With or ‘against the grain’, it’s always a question I get asked.

Many experienced dog groomers opt for ‘with the grain’, the normal to them. Usually, those learning cat grooming from the beginning chooses against the grain, or reverse clipping. I explain each option, and what I choose.

What is ‘against the grain’?

Clipping against-the -grain involves aiming your clippers in reverse, against the natural lay of the coat.  In this direction, you will make the coat shorter, therefore clipping more of the down hairs (‘undercoat’).  Remember, when clipping this way, cats with less coat, or a lighter coat, you will reduce their protection from the sun, they enjoy naps in the sun or are an outdoor cat.

Here is an example:

What is clipping ‘with the grain?’

Clipping with the natural lay and direction of the coat.  Clipping with the direction of the hair leaves a longer length, and a more ‘uneven’ finish, as down hairs (‘undercoat’) remain longer.

Here is an example:

Should I go with, or against the grain?

There is no right or wrong answer.  Some say that reversing the clippers against the natural coat direction will affect the arrector-pili muscles.  Some also say that reversing can cause damage to the skin microscopely, but I have not seen evidence of each of these.  Remember, that vet clip in both directions when clipping for surgery or taking blood. There is a risk of post-clipping alopecia in both directions, as it’s usually an underlying condition, but that is a whole new topic!

I personally teach both ways, because every groom should be individualised for the cat, the cat’s environment, lifestyle, and the existing coat.

Lexie the Groomer

Cat Grooming Education with Lexie

Want to learn cat clipping with low stress handling techniques?

  • Do you want to become a Cat Groomer?
  • Are you looking at a gentle approach to Cat Grooming?
  • Are you wanting to learn all style clips in one online course?
  • Want to learn from an experienced Cat Groomer and qualified Vet Nurse, that believes in the cat’s comfort and needs before all else?
  • Over 2 hours of cat grooming videos in my salon.
  • 30 day money back guarantee*

Clipping the Feline Online Course



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: