Steps for Certification

As a certification association for cat groomers, the National Cat Groomers Institute of America, Inc. set the standards for cat grooming within the pet grooming industry.  Certification drives groomers to provide the highest level of care and service and also assures clients that their beloved pets are in good hands. While certification is certainly not the only measure of a groomer’s abilities, it has been linked with higher earning potential and other rewards. In order to show one’s aptitude for performing the handling and grooming skills necessary in meeting those standards, the NCGIA, Inc. offers two different certification titles.


Earning the Certified Feline Master Groomer™ (CFMG™) title requires passing a total of nine exams with a grade of 85% or higher.
The nine exams consist of four Written Exams and five practical exams.

Written Exams:

  • Temperament & Handling
  • Breeds, Colors & Genetics
  • Anatomy & Health
  • Business Management

Practical Exams:

  • Short Haired Full Coat Groom
  • Long Haired Full Coat Groom
  • Lion Cut – Standard
  • Lion Cut – Variation
  • Comb Cut & Face Trim

NCGIA Membership is required for certification.


The NCGIA also offers the Certified Feline Creative Groomer™ (CFCG™) title to those wishing to learn the art of creative cat grooming which applies both color and creative design.  In order to obtain CFCG™ certification, a groomer must first earn their CFMG™ certification and then pass one Creative Grooming Practical Exam with an 85% grade or higher.


All Written Exams can be administered via proctor (i.e. a teacher, librarian or grooming school instructor) or by an NCGIA Certifier or Trainer.  All Practical Exams MUST be administered in-person by an NCGIA Certifier/Instructor.

Written exams are sometimes administered at grooming trade shows and NCGIA workshops, contact the NCGIA office for schedule availability.

REGISTER FOR EXAMS (Scroll to bottom of page linked below)

Exam Registration


  • Cost for each exam is $65.00.
  • Cost for all nine CFMG™ exams is $585.00.
  • Cost for all nine CFMG™ exams plus one CFCG™ exam is $650.00



In preparation for the four Written Exams, a student must purchase and study the Written Exam Certification Prep.  This is also included in the Complete Cat Groomer Training Syllabus.

In preparation for the five CFMG Practical Exams, students have the option to study and practice on their own.  There are no requirements for purchasing study materials or attending any training.  There are, however, standards that must be met in order to pass the Practical Exams.  It is up to each student to determine what training would best equip them to meet and exceed those standards.

To assist students in meeting and exceeding the practical grooming standards, the NCGIA offers instructional book, DVDs and online courses, as well as lectures and demonstrations at various grooming industry trade shows and workshops.  The NCGIA also offers the Complete Cat Groomer Training Syllabus that provides a 10-week long guided course designed to teach the skills and knowledge necessary for safe, efficient, quality cat grooming.

The NCGIA also has a number of Certifiers and Approved Trainers in locations around the globe who can provide hands-on instruction and practical exam administration (*Certifiers only). See the full list here.

There are also two hands-on cat grooming schools that were based on the NCGIA’s original cat grooming school. These are located:

  • Regina, SK at Apex Academy
  • Toronto, ON at Pro Path Academy
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