Drying fur. Damp cloth more absorbent than dry?


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?”


“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.”


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


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.

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.


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!


Fake Cat News

“Cats don’t need to be groomed.”

That’s fake cat news.

When cats lived outdoors, their shedding fur was blown or pulled off by wind, branches, dirt and sand.  Rain and snow washed their fur.  Sun dried the oil on their skin. They ate less food, so didn’t get “messy bottoms”.

Cats only moved inside recently, after the popularization of cat litter.  Cat litter was invented in 1947!!!

Nature used to help cats get rid of shedding fur and dirt. Now we need to help them.

(And yes, some short-haired cats do fine without being groomed, but as they age they need help.)

What if housecall cat grooming costs more than you can afford?


Even if you can’t hire a housecall cat groomer, you can still help your cat.  There are great Youtube videos demonstrating a wide variety of ways to brush, wash and dry fur, along with many videos on how to trim claws. You can also do a general online search for information.  You’ll find so much!  Look at a bunch of different videos and sites so you can choose which method works best for you.

If you’re afraid to do it all yourself, you can start by trying to do whatever seems least scary.

For example, trimming claws intimidates a lot of owners.  It’s less scary if you don’t have to worry about being bitten or scratched. A snap-on or velcro e-collar can be purchased for about 10 dollars. You put it on your kitty, then relax because the teeth can no longer reach you.

Tip: Good lighting helps more than you can imagine. Light up your house before grooming the cat.

Afraid of being scratched? You can wear a winter coat and gloves. No one will see you since you’re at home:) Feel free to wear layers of clothes!

Wiggly cat? Wrap kitty up in the largest towel you have. A beach towel is the right size. You can even use two towels. Then expose the part of the body you’re working on. Your room-mate or partner might be willing to help.

Trimming out mats? Buy a small ball-tip scissor online or at a pet store. Place a metal comb flat against kitty’s skin, under the mat. Trim the mat off with the scissor. This way you won’t have to worry about cutting the skin.

Tip: Having a quiet, calm atmosphere makes all the difference. Many cats freak out if you groom them in the living room with children playing and video games booming. They might be totally different in the bathroom or kitchen.

Tip: Try using the kitchen sink and counter for grooming, instead of using the tub and bathroom floor.  The kitchen counter is the right height for grooming. The sink is less fear-inducing to the cat than a huge tub. Also, you’re going to have more control over a cat in a sink than you do over a cat in a tub.

Most of all, have fun. Experiment. As long as you don’t hurt or scare the cat — and don’t get hurt — it’s all good!

Enjoy getting to be physical with a living creature. In the city, we spend so much time with computers & words & concrete. Grooming a cat is like a brush with nature.  Who knows. You might become addicted to cat grooming, like me:)





Is dry shampoo for cats a scam?

If that’s the only way you’re going to be able to shampoo your cat, it’s better than nothing.


Dry shampoo absorbs oil into a substance that can be brushed or blow-dried out. Cats produce oil.  There will always be oil on their skin. The oil makes fur look dirty.

“Only hydrophobic soils, like natural oils and oil-based styling products, are absorbed by the dry shampoo. Dry shampoo will not remove actual dirt, skin flakes, and other chemicals that can make hair look and feel greasy . . . “

Note: hydrophobic means not dissolvable or wettable by or in water.

Wet shampoo removes dirt, dust AND oil. Chemicals in shampoo bind to the oil AND the dirt. Everything is washed away during rinsing, leaving fur cleaner and less oily.

Some formulators add ingredients to shampoo to soften the fur or make it shinier.

So no, dry shampoo is not a scam. It’s nowhere near as effective as wet shampoo, but it is better than nothing.