cat has sticky fur
Questions About Cats

How to Get Sticky Stuff Out of Cat Fur (Oil, Glue, Gum, Wax and Grease)

Cats are fastidious groomers, so you’ll rarely need to bathe a cat. It also means that you must be alert to anything sticky on her fur. If a cat is coated in a gooey substance, she’ll likely lick it. Given that this substance could literally be anything, you’ll want that from happening.

To get sticky stuff out of the fur, you need cooking oil, water, and a cat-friendly shampoo. Heat some vegetable oil or olive oil, and massage it into your cat’s fur. Wash with shampoo and water. Tough stains or gum may need to be trimmed out carefully with a pair of scissors.

Cats do not enjoy being washed. This will make the cleaning process more challenging. It is essential that you clean your cat’s fur, though. Ignoring sticky substances on cat fur can be lethal. Your cat can potentially consume toxic substances and materials while grooming herself.

My Cat Has Sticky Fur

Cats are clean animals. The average cat can spend up to half of any day grooming. No feline will willingly remain dirty.

If you find a sticky residue in your cat’s fur, you should take steps to clean your cat. Sometimes a cat’s fur is organically sticky. On other occasions, the cat has spilled a substance on herself.

Never ignore a cat with sticky fur. If it has occurred naturally, there will be a medical reason. If it has not, the substance on your cat’s fur could be toxic. As cats lick their own fur, this is risky.

Why Would a Cat’s Fur be Naturally Sticky?

Cat fur can become greasy is not groomed. This is rare, though. If your cat allows her fur to grow clumpy and unclean, something is wrong.

When a cat grooms herself, she redistributes natural oils throughout her body. When a cat stops grooming, oils gather in one location. The cause is often medical. Potential explanations include:

If your cat stops grooming, tests will be necessary to understand the cause. Never ignore a cat that loses interest in grooming. Most of the time, sticky fur is caused by a foreign substance.

Why is My Cat Covered in Something Sticky?

Cats are curious by nature. It is always possible that your pet will spill something on her fur. Investigating garages and other locations can lead to accidents. It’s also possible that your cat deliberately rolled in something sticky.

It’s no secret that cats are territorial. If a sticky substance has spilled on the floor, cats will investigate. They’ll be especially interested if it has a strong smell. According to the Canadian Journal of Zoology, the cat will mark this object. This may involve rolling in the substance.

This will serve one of two purposes. The cat may cover the scent of the item with her own. This means she reclaims the territory. Alternatively, she may like the smell.

How Should I React to a Sticky Cat?

Upon spotting something sticky on your cat’s fur, you should restrain your pet. You need to find out what the substance is. More importantly, you must stop her from licking the fur.

Until you are certain the substance is not toxic, assume that it is. The compulsion to groom means substances will be swallowed, according to Ecological Management and Restoration. There are a number of ways to stop a cat licking sticky fur:

  • Wrap the cat’s body in a towel
  • Fit an Edwardian collar
  • Distraction with food
  • Physical restraint and scruffing (not recommended)

Once the cat is restrained, identify the source of the stickiness. If it’s toxic, see a vet. There is no way of knowing how much your cat has already swallowed. If not, you can start cleaning your cat’s fur.

how to remove gum from cat fur

How to Get Sticky Stuff Out of Cat Fur

Removing sticky matter from a cat’s fur depends on what you are dealing with. Different techniques apply to each substance. This is another reason why identification is so key.

It’s tempting to bathe a cat with sticky fur immediately. This may help, but it is not necessarily advisable. Many cats loathe being bathed and will resist. In addition, water and soap alone will not remove all substances.

Whatever you are dealing with, it’s advisable to have suitable materials ready. All cats get sticky at one time or another. With this in mind, invest in the following:

  • Feline-friendly shampoo
  • Sharp scissors for cutting fur
  • Fine-toothed comb
  • A plastic bowl
  • An old towel

The presence of a cat-suitable shampoo is essential. You must purchase specialist shampoo from a pet store. If you do not have this, use plain, unscented dish soap. Never use human shampoo. The pH of cat and human skin differs wildly.

Keep these materials in an emergency cleaning box, close to a water supply. You will be grateful to have everything in one place when they are needed. Avoid using natural oils unless specifically advised. Cats are allergic to many of these.

How to Get Vegetable Oil Out of Cat Fur

Vegetable oil on a cat’s fur is not concerning. The substance is not toxic. In fact, if it soaks in, it can help ease dry or flaky skin and make a coat shiny. Swallowing small amounts of vegetable oil also aids digestion. It helps hairballs pass without difficulty.

You will also notice that vegetable oil is often used to clear sticky substances from cat fur. It will counter anything else attached to the hair. Olive oil will serve the same purpose.

All the same, vegetable oil on a cat must be washed off. It is fatty and can block pores if left untended. Also, excess oil can cause a mild stomach upset when swallowed. The good news is that vegetable oil easily washed out of cat fur in the following way:

  1. Place your cat in the shower, or a bowl of lukewarm water.
  2. Splash water over the impacted parts of your cat’s fur.
  3. Apply cat-friendly shampoo.
  4. Rinse your cat thoroughly.

Once your cat has been washed, you must dry her urgently. Do not let your cat’s body temperature drop below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. A hairdryer is likely too harsh. Use a thick, fluffy towel and leave her wrapped up.

How to Remove Glue from Cat Fur

Glue is a dangerous substance to cats. If swallowed, it’s likely toxic. It could also attach other items to a cat’s fur. There are several ways that cats could end up with glue on their fur:

  • Mousetraps
  • Fly Paper
  • Superglue from a toolbox or crafting project
  • Glue from a child’s bedroom

If your cat has glue on her fur, you need to counter its adhesive nature. The easiest way to do this is with cooking oil.

Heat a small amount of vegetable or oil in a pan. Once it’s sufficiently cool, spread the oil over the affected fur. If you don’t have oil, use peanut butter. This will be messier to clean afterwards.

Let your oil sink in. Massage it throughout your cat’s fur for a couple of minutes. The glue will start to peel. Brush it out with a fine-toothed comb. Now you can wash the oil from your pet’s fur.

You may need to manage your cat if she is caught in a mousetrap or fly paper. This will be distressing. Calm her down with petting. Draping a towel over her head will also help. Once she is calm, you can start to free her from the glue using the above techniques.

How to Remove Gum from Cat Fur

Start by attempting to remove the gum by hand. This will only be possible when it’s hard. If necessary, surround the gum with ice cubes. This will stiffen it up. Once the gum is rock solid, cut it out with scissors. This will save you a lot of work.

If you’re reluctant to cut your cat’s fur, you should use oil. Rub this into the gum and leave for around fifteen minutes. You can then try to wash out the gum with soap and water. Gum can be stubborn, though. You may just end up spreading it.

How to Get Grease Out of Cat Fur

Similar to cooking oils, your cat may find herself covered in grease. The smell of food will always attract cats. Grease that comes from meat fat will be especially tempting. Your cat will find grease in the kitchen. If she roams outside, she may raid a trashcan.

Grease is largely tackled with shampoo and water. It may take two attempts, but you’ll get your cat clean. A bigger problem will be the smell. The scent of grease will linger after a bath. This will be a potent aroma, akin to a fast-food kitchen.

Many pet stores will stock specialist shampoos for greasy cats. These are designed for pets with medical issues. The core function is the same, though. They wash your cat’s fur thoroughly, stripping away layers of grease. Consider applying a cat-friendly perfume too.

If the smell still lingers, see a pet groomer. Groomers have access to a range of higher-end soaps and shampoos. It’s expensive, but they’ll soon have your pet looking and smelling fresh.

how to get grease out of cat fur

How to Get Wax Out of Cat Fur

If your cat has candlewax in her fur, you’ll need to ensure your cat has not been burned. At any sign of scorched fur, apply a cool flannel. Your cat may be in distress.

Hard wax in a cat’s fur is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, this is likelier to burn skin. It is easier to remove, though. Pet your cat and keep her calm. Work your hands through her fur. Hard wax will easily crumble between your fingers. Just crush everything you find. Use a fine-toothed comb to brush out any crumbs.

Soft wax is tougher. This will not disintegrate in your hands You’ll need to keep making it softer and softer through heat. Use your hands for this, or a warm cloth. Restrain your cat, as this takes a while. Eventually, when they’re small enough, comb out the wax remnants.

If the wax came from a scented or bug repellent candle, wash your cat. These candles may contain toxic chemicals. Cats are allergic to most fragrance oils. A bath is the best way to ensure her safety.

If the wax came from a standard candle, a bath is not necessary. Your cat will swallow what is left while grooming. Small amounts of standard candlewax are safe to ingest. They pass through your cat’s digestive system without trouble.

How to Get Motor Oil Out of Cat Fur

Many cats find themselves doused in motor oil. Your cat may have wandered into a garage or napped under a car. This is a warm, but filthy, sleeping spot during the winter.

You must act quickly if you notice motor oil on your cat’s fur. She must not be permitted to lick this substance. Doing so risks a disease called hydrocarbon toxicosis.

Motor oil is stubborn, but simple to remove. Take the same approach as you would with glue. Massage cooking oil all over your cat’s fur. Once this has sunk in, get to work with soap and water. You may need to wash your cat multiple times.

If you’re unsure how long your cat has been exposed to motor oil, see a vet. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Any ingestion of this oil is risky. Symptoms of hydrocarbon toxicosis include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Cognitive issues
  • Trouble breathing
  • Drooling
  • Tremors and convulsions

Any of these symptoms are concerning. Do not delay in seeking treatment.

How to Get Paint Out of Cat Fur

Cats have no concept of wet paint. If you’re painting your home, your pet is almost certain to get messy. Curiosity about what you’re doing will get the better of her.

If your cat is coated in oil-based paint, take the oil approach. Rub olive or vegetable oil on her skin, then wash it off. If the paint was glossy, skip the oil. This will usually come straight off with water and shampoo.

It is critical that you clean your cat while the paint is wet. All the water and shampoo in the world will not entirely clear dry paint. Wash what you can and trim out the stained fur with scissors. If necessary, hire a groomer to do this for you.