How to Get Candle Wax off of Cat or Dog Fur
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.
- Hold your pet gently and speak soothingly to her.
- Use hair clippers without the guard.
- Slowly and carefully shave against the grain of the fur and remove the waxed areas a little at a time.
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.
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.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.