“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.

 

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