Dawn Hilton Photography, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Loughborough and Market Harborough
Melton Mowbray Pet Photographer

Prep Info: Cat Sessions


So you have booked your session with your Leicestershire Cat Photographer.  I can imagine you are thinking, “Now what?” 


Leicestershire photographer

If you haven’t yet booked a session with your very own award-winning Leicestershire Cat Photographer, why not head over to the Pet Sessions page and take a look at what’s on offer?

Alternatively, click the button to book and choose a package, day & time that works for you.

Whilst you await the date of your session, there are a few of your simple routine things you can time to coincide with your cat’s modelling moment in the limelight!

First things first, just as you would spruce yourself up for your photography session, why not give your cat a pamper day too!


Short-haired breeds and those who shed will always benefit from a regular groom. The same as every type of coat, but even more so before their photoshoot.

Long-haired breeds, particularly those with fur that knots easily, will most definitely need routine grooming, shedding and possible clipping timed to coincide with their session. There is no point in taking a photo of your cat with that stunning thick furry coat if it resembles something that was dragged through a hedge and backwards!

Try to get them booked for a suitable groom a few days before their session to ensure their coats are tangle-free and glossy, or if your cat hates the groomers, try and give a good brush and detangle yourself

On the day, a quick brush through will do, and it is always a good idea to bring a brush to your session for any last-minute preening.  


No one wants to be smelly, especially on their photo session.


Getting your cat booked in for a bath a few days before your session will ensure a clean glossy coat. However you will be a braver person than I if you take your cat to be bathed!  

Baths are not usually necessary for cats.  As a rule as they are very good at keeping themselves clean, unlike their dog counterparts.  However, if you do wish to bathe your cats, don’t have the bath booked on the same day as your session as that post-bath frizz will need time to calm down, so a few days or a week before will be ideal.

On the whole though, your cat will be fine with just a good old fashioned brushing. 


The same can be said for your cat’s nails.

Maine Coon Cat sitting on some logs, having an outdoor woodland pet photography session with Dawn Hilton Photography, based in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

Cats tend to be very good at keeping their own nails trimmed and ready for hunting. Regardless a good check of their nails as part of their regular health check is always a good idea as sometimes nail bed infections can occur. So take this time to have a look to ensure they are healthy before their photography session.

Practice Your Commands

*Please note that your cat DOES NOT need any training for their photoshoot*

Chocolate Labrador dog having an outdoor woodland pet photography session with Dawn Hilton Photography, based in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

I can pretty much handle any type of cat behaviour and will get enough shots for your chosen package regardless. Occasionally a cat harness or collar and leash helps to guide them into the vicinity of a good shot and I can figure out the rest from there. If they are happy to be on a leash then that is great as they can assist me in getting thoise all important shots, and I can easily edit leads out afterwards. However, I know just how sassy a cat can be, and sometimes a leash or harness can freak them out, and in these cases we will leave your cat free running and we will get the shots as and when they occur naturally. Regardless, I will get the shots I need, so trust me when I say, “I got this!” I’m not an award-winning Leicestershire Cat Photographer for nothing, you know! 😉


If you can, try not to feed your cat a big meal before their session.

Your cat with a full tummy isn’t ideal at the start of the session as food is a great tool in the photographers box of tricks, and having a slightly hungry cat can help me out. There isn’t much a hungry cat won’t do for food! Please don’t starve your cat; just half their usual meal on the morning of your session. At the end of your session, when your cat has a full belly and wants to have a nap, this then works in my favour for even more endearing poses. 

If your cat needs to eat at certain times due to medication or illness, please carry on with your regular feeding routine.


If your cat can have their collar SAFELY removed for their studio session, this is ideal as a natural look makes for a stunning distraction-free image.

However, collar removal IS NOT necessary on any outdoors session, as I will remove them in the editing if needed.

If you are to leave their collar on or you specifically wanted their collar in the images, then why not treat them to a super cool new one, especially for their shoot? It would look even more impressive if you complimented their new collar to their fur colour and tones.

Harnesses are great, but not for photography and editing. But as with above, if we need the harness left on, a nice new one with tones to suit your dog would make for a better image.

Cat outfits can look cute for day to day life, but on your cat’s photo session, you don’t want the outfit upstaging your cat’s natural beauty. So these are best left off… unless it was a Christmas session, and they were wearing mini Rudolph antlers, and a Christmas jumper, and there was a snow machine… hold my cuppa, I think I can feel an idea coming on…

But What do I wear?

If you are and/or family members are going to be in the finished images, you will all need to look as good as the feline model!

You maybe don’t need to have your toenails clipped, be groomed, or buy a new harness (or perhaps you do?!).

However, what you wear will impact the finished image. If this image is taking centre stage as a piece of wall art, then your clothing will be even more important!

Try to wear clothing to complement or match your cat’s colours and tones if you can, and always go plain, un-patterned, and muted tones. This shoot is about your cat and you, your relationship and bond, so don’t upstage them with your attire!

What not to wear on your dog photography session in Leicestershire

Logos are always a big No-No, as are T-Shirts with “Juicy” or “Bazinga” written all over them. They will serve no purpose other than to distract from the very reason you have paid the money for the photography session – you and your cat!
The same can be said for big, bold patterns, stripes, checks, etc.

So go plain! Go Boring! Go natural tones!

You can not go wrong with a plain muted colour t-shirt and a pair of blue or black jeans or a plain colour top or fleece and walking trousers if this is an outdoor shoot (note: small logos on your outdoor walking clothes will be ok).

Another big no-no for your photo session with your dog is to wear something black AND white, as that gives your photographer an exposing headache and makes them want to reach for the gin. So please no black bottoms and white tops, or black tops and white bottoms!  All white or all black is fine, just don’t mix them up! 

As an idea on how to style you, just take a look at your cat.

If you have a tabby cat, wear a slightly different shade of brown top to blend or a cream top to compliment. If the cat is a ginger moggy, then creams, browns, and autumnal colours are ideal. If your cat has black or white fur, wear an all black or all white top to match or, even better, go for a colour to compliment.  This is where we can have some fun and maybe go for a gentle shade of top to partner and bring out the colour of your cat’s eyes, or the colour of the collar they will be wearing and so on.

If you are still unsure of what to wear, do the following little trick…

Look at the walls in your home; think which wall will feature the favourite image(s) from your session.

Now sit and stare at the wall and imagine what it will look like with a beautiful shot of you and your best friend.  

Think about what you will be happy to look at for the years to come. Plain muted clothes such as a pair of jeans and a plain coloured top or a plain muted dress will always stand the test of time of any fashion trends that will come and go.

Thus making your precious wall art truly a timeless piece!

What if the weather turns bad?

Oh, the good old British weather! Don’t you love the unpredictability of it? But as a Leicestershire cat photographer, I am accustomed to lying face down in the mud taking shots of your cats. So don’t panic if it rains!

Most outdoor cat sessions will go ahead as planned, regardless of the weather. However cats tend be more fussy than I when it comes to rain and the cold, and so we will take your cat as our guide.  If they are a cat who hates the rain, we can reschedule for another day. 

If the session is a studio session or one at your home for an indoor cat, then we are good to go!

What you need to bring to your session

  • Your cat (obviously)
  • Collar & lead and/or harness
  • Cat carrier
  • Treats (high-value ones are the best!)
  • Your cat’s favourite teddy, toy, blanket etc
  • Your cats attention grabbers: Shiny dangly squeaky toys that usually work to grab your cats attention at home.
  • Grooming brush for last-minute tweaks
  • Sturdy shoes for you (for the outdoor sessions)


As your Leicestershire Cat Photographer, I know the struggles of finding good pet businesses to cater for our faithful friends.

Whether you need to book your cat in for a groom, buy a new collar, or treat your cat to a new toy, below is a list of small local businesses that are super amazing and would LOVE your custom!

  • Cat Groomers:
  • Pet Supplies: 
  • Pet Treats: 
  • Cattery: 
  • Pet Sitters:


If you book any services before your CAT session, please use the code DHPCAT10 with the businesses to claim your 10% discount.

Please Note:

Discount code is ONLY for clients with a FULL cat session booked in with Dawn Hilton Photography.

This discount does not apply to any Specials or Mini Session photography packages.

Offer applies to one transaction ONLY with the above businesses.

Offer does not apply to any specials, deals and discounts that business may have running at the time of purchase.

The businesses above have the right to withdraw the offer at any time with no notice period given.

*Any external businesses’ are used at your discretion, and Dawn Hilton Photography accepts no liability.

Tabby Cat having a studio photography session with Dawn Hilton Photography, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

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The very


PREP GUIDE FOR YOUR SESSION WITH YOUR AWARD-WINNING LEICESTERSHIRE Cat PHOTOGRAPHER So you have booked your session with your Leicestershire Cat Photographer. I can imagine you are thinking, “Now what?” If you haven’t yet booked a session with your very own award-winning Leicestershire Cat Photographer, why not head over to the Pet Sessions page […]

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