The Pros and Cons of House Call Cat Grooming
“House call” refers to a groomer who performs grooming services inside the client’s home. Many pet owners, especially cat owners, prefer this type of service in order to provide a low stress and familiar environment for the pet. For a groomer, the house call business model can be a great way to become a business owner without a large monetary investment. Depending on the area and equipment purchases, a cat-exclusive house call business can begin with a start up as low as $1000-2500. While it may be a perfect option for some, not every groomer will enjoy house call grooming appointments.
PRO – Without a large expense like a mobile grooming van or brick-and-mortar building, house call grooming can be a low cost business to start and keep running.
CON – Expansion and income potential can be more limited with this business model. While it is possible to add a dispatcher or second groomer, the maximum number of cats groomed per day is lower than it is for a stationary groomer. Time spent setting up or breaking down also cuts into profits.
PRO – A solo house call groomer has complete control over their schedule, which can change each day without having to stick to set business hours.
CON – Consistency goes out the window! Bathing space, grooming space, water pressure, etc. are different at each client’s house. Sometimes grooming is done in the laundry room, a bathroom, kitchen, even the living room. A house call groomer has to be highly adaptable and feel comfortable in new environments every day.
PRO – Grooming a smaller number of pets per day can be less stressful on the body. In addition, many house call groomers impose a size limit or become feline-exclusive which cuts out large or unruly dogs from the schedule.
CON – With each appointment in a different place, groomers sometimes work in cramped, humid and uncomfortable situations. Also, all grooming equipment, tools and products must be brought in, set up, cleaned, broken down and then transported to each house. This can put a lot of strain on the body as well.
PRO – Many cats feel more comfortable being groomed in their own home. House call eliminates a trip in the car, new smells and sounds, and being exposed to any other pets.
CON – Pet owners are understandably curious about the grooming process. Many will want to watch the groom, ask questions, and even try to help. Some pets may be excited by the close proximity of their owners, making
it harder to groom them safely. It is also important to be considerate of grooming techniques used while being watched as owners may not understand a pet’s reaction or how a technique works. Educating the client and answering any questions will help alleviate any concerns.
PRO/CON – Working within someone’s home creates a more laid-back environment and it is natural to develop friendly relationships with grooming clients and their pets. This is a “perk” to many groomers and clients. However, some groomers do not enjoy these more personal interactions, and it can be more difficult to establish clear boundaries. It is important to create and enforce business policies from initial contact.
BEING a HOUSE CALL cat groomer
House call cat groomers are a very special “breed” of groomer! They are confident, fearless and flexible. The CFMGs below have graciously provided tips, tricks and techniques they have found successful in their own business in this article and to many aspiring cat groomers.
Member Benefits has a “House call Cat Grooming” section with webinars, articles, videos and more featuring amazing CFMGs! Member Benefits is available to all current NCGI members. Having trouble accessing Member Benefits? Contact the NCGIA office for registration.
Join the conversation and ask questions in NCGI’s Facebook groups!
Intro to Cat Grooming – Open to all groomers interested in cat grooming
NCGI Members – Private group for current NCGI members
Cat Grooming Simplified – Private group for students of the Complete Cat Groomer Training Syllabus
CFMG Cat Chat – Private group for current CFMGs