While you may not always be aware of it, your cat probably experiences static on a regular basis. It can cause them to be twitchy and nervous because they never know when a shock is coming! Unfortunately, many things that cause static electricity are also things that we love to do with our cats, like petting or brushing them. But don’t worry! This guide will help you understand why your cat is staticky and give you the tools that you need to prevent it from happening.
5 Reasons That Your Cat Might Be Staticky
1. Too Clean
This one may sound weird, but if you clean your cat too often, especially during the spring and summer months, it’s likely that your cat doesn’t have the necessary level of dirt and grime to neutralize excess static charge. When their coat is clean and shiny, it naturally attracts static. Overbathing can also dry out your cat’s hair and fur and strip it of natural oils, which also creates static.
How to Fix It: Cats are good at self-grooming and staying clean. If your cat is visibly dirty or smells bad, by all means, give them a bath. Otherwise, they shouldn’t need one more than once every few weeks. When you bathe your cat, use shampoos and conditioners designed specifically for cats, so they don’t strip their coat of essential oils.
2. Dry Air
If you’ve noticed that your cat is more staticky during the winter, you’re not imagining things! When the air lacks humidity, static shocks occur more often. Your cat’s fur builds up an electric charge, and when you pet your cat, you add friction — and both you and your cat get shocked!
How to Fix It: Since you can’t do anything about the arrival of winter, the easiest fix for static is to raise the humidity level inside your home. You can easily do this with a humidifier, and it’s also a good idea to use a hygrometer to measure and keep track of humidity levels.
Brushing and grooming your cat’s fur naturally creates friction, which in turn, creates a static charge.
How to Fix It: Misting the brush with water before brushing your cat will help neutralize the static charge. You can also mist your cat’s fur with water, but many cats don’t like to be sprayed.
4. Your Cat’s Bedding Material
Blankets made from synthetic fibers, like polyester, can easily accumulate static charge. The more your cat rubs against the material, the more static accumulates.
How to Fix It: Choose blankets made from natural fibers, like cotton or wool, whenever possible. Not only will they create less static, but they’re also made from sustainable materials, so both your cat and mother nature will appreciate it.
5. Your Cat’s Breed or Age
Some cat breeds are more prone to static than others. Long-haired breeds require more grooming, and they have more hair to build up electric charge. Older cats tend to have more brittle hair than younger ones, which can naturally increase static.
How to Fix It: If you’ve already increased the humidity level in your house and your cat is still experiencing static shocks, you can try an anti-static spray. Make sure you use one that’s non-toxic for cats!
Tips and Tricks for Cat Owners to Prevent Static
While humidity is the only real solution to reducing static, there are a few things that you can do to make sure you’re not the cause of your cat getting shocked.
- Wet Your Hands: Wetting your hands before petting your cat will spare your cat a shock.
- Use Moisturizer: Applying lotion and moisturizer to your hands to prevent dryness will also help avoid static buildup.
Unfortunately, the best solution for a staticky cat is to increase the humidity level in your home. Avoiding dryness on your cat’s skin and hair will help, as will keeping your hands moist before petting your cat. The use of natural fibers in blankets and bedding will avoid static buildup. If you choose to use shampoos or sprays designed to reduce static, always make sure they are safe for use on cats.
Featured Image Credit: Summer 1810, Sutterstock