The Hot Saucy foot conundrum


How can you get Frank’s Hot Sauce stains off a tuxedo cat’s white foot?

An interesting question that I only ask as my kitten Ripley jumped off the sofa arm straight into a tub of Frank’s Hot Sauce that Jim the Hubby was using to dip his chips into on Saturday night.

Jim the Hubby wasn’t too impressed but, worse than him not being able to use his favourite sauce for his dinner, our poor wee Ripley had a nasty hot sauce stain on her back right leg – which has a white fur sock on it. I was too shocked and worried and upset to take a photo of it then to show you now, but you can see from the picture above that her usually pristine white foot is a little off-yellow white – and that is three days after the event itself!!!

Why was I so shocked, worried and upset?

Did you know that hot sauce and chili peppers and thinks that are spicy to us humans can give cats severe stomach pain as their little digestions – despite being able to survive eating rodents and birds – are not as indestructible as we may think. This is particularly true in a kitty as small and delicate as my Ripley is, aged just 11 weeks.

Cats are not used to eating spicy food. Think about it! Are there are cat brands that you know of which advertise jalapeno flavoured kitty food? No, of course not! In fact, most cats simply don’t like the taste of spicy foods – hence it being used in some cases as a training tool to deter cats from eating, or going near, household items, and other things such as shoes and socks etc.

If your cat is like my Ripley and ends up stepping in the hot sauce, even by accident, what can you do to get rid of the stain?

The USA has several cat whitening shampoos and other products that are just now available over here in the UK, red wine removal sprays such as OxiClean and Wine Away sprang to mind and then were immediately dismissed as I thought they can’t be good to spray on my little 11 week old kitten.

More natural cleaning remedies such as apple or diluted white vinegar on a soft dishcloth were suggested by my mummy – as they are non-toxic stain removers that also have a natural whitening capability – but I rejected those as I didn’t really fancy Ripley smelling like a fish supper for days afterwards. We’re just getting to the point where my other four rescue cats are starting to sleep with Ripley near them so to introduce a nasty vinegar smell at this point may well put them off for longer and cause problems.

Lemon juice was also hastily rejected after being suggested by a friend because, as all cat lovers know well, felines HATE the smell of citrus – be it lemon, orange or grapefruit. So what options were left to me? The obvious one was for Ripley to clean her own foot – but I didn’t want her getting ill from licking hot sauce off her foot!

Even if your cat eats a tiny amount of chili pepper or, in Ripley’s case, Frank’s hot sauce, they can get a really nasty, upset tummy that could well result in sickness, vomiting and/or diarrhoea. A bland diet of plain food such as fresh ham or chicken can soothe an upset tummy for the first few days but I didn’t want to have to feed Ripley something alternative to her usual kitten food.

So what about using club soda or another useful and traditional cleaning method? Well, we decided against that simply because we didn’t have any club soda. Instead, we chose to pop Ripley’s foot under a warm – lukewarm, not hot, as we didn’t want to set the stain or burn her little foot! – running tap and, despite the struggles and squeals – she is NOT liking water – we got most of the offending sauce off after only a few minutes of this combined with me rubbing her foot in between my hands – phew!

Please note that if your cat has eaten hot sauce or something similar and they are continually being sick, take him or her straight to the vet. If your kitty is showing signs of confusion or is shaking, it may be that he or she has eaten too much of the sauce, etc and is being poisoned.

Three days later and, thankfully, Ripley has not been ill and the sauce stain is starting to go! However, to avoid this in future, Jim the Hubby has been strictly forbidden from leaving hot sauce containers open on the floor…


One thought on “The Hot Saucy foot conundrum

  1. Coconut oil. I picked up my cat after making a dish which required a lot of very hot peppers. I freaked out but the only thing that completely got the burn off my hands, the counter and my cat’s fur was coconut oil. Non-toxic and good for the cat too!

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