How to Become a

Cat Groomer

The complete career guide to be a Cat Groomer: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $23,630
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 10.5%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

Cat groomers are pet stylists that specialize in handling and grooming cats. While dogs are often excited to take a bath and get groomed, cats rarely enjoy the experience. This means that cat groomers must be specially trained in handling and grooming cats to provide a positing grooming experience for clients.

Recommended Schools

What is a Cat Groomer?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in cat groomer roles:

  • Wash and style cats to prevent health issues or to prepare for cat shows/competitions
  • Give cats baths, shampooing and drying fur
  • Trim or shave cat fur, remove matts, and comb fur
  • Trim cat claws while taking care not to trim claws too much
  • Keep cats calm, still, and happy during grooming sessions to ensure a pleasant experience

A Day in the Life

Unlike dogs, cats take great care to groom themselves. For this reason, there is not as much demand for cat groomers as there is for dog groomers, but cat groomers certainly have a place in caring for feline pets. At times, cats deal with issues that require grooming—long-haired cats commonly form mats in their hair that have to be carefully removed with scissors, and cats sometimes need to be shampooed after dealing with fleas or other skin issues. Cats may also need to be groomed before cat shows and competitions.

Cat groomers assist with these grooming tasks because it’s difficult for owners to perform these tasks on their own. Unlike dogs, cats generally despise getting wet and are terrified of items like scissors, nail cutters, and shavers. They may fight, bite, scratch, run, and hide when owners try to groom them, creating a dangerous situation for both the pet and owner. For this reason, when cats need to be groomed, owners typically like to take cats to groomers who specialize in sedating and calming cats.

Cat groomers use a variety of techniques to groom cats. They may use special equipment that is noiseless, or they may use equipment to apply pressure to the back of a cat’s neck to sedate the cat during treatment. They also usually work in pairs—one groomer holding the cat and the other performing washing, trimming, and drying responsibilities. They clean cats, trim their fur, trim their claws, and style their hair. This helps cats when they’re unable to groom themselves, or prepares cats for participating in cat shows and competitions.

Typical Work Schedule

Cat groomers may work either full-time or part-time. They may also work irregular hours, including evening and weekend shifts, to accommodate client working schedules.

Typical Employers

Cat groomers are commonly employed by pet stores, pet salons, kennels, veterinarians, and animal shelters. Some cat groomers are also self-employed and operate their own pet grooming businesses.

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How To Become a Cat Groomer

No formal postsecondary education is required to find work as a cat groomer. In fact, the best way to find work as a cat groomer is simply to earn professional experience working with and grooming cats. There are several ways you can go about gaining experience as a cat groomer. You can volunteer to groom cats for a local animal shelter, or you can seek entry-level work in a pet store or kennel. Usually, both of these opportunities provide on-the-job training for new groomers, and can lead to higher paying positions over time.

If you’re struggling to find entry-level work to gain experience as a cat groomer, you may consider earning a pet grooming certification from a trade, vocational, or community college. These certificate programs usually take a few months to a year to complete, and provide students with classroom and practical training on grooming cats and other types of pets. With a formal certificate in pet grooming, you may be more likely to find work as a cat groomer because you’ll need less upfront training than inexperienced candidates.

For cat groomers who aspire to operate their own pet grooming businesses, college coursework in topics like business administration, marketing, communications, and public relations can be beneficial. Operating a pet grooming business is hard work and requires skills in both grooming and business management. For this reason, taking college classes in business and marketing can teach aspiring cat salon owners the skills they’ll need to market and run a profitable grooming business.

Cat Groomer Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Cat Groomer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Cat Groomer's can make an average annual salary of $23,630, or $11 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $18,580 or $9 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #785 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Cat Groomers

  • 0.9%   Doctorate
  • 2.4%   Masters
  • 16.3%   Bachelors
  • 8.3%   Associates
  • 27.2%   College
  • 34.7%   High School
  • 10.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Cat Groomer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 21,600 jobs for a total of 226,400 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 10.5% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #172 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Cat Groomers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Other personal services 67,900 11,800 12%
Self-employed workers 39,200 3,400 3%
Other miscellaneous store retailers 28,400 700 1%

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