Winter has arrived, and you're wondering, "why is my cat staticy"? Or do you get shocked when petting your cat? This happens due to the static electricity in your cat's fur. While this is not among the commonly asked questions about cats, it is an issue that quite a few cat owners face, especially during the colder seasons.
Discover ways to get rid of static electricity in your cat's fur so you can return to petting your cat without being afraid to hurt it or yourself.
Why Does the Static Electricity Appear in Your Cat's Fur?
Due to a lack of humidity in the local environment, your cat's fur builds up quite an electric charge. Then, when you pet it and add friction to the mix, you and your cat feel shocked. While some humans aren't bothered by static electricity shocks, it might be annoying and even painful for your cat.
In the cold months, when your heating system works at full speed, drastically reducing your house's humidity. The drier the air, the more static electricity you have in your cat's fur.
Moreover, the longer your cat's fur, the more static electricity you have there. When it comes to Ragdolls and their exceptional coat, static electricity is one of those issues you can't ignore. So here are a few pointers on how to get rid of it.
Does Static Electricity Hurt Cats?
Every cat owner wants to know this after feeling the shock because cats usually have a very striking reaction to it. However, the level of pain experienced by the cat in such conditions is not alarming. While it is undoubtedly an unpleasant feeling, it is more of an annoying/surprising experience rather than a painful one. My cat Rags was so used to being shocked that he didn't even respond to it like we didn't as kids, either. It is a very subjective thing.
How to Reduce Static Electricity in Your Cat's Fur
Three main ways to get rid of static electricity in your cat's fur.
1. Removing the Environmental Conditions
As mentioned above, the central cause of the static electricity in your cat's fur is the low humidity level. Therefore, the best possible way to fix this issue is to raise the humidity levels in your home. This should reduce the level of static electricity at first and then get rid of it entirely.
You can get a humidifier for your home, which should help you overcome this in no time. However, you should also have a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels. This way, you can set the humidifier according to your needs.
2. Cat-Centered Methods of Removing Static Electricity
Suppose you are not in a position to make home improvements. In that case, there are other ways in which you can reduce and even remove static electricity in your cat. The principle is simple. If you can't raise the humidity level in the environment, you can raise it in your cat's fur.
Anti-Static Spray for Cats - Is It an Option?
There are quite a few anti-static sprays for cats on the market. However, these are the least viable option when dealing with static electricity because of the effect that these may have on the cat's fur.
You might expect their fur to get tangled when you use sprays on long-haired cats. This means that soon after you use the spray, you have to brush them. If you miss one of these emergency brushing sessions, you could be facing tangles and mats.
Also, your cat will lick off whatever you put on s/he, and who knows what is in that anti-static spray? Is it safe for a kitty to ingest? And you'll have to keep applying it. It isn't an excellent long-term solution.
Shampoo and Conditioner - Can It Help?
Another way to add moisture to your cat's fur is to use high-quality shampoos and conditioners. In addition, products containing natural oils have a long-term effect. Regarding which products to use specifically, it all depends on your cat. Always use products that are a good fit for your cat's breed, and remember that the ultimate goal is to moisturize the fur.
Please note that you do not need to bathe your cat more often than usual, as that can lead to other dermatological issues. Instead, stick to your regular bath schedule and have a winter stash of shampoos and conditioners to help eliminate static energy. Again, though, your cat will lick off whatever you put on s/he, and are they safe for a kitty to ingest?
3. Tips and Tricks for Cat Owners
There are a few things that you can do yourself to prevent shocking your cat. However, you should know that more than these alone will be needed to make a difference in your static energy issue. However, they could be helpful when used alongside other methods.
Wetting Your Hands Before Touching Your Cat: Does It Help?
Similar to using sprays on your cat, getting your hands wet before touching your cat could spare you the shock. Still, it will expose your cat's fur to tangling, especially if done frequently.
Hand Moisturizers: Are they Useful?
The low humidity in the environment affects you as well as your cat. This is why applying moisturizer on your hands is extremely useful. Use it regularly to maintain the effects, and you will get softer hands.
To sum up, the best way to get rid of static electricity in your cat's fur is by eliminating the cause. Getting a humidifier is the absolute best solution if faced with this issue because it will spare you and your cat a lot of grief.
Have you succeeded in getting rid of static electricity issues in your home? What tips or tricks can you share?