Cats are fastidious groomers, so you’ll rarely need to bathe your cat. However, you must be alert about anything sticky on its fur. If a cat is coated in a gooey substance, it’ll lick it. Given that this substance could literally be anything, you’ll need to prevent that from happening.
To get sticky stuff out of cat 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 before washing with shampoo and water. Tough stains or gum may need to be trimmed out carefully with 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 lead to sickness or worse. Your cat can consume toxic substances and materials while grooming itself.
Table of Contents:
- 1 My Cat Has Sticky Fur
- 2 Why is My Cat Covered in Something Sticky?
- 3 How Should I React to a Sticky Cat?
- 4 How to Get Sticky Stuff Out of Cat Fur
My Cat Has Sticky Fur
Cats are clean animals. The average cat can spend up to half of its 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 unintentionally got a nasty substance on itself.
Why Would a Cat’s Fur be Naturally Sticky?
Cat fur can become greasy if not groomed. If your cat allows its fur to grow clumpy and unclean, something is likely to be wrong.
When a cat grooms itself, it redistributes natural oils throughout its body. When a cat stops grooming, oils gather in one location. The cause often has a medical explanation. Explanations include:
If your cat stops grooming, medical tests will be required to understand the underlying cause. Never ignore a cat that loses interest in grooming as it will likely have lost the ability to keep itself clean.
Why is My Cat Covered in Something Sticky?
Cats are curious by nature, so it may get something on its fur. Investigating dirty garages and other locations can lead to accidents. It’s also possible that your cat rolled in something sticky when relaxing.
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, which may involve rolling in the substance.
This will serve one of two purposes. The cat may cover the scent of the item with its own, reclaiming the territory. Alternatively, it may like the smell.
How Should I React to a Sticky Cat?
Upon spotting something sticky on your cat’s fur, you’ll need to find out what the substance is and stop your pet from licking its fur.
Until you are certain the substance is not toxic, you should assume that it is harmful. 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 from 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, your cat should see a vet for testing. 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 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.
It’s tempting to bathe a cat with sticky fur immediately. This may help, but many cats loathe being bathed and will resist. In addition, water and soap alone will not remove more resistant substances.
Whatever you are dealing with, you’ll need to have suitable materials ready. All cats get sticky at one time or another, so have the following on hand:
- Feline-friendly shampoo
- Sharp scissors for cutting matted fur
- A fine-tooth comb
- A plastic bowl
- A towel
You must purchase specialist shampoo from a pet store. If you do not have this, use plain, unscented dish soap. Never use human shampoo as the pH of cat and human skin differs considerably.
Keep these materials in an emergency cleaning box that’s close to a water supply. Avoid using natural oils as 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 as it 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:
- Place your cat in a bowl of lukewarm water
- Splash water over the impacted parts of your cat’s fur
- Apply cat-friendly shampoo
- Rinse your cat’s fur thoroughly
- Dry your cat’s fur off
Do not let your cat’s body temperature drop below 100 degrees Fahrenheit as it will be too cold. A hairdryer is likely too harsh, so use a thick, fluffy towel and leave it 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:
- Fly Paper
- Superglue from a toolbox or crafting project
- Glue from a child’s bedroom
If your cat has glue on its 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 afterward.
Allow the oil to sink in. Massage it throughout your cat’s fur for a couple of minutes and the glue will start to peel. Brush it out with a fine-toothed comb. Now you can safely wash the oil from your cat’s fur.
How to Remove Gum from Cat Fur
Start by attempting to remove the gum by hand. This will only be possible once it’s gone hard. If necessary, surround the gum with ice cubes as this will stiffen it up. Once the gum is rock solid, cut it out with scissors.
If you’re reluctant to cut your cat’s fur, you should use oil. Rub this into the gum and leave for 15 minutes. You can then wash out the gum with soap and water. Gum can be stubborn, though, so may just end up spreading it. Cutting out the gum carefully with sharp scissors is recommended.
How to Get Grease Out of Cat Fur
Similar to cooking oils, your cat may find itself 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.
Grease is best tackled with shampoo and water. It may take two attempts, but you’ll get your cat clean. A bigger problem will be the smell as the scent of grease will linger after a bath.
Many pet stores will stock specialist shampoos for greasy cats. These are designed for pets with medical issues. These wash your cat’s fur, stripping away layers of grease.
If the smell still lingers, you should take your cat to a pet groomer. Groomers have access to a range of higher-end soaps and shampoos.
How to Get Wax Out of Cat Fur
If your cat has candlewax in its fur, then check that your cat has not been burned. At any sign of scorched fur, apply a cool flannel.
Pet your cat and keep it calm. Work your hands through its 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.
If the wax came from a standard candle, your cat will swallow what is left while grooming. Small amounts of standard candlewax are safe to ingest as they’ll pass through your cat’s digestive system.
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 colder winter months.
You must act quickly if you notice motor oil on your cat’s fur. It must not lick this substance as it’s at risk of hydrocarbon toxicosis.
Motor oil is stubborn, but easy to remove. 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’s fur multiple times. Symptoms of hydrocarbon toxicosis include:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Cognitive issues
- Trouble breathing
- Tremors and convulsions
How to Get Paint Out of Cat Fur
Cats have no concept of wet paint. If you’re painting your home, your cat is almost certain to get some paint on its fur.
If your cat is coated in oil-based paint, you should use oil to remove paint from your cat’s fur. Rub olive or vegetable oil on its skin before washing it off. If the paint was an undercoat, it will come off with water and shampoo.
Always try to clean your cat while the paint is wet. Wash what you can and trim out the stained fur with scissors.