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How to Get Candle Wax Off of Cat or Dog Fur

Updated on April 6, 2017
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My cat got wax on her fur, and I got it off easily without hurting her. I am sharing my experience and advice.

Don't Panic! It's Going to Be Alright.

First, relax. Everything will be okay.

Hopefully, the wax did not get into or onto your pet's eyes, ears, or face. If it did, it's probably a good idea to stop reading and head straight to the nearest animal emergency services location. Otherwise, read on.

The Best Solution for Getting Wax Off Your Dog or Cat

Shave off the waxed fur with hair clippers. Period.

I read over 6 pages of information telling me how I could use this or that (from used engine oil or baby oil to hair dryers and paper towels). In the end, I decided to just shave it off. Not only was it easy for me, but it was also less traumatic on the cat.

How to Get Wax Off of Your Pet's Fur

Materials: Hair clippers

Time: 15 minutes or so, depending on the size of the affected area.

Instructions:

  1. Hold your pet gently and speak soothingly to her.
  2. Use hair clippers without the guard.
  3. Slowly and carefully shave against the grain of the fur and remove the waxed areas a little at a time.

Simple, inexpensive Walmart hair clippers
Simple, inexpensive Walmart hair clippers

My Experience: It Happened to My Cat

My wife and I have 4 kids, 8 cats, and a dog. Spilling wax was bound to happen at some point, but I thought I would be researching how to get wax out of my carpet, not my pet. When our black cat Osgood spilled a holiday candle warmer all over herself, I needed help and it was not that easy to find.

Hair Clippers

I already had a set of inexpensive hair clippers because I cut both of our sons hair and my own. (I don't touch the girls' hairs though. Can you imagine the drama of "dad screwing up daughter's important hair?") But, I regress.

Osgood had a lot of wax on her side, leg, and a bit on her tail. In several spots it looked like wax armor. The wax was about 3 inches wide, 2 inches tall, and almost a 1/16 inches thick. It was dried, hard, and really matted down. There were lots of "dried droplets" of wax spattered on her as well.

At first I was concerned about how I was going to do this. Of all our rescue pets (which all of them are), she is the most skittish. She runs like the wind at just the sight of a vacuum cleaner. I thought about wrapping her in a towel while holding her, but decided to give it a try first with just her, me, and a pair of clippers.

Getting the Wax Off of Her Cat Fur

I removed the guard as there was no way to really get beneath the wax in most places even with just 1 guard attached.

I held her gently, spoke soothingly to her, and then turned on the clippers. The hum didn't seem to bother her (maybe she knew I was trying to help). Regardless, I then slowly and carefully shaved against the grain of the fur and removed the waxed areas a little at a time. The whole process took less than 15 minutes and was much easier than I thought.

She looked ridiculous afterwards, but seemed extremely happy and content. I took a picture of her about 2 weeks later as her fur began to grow back, and then again 8 weeks or so later. I guess cat fur grows slowly.

Bottom line: Wax gone, cat fine. No hassle, no chemicals, and no tears.

2 Weeks After Shaving the Wax Out

Approximately 8 Weeks Afterwards

I love a happy ending, don't you?

Good luck with your pet, and let me know how it works out if you're dealing with a similar problem.

Side Note: We no longer have any candle warmers in the house.

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    • profile image

      Trish 2 months ago

      What else do you suggest besides hair clippers to get the wax out

    • profile image

      mohammed alkindy 13 months ago

      i had same problem with our kitten we tried to use the lice comb like this one https://goo.gl/images/ylVGdj it it helped allot

    • profile image

      Donna 14 months ago

      Sure wish I would have ran across your post last night, might have prevented lots of tears (from me). Last night my 4 mos old kitten and my almost 1 yr old Cat were playing around and since one of them just poo'd and made the house smell, I decided to turn my warmer on to mask what they left behind. Well the big kitty was chasing the lil kitty and down went the lamp and the was went all over both of them. The lil kitty got the worst end of the deal and of course the tears started flowing. It doesn't appear she got burned but she now looks like a mangled mess. I attempted clippers on her last night but she was not having any of that so I will try again today.....now that we are both a little calmer. Hopefully when it is just me and her and the clippers...she will be fine like Osgood. Thanks for the encouragement, I thought I was an awful parent to let this happen to my newest fur baby...needless to say the warmer is going on a high shelf where there will be no running or chasing going on!!!!

    • profile image

      jlarsh 20 months ago

      Soooo relieved to have found this place!

      My poor kitty just had this happen! He was yowling and not letting me near, I was bawling, picturing awful burns. He is solid wax in his back haunch, about like kitty in the pics. He is 14 weeks old, and all boy. Not a snuggle baby kind of guy. After reading this, I feel a tiny bit better, but have no clippers, and of course it is Sunday, so no way to vet. No more wax warmers in house! Thought it was in safe place, but no such thing with a young cat, apparently. He acts like it is my fault, and really it is. He is REALLY going to be pissed as soon as I can get a pair of clippers. I saw a trick on you tube of vet using a large binder clip to scruff a cat. The cat just laid there, all calm and quiet. Am going to make sure clip is not so tight as to hurt him, though. Poor BB (Big Boy) Maybe shave both sides? kind of like a poodle cut? ; )

    • profile image

      Violet 2 years ago

      My two puppies are 6 weeks old and knocked one off the end table on top of them both I think this is the only option as well. I feel horrible !!! No more wax warmers on end tables . Thank you for this post .

    • profile image

      smorucci 4 years ago

      Thank you!!! My poor little guy - huge black cat actually - knocked over the candles - he's almost 8 years old so I'm not as careful as I used to be with him :( Thanks for the advice - seems like the only solution

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      Charlotte 4 years ago

      Thanks for this post - my cat Arthur just did something similar (he managed to dip his tail into a wax melt and then whip it against his side - and all over the table and floor!). Tried brushing it out with a thinning comb, which worked well for the little bits on his side and belly, but the great big glob on the last inch of his tail had to be shaved off! He now looks rather silly with his thick tail ending in a pathetic little bony nub, but it'll grow back...! Minimum fuss all round.

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      renny 4 years ago

      any tips on getting wax off of your cat's paw if they stepped in it? It's in between her toes and all over, I am not sure I can shave there

    • GDiBiase profile image

      GDiBiase 5 years ago from Portland, ME

      ohhhhh Poor Osgood, as I started to read I was sure you would have been all scratched to pieces. Glad all went well.In the pix Osgood look fit as a fiddle. Glad all worked out so good for you. Animals are so silly they get in these predicaments and then we have to solve it for them. I had a cat once that ate a craft pom, pom then had a belly ache he cried and cried. I took him to the vet though, he xrayed and said he should be able to just let it come out naturally, gave him some meds to assist in that manner, once he passed it he was find.

    • ExLeftist profile image

      ExLeftist 5 years ago

      Useful, funny, awesome, beautiful and interest. Can't say more than that. Stay strong with the kids, cats and dog. Welcome to HubPages.

    • leni sands profile image

      Leni Sands 5 years ago from UK

      Can't help but laugh, it reminds me of when we first got Max (our cat). He was a little like ET (no fur) but that's another story and he had an infection. The vet gave him an injection in the back of his neck and that was when the fun started. He kept scratching the area where the injection went in and it wouldn't heal so after much thought I went out and bought a 'new born baby' vest from Mothercare (in fact I bought two) and we didn't have to adjust it much to make it fit but it kept those claws from scratching his skin away while at the same time helping his fur to grow. I changed it every other day giving myself chance to wash and dry the other) - all in all when he finally grew out of the vest he actually appeared to miss it, without it my ET turned into a handsome rascal. Like your animals, Max and the new one (Kit) about to join us are both rescue cats.

      I enjoyed reading this hub and will bookmark it for later reference just in case one of the cat's (during the introduction period) spills candle wax all over them - not that I envisage having any lit candles around not with plug in air fresheners any way. Thanks for writing it and thanks for answering my question I will give your suggestion a go of course and I will let everybody know how the pair get along. I suspect it will make an interesting hub. Any way, voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. Keep up the good work - look forward to reading more....

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Oh your poor cat! Lucky for you both that she cooperated. Wax has got to be one of the toughest things to get out of anything. I think you took the absolute right approach. Heck with all those dumb ideas. Go for the quick and easy.... I had a cat that stuck her paw in a scented candle. I got as much of as I could and then just waited for the rest to work itself out on its own. Poor thing had a pink flowery smelling paw for at least a week.... Great Hub. Welcome to Hubpages. Can't wait to see more of your hubs.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 5 years ago

      This was such a good story and I could only imagine how hard it would have been if she had given you a fit while trimming off the wax but looks like all went well! Welcome to hubpages!

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 5 years ago from Neverland

      I feel awful for laughing at your poor cat's fur but not so awful to keep from doing the actual laugh. Aaah the things pets and kids do. I loved this Hub and Im sure it will be most useful since I have 3 kids, 2 cats, and a dog. Okay so that's a lot less than you have. Either way - its bound to happen. Welcome to HubPages! Let me know if I can help you with anything.

    • BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

      Jack Hazen 5 years ago from Blitzburgh area

      Hey, that was funny.

      Actually, I read it in case it happens to me. I put the candles on little shelves where the cat can't knock them over. But I knocked a burning candle off the shelf in the kitchen a couple days ago and it bounced off my chest and hit the cat napping on a chair. Didn't get any wax on the cat but I did get it on my shirt.

      I tried to scrape it off my shirt but that didn't do much so I just changed shirts. From what you're saying, I'll likely end up throwing the shirt away. I buy my shirts for a dollar at the Salvation Army because that's all I can afford due to buying prom dresses and such for my daughter.