The Dynamic Dino Trim - Groomer to Groomer Magazine

The Dynamic Dino Trim

The Dino trim is a popular request to add a bit of style to a traditional Lion Cut. While not an option for every cat, the Dino Trim can be a fun design with a lot of variations to play with.

The first step is to determine if this cat is a good candidate for a styled Lion Cut. This shouldn’t be a trim that is promised on a first visit to your salon, and instead should be saved for cats that are relaxed while lying on the table. The cat should also be patient as this style will add a bit of extra time to the appointment, depending on how fancy you want to be.

Fig. 1) After the nails have been trimmed and the cat assessed for any matted areas or problems, use a clipper with #10 blade and start shaving long swipes on either side of the spine to set a wide mohawk that connects down the back to the cat’s tail. Be generous to leave extra hair as you can always shave more, but once it’s gone, you can’t put it back!

Fig. 2) Once the mohawk is set, shave the rest of the cat into a traditional Lion Cut. If the cat is comfortable on the table, then gently roll the cat side to side in order to access the sides around each leg, leaving a “boot” ending at the elbow of the front leg and just above the hock bone on the back leg. Finish up the belly, rear end and chest by either rolling the cat fully onto one side or gently laying the cat on your lap to access those areas.


Fig. 3) Once the rest of the shaving is done, clean up the sides of the mohawk by shaving in reverse with a #10 blade so the lines are crisp and even. Also stand directly behind the cat to be sure the mohawk is centered in the middle of the back. 

Fig. 4) Comb the hair from neck to tail so it lays flat and smooth. Take a 5-in-1 clipper and set the blade on a #30 setting. Flip the clipper upside down and gently press the blade straight down into the hair from the top. Use a comb as a guide to create straight, even lines. The #30 setting is very responsive and will cut the hair short, so a light touch is all that is needed.

Fig. 5) Continue using the clipper upside down to set large, even squares the length of the mohawk. Then, change the clipper setting back to a #10 blade and shave flat against the skin to create the desired shape into each square. In this design, the squares are shaved into triangles to give us thick spikes for the Dino look.

Fig. 6) After the triangles along the back are set, shave off the tip of each one to create a space approximately 1/4-1/2” between each spike.

Fig. 7) If the cat is still being patient, continue the same spaced shaving (with the upside down #30 blade) down the length of the tail. Remember to switch the blade back to a #10 to do any shaving against the skin to create the finished shape.

Fig. 8) When the tail is finished, run a comb against the growth of the hair from the base of the tail towards the neck. You can then clean up the tops of the spikes lightly with thinning shears or by skimming with your clippers to create the desired shape.

Fig. 9) After the bath and blow dry, again comb the spikes against the growth of the hair to fluff them up to take any pictures or display the finished groom for the cat’s owner. I don’t recommend using any sprays or products in the cat’s hair unless it will be washed out after quick pictures or a competition submission.

And voila! The thick, short hair of this cat gives a nice, full look to the spikes. Feel free to play with shapes and spacing of the spikes to get different designs. And, if you aren’t happy with it—you can just shave it off! ✂️


Lynn Paolillo, CFMG & Certifier

As one of only a few hundred Certified Feline Master Groomers worldwide, Lynn Paolillo does a lot more than just groom for the kitty population of central New Jersey. With more than 13 years of grooming experience, she’s obsessed with improving the lives of both cats and their owners by creating a positive relationship through grooming. Based in Hamilton, NJ, her cat-only business, Cat Naps Cattery, provides a quiet, calm (and bark-free) environment for cats of all ages and breeds. Lynn also travels and teaches cat grooming around the U.S. at trade show events, private workshops and seminars as a Certifier and Instructor for the National Cat Groomers Institute.

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