Removing Contaminants from Fur

| Modified on Jan 01, 2017
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Obviously we as pet owners cannot be with our furry friends 24/7 and as a result they sometimes are capable of getting into trouble when we aren't around. If our cat or dog has snuck into a garden shed or garage, or has gotten out of the yard and gone exploring, there's no telling what kinds of messes they may get themselves into.

Think for a moment of all the different substances that can be found in your very own garage or back yard. Now think about how difficult it will be to remove some of those things from your pet's fur if and when they do happen to get mixed up in them. Let's go through a few different scenarios so that we can provide you with some easy, home made solutions.

Let's say for instance that your pet has been rolling around in or rubbing itself against some type of oil-based paint or motor oil. A natural solution, and one much less harsh than using something like turpentine, is to use a Vegetable or Mineral Oil to remove the substance. This will definitely be time consuming but in the end will do the trick. Rub large amounts of oil into the fur and use paper towels to absorb any excess. You may need to repeat the process several times in order to remove all of the paint or motor oil. Once you have finished, use Flour or Powdered Starch to absorb the substance. Use a wide-toothed comb to remove the mixture and then use a diluted dish detergent to bathe the animal and eliminate any remaining oil and powder.

If your pet has come into contact with tar, then you will want to use some Petroleum Jelly or Crisco Shortening to soften it up. Let it soak in until the tar is softened and then you will be able to wipe it away with paper towels. Repeat the process as often as necessary and afterwards wash your pet with soap and water.

To remove latex paint or wax from your pets fur, use ice to harden the area of hair that you are dealing with and this should make it nice and easy to peel most of the substance away with your fingernails. Wash the rest of it out with soap and water and you're good to go!

If your pet has an issue with bubble gum stuck in its fur, use your fingers to work some Peanut Butter into the problem area and gently separate the hair from the gum. The oils in the peanut butter will help to break up the bubble gum making it easier to remove. (This is also a great trick for children with the same problem!)

Baby Oil

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Posted by Danny (Adelaide, South Australia) on 09/21/2012

Baby oil, It should be called miracle oil. I used olive oil first on our inherited 12 year old commuity cat as its matted fur clumps had been on so long they had attached to his chest and stomach hard against his skin, it must have been very painful, there were also hair balls hanging from his skin. The hair had actually gone hard inside the lumps, so at first we applied oilve oil and some lumps loosened and could be cut off but the big ones like on his chest were 50mm square and 10mm thick and as hard as a rock, one under his front leg was 40mm long and 8mm thick and one under his back leg was 150mm long and 6 mm thick attached in two places, but as they were only moving slowly I went to baby oil and within a week ALL had come loose, some I cut off when they came safely away from his skin and the others dropped off on their own. I want to thank this site and all who offered their advice to use baby oil and I reckon the cat does to. Regards Danny

Vegetable Oil and Flour

1 User Review
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Posted by Deb (High Springs , FL) on 05/24/2009

We panicked when we saw that our 14 year old cat (in fragile health) had rolled in leaked motor oil. Your Site gave simple directions (a large amount of vegetable oil and flour to absorb the oil, a good combing to remove most of the "gunk" and a bath in diluted degreasing dish detergent and a good rinsing) using safe household products. It helped us stop "panicking" and get down to the business of removing the oil. Also, because it was simple and used non-toxic remidies, our cat wasn't traumatized any more than a couple of baths and rinses! We now have him resting quietly on a warm heating pad to prevent any chance of hypothermia. He seems to be doing quite well now. Thanks so much for your help. I would highly recommend your site to others.

Replied by Andres

How long does the vegetable oil and flour need to stay on so that it will work? Thanks!