lot less competition
- A quieter work environment
- More money made per hour
- More revenue potential with fewer hours worked
- A great semi-retirement plan for the dog groomer
- More appreciative clients
- Smaller space required
- Less start up cost involved
- Less equipment (and smaller large equipment items) needed
- Easy referrals from other groomers, local vets, shelters, etc
- Easy to get newspaper, radio or TV publicity because of unique/niche nature of grooming cats
Do I Have to Be a Dog Groomer First?
There are advantages to being an experienced dog groomer when it comes to learning the art of grooming cats. These would include:
1. Familiarity with clippers, nail trimmers and other tools
2. An understanding of what a typcial “groom” session entails
3. Knowledge of the ins and outs of running a pet grooming business or working in that type of environment
There are also some cons to be a seasoned dog groomer when it comes to handling cats. Since cats are unique creatures and react very differently from their canine counterparts, dog groomers with great dog handling habits tend to want to use those same techniques when working with felines. One of our Certified Feline Master Groomers and Certifiers Jacque Opp covers how she said So Long to Puppy Cuts and transitioned to a primarily cat grooming business in her free webinar.
Challenges for Dog Groomers
1. Breaking habits such as blending lines at legs, rapid scissoring techniques, and using tools on a cat that are more dog-friendly
2. Assuming that cat skin, coat and anatomy are just like dog skin, coat and anatomy
3. Attempting to handle a cat the way a dog can be handled
4. Reacting to a cat like it is a dog
5. Having certain expectations of a cat that are unrealistic
6. Applying dog groom standards and techniques to a cat that are inappropriate or not breed standard
Starting From Scratch
Some advantages of having no experience with grooming pets whatsoever when attempting to master the art of feline grooming are:
1. You are a clean slate, a sponge ready to learn anything and everything!
2. There are no dog habits to undo
3. Handling techniques as learned for cats are not clouded by dog handling techniques
4. There are no preconceived ideas based on dog grooming of how a cat groom should look
5. You start fresh with a space and layout that can be set up for cats from the beginning instead of modifying a dog-centric salon/business
Our popular, free webinar 3 Biggest Mistakes Dog Groomers Make When Grooming Cats (and how NOT to make them!) covers many of the issues dog groomers encounter and how to fix them.
When your client see you as the “cat grooming expert,” it means you have proven your grooming ability, your level of knowledge and your customer service skills to that client. Now they trust you implicitly. They listen to and follow through on rebooking and the grooming services you recommend. They come to you for cat questions and advice.
So I don’t repeat myself in all the categories below, we have a number of resources and training materials that cover ALL of these things.
- The Complete Cat Groomer Training Syllabus – your one stop shop for cat grooming information and leads to CFMG certification
- The Ultimate Cat Groomer Encyclopedia – the most inclusive cat grooming textbook available anywhere in the world
- Cat Grooming Basics Online Course – a solid foundation of cat grooming knowledge and video demonstrations of a variety of topics
Understanding how cats react and the ability to read body language are crucial for predicting how each cat will respond during the grooming process. This drastically reduces how groomers see cats as “unpredictable.” Cats just give us different signals and speak a different language than dogs.
Breeds and Colors
While dog groomers are familiar with a wide variety of dog breeds, cats tend to get all lumped together. But there are a number of amazing cat breeds with their own personalities, unique looks, and grooming needs. Being an expert means using proper terminology and choosing the correct techniques for each.
- Breeds, Colors & Genetics Study Aids online course
- Cat Fanciers Association breed standards and Grand Galleries (for images of each)
- Go For the Bronze!
- Face Trim on Persian
Health and Safety
Each groom should prioritize the health and well being of both cat and groomer. An expert should be able to recognizing signs of stress, symptoms of pain and common feline health issues, and know how to proceed. How certain illnesses and conditions (for example fleas, ringworm, FIV, etc.) are transmitted also play a big factor into developing appropriate cleaning procedures as well.
The Right Stuff
Having a great set up that is perfect for cats means choosing the best cat-safe products, tools and equipment. Not every dog product or tool is the best choice for cats, and an efficient layout of your grooming space can make a huge difference to cats.
A huge factor to being a successful cat groomer is to have the skills to back it up! This includes being able to perform a variety of grooming services on cats of all different personalities to a high standard.
Having the skills and knowledge when working with the cats is only part of the equation, you also need to have communication and business know-how to set yourself up for success.
To really set yourself apart from your competition, check out our certification process. If you are looking for a quick and easy piece of paper to pop up on the wall, well this isn’t for you.
However, if you want to become and ush yourself a a true cat grooming expert, then you’re our people. Details about the testing process can be found here and here. But to start your journey to cat grooming greatness, you’ll need to do 3 things:
1. Buy your training materials in the Complete Cat Groomer Training Syllabus
2. Join our private student community for Syllabus students in Cat Grooming Simplified
3. Get Certified as a Certified Feline Master Groomer