Adding Cat Grooming to Your Services
By Lexie Goldsmith
Photos by Lexie Goldsmith
Are you getting inquiries for a recommended cat groomer? Are you being asked to maintain the coats of your boarding clients? If you have thought about adding cat grooming to your services, there is no better time than now to learn a new skill and add profit to your business while meeting your current clients’ needs, and attracting new ones.
Why Cat Grooming?
Cat grooming is a booming industry. More people are buying cats with high-maintenance coats but have less time to maintain them at home. Many of these cats are kept on a very regular grooming schedule of four to eight weeks where they are bathed to remove dander and oils, have their excess undercoat brushed out and maintain sanitary areas. Being boarded for either a short or extended period of time can affect this maintenance schedule. So, adding your services to either be the in-between groom or as the exclusive groomer is a win-win situation for both you and the client.
How do I know I have the right environment?
Think about scents, noises, lighting, water and electricity. Cat grooming must take place in a quiet, escape-proof area where there are no dog smells or noises that can scare the cat. A separate room just for cat grooming would be ideal. Keep in mind that the entrance and exit must also be free of stress and noises.
What services should I offer?
Adding cat grooming can be as simple as brushing and clipping nails to sanitary trims and bathing, all the way up to lion cuts and maintenance trims for long-term boarders or non-boarding cats. Many cats do not shed their nails, especially when in a confined space or if they are elderly, so to add nail clipping to their booking is an easy add-on. Individual cat grooms can take just 10 minutes for a brush-out up to two hours for a full bath and trim, and can make you anywhere from $20-$200 per groom.
A boarding client picking up a well-maintained or easy-to-maintain cat can make all the difference to them. Of course, all grooming must be discussed and agreed upon when the client drops the cat off, and this is always best to get in writing.
Boarding clients have needs you can help with so they are the perfect person to market your cat grooming services to. You already have established the relationship with both the cat and the client, and you can easily assess their behavior prior to any grooming services offered.
How should I start?
Do your research, decide what you would like to learn and choose the cat-exclusive online school or certifying body that fits your preferences. Start small with just your current boarding cats by assessing the coat needs of the cats at check-in. There will be lots of practice required, so ask your boarding clients if they are open to you learning on their cat. Never try anything on a cat without the owner’s permission in writing.
Once you are confident in cat grooming, you can then expand to external cat grooming clients and begin advertising to the public. You can also contact your local veterinarians to advise them of your new services. Of course, any new cat grooming clients can become boarding clients, too.
Cat boarding facilities provide an essential service to cat owners by maintaining a clean, safe and loving environment for their cats. Having the ability to provide a good grooming service for them is an important extension of this and certainly well worth the time and investment.
Lexie Goldsmith, Qualified Veterinary Nurse and award-winning Certified Master Cat Groomer of over 15 years, teaches low-stress handling for the absolute best results in her courses worldwide on just how easy (and enjoyable!) cat grooming can be using the methods she has developed and perfected over the years. From “Bathing the Feline, Clipping the Feline,” to feline-behaviorist-written “Behavior for the Cat Groomer,” her courses are available to start at any time, and are exclusively online at www.learncatgrooming.com.au