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How to Remove Cat Scratches on a Car

Updated February 21, 2017

When cats leave overnight "souvenirs" on your car's bonnet or roof as evidence of their wild rampages or escape attempts from local dogs, even cat lovers might contemplate strangulation. Removing cat scratches on a car requires special tools, materials and a good amount of patience. The scratches can disappear with a few hours of work.

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  1. Wash the scratch area with soapy water and dry it thoroughly.

  2. Rub a colour-contrasting polish or other material into the car's panel where the cat scratched the car. For a dark-coloured car, rub white shoe polish or whiteout fluid on the car panel along the crack area. For a light-coloured car, use a dark-coloured polish. Wipe off the polish with a rag. The polish sinks into the scratch, so after the car owner wipes off the polish, he can see the scratch delineated.

  3. Wrap fine sandpaper onto a sanding block and dip it in cold soapy water.

  4. Sand the scratch area on the car panel until the scratch no longer stands out. The scratch area and the space around it have now been sanded to the same level. Rinse the sandpaper in the cold water frequently during the sanding to make the water more slippery. Alternate 60-degree angles to the scratch while sanding, moving up and down the scratch's length.

  5. Ensure that all signs of the cat scratch have been sanded out. If the car panel has clearcoat paint and there are any signs of colour in the sanding water, respray the clearcoat.

  6. Buff the car panel with a polishing wheel. if the car has conventional enamel paint or lacquer, the sanding water will show a lot of colour. Ensure that the sanding process has not removed any additional coats of paint. Buff the panel with rubbing compound by rubbing in a circular motion.

  7. Remove the compound with a terrycloth towel. Use a foam polishing-compound pad on the polishing wheel to buff with a swirl mark eliminator or a fine compound.

  8. Polish the car panel with car wax to seal the surface.

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Things You'll Need

  • Soapy water
  • Rags
  • 2,000- to 3,000-grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • Polishing wheel
  • Spray paint
  • Rubbing compound
  • Fine compound
  • Terrycloth towel
  • Car wax

About the Author

Laurie Rappeport is a writer and blogger with more than 10 years of experience. Her areas of expertise are in education, child development, travel, pets, nutrition and health for Demand Studios and a major travel website. Rappeport holds a Master of Arts degree from Wayne State University.

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