Cleaning cat’s messy rear

Common complaint especially among humans who live with long-haired cats.

The rear becomes messy.

Helpful video showing a veterinarian shaving that area.

Other suggestions.

1. If poop is soft, it’s more likely to get caught in fur. Some cat foods result in softer poop.  If that’s the situation, try different brands until you find one that results in reasonably firm poop. That won’t help you right now, but it will help in the future. 
2. Cats benefit from litter boxes in which they can easily turn around.  Double check to make sure your box is very roomy, and is in an area where cat feels comfortable.
3. Different types of litter might help.  I like “World’s Best Cat Litter.”
4. Wipe rear once a day with a large wet wipe made for cats.  Cats get wiggly when you touch their rear, so you can try distracting them with toys and treats, or one of you can hold him while the other wipes.  One way to hold a cat is to wrap them up in a very big towel, like a burrito, and expose the part on which you’re working. Do it fast, ha ha.  Cats generally don’t like to have their bottoms messed with.
5. Small round-tipped scissors can be used to trim dirty bits.  The important factor is that you have to make 100% sure you’re not cutting the skin.  Put a metal grooming comb or your finger between the skin and the part you’re trimming.  Cat skin is easy to cut due to its thin-ness, so do this with good lighting and caution. You can buy round-tipped trimming scissors for pets and a metal grooming comb on Amazon.
6. You can buy the same sort of clipper I use for shaving. It’s very quiet and easy to handle.  You can also use it to trim fur in other areas.  I use Wahl’s Bravura clipper. This is a quiet, strong clipper.
7. If cat has a bunch of poop accumulated on his rear, cat will probably need a partial bath to soak it off. You can buy hypo-allergenic, unscented pet shampoo. Use as directed on label.
I make house calls for sanitary trims, but if your cat is gentle, you can try doing it yourself.
Good luck!

“My cat doesn’t let me brush her.”

I work as a house call cat groomer. My estimate is that once a month, clients tell me that their cats won’t accept being brushed, especially in the rear area and belly.

How do groomers manage to brush such cats?

Factors involved in success.

Tools

Handling the cat

Patience & detachment

Environment during grooming

 

I will now discuss tools.

 

Tools

Purchase tools such as brushes and combs. Try each one out.  Do this until you find the tool that works best for you and your cat. There are many choices.

Tools cost money. Hiring a groomer costs money.  Spending on tools may reduce spending on professional groomers.

Where can you find tools?

Search online for cat grooming tools. You will find a large number of tools. Go to online cat forums and grooming forums for specific assistance with your questions about each tool. Be sure to use the tool in the ways endorsed by professional groomers, professional breeders or the tool’s website.

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.

The science of drying cats

How best to minimize drying time?

First, how does “drying” work?

“What exactly is involved in turning wet” cats “into dry ones? In a word, evaporation: turning the liquid water on your” cat “into a vapor (gas)—and then getting rid of it.

“The simplest way of getting rid of liquid water is to turn it into a vapor (broadly speaking, that means a gas produced from a liquid)—and the easiest way to do that is to heat it up.”

Hence, the use of blow dryers or HV dryers. HV dryers may not have heating elements, but after several minutes of use, the air warms up.

“Heat it enough and all the molecules will eventually evaporate—in theory, at least—leaving you with no liquid at all.”

“If you want them to dry properly, the water they contain doesn’t just need to turn to a vapor; it has to be completely removed from the air around them. If water vapor lingers near your” cats, “it’ll not only hinder more liquid water from escaping, but some of the molecules in the vapor will also reenter your” cat “and turn back into liquid, wetting them again!”

Hence the use of towels to blot the cat and and catch water molecules blown off your cat’s coat.

Required to efficiently dry a cat.

  1. A blow dryer
  2. Towels
  3. A non-humid room

Source:

*Paraphrased and replaced “clothes” with “cats” from Woodford, Chris. (2010/2017) Clothes dryers.

 

Hot cat? How to keep your cat cool.

Some breeds thrive in cool, cold or VERY cold weather, but they wilt in hot temperatures. I’m looking at you Maine Coons & Siberians, you laid-back fur beasties.

Instead of shaving ALL the fur off — which to be honest makes me feel sad — I like to shave off the belly, upper chest and groin fur.  This creates “air conditioning for the body”.  From above, you can’t even tell the cats been shaved.

A lot of cats get wiggly or upset when shaved, so doing JUST a belly shave keeps drama to a minimum.

With an air-conditioned belly, you can put a leash on your MC or Siberian and head to the nearest park.

 

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.)

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.

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