Have you ever felt a shock 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. This article will help you discover ways to get rid of static electricity in your cat's fur so that you can go back to petting your cat without being afraid to hurt it or yourself in the process.
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 the electric charge. Then, when you pet it and add friction to the mix, both you and your cat feel a shock. While some humans aren't really bothered by static electricity shocks, it might be quite annoying and maybe even painful for your cat.
Therefore getting rid of this issue becomes very important especially in the cold months. Basically, when you have your heating system working at full speed, which reduces the humidity in your house drastically. 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 could prove to be one of those issues you can't ignore. Here are a few pointers on how to get rid of it.
Does Static Electricity Hurt Cats?
This is what every cat owner wants to know 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 an alarming one. While it is certainly 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 really 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
There are three main ways you can get rid of static electricity in your cat's fur. Starting with the environment in your home to using products directly on your cat's fur and all the way to small things that you can do, here are solutions to your static energy issue.
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. As such, 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. 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
If you are not willing to make home improvements, 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, then 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, I consider these to be the least viable option when dealing with static electricity because of the effect that these may have on the cat's fur.
When you use sprays on cats with long hair, you might expect their fur to get tangled. 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 is going to 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 just have to keep applying it. Doesn't seem like a good 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. 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 keep in mind 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. Stick to your usual bath schedule and have a winter stash of shampoos and conditioners that will help you get rid of the static energy. Again, though your cat is going to lick off whatever you put on s/he, and are they safe for a kitty to ingest?
- Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo / Conditioner Bundle on Amazon
- 2-in-1 Conditioning Cat Shampoo, Extra Gentle Conditioning Formula 16 oz on Amazon
- Burt's Bees Tearless Kitten Shampoo with Buttermilk on Amazon
3. Tips and Tricks for Cat Owners
There are a few things that you can do yourself in order to prevent shocking your cat. You should know that these alone will not be enough to make a difference in your static energy issue. However, they could prove useful 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, but it will leave your cat's fur exposed 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 in this situation. Use it regularly to maintain the effects and you will also get softer hands in the process.
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 both you and your cat a whole lot of grief.
Have you had success in getting rid of static electricity issues in your home? What tips or tricks can you share?