Should you wish to continue to test to achieve different designations through International Cat Accredited Training School for Groomers, (ICATS for Groomers), a series of exams are required to be written as well as practical testing. 


Each manual has a final exam with a passing grade of 85% required to qualify for your certification. A retake exam will not be the same exam as the first attempt.

When all four exams, based on the first four manuals, are passed with 85% or better, the groomer will have a designation of International Cat Expert and can put the letters ICE behind their name. The fifth manual, Breeds, is the final exam for the masters’ designation and cannot be taken until the student attains the ICE and the practical ICGE designation.

Manual one: The Cat, The Groomer

  • What it takes to be a cat groomer
  • Cats
  • Anatomy
  • Medical conditions, parasites and zoonosis
  • Poisonings

Manual two: Cat Talk and Groomer Hands

  • Environment
  • Equipment
  • Body language
  • Handling techniques
  • Manual three: Grooming the Cat
  • Grooming techniques
  • Grooming the cat
  • Bathing
  • Styles
  • Creative

Manual four: Business

  • Marketing
  • Business practices
  • Safety in the shop
  • Client communication

Manual five: Breeds    (masters exam)

  • Colors
  • Patterns
  • Breeds
  • Competing  

Prerequisite: ICE and ICGE designation.

The exams can be done at a seminar or workshop with a qualified certifier/instructor with ICATS for Groomers or by proctor


There are four practical exams: Brushing, Styling, Bathing and finishing and Handling. Each exam must be passed with an 85% to attain certification.

Test 1


The student will demonstrate brushing of a long haired cat and a short haired cat. The student will demonstrate the de-shed process on a short haired cat and a long haired cat. Demonstration of removing a mat will also be shown. If the cat (s) presented is mat free, the groomer will explain and demonstrate as if there was a mat present.

The student will also have to demonstrate (can be a toy cat) or verbally explain the grooming process for a Sphynx cat and a curly coated cat. The student will also have to demonstrate and verbally explain the uses of different tools used for brushing, de-shedding and dematting.

There will be a variety of questions the student will be required to answer throughout the test.

Test 2


The student will demonstrate the following patterns on a cat; these can be done on one cat.

Sanitary, Belly-shave

The student will demonstrate first a sanitary shave, shaving around the anus, vulva or penis and inside of thighs. When the certifier signals, the student will then continue to complete a belly shave.

Body Style

The student will demonstrate land marking for the legs, a mane for a full lion, mini lion, panther and mohawk type style. If the student chooses not to demonstrate a mohawk style (mohawk, caterpillar or catosaurous) the student must show land marking for these styles.

The student will demonstrate shaving the body either in reverse or with the lay of the fur in the style they have chosen to test on. Any style is acceptable except for the panther. The student is not only tested on skill, but also the presentation of the style.

Head/chest Style

The head styles for the head and front are the groomers choice and can include:

Full lion, mini lion (any bib variation is allowed), lynx, bobcat, round or a design of the students creativity. Panther is not allowed. 


The student will demonstrate land-marking the lines on the legs. The legs can be left long with the appropriate land-marking lines or can be put into boots. This again is the students’ choice.


The student will demonstrate trimming the pads, toe tuft trimming is optional, nail trimming can be done at any time during the groom, but it is suggested that the nails should be done after the bath. However, if the cat is slashing, nails can be done at the students’ discretion.


Tail styles not acceptable are a panther or full tail. Any other tail style is acceptable.

Nicks and Cuts

Special attention should be paid to not nick the cat; however, allowances may be made, depending on the attitude of the cat. Should a cut happen, it is the groomers’ responsibility to alert the certifier. Dependent on the severity of the cut will determine whether the groom will be continued. Should more than 2 nicks or cuts happen, including nipples, the test will be stopped and will have to be retaken with a different cat as a retake exam.

Test 3

Bath and Finish

The student will demonstrate a bath, burrito wrap and blow dry on a cat, either a full coated cat or a cat that has been styled. 

The student may use a high voltage dryer if confident in the cats reaction. However, for those in a seminar setting, the students testing using a high voltage dryer or clipper-vac will be tested last.

Finishing the style can include: neatening up the style, nail cutting, trimming the feet & mane.

Test 4


The skill of the student will be tested throughout the exam. Handling must be gentle, working with the cat rather than enforcing the will of the student upon the cat. Any abuse will not be tolerated.

The student will be required to demonstrate:

Removal from kennel

The safest way to hold and carry a cat

Different holds on the rear legs

Holds for front legs and for arm pit shaving

A variety of safe head holds

Safe non-stress scruff holds

Lap holds, rolling the cat for belly shaves and different holds while the cat is on the table.

Directing a helper

Being a helper


Observing body language and understanding what it means

 The student will also show different uses of a towel, as well as demonstrate the uses and applications of different equipment available to cat groomers.

***NOTE*** Cat bags are not tolerated. Taping cats feet will not be tolerated. Any forceful scruffing is not tolerated. Any restraint such as a loop is not accepted.