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How to Remove Candle Wax From Cat Fur: Vet-Reviewed Step-by-Step Guide

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 28, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

two lit candles in a jar

How to Remove Candle Wax From Cat Fur: Vet-Reviewed Step-by-Step Guide


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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It’s a known fact that cats are experts at getting into all sorts of trouble. Some experiences are funny and cute, while others can be quite challenging to manage. What’s even worse is when your cat does something dangerous, like playing with lit candles. Aside from burn concerns, you might have a wax problem. When this happens, you’ll wish you knew how to get rid of wax from cat fur.

If you’ve experienced getting wax in your hair, you’ll understand how difficult it is to clean. You should contact your vet if your cat has experienced any form of burn, if there are more than a few drops of wax on your cat’s coat, or if the wax has reached delicate areas, such as the face, genitals, or hairless body parts. Fortunately, in most cases, you don’t have to panic when removing wax from your cat’s hair. If the situation can be managed at home, you can use the tips below to remove candle wax from your cat’s fur.


First Things First

Before you start removing candle wax from your cat’s fur, there are things you need to check.

  • First, assess the damage to your cat’s coat. A tiny bit of candle wax on your cat’s hair is much simpler to remove. However, candle wax covering your cat’s body and face is a much more serious case and warrants veterinary intervention. You have to estimate how extensive the damage is to prepare yourself for the fix.
  • Find out the type of wax that's on your cat’s fur. It’s helpful to know if it’s paraffin, beeswax, or standard-scented candle wax. Burning beeswax can be extremely hot, while others are much cooler, making them less threatening for your feline.
  • Consider your cat’s temperament and patience. Not all solutions for removing candle wax are suitable for frightened cats. The situation could have easily already caused stress for your furry friend, and a trip to the vet is the best option.

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How to Remove Candle Wax From Cat Fur

What You'll Need:

Candle wax is very stubborn and will cling to your cat’s fur even if you try to wash it off. If that is the case, you’ll need to trim your cat’s hair. While you might believe this is a job for pet groomers, it can quickly be done at home. You can use a pair of hair clippers designed for human hair, but if you want to use a clipper specially made for cats, the Andis Detachable Blade Pet Clipper is a solid option.

woman grooming her cat with kit
Image By: Chewy

1. Check Underneath Your Cat’s Fur for Burns

If it is, head to the veterinarian for an emergency visit. You might be damaging their skin even more if you try to trim it yourself. It will also be excruciating for your cat, as the burns will sting if touched. If the candle wax only reaches the fur but not the skin underneath, you can easily trim the fur with no problem.

2. Try to Get Help From a Family Member or Friend and Keep Your Cat Calm

It is always better if you can get some assistance and have a friend or a family member that your cat is comfortable with helping you hold them as you prepare to trim their hair.

Domestic cat lying on owner's lap
Image By: evrymmnt, Shutterstock

3. Give Your Cat the Time They Need and Offer Treats

Since your cat will probably be in panic mode because of the recent incident, you need to give them the time and space they need. Wait until your cat calms down, speak with a soft voice, and get them some of their favorite treats.

4. Take a Few Deep Breaths So You’re Not Anxious

Your cat will sense if you are scared, which can trigger their fear as well. So, be as calm as possible.

5. Start Removing the Wax

Once you have all the tools on standby and you’ve completed preparations, you are ready to start removing the candle wax.

Here are a few tips & steps you can take:
  • Hold your cat down firmly but gently, ensuring they are comfortable and you are not hurting them.
  • Get the round-tipped scissors and trim the hairs covered in candle wax.
  • If your cat has thick, long fur, you might need to make a few runs over the affected area.
  • Make sure to trim only the hair that has some candle wax.
  • If your cat gets scared and tries to run away and it’s only a small amount of wax in non-delicate areas, allow them some time to calm down.
  • If you try a second time and your cat is still unhappy with the situation, it is better to contact your vet and follow their advice.

6. Aftercare

Your cat will look a little weird after trimming off their fur, but at least they are out of danger.

Next, focus on preventing the situation from happening again. Find a safer place for your candles. Look for a place where your cat won’t be able to reach them or somewhere your candles won’t fall off onto your cat or yourself.

ComSaf Soft Cat Recovery Collar

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It's never a good day when your cat hurts themselves. It can be very scary and nerve-wracking, especially if you've never been in the situation before. Although it’s not a common occurrence, your cat can get some candle wax on their fur if they have been too close to a lit candle. If dealing with a few drops of candle wax, you can follow the steps above. In the unfortunate case that you have to remove a large amount of wax, the wax is on your cat’s face, or your cat got burnt, you should contact your vet immediately for professional help.

Featured Image Credit: LNataly, Shutterstock

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