Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
I can tell you how this all started. It’s my human’s fault. He left that fly strip hanging dangling in the air taunting me for WEEKS. Just out of reach… torturing me with that fluttering, wagging thing.
Then… THEN while cleaning the floor he cruelly moved the table over to where i could easily jump from it and finally kill the fly strip! I got it! Or, rather, it got me. My human finally got it off of me with this vile stuff called “olive oil” (but not without me shredding every exposed piece of skin let me tell you!).
Now, nearly 3 weeks later, my fur still looks like an old mop. I’m a long-hair! I cannot stand the indignity. I know it will mean another bath, but what’s the best product out there so I don’t have to bleed out my human more than one or two more times?
Siouxsie: Oh my goodness, Rosenkatz! I’d be mortified! But fear not. We think we have a way to help your person get the leftover fly tape goop out of your fur.
Thomas: First, let’s explain what the adhesive in fly tape is made of. Most fly strip adhesive is made from castor oil, resins, and wax. The appeal of fly strips is that they are non-toxic and still very effective for controlling house flies and other nasties.
Dahlia: Some fly strips contain arsenic to help kill the bugs quickly. But if the fly tape your human bought says “non-toxic” on the packaging, he can rest assured that there’s no arsenic in it.
Siouxsie: Knowing what the adhesive in fly tape is made of can help you figure out how to remove it.
Thomas: Deposits of tar or oil-based paint, or pine pitch, can be removed from cat fur with vegetable oil. Since fly tape is made of oily products and stuff similar to pine pitch, this technique may work. Your human would soak the patches of fur in vegetable oil for 24 hours and then shampoo you to remove all of the goopy residue.
Dahlia: Unfortunately, shampooing will be necessary. Household hint gurus suggest that dish detergent is the best option. Wildlife rescuers have had great success in using Dawn dish detergent to remove oil from bird feathers and the like, and one of our previous kitty correspondents had a human that was able to remove vitamin E oil from his fur by using Dawn.
Siouxsie: Your human is going to have to put the detergent on your dry fur, and maybe even work it in with his fingers. This is going to take several minutes, so do try to avoid shredding your person during this process. Then, after he’s worked the detergent into your fur really well, he’s going to have to wet you down and rinse you with warm water until no more suds come out of your fur.
Thomas: Your person should make sure your house is nice and warm before he bathes you, and you’re going to have to let him dry out your fur as much as possible by rubbing you with a towel.
Dahlia: There are special products made for cleaning grease out of pet fur including Pure Pet D-Grease Shampoo and Groomer’s Goop, but we can’t be sure how well these work because we’ve never had to try them. We’d welcome any feedback from groomers about products to clean greasy, oily fur. But Dawn is cheap, it’s widely available, and it’s a tried-and-true oil remover.
Siouxsie: If you absolutely won’t let your human bathe you at all, or if the home cleaning doesn’t work, he may need to take you to a professional groomer to get your coat cleaned. Or worse yet, you may have to have your beautiful fur shaved! To avoid this tragedy–and even more affront to your dignity–we highly recommend that you cooperate with your person when he tries to bathe you.
Thomas: You can rest assured that your person really is doing the best he can to correct his error.
Dahlia: To avoid a tragedy like this in the future, your human may want to start making natural fly paper. Here’s a simple recipe we found on a household hints site: Mix 1/4 cup syrup, 1 tbsp. granulated sugar, and 1 tbsp. brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut strips of brown kraft paper and soak in this mixture. Let dry overnight. To hang, poke a small hole at the top of each strip and hang with string or thread.
Siouxsie: Since this natural fly paper is made of food ingredients, if this happens again you’ll be able to lick the stuff off and you won’t be subjected to the indignity of a bath and ratty-looking fur.
Thomas: Good luck, Rosenkatz. Please let us know how everything turns out.