How to Get Rid of Static Electricity in a Cat’s Fur

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.

The house I grew up in had a ton of static electricity, my siblings and I shocked each other and our pets all the time. My childhood cat, Rags, didn’t seem to really mind about the static, perhaps he was used to it.

However, some cats and some owners are very bothered by it. So let’s 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.

Ragdoll Cat Trigg on Brawny Cat Sleeky Lounge Cardboard Cat Scratcher

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.

Shop Humidifiers on Amazon

Closeup of a blue, tear-drop shaped humidifier

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?

  1. Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo / Conditioner Bundle on Amazon
  2. 2-in-1 Conditioning Cat Shampoo, Extra Gentle Conditioning Formula 16 oz on Amazon
  3. 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 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?

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. Coconut oil is definitely the best. I have four humidifiers going in my 2500 square-foot home and I’m still getting the static. However, I do have one of my three cats. Mukhi who does not suffer from the static he must have a lot more oils in his skin than Felix and Gizmo. I’ve used coconut oil on my self all my animals, horses, dogs, cats, as well as a stool softener for my cats before if you warm your hands up and have a little warm water with the coconut oil, it feels so good to them. sometimes I wet and warm a hand towel up so that I can lay that over them and Once I put coconut oil on then I rub the towel over his back and body to make sure there’s not a lot of excess oil.

  2. Cynthia Whipple says:

    I find that before i reach to pet Moose I can discharge my static on some type of metal. I think it’s better if I pet with one hand and keep the other hand on the metal or also on the cat constantly. E-s engineers help us with info on e- potential? Is there a device you clip on so u don’t fry yr computer with static charge. Maybe wear that around the house. Def don’t reach for the head first . The cats ears get zapped everytime.

    1. Anonymous says:

      There are two ways to cancel the static electricity buildup when you pet your cats fur.
      First hold a front paw when petting your cat. that will offer a path to discharge the buildup of electricity without the zap.
      Second if your cat doesn’t like you to hold a paw, you can use a static discharge pad which computer repairmen use. They can be simple carbon infused foam pads or the more elaborate fabric pad with a discharge cord normally plugged into the ground of a house outlet with another cord and elastic bad that goes around your wrist.

      Both of these methods will discharge the static before it builds up to a painful level.

  3. ExperiencedOwner says:

    …do NOT use human lotions on cats even if you think its safe. As for a lotion containing many “lotions”… There are a lot of compounds used across lotions and even the most basic ones we think are not an issue can be. Make sure the cats are well hydrated, humidifier, and a little coconut oil doesn’t hurt and can really help dry skin and coat issues. Safe to ingest as long as they don’t get too much(1/4 of a teaspoon is enough) or they may have some runny stool

    1. I found that dryer sheets work well. I was looking for other solutions, so thank you.

      1. Dryer sheets are highly toxic-zenoestrogens are hazardous to human and animal health. Regular fabric softeners are also toxic these should not be used for humans or animals…ever!

      2. Xenoestrogens sorry I spelled wrong the 1st time are highly toxic and I personally never use them. They are hormone disrupters and they should not be put on your cat or yourself.

        1. Dryer sheets are xenoestrogens- and they are very toxic!

      3. Anonymous says:

        Please don’t rub your kitty w dryer sheets. The chemicals stay on the fir, so when kitty licks himself he gets sick.

  4. Ellie L Sanborn says:

    Hi Jenny, today’s newsletter was very informative regarding the dry air and our furbaby’s fur. The humidifier I knew about. I heard about the lotion , but never tried because I don’t want my furbabies lick their fur. Your suggestions are great and I will try some. Will let you know how it works for my furbabies, Merlin and Loki. Thank you so much!!
    Have a great day

    1. Please do let me know how it goes. Yes, you’ll want to make sure your lotion doesn’t have a lot of lotions, etc. in it. And make sure it’s dry before you pet your cats!

  5. Another good way to remove static electricity from you and your cats and your house is to get a large cooking pan. Something like a large spaghetti container. Just let it boil for a good hour or so. Just do it a couple times a day. But like someone on this site said, the best thing to use is a humidifier. But this was with the pan is a good do for now. Thank you all. And have a very Merry Christmas.

  6. Hi ! I just bought my cat a tree on amazon. The tree is leaving my cat full of static electricity everytime it gets in it. I wonder if their ain’t any product I could use such as fragrance free bounce sheets for the tree for exemple?

    Any Ideas? Thanks !

    1. UPDATE : Finally I used fragrance free bounce sheets and it worked. I rubbed it over the syntethic fur on the whole cat tree (81 inch with boxes for 1 sheet).

      The only reason I did this was because the fur of my cat was sticking to it skin making her feel unwell. She wasn’t really able to eat so I tried it anyway.

      My cat is feeling just fine again but I would only recommend this for situations where static is a real problem for the cat because of the chemicals in the sheet.

      1. Dryer sheets are known to be carcinogenic, so if you can, I’d try and find an alternative

  7. Thanks, is searched this at 3 in the morning because my cat was in my bed hogging the sheet and when I pulls it out from under her I saw static and like the 11 year old I am I was worried

  8. Thanks,I searched this up at 3 in the morning be course my cat was in my bed and I pulled the blanket out from under her and I saw static and I was worried

  9. Great suggestions! Something else I do from time to time for a quick, temporary fix is to rub my cat with a dryer sheet. That will get rid of the static for a time and let me pet him without issue.

    1. while that sounds like a reasonable solution, it is actually somewhat dangerous – the chemicals on a dryer sheet are then transferred to your cat’s fur, where s/he is going to lick it off and inhale it – so inhalation and digestion. I would suggest not doing that.

  10. This article showed up ironically a day after static shocked my cat. I might try washing my hands a little more to stop some of shock & turn up the humidifier. It was a good spark & he didn’t like it at all. It was on his nose & he was startled & started to aggressively wash his face.

  11. I have a feral cat that I was trying to domesticize. He had never been petted, or it had been a long time since anyone had petted him. He didn’t know what to think of it, but I worked with him for about six months. He was just becoming relaxed and learning to enjoy being petted when winter hit and static electricity was in the air. It never even occurred to me. My cat was lying on my bed, and I was petting him. He was purring and suddenly out of the blue, he turned and bit me.

    I was shocked and said “What is WRONG with him!” I told my husband, “He just bit me for no reason.” I was somewhat used to him biting me when I first tried to pet him. He was, after all, a wild animal then, but it had been a long time since he had done that. It was my husband who warned me “Could it be he got shocked from static?” Later that night when it got dark, I again started to pet him, and I could SEE the sparks flying off his coat. I felt so bad to think I had hurt him. Once I knew what it was, I began to combat the static with moisturizers both for me and my cat. He (Simon) is now back to enjoying being petted.

      1. I use coconut oil and wet my hands so I can spread it more easily. You may have to let it melt in your hands first then wet them. I especially do this before brushing her.

  12. Awesome article.

    And I thought I am crazy when i experienced this. It happens all the time, but only in winter

  13. Fantastic topic & post, Jenny!! Thank you soooo very much for all the wonderful information to reduce this annoying issue for so many of us!!! Luckily, we don’t seem to have much of an issue with that during the cold weather months with Miss PSB! My hubby is really the only one of us who gets static electricity shocks for some weird reason but he never seems to get much of them when touching Miss PSB…he only gets them when touching me! lol. Poor guy. We don’t have a humidifier but I often wonder if having the pet fountain in the living room and my CPAP machine (treatment for my sleep apnea), which has a built-in humidifier, has helped balance the humidity in our apartment during the cold weather months (which is why I don’t get any static electricity shocks and neither does Miss PSB). 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

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