If your cat’s coat is a little wild, you might be thinking about bringing in a pro groomer. Professional grooming services are great for cat owners who need a little extra help, and they can take a lot of hassle off your plate.
Regular grooming is important for all cats, especially longhair cats and seniors. Many owners are surprised at how affordable professional grooming can be! Read on to learn more.
The Importance of Cat Grooming
Cats have soft coats that serve many purposes—they help your cat stay warm in cold weather, offer protection from the sun, and keep your cat clean and healthy. Their fur coats even help them deflect scratches and small injuries. But these coats also are very costly for cats. Your cat probably spends a few hours every day grooming itself, and most cats shed fur year-round.
But cats also need a little extra help with their grooming. In fact, brushing your cat regularly not only prevents mats and messy homes, it is also great for your cat’s health. Regular brushing reduces hairballs, which in turn can improve intestinal health, lower the chances of blockages, and reduce vomiting. You can groom your cat at home, but many are turning to professional groomers to do some of the heavy lifting.
How Much Does Cat Grooming Cost?
Cat grooming costs vary depending on many different factors, including the type of service, individual business practices, and coat type. Most cat grooming costs between $30 and $70 a session.
Some groomers also offer basic packages that can be much cheaper, as low as $10–$15 a session, and add-ons such as haircuts, nail clippings, and other services that are added to the base price. The type of service will also have an impact—for example, some groomers come to your home or even offer pick-up and drop-off services that might affect the price.
Another big contributing factor to cost is your cat’s coat type and condition. Cats with long hair are often charged at a higher price than shorthaired cats. The table below shows some common services and their approximate cost.
|Basic Groom||$30 – $70|
|Nail Trim||$10 – $15|
|Trim or Lion Cut||$35 – $60|
|Ear Cleaning||$10 – $15|
Additional Costs to Anticipate
Most grooming sessions shouldn’t cost more than quoted, but there are a few additional costs that are possible. Some groomers will give an additional charge for aggressive cats—this is usually around $10–$20. Another common unexpected charge is for flea treatment. Many groomers will refuse to treat cats with fleas, but others will include a non-optional flea treatment charge.
Groomers that allow you to drop off your cat and pick up at the end of the appointment may have late pick-up fees. If you’re concerned about additional costs, ask your groomer what their policy is. Along with these fees, many owners leave a small tip to express appreciation for the groomer’s work.
How Often Should Cats Be Groomed?
The frequency of grooming depends on your cat. All cats should receive regular brushing at home, but how often should you schedule groomer appointments? There isn’t one right answer—it depends a lot on your cat’s needs and the types of services you are getting.
If your cat has shorter fur and no issues with self-grooming, regular professional grooming might not be necessary. On the other hand, most longhair cats benefit from regular bathing and grooming every four to eight weeks. As cats age, many cats are unable to care for themselves completely and might also need regular professional grooming.
In addition to the standard bathing and brushing, many grooming services offer hair trims, nail clipping, and other services. If you choose to clip your cat’s nails, you may need to schedule appointments more frequently—about every 2-4 weeks.
Haircut frequency depends on the cat and the type of cut. Many owners of cats in hot environments choose to bring their cat in for a “lion cut” seasonally. In this cut, a longhair cat is given a very close trim seasonally, but the head and tail fur are left longer. Some owners of longhair cats prefer to have regular trims to make daily grooming more manageable.
Another common cut is a sanitary trim, in which long hairs around your cat’s genitals are trimmed to avoid fecal matting. This is most common in cats with mobility issues and will need to be repeated every six to eight weeks.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Cat Grooming?
Pet insurance can help you save on many costs, but cat grooming isn’t one. Most pet insurance plans don’t cover pet grooming because it is considered a routine and non-essential cost. Although some pet insurance companies offer a wellness plan upgrade that will cover routine vet visits, we don’t know of any that include regular grooming right now. Instead, you’ll have to budget for grooming and cleaning yourself.
What to Do for Your Cat’s Coat Between Grooming Sessions
Cats need regular brushing, especially during high-shedding times. The standard depends on your cat’s coat type more than anything else, with different frequencies depending on the cat.
Shorthair cats don’t usually get tangled, but it’s still good to brush them regularly to minimize hairballs and shed fur. Usually, a shorthair cat should be brushed at home somewhere around once a week, although some might need it twice a week and others might need brushing every two weeks. During high-shedding times, more frequent brushing might be needed.
Cats with medium coats should be brushed at least once a week and many are healthiest when brushed two or three times a week. Like shorthair cats, medium-haired cats usually don’t have to worry about mats and tangles, so the amount depends on your cat’s shedding.
Longhair cats need frequent brushing. These cats deal with heavy shedding, but they also are prone to mats and tangles that make their coats dirty. Most longhair cats can’t fully detangle their coats without help. All longhair cats should be brushed multiple times a week, and many require daily brushing. A good rule of thumb is that if it is difficult to brush out tangles or the force required to brush your cat’s coat out appears to be painful, you should brush their fur out more often.
For most pet owners, professional grooming is an optional cost. But that doesn’t make it an inaccessible luxury—instead, pet grooming services can help you take care of your cat’s coat for an affordable price. The amount of grooming your cat needs depends on a lot of factors, and this can have a big effect on costs, but we hope this article helps give you an idea whether regular grooming is in your budget.
Featured Image Credit: Studio Peace, Shutterstock