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 six pages of information telling me how I could use this or that (from used engine oil or baby oil to hairdryers 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 for 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 four kids, eight 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 son's 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 one 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.
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.
© 2012 procreate-light
Brittany on August 24, 2020:
My cat knock over the wax warmer and he got it all over on him and the wax is on hos belly
Rescue kitten on June 21, 2020:
I had a wax burner high up so the kittens wouldn’t mess with it but low and behold they liked the cord one of the kittens nocked it down and got wax all over herself these kittens are really skittish because they used to be strays and they have only been in a house for a few weeks and this kitten in particular lets nobody touch her so I had to catch her I tried ice cubes to get the wax off and it wasn’t working and she was getting anxious and impatient I tried turning the clippers on and she scratched me so instead I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut it and she seemed more ok with that her fur is really uneven but it still got the job done
Sister cat on January 13, 2020:
We rescued a kitten and while i was at work she must of knocked my wax warmer off the table onto herself, we came home and the top of her head has wax all over it!! I tried giving her a bath, i tried dawn dish soap, nothing i dont want her to be uncomfortable so i guess i will shave her fur...
Kelley W on January 01, 2019:
This article was super cute and probably a great idea for a cat. However, we don't own cats. We own dogs with very short fur and little 6 pound Brutus managed to dump hot wax from a wax warmer on his back last night.
I managed to get him all cleaned up by shampooing him first with Dawn dish detergent and combing it through his fur gently, rinse and repeat. It took about 15 minutes. I rinsed him well and then shampooed with a good quality dog shampoo to soothe his skin and help restore the natural oils.
We followed up with lots of treats. Now, I am pondering how to get the rest of the spilled wax off my wall, floor and sofa.
Tammy gill on July 09, 2018:
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My cat steped into a light candle! As he jumped up on the table i went to move candle right away but bam he stepped right into it! I put ice on it right away n then veggie oil. But its not working well n i cant shave in between his toes so idk what to do
Anita Evans on March 07, 2018:
What if you can't get near her to get it off?
Navigator moody-reyes on December 31, 2017:
That shaving the hair off the pet and my dog is only a few weeks old and I'm not shaving her hair off so I just used a baby comb and baby oil and then I took her a little bath and it was all off.
Trish on August 21, 2017:
What else do you suggest besides hair clippers to get the wax out
Donna on August 02, 2016:
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!!!!
jlarsh on January 31, 2016:
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? ; )
Violet on January 21, 2015:
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 .
smorucci on January 12, 2013:
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
Charlotte on December 25, 2012:
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.
renny on December 08, 2012:
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 from Portland, ME on April 15, 2012:
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 on April 15, 2012:
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 from UK on April 14, 2012:
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....
Dana Strang from Ohio on April 14, 2012:
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.
Sunnie Day on April 14, 2012:
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!
Sondra from Neverland on April 13, 2012:
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.
Jack Hazen from Blitzburgh area on April 13, 2012:
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.