How To Start A Cat Grooming Business From Scratch

starting a cat grooming business

Bad pun. But if you’re mad about cats, why not groom them for extra income? It’s not as daft as it sounds. Even short haired cats can get a matted coat. As for semi long or long haired moggies or pedigrees some owners can’t cope with their coats or just aren’t interested. The alternative is for the owner is to take their cat to the vets to be shaved but this can be expensive, especially if sedation is needed. Moreover, a vet has different objectives when shaving a cat. So if someone is worried about how their cat is going to look – for example a pedigree maine coon, then making an appointment with a cat groomer is the logical option. But that’s not to say a vet visit for shaving is never appropriate. The veterinary shave route can the best and ethical option for solid matted coats. Any reputable groomer would say as much.

Getting started

The demand for cat grooming services is on the rise in the UK although they are still more common in America. But that makes it an excellent part time business.  For that reason cat groomers generally base themselves within an existing salon. With human and animal hair dressing renting a chair is a popular option. Some dog groomers have a good feel for grooming cats, others don’t. Anyone who tries to groom a cat like a dog is in for a shock. Dog groomers can be more profitabe if they market special cat services and have one person doing that. It could be you. So how much money can you earn? Generally cat groomers charge between £30 and £60 pounds for grooming and bathing. Dematting is a specialist service all by itself and some groomers charge £60 an hour if they are working with a difficult cat!

What qualifications do you need?

You don’t need any qualifications to be a cat groomer although some courses are run in the UK. You’ll get a certificate of competance which improves credibility. Also, a City and Guilds qualification is available as a Dog Grooming Assistant, which proves you have some basic grooming skills. But generally it’s your skill and experience that counts.  If you want to work with an existing salon, you’ll have to prove you can do the job! This is true whether you have qualifications or not. Practice, practice, practice.

What costs are involved?

You will need a range of cat grooming tools , including coat and nail clippers. For example some groomers use hoods in their salon. If you decide to base yourself at home (more about that later) you will also need a practical bathing space. Your bathroom at home may not be suitable for cats who don’t like baths!

Marketing A Cat Grooming Business

If you plan to base yourself at home then having business cards made up is essential. You can leave them at local vets and pet shops. If you decide to try to find a chair in an existing salon, then work with the owner to publicise the new service. Most dog groomers get requests for cat grooming services.

Red Tape and Insurance For Groomers

Basing yourself at home means you have to notify your mortgage lender or landlord and buildings insurance company. You need to inform all three of your plans. Your mortgage terms may forbid you from running a business from home. You will also need public liability insurance cover regardless of where you are based.  If basing yourself at a salon clarify whether you will be covered by the existing policy.

How much money can you earn?

As a part time business the amount you make will depend on how many cats you groom and what services you offer. £100-£200 a week is a good guide based on 3-5 cats.

Resources

London Cat Grooming School Has a cat grooming school. Based in East London.
Scruffy Pups Based in The North East of England, Shane Boniface offers a 1 day cat grooming course.
Professional Cat Groomers Association of America They sell a very good manual on cat grooming.
GCCF The main UK registry for pedigree cats. Has a list of cat shows thoughout the UK.