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    by Danelle German, CFMG, CFCG www.nationalcatgroomers.com

    Winter is upon us. For much of the world that means some rather cold temperatures. Clients who normally opt for the lion cut for their feline during the warmer months may be looking for some cold weather alternatives. Usually their goal is to cut down on shedding as much as possible. Along with shedding comes the all-to-annoying hair ball. Getting rid of both problems is a top priority for many cat owners, whether they live with a long hair or short hair cat.

    Any groomer should be able to offer their clients some alternatives to the lion cut when the temperatures dip into the freezing zone. Even if a cat is indoor-only, it will appreciate having some coat left on it during those colder spells. The Comb Cut is a great winter-time option. Leaving the coat anywhere from 1/2" to 1" in length gives kitty a bit warmth while still providing the owner with some way of meeting their less-shed, fewer-hair balls objective.

    Because the Comb Cut should be done after the bath and blow dry, a groomer can and should charge more for this style. It essentially require the groomer doing two grooms in one. First a full coat groom, giving kitty a thorough degreasing bath, show-quality blow dry, and finishing comb out. A sanitary clip and/or belly shave can also be given, depending upon client preference and the condition of the cat. Then, at the end of the full coat groom, a comb cut is performed, leaving the cat with some coat, similar to the regrowth length some 2-3 months after a standard lion cut.

    A Comb Cut is best performed using some type of suction (Clipper Vac/Taxi Vac) attached to the clipper that has a #30 blade and a snap on comb. We prefer the Wahl Stainless Steel snap-ons over the plastic varieties simply because they glide through cat hair so effortlessly (provided it is properly cleaned and prepped). The finish is thick and plush and rather eye-catching on many breeds of cats, even the DLHs.

    If shedding is a major issue, follow up with a de-shedding treatment at the very end of the groom. This adds yet one more service which increases the groom cost AND satisfies the customer's desire to cut down on shedding and subsequent hair balls. A win, win, win for groomer, cat and customer!

    For more details and step-by-step instructions on the Comb Cut and more grooming styles for cats, check out the Ultimate Cat Groomer Encyclopedia (www.nationalcatgroomers.com).

    After the full coat groom, getting ready to start the comb cut.

    The final comb cut

    After the full coat groom, getting ready to begin a comb cut.

    After the comb cut.