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.

 

No more hairballs

Throwing up hairballs isn’t natural. If cats still lived outdoors, shedded fur would be blown off or pulled off. In the home, fur detaches, gets licked into the throat and is either vomited out, or accumulates enough to create an obstruction if it doesn’t pass through the body.  Everyone has time for 15 seconds of brushing a day. For a short-haired cat, 15 seconds can mean the difference between hairballs and no hairballs. The volume of shedding fur usually increases dramatically in spring and fall.

Love glove mitt briskly stroking fur.
Love Glove mitt briskly stroking fur. Cats enjoy this.
After 3 seconds.
After 3 seconds brushing my cat Emma.
After a few more seconds . . .
After a few more seconds . . .
Done for the day. 15 seconds of brushing.
Done for the day. 15 seconds of brushing.

To buy the grooming mitt – Four Paws Purple Love Glove Cat Grooming Mitt

Secrets of a cat groomer. Blow drying without blowing up.

You know the saying, “It’s not the heat. It’s the humidity.”  With cats, “It’s not the bath. It’s the blow-drying.”

I wish cats looked like this during drying.

Womenblowdryer

 

Instead, they usually look like this.

Shockedkitten

How do professional cat groomers blow dry cats without scaring the cat or creating an explosion of claws and fangs?

I choose my tools after doing much research. Dogs tend to react more calmly than cats to loud or harsh noises. I tailor my tools to cats only, since I am a specialist.  I talk to other groomers, spend time online reviewing spec sheets, go to trade shows and generally immerse myself in the topic.

My latest discovery is the Dog Shammy Dog Dryer. The dryer has only been available for a year.  As far as I know, I am the first and only professional cat groomer in Manhattan to use it.

Despite the name, the dryer is perfect for cats. In fact, I think it even better for cats than it is for dogs.

Dogshammy

Why would a professional cat groomer choose this dryer?

  • Due to increased insulation, the sound is soft, instead of tinny and harsh. Soft noises are more soothing to cats.
  • The air flow is adjustable, so high air flow can be used for the body, while low air flow is used for the head and tail.
  • The motor is powerful, so cats dry quickly. Less time spent grooming, more time spent playing with their human.

Dryer controls

 

Here’s to clean, un-matted cats with beautiful dry fur!

 

Supplies for a cat grooming house call in New York

My supplies fit in a backpack.  Some of the most effective tools are also the simplest tools. I love my clipper. It is quiet and lightweight, perfect for cats with their sensitive skin and dislike of harsh sounds.  I usually groom on the kitchen counter and use the sink, though sometimes the bathroom is better if I am grooming a particularly big cat.

supplies2 Supplies1

Supply list for home grooming long-haired cats

Basic tool kit for home-grooming long-haired cats. Believe me, you could buy a lot more, but this is enough to get you started.

7 1/2″ steel grooming comb. (http://www.amazon.com/Andis-2-Inch-Steel-Grooming-65730/dp/B004UTDHP2/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1393011612&sr=8-4&keywords=cat+combs)

Face & Finishing comb. (http://www.amazon.com/Master-Grooming-Tools-2-Inch-Finishing/dp/B000Y8YQ2G/ref=sr_1_2?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1393012318&sr=1-2&keywords=4+1%2F2+comb+cat)

Slicker brush. (http://www.amazon.com/Coastal-Pet-Puppy-Slicker-Grooming/dp/B000O39TE6/ref=sr_1_2?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1393012178&sr=1-2&keywords=small+slicker+brush)

Claw trimmer. (http://www.amazon.com/Petco-Cat-Claw-Nail-Scissors/dp/B007VOCPEW/ref=sr_1_32?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1393012530&sr=1-32&keywords=claw+trimmer)

Cat wipes. (http://www.amazon.com/Earthbath-Natural-Hypo-Allergenic-Fragrance-Free-Wipes/dp/B001ANBV7W/ref=sr_1_6?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1393012637&sr=1-6&keywords=cat+grooming)

Hypo-allergenic shampoo. (http://www.amazon.com/Earthbath-Hypo-Allergenic-Pet-Shampoo/dp/B000FUMGHU/ref=sr_1_11?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1393012774&sr=1-11&keywords=hypo+pet+shampoo)

Clear plastic Elizabethan snap-on collar in a small-enough size for your cat. (Ask your local feline veterinarian if they can sell you one. Costs about $10. Make sure it is a SNAP-ON collar, not a collar with velcro. The sound of the velcro scares some cats.)

Is your Persian cat flammable? OMB!!!

Oh My Bastet. (Bastet is the Egyptian cat-headed goddess, of course.) You totally should have known that. You call yourself a cat lady? Sheesh. Go adopt a Dachshund.

Anyhoo, if the fire alarm goes off when you touch your cat’s fur, see below for a magical liquid called Coat Handler Anti-Static Spray. Spritz a little on your cat or dog. The scent is nutmeg-ish or cinnamon-ish or some-other-spice-ish. Smells good!

No more light show when you pet your cat
No more light show when you pet your cat