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'[EE] Shock the kitty'
2006\02\07@070914 by Lindy Mayfield

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This has been confusing me and I though someone here might know the answer.

I live in a cold place where the temperature has been around -15 c and quite dry.

I pet my cats quite normally, starting with the head and down the back to the tail, the back to the head again.

But if I touch the cat's ears, zap!  An audible and in the dark quite visible shock.  The cat feels it, too.  

This seems confusing to me.  I would totally understand if I petted one cat and touched another cat's ear and gave it a shock, but on the same cat with the same hand, that don't seem right.

I though of grounding myself with one of those things people use to fix motherboards, but I don't have one.  Of course wetting the cat first would make the shock go away, but the cat doesn't like it.

Seriously though, why does the same cat using the same hand get a shock?  Anyone else experienced this?  

Brrrr,
Lindy



2006\02\07@075155 by Geo

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On 7 Feb 2006, at 14:09, Lindy Mayfield wrote:

> But if I touch the cat's ears, zap!  An audible and in the dark quite visible
> shock.

Yeah - all cats do that - I think it is just to annoy you.


George Smith

2006\02\07@083150 by Lembit Soobik

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{Quote hidden}

Lindy,
the cats fur is an extremely good insulator.
when you pet it you collect charge on your hand. the more you pet it, the
more charge you collect. when you get to the ear where it doesnt have that
fur, you discharge your hand through the ear (charging the body of the cat).
try standing barefoot on a non isolating surface, or touch some big metal
part (ouch!) before touchign the cats ear.
Just dont go near a PIC microprocessor after petting your cat or you might
program it in a way you dont like. ;-)

Lembit

>
>
>
> --

2006\02\07@085331 by Lindy Mayfield

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Why does it just shock the cat on the ear and not the tail or middle of the back or any part of the cat?

I mean, it is the same cat.

I did do some experimentation.  If the cat is sitting on the wooden kitchen table, no problems.  But if I put the cat on our fuzzy sofa, then stroke stroke ZAP!

So... 1) It has something to do with that sofa, and 2) something to do with the ears.

As for the sofa, man, at night I can drag a fuzzy blanket over it and me and see sparks galore.  


>>>

Lindy,
the cats fur is an extremely good insulator.
when you pet it you collect charge on your hand. the more you pet it, the
more charge you collect. when you get to the ear where it doesnt have that
fur, you discharge your hand through the ear (charging the body of the cat).
try standing barefoot on a non isolating surface, or touch some big metal
part (ouch!) before touchign the cats ear.
Just dont go near a PIC microprocessor after petting your cat or you might
program it in a way you dont like. ;-)

Lembit

>


2006\02\07@104814 by Lembit Soobik

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1- the wooden kitchentable is not a good insulator, so the cat is faster
discharged, i.e., your hand wont build up enough charge.
2- the ear doesnt have a thick fur, thus has a better current path to the
body of the cat (which you charge up when moving your charged hand to it.
try it with the nose

Lembit


{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\02\07@110028 by M. Adam Davis

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When you stroke the cat either you are stealing its electrons, or
giving it your electrons.  Either way you are creating a potential
difference between you and the cat.  The cat's fur prevents the
discharge from hapening until you touch some exposed skin - the ears
are an easy spot, but you'll likely find the lips and nose to be good
for that as well.  Cats generally dislike being zapped in the nose.

The couch likely acts as an insulator so you and the cat can be at
different charges.  In other words, there's no way for the extra
electrons to flow back from you to the cat (or vice versa).  Further,
there's no way for another object to supply or soak up extra electrons
for your or the cat.

On the counter or in other areas of the home you and the cat are
likely less well insulated.  This means that there _may_ be a path
between the two of you (cat, feet, counter, floor, shoes/socks,
person) to equalize the charge.  But even if there isn't such a path
and one or both of you are "grounded" to another object, then when you
transfer electrons to the cat, you simultaneously give some of the
extra electrons to anything else you are touching.  Likewise the cat,
who is losing electrons, steals from anything it is touching.

The net result is that if two things are conductively touching, they
are generally at the same potential.  You won't develop the kV of
difference between you and the cat without a lot more petting because
you must also develop the same potential between the floor and the
counter if the cat is grounded to the counter and you are grounded to
the floor.

-Adam

On 2/7/06, Lindy Mayfield <spam_OUTLindy.MayfieldTakeThisOuTspamssf.sas.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\02\07@142354 by Mike Hord

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Pay attention next time, and you'll notice that as you near the
rear of the cat, its fur will stick to your hand.

Mike H.

2006\02\07@164637 by Peter

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On Tue, 7 Feb 2006, Lindy Mayfield wrote:

> Seriously though, why does the same cat using the same hand get a
> shock?  Anyone else experienced this?

I will try: When you stroke the cat the cat is on something insulating
(like its own fur). Thus the *cat* is charged by influence where the fur
stays uncharged under your hand . When you touch the ear later there is
a huge potential difference and the pointy part with nearby
cat-conductive parts (thin skin in the ear) breaks down the air and zaps
you and the cat. If this is true then touching something other than the
ear should work too. Try the muzzle.

A more permanent fix would be an antistatic cat shampoo and antistatic
washing powder for your bedclotes etc.

Peter

2006\02\07@165727 by Danny Sauer

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Peter wrote regarding 'Re: [EE] Shock the kitty' on Tue, Feb 07 at 15:54:
> A more permanent fix would be an antistatic cat shampoo and antistatic
> washing powder for your bedclotes etc.

My sister used to rub anti-static dryer sheets on the more "fluffy"
cats.  Probably unfragranced, to avoid toxic problems.  It seemed to
work...

--Danny

2006\02\07@170528 by Shawn Wilton

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The easiest fix for this is to add a humidifier to your home.  Dissipates
most of the static charge in the air.

I finally got tired of shocking the **** out of myself and my cats, so I
purchased a humidifier for the really cold days when all the moisture has
condensed and it works great.


On 2/7/06, Mike Hord <.....mike.hordKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Pay attention next time, and you'll notice that as you near the
> rear of the cat, its fur will stick to your hand.
>
> Mike H.
>
> -

2006\02\07@185851 by Shawn Wilton

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Humidifier.

On 2/7/06, Danny Sauer <piclistspamKILLspamdannysauer.com> wrote:
>
> Peter wrote regarding 'Re: [EE] Shock the kitty' on Tue, Feb 07 at 15:54:
> > A more permanent fix would be an antistatic cat shampoo and antistatic
> > washing powder for your bedclotes etc.
>
> My sister used to rub anti-static dryer sheets on the more "fluffy"
> cats.  Probably unfragranced, to avoid toxic problems.  It seemed to
> work...
>
> --Danny
> -

2006\02\08@142717 by Peter

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On Tue, 7 Feb 2006, Shawn Wilton wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Imho if the sofa is of quality plastic and the cat has healthy fur then
the only thing the humidifier will do, it make your sinuses feel great
while you zap the cat.

Peter

2006\02\08@153229 by Shawn Wilton

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Actually the humidifier will put moisture back in the air reducing the
chances of static build-up.

Why is your sofa plastic?


On 2/8/06, Peter <EraseMEplpspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTactcom.co.il> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\02\08@160720 by David VanHorn

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Perhaps the cat should be connected to the collector of the transistor in
the relay-transistor-diode thread.

2006\02\08@163541 by Shawn Wilton

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Honestly, I tried really hard to figure out how I could turn my cats in to
power generators.  I gave up when I got shocked on the nose.  Yeah, it
really doesn't feel good.


On 2/8/06, David VanHorn <@spam@dvanhornKILLspamspammicrobrix.com> wrote:
>
> Perhaps the cat should be connected to the collector of the transistor in
> the relay-transistor-diode thread.
> -

2006\02\22@162611 by Barry Gershenfeld

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At 02:09 PM 2/7/06 +0200, Lindy Mayfield wrote:
>But if I touch the cat's ears, zap!  An audible and in the dark quite
>visible shock.  The cat feels it, too.
>
>I thought of grounding myself with one of those things people use to fix
>motherboards, but I don't have one.

Much as I don't like posting to old threads, Lindy has proposed a
interesting experiment.  Say we get us a wrist strap (one of those "things
used to fix motherboards") and connect ourselves to earth ground.   Now,
put the kitty on the couch and retry the experiment.

I have long had a bone to pick with some common ESD "knowledge".

Barry


2006\02\22@231039 by Bill & Pookie

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I was taught that rinsing glass photographic items under cold tap water
would remove any static charge.  This should work for kitty also.

Bill

{Original Message removed}

2006\02\24@155036 by Barry Gershenfeld

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> > At 02:09 PM 2/7/06 +0200, Lindy Mayfield wrote:
> >>But if I touch the cat's ears, zap!  An audible and in the dark quite
> >>visible shock.  The cat feels it, too.
> >>
> >>I thought of grounding myself with one of those things people use to fix
> >>motherboards, but I don't have one.
> >
> > Much as I don't like posting to old threads, Lindy has proposed a
> > interesting experiment.  Say we get us a wrist strap (one of those "things
> > used to fix motherboards") and connect ourselves to earth ground.   Now,
> > put the kitty on the couch and retry the experiment.
> >
> > I have long had a bone to pick with some common ESD "knowledge".
> >
> > Barry
>I was taught that rinsing glass photographic items under cold tap water
>would remove any static charge.  This should work for kitty also.
>
>Bill

That is valid while they are wet.  When they dry, they become insulators.
Adding "dirt" (detergent, fabric softener, etc) increases conductivity and is
the basis for some of the "antistatic" material.  Especially the kind that is
good for one use only.  (The pink stuff?)

The experiment is a "troll", though no one took the bait.  So I will state the
premise clearly:

Wearing a grounded wrist strap offers no protection if it is not connected
to the device (or animal) under test.

Barry


2006\02\24@164222 by Bob Blick

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>> >>But if I touch the cat's ears, zap!  An audible and in the dark quite
>> >>visible shock.  The cat feels it, too.
>> >>
>> >>I thought of grounding myself with one of those things people use to
>> fix
>> >>motherboards, but I don't have one.

If you pet the cat with both hands, and make sure you always have contact
with at least one hand, usually you can avoid any shocks.

Cheerful regards,

Bob



2006\02\24@203834 by Barry Gershenfeld

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> >> >>But if I touch the cat's ears, zap!  An audible and in the dark quite
> >> >>visible shock.  The cat feels it, too.
>
>If you pet the cat with both hands, and make sure you always have contact
>with at least one hand, usually you can avoid any shocks.

I was getting to that, but I wanted to keep the other message short.  If you
grab a paw with one hand you can maintain contact while you pet (or comb)
with the other hand.   But if you don't quite make contact with the paw, the
sparks will complete the circuit for you...you will get a continuous stream
of little zaps there as you comb.  I refuse to reveal how I know this.

Barry

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