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I’m sure every cat owner has experienced this once or twice – you try to pet your cat and you get a sudden electric shock! Perhaps your cat has been under a blanket and, when you pull it off them, their hair is standing up on end, repelling against each other!
Your cat’s shocking ability comes from static electricity. This is a very common electrical phenomena. Static electricity is especially common during winter, when the air is more dry than usual. It also occurs when two objects are rubbed together (such as your cat and a blanket!).
Although this is harmless, the surprise shock can be unpleasant and seeing your cat’s fur all raised up is pretty strange, so you might want to get rid of that buildup of static electricity.
Luckily, there are ways to do so, such as rubbing through your cat’s fur using wet fingertips, a moistened towel, or pet wipes. You can also try using humidifiers, an anti-static hair brush, anti-static spray, and making sure your cat’s fur is moisturized.
If you want to know more about why you get shocks from the static electricity in your cat’s fur and how to efficiently and safely get rid of it, I suggest you continue reading!
Why Does My Cat Have Static Electricity?
Seeing your cat’s fur raised along their entire body can be very surprising. It might look cute, or like a nightmare to brush, but you are sure to be wondering Why is my cat’s fur standing up?
In order to fully grasp the reason why your cat suddenly has this strange hair style, let’s first look into static electricity – what it is, why you get shocked when you touch something with static electricity, and why it happens in the first place.
What Is Static Electricity?
You might have noticed this phenomenon when you’re brushing your hair and your hair suddenly “raises up”. What happened was that two objects rubbed together (the brush and your hair) and this created an electrical charge.
Static electricity occurs when charged particles are transmitted from one object to another, resulting in an imbalance between the positive and negative charge of the object. This imbalance is what causes static electricity.
This happens when, for example, two objects are rubbed together. The object that gains electrons is negatively charged, whereas the one that loses them is positively charged, and each object now has static electricity.
Why Do I Get Shocked When I Pet My Cat?
When you pet your cat, you’re touching “the object” that has an imbalance of positive and negative charge; the fur has a build up of static electricity.
Essentially, a shock happens when an object with more electrons releases its electrons when it comes into contact with another object that accepts the electrons.
So, when you touch your cat’s fur, a current of electrons flows from the object with a negative charge (the fur) onto the object with a positive charge (you!) resulting in electrical balance, meaning there is no more static electricity.
We feel this transfer of electricity as a brief shock. You may often experience this with certain items of clothing, or after walking around wearing socks, bouncing on a trampoline, etc.
9 Safe Ways To Reduce Static From Cat Fur
If you want to know how to remove static from a cat’s fur, there are several things you can try. As you’ll see, some solutions are only temporary, while others could potentially work long-term.
Either way, generating static charge cannot be 100% avoided, but you can work on lowering the chances of static electricity and reduce it when it does occur
We will also explore some products that I (or my cat-owner friends) have tried out and would recommend. All of these can be acquired via Amazon.
Let’s explore the 9 most efficient (and totally cat-safe!) ways to reduce static from cat fur!
1. Try Petting Your Kitty With Wet Fingers
If you want to get rid of your cat’s static fur instantly, there is one simple and easy trick I like to use. Although it’s a short-term solution, it’s an instant fix which some people might find very useful.
All you have to do is slightly wet your fingertips by placing them under a faucet or dipping them in a glass of water. Then, run your hand over your cat’s fur and you will see your cat’s straight hairs beginning to loosen up and flatten down.
After a few strokes over your cat’s fur, you will see a significant reduction in the amount of static electricity, and hopefully there will be no static electricity left at all.
This works because water reduces the buildup of charge. The balance of positive and negative charges is restored by the water molecules, resulting in less static electricity.
✔️ Very simple and easy to do
✔️ Almost always effective
✔️ No cost
❌ It’s a short-term solution
❌ Can be an issue for longhaired cats, as their fur might get significantly wet
❌ Some cats might not like the water
2. Go Over Your Cat’s Fur With A Damp Towel
If you’re not keen on the first solution or you don’t want to get your fingers wet, this trick might be a better option for you.
Water is a good solution for reducing static fur, so your cat’s fur has to be somehow in contact with water – in this case, by using a damp towel.
Don’t completely soak the towel in water; it’s not practical and your kitty will be completely wet which is unnecessary and annoying for them. Use a lightly moistened towel and gently rub it over your cat’s coat.
This should neutralize the static in the cat’s fur, as the water will balance out the positive and negative charge.
✔️ Cat’s fur will not get too wet
✔️ It quick and easy
✔️ No cost
❌ Only a short-term solution
❌ Some cats might not like being stroked with a towel
3. Pet Wipes Could Be The Solution
Do you use pet wipes? At one time, I was fostering a cat named Toby that used to run outside whenever he got the chance.
This resulted in me running outside, getting Toby, taking him inside and having to wipe all the dirt off him with pet wipes. Pet wipes made these regular clean-ups so much more convenient.
Pet wipes are a great solution for cleaning cats that hate water. They are ideal for quick clean-ups if, for example, their paws are a little bit muddy. Although dog owners use pet wipes more often, they can really help you reduce the static in your cat’s fur too.
All you have to do is gently go over your cat’s coat using a pet wipe, which will already be damp, so you don’t need to get your fingers or towel wet. It’s also more gentle than using a towel, which sensitive cats might appreciate.
✔️ Easy, simple, and quick
✔️ More soothing to cats than a towel
✔️ Pet wipes are not very expensive
❌ It’s only a short-term solution
❌ Most cat owners don’t own pet wipes
Products I Recommend Using
Burt’s Bees for Cats Natural Dander Reducing Wipes is always my go-to choice when it comes to pet wipes. Apart from reducing static electricity because they are wet, it will also moisturize your cat’s skin. As an added benefit, if you have a cat allergy, these wipes will also remove any dander on the cat’s fur!
Another product I recommend is Furbliss Hygienic Pet Wipes for Dogs & Cats. A great feature of this product is that it’s alcohol free and contains skin-nourishing Vitamin E, as well as moisturizers. These pet wipes can be used all over the cat’s body as they’re very soft and cat-safe.
4. Use A Humidifier In Your Home
If you would prefer a long-term solution, you might want to consider getting a humidifier for your home. Although they might not be the cheapest option, they are very efficient at reducing static electricity in a cat’s fur.
As I mentioned, the dryness of the air contributes to static electricity. One of the best ways to eliminate dry air in your home is by introducing moisture into the air via a humidifier.
It’s best to have a humidifier in the room your cat spends most of their time in, and maybe a few smaller ones in other rooms if possible.
The humidity level in your home can be measured by a hygrometer. A hygrometer will tell you when you need to turn on the humidifier, and this can help to prevent static electricity.
Using humidifiers daily will prevent a buildup of charge on your cat’s fur and this should stop those pesky electric shocks when you try to pet your kitty!
✔️ It’s a long-term solution
✔️ It’s also beneficial to human health
✔️ Your cat will not be directly touched
❌ Humidifiers can be expensive
Products I Recommend Using
One Humidifier that I’ve heard a lot about is the Diffuserlove Diffuser. My friends who are using it are very pleased with it. It can run up to 10 hours at a time, but also at set times of 1, 2, or 3 hours.
It also has adjustable LED lights in 7 different color options, which you might find fun. It will not moisturize the air in the whole house, but it’s a great option for the room your cat spends most of its time in.
Another great product is the LEVOIT Humidifier which can be controlled via an App, which makes it very convenient. It’s very light-weight and has a stylish design that will fit into most homes.
Although it is a bit on the pricier side, it’s a great investment that will not only help reduce the static in your cat’s fur, but also boost your overall health, as dry air is not good for anyone.
5. Try an Anti-Static Cat Brush
Every cat owner needs a good cat brush, right? If you got to have one, you might as well have an anti-static cat brush, especially if you live in a drier climate and static electricity in your cat’s fur is a common occurrence.
Static electricity is produced when you brush your pet’s fur because of the contact between the hair and the bristles of the brush.
You should never choose a cat brush made of plastic or synthetic material, as they can make static fur even worse. So, which type of cat brush should you get?
Choosing an anti-static metal cat brush is a great idea for all cats. Metals hold onto their electrons tightly, so they’re less prone to creating an imbalance of electrons that can lead to a buildup of charge.
Luckily, there are lots of metal cat brushes on the market, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one. A metal brush will cost around the same amount as a plastic one.
There are also anti-static brushes that have a layer of static-reducing coating, which efficiently reduces static electricity when you brush your cat’s coat
✔️ An anti-static cat brush is around the same price as other brushes
✔️ Very efficient in reducing static electricity in a cat’s fur
❌ It might be hard to find an anti-static brush that suits your cat’s fur type
Products I Recommend Using
The pins are metal (and metal does not create static) and have a protective coating that is gentle on your cat’s skin. Apart from being anti-static, they are great at detangling potential matts as well as dealing with shedding.
6. Try Using An Anti-Static Spray For Cats
Another option you can try is using anti-static cat spray. These sprays eliminate static charge from a cat’s fur, and they can offer other benefits too.
Using an anti-static cat spray is simple – all you need to do is spray your cat’s coat lightly, then brush the hair in its natural direction.
I have to say that this might not be the most effective solution and you also might have some trouble finding anti-static spray in your local pet store. Although there are sprays on the market, they’re not commonly used by a lot of cat owners.
Another concern you may have is about the chemical ingredients of a cat spray. Cats are regular groomers, so they do ingest whatever lands on their fur. If that’s a “bad chemical”, then that’s definitely not good for the cat’s health.
✔️ Very simple to use
✔️ Helps reduce static charge efficiently
❌ It’s not a long-term solution
❌ Might not be easy to find in a store
❌ May contain chemicals you don’t want your cat to ingest while self-grooming
Products I Recommend Using
The Coat Handler Anti-Static Detangler Dog Spray is especially made for cats of longhaired breeds, so if your kitty falls in that group – this is the product for you.
This spray makes detangling easy and prevents static buildup in your cat’s fur. All the ingredients are natural, so don’t worry about any dangerous chemicals affecting your cat’s skin or coat.
Another great product I want to mention is the Petway Petcare Anti-Static Detangler Spray which also eliminates static hair and makes hair brushing easier. It does have a gentle almond scent to it, so if your cat is not a huge fan of fragrances, skip this product.
7. Make Sure Your Cat’s Fur Is Healthy And Moisturized
What if I told you you can reduce the static of your cat’s fur and boost your cat’s health at the same time?! I’m sure many cat lovers will be keen on using this solution to reduce the static electricity of their cat’s coat.
Make sure your cat’s coat is healthy and moisturized, as this will reduce the static electricity caused by dryness in your cat’s fur.
To do this, you need to make sure your cat’s food is healthy and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as they’re extremely beneficial to your cat’s fur, and also to your cat’s skin as well.
If your cat’s diet is filled with fish, this is a great way to combat fur dryness from the inside-out, while also boosting your cat’s overall health condition.
Another way to make sure your pet’s fur is not dry is by using a moisturizing shampoo which contains natural oils. Having healthy, moisturized fur reduces the risk of static electricity occurring due to dryness.
Although cats are not bathed often, when you do bathe your feline friend, make sure to use a quality moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
✔️ It’s a long-term solution
✔️ Will boost your cat’s overall health
❌ Will not be an instant-fix as it takes time to raise the moisture level in a cat’s fur and skin
❌ Need to invest in high-quality fish-based cat food, as well as proper cat-safe moisturizing shampoo and conditioner
Products I Recommend Using
I have been giving my cats Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs & Cats for quite some time now and I must say, it works amazingly! It’s a fish oil additive I mix with my cat’s food and it helps make their skin and coat healthy and shiny.
When it comes to maintaining my cats’ skin and keeping their fur moisturized, I recommend Oatmeal Shampoo from John Paul Pet. It works very well for cats with dry, sensitive skin.
8. Get Rid Of Synthetic Fibers
You might not know this, but clothes and other household items (such as blankets) can be the cause of static cat fur.
Many of the chemicals which make up synthetic textiles are comprised of molecules with loosely linked electrons. Therefore, synthetic fibers are much more prone to an imbalance of electrical charge.
You might have noticed this if you have had electric shocks after walking across a synthetic carpet.
Synthetic materials are especially prone to generating static electricity and your cat’s fur can contribute to this. When a cat sleeps on a blanket or a cat bed made of a synthetic material, static can build up.
The only way to fix this is to replace the item made of synthetic fibers with an item made of natural fibers.
✔️ It can be a long-term solution
✔️ It’s efficient in reducing static electricity
✔️ Synthetic materials are also bad for the environment, so not buying them is good
❌ It’s usually only a partial solution, as other ways to reduce static will most likely be needed
❌ It costs money to replace synthetic materials with natural ones
9. Use Natural Fibers (Cotton And Wool) Wherever You Can
As mentioned above, you should try to eliminate your cat’s contact with synthetic fibers, such as those that make up the majority of cat beds and blankets. Instead, you can try using natural fibers, such as cotton and wool.
Compared to synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester, natural fibers create less static.
If your feline friend loves sleeping on a blanket or cat bed or even wearing a cat sweater, you can switch these items for those made of natural fibers. This is a great way to combat static cat fur.
✔️ Natural fibers create less static charge compared to synthetic fibers
✔️ Natural fibers are more eco-friendly (they degrade faster and do not contain microplastics)
❌ It might be harder to find items made of natural materials than synthetic materials
Products I Recommend Using
These are both extremely cozy and will keep your cat warm during colder days, and cool during summer. Although it is an investment (they’re not cheap), you will get a good return on your investment!
What You Definitely Should Not Use – Dryer Sheets
The Internet is filled with bad – and even dangerous – advice. Using dryer sheets to reduce the static in your cat’s fur is one of the worst recommendations!
What Is The Purpose Of Dryer Sheets?
Dryer sheets are used to neutralize the charge in a clothes dryer, so they are designed to efficiently remove static from laundry.
Clothes in the drying machine rub against each other and that creates static on the clothes. Dryer sheets are coated with various chemicals that will be transferred onto the clothes, as a way to create a coating layer on the clothes. This layer is designed to prevent clothes from rubbing directly against each other to reduce the static of the laundry.
Some people may think that if dryer sheets are effective in reducing static in clothes, then it can be used to reduce static in cats’ fur by simply rubbing the dryer sheet onto a cat’s fur! This is far from the truth – and it could seriously harm your pet.
Why Are Dryer Sheets Dangerous To Cats?
Dryer sheets contain many different chemicals in relatively high concentrations (including cationic detergents). As you already know, cats should not be exposed to any kind of unnecessary chemicals, as they’re potentially toxic for them.
dryer sheetsIf a cat chews on a dryer sheet, it is directly exposed to a high concentration of chemicals that are potentially harmful to their health.
If a dryer sheet is rubbed against the cat’s fur, the chemicals are transferred onto the cat’s fur, and then when the cat is grooming itself, the chemicals end up in the cat’s mouth and gastrointestinal system.
Please do not rub your cat’s static fur with a dryer sheet; you will be exposing your cat to harmful chemicals for no real reason.
Why Does My Cat Have Static Electricity In The First Place?
You might be surprised to learn that there are two possible reasons why your cat’s fur has static:
• There is dry air in your environment
• Your cat has been rubbing against things
It may sound odd at first, but let me explain why dry air and rubbing on things can cause static electricity.
What Does Dry Air Have To Do With Static Electricity?
As we have seen, static electricity,such as that of your cat’s fur, happens when an object has more or less electrons than usual, therefore there is an electrical imbalance.
The only way to get rid of static electricity is to either gain electrons or release electrons. Your cat’s fur needs to release electrons into the environment in order to restore its normal balance.
Electric charges will accumulate and stick to your cat’s hair more in dry air, resulting in static electricity. The only way to get rid of static electricity is for the fur to release electrons, but that is more difficult in dry air. Why?
Electrons need humidity (water) in order to freely travel through the environment. In summer, there is more humidity and electrons travel easier when there is more water in the air. Therefore, static electricity is less common during summer.
You will most likely encounter static electricity when the air is dry, because electrons cannot freely move and leave your cat’s fur – all because of the lack of moisture in the air.
How Does Rubbing On Things Create Static Electricity?
Static electricity can occur when two objects are rubbed together. Essentially, one object becomes an “electron thief”, stealing electrons from the other object. That results in a charge imbalance in both objects, which leads to static electricity.
So, what might your cat be rubbing on? Your home is filled with objects your cat could be rubbing on, such as couches and couch covers, blankets and carpets.
If you’re cuddling with your cat, even that can cause static electricity in your cat’s fur as it rubs against your clothes!
Static builds up on the fur of the cat as it comes into contact with different surfaces, and you may notice their hairs standing up, or even experience a harmless electric shock when you touch your cat’s fur.
Why Is My Cat’s Fur Standing Up?
If you see all your cat’s fur standing on end, it’s because your cat’s fur has static electricity. Static cat fur arises from low humidity level or dryness, or when you snuggle with your cat and your clothes and their fur rub against each other.
Do Cats Feel Static Electricity?
Cats feel static electricity when they experience the electric zap, or static shock. This can happen when you touch your pet’s coat. Your cat feels the static shock, but they are unlikely to be able to feel the static electricity as it builds up in their fur.
It’s the same as with humans – you cannot feel static electricity until you touch someone else’s hand, for example.
Does Static Electricity Bother Cats?
Some cats may be bothered by static electricity, especially if they are easily scared and stressed out. The electric zap your cat and you feel when you touch each other comes unexpectedly and it is a strange sensation that some cats might not like.
Does Static Electricity Hurt Cats?
This is a completely understandable question and the answer is no, your cat’s life is not in danger. Just as for humans, a light static shock is sudden, unexpected, and maybe a tiny bit painful for a cat. Thankfully, static electricity cannot harm your cat.
Cat lovers! Now you know all about static electricity and why your cat may have static fur in a low humidity environment or when they’ve been rubbing against a blanket or a sofa for a while.
Do not worry – your cat does not feel the buildup of charge on their fur, so they won’t be bothered by it. Although tiny electric shocks when you try to pet your cat can be a bit annoying or uncomfortable for you both.
If you want to get rid of your cat’s static electricity, you can try some of the tricks explained above:
• Pet your kitty with wet fingers
• Go over their fur with a moistened towel or pet wipes
• Get a humidifier for your home
• Use an anti-static brush or anti-static spray
• Make sure your cat’s fur is moisturized
• Use natural instead of synthetic fibers whenever possible
Some of these are short-term solutions, while others are more long-term. The key is finding out what works best for you and your cat!
I hope this article was interesting to you and that you have learned something new. Now you can try these top tips and tricks to keep your cat’s fur static-free!