Drying fur. Damp cloth more absorbent than dry?

Assumption.

Use dry towel to wipe off water. When that towel becomes damp, get another dry towel to use. Do not use a wet towel to dry a wet cat.

The assumption is wrong.

According to answers at the Physics Stack Exchange, damp cloth > dry cloth for water absorption.

“Take a really dry dish cloth and try to wipe up some liquid you spilled on the kitchen counter. It will take up only so much of the liquid.

Then try it with a damp cloth (or a wring out a wet one). It will take up much more of the liquid.

It seems counter-intuitive. Why does a damp cloth absorb more liquid?”

Answers.

“Water breaks hydrogen bonds formed within the fibres. This makes the fibres softer, and the exposed hydroxyl groups make the surface more hydrophilic. It’s the latter process that makes a damp cloth more able to soak up water than a dry cloth.”

Summary.

Water breaks bonds in fibers.

That makes fibers more “water-loving”.

Results in increased absorption.

 

Why does it take so long to dry cat fur?

Drying some long-haired or thick-coated cats takes up to half an hour, even when using a high-quality blow dryer.

Why does it take so long?

Fur can absorb more than 30% of it’s weight in water.

Source:  Dhanesh Anderson, worked at Larsen & Toubro Engineering. Via Quora.

“A hair in good condition can absorb more than 30% of its own weight of water. If the hair is already damaged  by other factor the percentage can reach up to 45%. Its length can thus increase by 2% and its diameter by 15% to 20%!. And its all depends on cutical and sebum of the particular hair.”

No wonder drying is the most time-consuming part of cat grooming.

Comparison test of degreasing products

My goal was to compare the degreasing efficiency of 3 popular degreasing products that I happened to have available.

Chubbs Bar

Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Soap

Grimeinator Shampoo

MY METHOD

This is a home-style test, not a laboratory test.  I did it for fun.

I needed an oil that was visible, so that I would be able to tell which product was best at washing it off.  I dug around in my make-up cabinet and found oil-based liquid foundation. For any non-make-up-users reading this, foundation is applied to the skin in order to create a more even skin tone.

I cut a white cotton towel into 3 pieces.

I applied two squirts of foundation to each towel. I used a make-up brush to spread the foundation around on the towel.

testsupplies
Oily foundation, a make-up brush, a piece of white cotton towel

I washed the first towel with the Chubbs Bar, the 2nd towel with undiluted Dawn, and the 3rd towel with Grimeinator (diluted 10:1, not 32:1).

I used a water from the bathroom water faucet and my hand to scrub the towels.

I didn’t skimp on the soap or the scrubbing. I used a lot of soap and did a lot of scrubbing.

Here is the result.

Afterdegreasing2

The Chubbs Bar cloth is on the left. The Dawn cloth is in the middle. The Grimeinator cloth is on the right.

It looks to me like the Dawn soap washed away more of the oily foundation make-up than either Chubbs or Grimeinator.  The Chubbs Bar was second best.  Grimeinator was third best.

Dawn soap washed much of the oily foundation away, and also kept the entire towel white.

Chubbs washed away oily foundation make-up, but spread the oily foundation around. The towel was darker after the washing.

Grimeinator wasn’t as effective at washing off the oily foundation make-up, but on the positive side, it didn’t spread the oily foundation around.

I think all 3 products are excellent. They each have their uses.

There are reasons to choose a product other than Dawn, such as the fact that Dawn is not a product developed for pets.  Dawn strips the oil out so effectively that fur needs to be conditioned after use.

 

By Linda at Spiffy Kitty House Call Cat Grooming.  catgroomnyc@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

Allergy Season Sparks Cat Grooming Demand

What happens if you combine pollen, dust and cat dander, topped off by long walks outside within range of pollen-dispursing trees?

Achoo!!  Sneeze time!

Getting rid of one allergen helps cut down on allergen load.

I get calls every year from owners who USUALLY do fine with their cat.  Then Spring hits and kaboom, they’re bombed by allergens.

Another reason Spring kicks off allergy suffering?  Spring cleaning.  All that shaking out of rugs and sweeping of floors stirs up a bucketload of allergens.  Achoo!!

Springtime allergy explosion. Kaboom!

 

Allergic to cat? Solutions. Part 1

 

Dander and dandruff.  Let’s not get hung up on the difference.  They’re the same according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, while other sources define dander as specifically the “almost invisible skin cells that flake off.”

“Dander is made up of tiny bits of dried skin that flake off your cat’s body and become airborne. This may sound like dandruff, but it’s actually much, much smaller and invisible to the human eye.”

“These bits of skin contain a protein called FelD1 that is responsible for the allergic reaction. FelD1 is found in a cat’s urine, sebaceous glands, and saliva. When a cat licks their body, the protein attaches itself and dries, and when the dander flakes off, the allergen becomes airborne.”

So a protein called FelD1 (Felis domesticus allergen I) is the problem for people who are allergic to cats. Some cats have less of this protein, but that’s a whole other topic.

What can you do? Avoid or minimize contact with FelD1.

  1. Don’t let your cat on the bed.
  2. Don’t rub your face and hands against your cat’s body, unless you’re going to wash afterwards.
  3. Keep a clean house.
  4. Don’t keep the litter box in an area where you spend a lot of time. Don’t use a dusty litter. Keep the litter box scooped.
  5. Bare floors are better than carpeting. Don’t choose upholstered furniture.
  6. *Vacuuming, air filtration systems. Not convinced either helps much. Some vacuums blow allergens into the air.  The problem with vac & air fit. is that the equipment needs to be maintained. If not maintained, can become a reservoir of allergens.
  7. Bathing and brushing at least once a week.  If you can’t bathe your cat, wipe your cat down with a hypo-allergenic pet wipe or a wet washcloth as often as you can.  You have to do it at least once a week. For real. See below for study.

“Cats carry large quantities of Fel d 1, only a small proportion of which (approximately 0.002%/hr) becomes airborne. Washing cats by immersion will remove significant allergen from the cat and can reduce the quantity of Fel d 1 becoming airborne. However, the decrease is not maintained at 1 week.”  (From J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1997 Sep;100(3):307-12.  Evaluation of different techniques for washing cats: quantitation of allergen removed from the cat and the effect on airborne Fel d 1.)

My opinion is that shampooing is going to be more effective at decreasing dander than just soaking a cat in water. Why? Shampooing makes cats less oily. Allergens stick to oil.  How do I come to that conclusion? Everything sticks to oil. I don’t need a study to prove this:)

I’m better at shampooing than most owners, so what makes sense is to schedule a bath once a month or as often as you can, while wiping the cat down as often as you can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Allergy Cats Uh Oh. sneezes, red eyes, meow!

Sitting inside watching the snow — yes, it’s pretty! — while breathing in dander, dandruff and cat fluff?  Windows closed. Heat pouring out of vents. Dry skin and dry nose. Perfect time for major allergy flare-ups.

Grooming decreases shed fur, cleans off dandruff, and washes away dander (temporarily).  If I had cat allergies, I’d be on meds and would have my cat groomed at least every 3 months.  If you can’t schedule a cat grooming, try wiping your cat with fragrance-free cat wipes. Do that once a day.

Catbyfireside

Which Cat Requires More Grooming?

Afterbath

sphynx2

If you guessed that the black domestic short haired cat —  a common house cat — requires more grooming, you’d be . . . wrong.

Sphynx cats don’t have much fur, as you can see.  Their body makes oil, just like other cats, but there’s no fur to absorb the oil.  Unless you want to see oily stains on your furniture, you probably should bathe them once a month or more. Not all cats are alike, so some are more oily than others. You will also see brown gunk on their claws. This should be cleaned off every so often.

You can get away with bathing a domestic short haired cat as infrequently as once a year. Brush them once a week and you’re good to go. Heck, some never get bathed, but from experience, I’d say it’s good to bathe them every so often because it helps get rid of shed fur that’s stuck to their coat.  Makes them lighter, fluffier, less prone to hairballs, and of course cleaner. After all, saliva is not the same as water. I bathe my cat about once a month because I’m addicted to the scent and feel of fluffy fur. She likes being adored, so it works out for both of us.

Sphynx cats are fun. Lively. Sociable. Be ready to bathe them though. Don’t expect a free ride! I’ve only been asked to groom Sphynx cats once.  They’re a whole different deal from furry cats. Their fragile appearance makes me nervous, but they’re probably as resilient as other cats once you get past the fact that they’re butt-naked!

 

 

Drying a wet cat

If you bathe your cat, you may have noticed that drying can take a long time.  Even a short-haired cat can stay damp for longer than you’d expect.

Groomer’s tip: Dry your cat with a towel using every bit of the towel, brush the fur, dry again with another towel, and repeat until the fur is no longer wet. If your cat lets you blow dry, then blow dry with the setting on low. If the cat is still calm, you can turn up the setting so the air flow is more powerful.  If your dryer gets hot, keep the dryer at least 8 inches from the fur and move the dryer around.  When in doubt, put your hand under the dryer to see how it feels. Cats have a higher body temp than we do, and tend to love heat, so your cat might love that hot dryer. Still, you don’t want to overdo it, because heat can do damage.  From experience I’ll tell you that cats are going to luxuriate in that heat, the hotter the better, but I don’t feel comfortable putting a heated dryer too close to them even if they seem to be craving it.

What if your cat is still damp?  Then it’s up to you to decide if that’s alright.  My feeling is that if a cat is still damp, but they are terrified of the dryer, let them go. Don’t force the full drying. It’s not worth it.

With some types of fur, you do need to fully dry the cat.  Some Persians, for example, will mat up right away unless they are totally dry. Mats can be uncomfortable. So you wind up deciding whether you want a matted cat or a cat who is really upset about being dried. There are ways to deal with this, like putting your cat in a room to let them mostly dry, then just blow drying them for the last bit of wetness in their fur.

Rubbar Ducky?

Dealing with hairballs

Useful product suggestions in this article. See below. I use some of these products.

 

Not Having a Ball
Dec 01,2015
by: Sandy Robins

Hairballs are an unwanted bonus of cat ownership. Cats shed and ingest hair as part of their self-grooming routines. Fortunately, there are lots of different weapons of attack to fight the shedding hair wars that collectively will benefit retail store coffers.

Prevention Through Grooming

Hair is essentially indigestible to cats and can build up in the gut, eventually resulting in that rather unpleasant hairball surprise on the living room carpet,” said Dr. Adelia Ritchie, CEO and founder of DERMagic Skin Care for Animals, Inc.

“To prevent or reduce the occurrence of these events—in addition to daily brushing—bathing cats can help to remove loose hairs and dander that would otherwise contribute to hairball formation,” Ritchie said. “Because cats can be sensitive to chemicals and perfumes, and even some essential oils, I created a special organic shampoo bar that is safe on all cats and kittens too.”

The DERMagic Rosemary Shampoo Bar for Felines is an all-purpose gentle deep fur cleanser with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

“Our special feline formula also helps reduce flakiness and regenerate healthy soft skin and fur. Using a shampoo bar allows the cat owner to hold the cat with one hand, while creating a thick, rich, easily-rinsed lather with the other. This helps make bathing a cat an easy, relaxing experience,” she said.

According to Rikki Mor, founder and owner of Groom Genie, “Plenty of people mistakenly believe that because cats are such terrific self-groomers, they don’t need additional grooming by their humans. But grooming a cat is extremely helpful in removing excess hair, distributing oils, stimulating the skin and more. Of course, the first challenge with cat grooming is making sure the cat will let you groom him!”

“We have had excellent customer feedback that often the Groom Genie is the only brush their cats will tolerate and even enjoy,” Mor said. “Our secret is in the different lengths of bristles, which detangle and remove the hair without pulling. Cats seem to like the feel of the bristles on their skin too. Plus, the handle-less shape of the brush enables a grooming session that’s more like petting.”

There are two sizes with the Teeny Groom Genie, which are 2.75-inch by 4-inch in size, designed specifically for cats.

The Andis Company has a comprehensive line of professional grooming tools for home use as part of its Premium Pet Tools line. The 7.5 steel comb has wide and narrow teeth for working different areas of the coat. It helps remove tangles, mats, loose hair and dirt.

The Premium soft-tooth slicker brush has bent wire bristles that remove undercoat and prevent matting. It stimulates hair follicles to promote growth and healthier hair. The range also includes a large pin brush, a two-sided brush and a large firm slicker brush for cat owners to add to their toolbox. The Andis grooming team cautions about the use of de-shedding tools. because if not used properly, they can damage a cat’s very delicate skin.

There is also a variety of self-grooming accessories for cats such as Omega Paw’s Arch Groomer, a free-standing, hands-free grooming arch that is covered with rubber nibs inside and out for cats to rub up against to remove loose hair.

The Catit Design Senses Massage Center, which is part of the Catit line of interactive cat products from Rolf C. Hagen, Inc., is a self-grooming rubber massage unit that appeals to a cat’s sense of touch by offering a variety of textures that provide a luxurious pampering experience. The ripple massager provides intense rubbing pleasure to a feline’s head, neck and face, and the body stroke groomers on the product offer easy-access and an intense massage, removing loose hair in the process. It comes with a sachet of catnip to attract feline attention to the unit.

Foods, Treats and Remedies

Perrigo Animal Health have two products in its anti-hairball arsenal that specifically target hairball control, namely its Sentry Hairball Relief Gel in a malt flavor which comes in a 4.4 ounce tube and its Sentry Hairball Chewables in a chicken flavor which comes in a 2.5 ounce pouch.

Sentry Hairball Relief gel helps relieve the constipation, dry cough and vomiting associated with hairballs. This product uses the company’s proprietary Petromalt technology and acts as an intestinal lubricant that helps prevent the formation of hairballs and eases the passage of hair that is ingested. It is safe and effective for cats and kittens over four weeks of age.

Sentry Hairball Chewables are also an effective intestinal lubricant that helps combat vomiting associated with hairballs. The company advises that cat owners feed one or two pieces daily as a treat reward after brushing their cat’s coat. The treat formula contains no added salt or artificial colors.

According to Chanda D. Leary-Coutu, senior manager, marketing communications for Wellness Natural Pet Food, the company recently released a new cat food formula to combat hairballs.

“Our new Wellness Natural Hairball Control recipe is made with a precise blend of fiber that helps move hair and already-formed hairballs through the cats’ digestive track,” Leary-Coutu said. “The natural recipe includes wholesome, savory protein sources cats love like deboned chicken and turkey, and also includes vitamins and minerals to support skin and coat health, resulting in fewer stray hairs being ingested.”

“Similarly, our new grain-free Wellness TruFood CocoChia Bakes are treats with salmon, coconut oil that contain a healthy dose of coconut oil and chia seeds, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics. These tasty treats are great for a cat’s skin and coat while helping promote digestive health,” she said.

These morsels are a colorful slow-baked snack. They contain antioxidant-rich ingredients like beets and spinach formulated to keep cats happy and healthy—and hopefully hairball free.