I’m a “content source”

So who writes those articles on sites like PetMD? Where do they find the experts?

Right here.

A really polite writer emailed to ask if I’d answer questions.   She’s writing an article encouraging owners to brush cats. Great topic!

Since I know ALOT about brushing cats, she got answers in 5 minutes. I told her about tools that work better than others.

Look for the article in March’s PetMD.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to help, Carly.



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.


Handling the cat

Patience & detachment

Environment during grooming


I will now discuss 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.

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


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


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





Blow drying cats not same as cage drying

Maybe you’ve seen articles about tragic deaths of pets overheating during drying.

Fact check for concerned owners (pet-parents).

House call groomers don’t use cage dryers.

Cage dryers were used in horrible stories where dogs died from overheating.

Cage dryers are attached to the cage.

House call groomers don’t use cages.

Fact: There will never ever be a death from dryer overheating during a house call grooming.

(Why? Because the cat is out in the open, not in a metal cage where heat builds up.)

*To be fair, cage dryers are not the problem. They’re just a tool. They are usually used safely. It takes an overworked or under-trained human to make them deadly.


I am a cat wrapper. No, not a cat rapper, a cat wrapper. My special method for handling cats during grooming.

I have tried many different ways to gentle and efficiently groom cats in their homes.  I enjoy experimenting.

I have tried “cat space helmets”, cat “party hats”,  specially-made animal handling gloves and more. I have tried grooming on counters, tubs and floors.  I have tried grooming fast and grooming slowly.

The result of my research is that each cat is different, so my most important tool is paying attention to the cat!

Aside from that, the tool I am very excited about now is towels and blankets. Yes, simply towels and blankets.  Maybe I am returning to my roots, since my mother was born in Japan. The Japanese are skilled at wrapping and used to wrap presents in cloth.  I am a heredity wrapper.

This video inspires me. The talented veterinary technician uses blankets to carry and hold on to a cat who appears to be ready to shred her to pieces.

Unlike other restraining tools, I find the towel and blanket to be the most nurturing.

Hurrah for the lowly towel and blanket!!


Grooming Price & Industrialization

Price goes down as industrialization goes up.

What’s industrialization?

It’s efficiencies created by use of machinery.

The goal is lower cost, higher volume.

I think this is the model that grooming salons are attempting to follow.

Walk into a busy multi-groomer salon. Close your eyes. You may feel you’ve entered a small factory.

Unless they’ve made an effort to separate the drying area from the grooming area, it’s harshly noisy.

Instead of grooming 4 pets a day, they can groom 7 pets.

Are they doing it with love and care? Yes, I’d say most groomers truly care. Yet the atmosphere is rough on pets.

There’s always a trade-off between industrialization and personal experience.

Factory farming is efficient. It brings food to millions of people.  It’s a solution. At the same time, the hierarchy of factory farming places an animal’s experience at a lower level than efficiency & volume.

I don’t use high-velocity dryers. I don’t think NYC cat owners want an industrial experience.

F:DPF\Thursday NewsAlbum Calf & Cats # 831 Oct 20 2011The calves and the cats have a special relationship at the Hytone Farm in Coventry.Al Malpa





Ways to shave a cat

When I’m not grooming, I spend time on an online groomer forum so I can learn about different techniques and tools.  Some techniques that used to be considered a big no-no are now accepted and encouraged.  Groomers realized that the prejudice against these techniques wasn’t based on anything except habit.

For example, wet shaving used to be a no-no. This is when a groomer washes a pet first, then while the pet is still wet or damp, they shave the pet.  There are a few advantages to wet shaves.

  1.  If the fur is damp, the blade doesn’t heat up, so no risk of “clipper burn”.
  2. Wet fur seems to be more stretchy, so I can sort of nudge the mat away from the skin with my clipper blade, then either shave it off completely or trim it off with scissors. This feels safer for the cat than having to shave a mat that is still tight against the skin.
  3. Less fur around the kitchen.  When I shave a dry cat, the fur gets around.  Wet fur is easier to pick up and put into a garbage bag.

I wet shaved a sweet, beautiful long-haired cat today.  He was such a joy to be around.  It went really well, so I’m glad I know about this technique.

If you like my grooming tips, you might enjoy having me groom your cat. Email catgroomnyc@yahoo.com to learn more.

TNR cat grooming. Grooming a matted outdoor cat.

Got an email from a TNR (trap neuter return) group. One of their cats is pretty friendly and can be brushed for about ten minutes a sitting, but he’s matted. Here’s my reply.

“Look, cat grooming is simple because it’s 99% about handling and 1% about tools. If you can handle the cat, you’ve almost got it licked.

Throw away the darned Furminator. That thing is a piece of marketing crap. If you overdo it you tear the skin’s surface. If you use it gently, you’re not making progress. Junk. They should be ashamed of themselves. Cat skin is like our eyelids — super thin and tears like paper. Cats won’t react when you tear their skin, so you don’t even know you’re doing it until it rips all the way through which might not happen for a week or two.
This is the stuff to get — cheap, easy to use.
Also get a small ball-tip scissor so you don’t poke the cat when you trim. Should cost about $8.
Don’t brush and comb like a wussy. Most people brush like their hand is made of cotton candy and the cat is made of fairy dust. If you’re just doing the surface, don’t even bother doing it. Need to get to the skin, like when you’re late for work and brush your own hair. You use some energy then, right? Not hard or hurtful, but all the way to the skin.
As far as winter goes, shelters and heating pads are what counts, so not sure what you mean about his coat. Winter or summer, he needs to be free of mats because those mats are pulling on his skin and blocking flow of air to his skin. Usually there’s a bunch of dandruff under the mat, sometimes even an infection if the mat pulls hard enough.
If he’s really matted though, with solid mats up against his skin tight, then shaving needs to be done most likely. We call that  type of mat a “pelt”.
Good luck and good for you for doing TNR. I’m against putting outdoor cats in shelters because I’ve been there, done that.
You want to arrange a training session for your group, let me know.
$80 for a half hour. We could meet at my place on upper east side. I’ll show you tools, how to hold, answer questions.”