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