How Much Does Cat Grooming Cost?

Written by: Staff

Cat grooming is very important to keep the cat’s skin healthy, clean and to keep its body free from any harmful parasites.  The price of cat grooming is determined by the groomer, the length of the cat’s hair, the cost of living in your area and the services requested.

brushing ernie by bzo, on Flickr
brushing ernie” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by bzo

How much does cat grooming cost?

The average price for cat grooming ranges anywhere from $30 to $100, depending on the factors mentioned above.  Kittens, younger than five months old, tend to be $30 to $40, while older cats will start at $50.  Cat grooming will often be more than a dog grooming session since most cats don’t adapt well when being placed in uncomfortable positions.  Unlike a dog that stands while a groomer grooms, a cat may curl up in a ball, making it hard for the groomer to access certain areas.  Aggressive cats may also be troublesome since they may attempt to bite or scratch, making the situation even harder.  This alone can make it hard to find a groomer in your area who may be willing to groom them.

If the groomer doesn’t list his or her prices or are hesitant with offering a quote, they will more than likely charge by the amount of the time they need to invest in the job.

For example, PetSmart, one of the world’s largest pet retailer, charges $50 to $89 for its cat grooming packages.  Petco, another large cat retailer, charges similar prices as well.

Happy Cat Grooming, a professional groomer, located in Illinois, charges $79 for short-haired cats and $98 for super plush long-haired cats.  If you wanted a lion cut through this provider, it could range anywhere from $92 to more than $112, depending on the cut and hair length.

TypeWhat's Included?Price Range
Basic- Brushing for 15 to 20 minutes
- Dematting if necessary
- Ear cleaning
- Hair trim around the feet and tail
- Nail trim
- Scissoring for longer hair
- Shampoo and blow dry
$45 to $80
Basic Kitten Groom- Brushing for 15 to 20 minutes
- Ear cleaning
- Hair trim around the feet and tail
- Nail trim
- Scissoring for longer hair
$25 to $40
PremiumEverything above, plus:
- Extra scissoring
- Longer brush session
- Upgraded shampoo
- Teeth brushing with breath freshener
- Bow
$60 to $100

Cat grooming overview

A basic package will include a bath, nail trim, ear cleaning, a brushing, nail trim, dematting and tail trim.  A premium trim will include more services such as teeth brushing, a breath freshener, upgraded shampoo, extra scissoring and a longer brushing session.

During most grooming sessions, the groomer will first begin with a brushing session for about 15 minutes, and during this session, the groomer will use a metal comb to work the fur away from the body, followed by a bristle brush to ensure all of the dead hair has been removed.  Once all tangles and mats have been removed, it will then be time for a bath, which is usually in a tub the size of a kitchen sink.  While being bathed, the cat will be sprayed lightly, from head to the tail, while shampoo is massaged into the fur.  Being lightly rinsed after the shampoo has been applied, the cat will be dried off with a towel.  Following the bath, the tip of nails will be cut with special cat scissors and caps will be added at this time if requested.  Some groomers, however, may have a different schedule.

Most jobs will take about one to two hours, depending on what’s being done, how the cat behaves and the quality of the cat’s hair.  A cat with fleas and behavioral problems, for example, will take much longer to groom than one that is calm.

What are the extra costs?

If your cat has fleas, then you may have the option to add an additional flea treatment.

Premium services, while optional, may include a skunk bath, teeth cleaning, and de-matting.  Upgrading to a brightening shampoo could cost an additional $5 to $10.

Adding nail caps can cost about $10 to $20.

Aromatherapy, something that’s able to relax the cat while the procedure is being done, can cost about $20 to $25.

For a custom cut,  such as a lion cut or for a cut that has a unique design, some groomers may charge extra if it is outside of what they usually do.

Some groomers may charge more for a cat that hasn’t been groomed in a while.

Fecal cleanup around the fur can cost an additional $10 to $20.

Pelt removal can be anywhere from $20 to $35.

A belly shave can cost $20 to $35, depending on the size of the cat.

Some groomers may recommend a sedative prescribed by your vet before a session begins.

Tips to know

A regular brushing will prevent your cat’s fur from becoming tangled and matted. It can also prevent hairballs and stimulate your cat’s skin, allowing it to distribute natural oils for a silkier and shiny appearance.

Try to find a groomer who was certified at the National Cat Groomers Institute of America.

Tailored Tails Grooming recommends you bring in your cat every six weeks; at a minimum, the ears should be cleaned and the nails should be trimmed during this time..

Questions to ask:

How many years have you been grooming?

Do you have any before and after pictures?

What kind of training do you have?  Do you have any certifications?

What kind of products do you use?

How can I save money?

Grooming your cat can be done yourself if you have the patience and the time to do so.  You will simply need to buy the tools, brushes, and shampoos necessary to do the job like the professionals.  Buying all the supplies will certainly be cheaper than paying a groomer to do the job.  For example, one of the highest rated cat grooming kits on retail for about $20 to $25.  At a minimum, attempt to brush your cat’s coat at least once per week to keep the fur soft and looking clean.

Purchasing multiple sessions at a time can often save you 10 to 20 percent.

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