Getting Rid of Cat Hair

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:47 am on Tuesday, May 26, 2009

cat hair savvyhousekeeping

This is my cat Quill. He’s the best cat ever. He comes running when you call him, he frolics through the grass like a puppy, and he catches gophers. The only problem: he sheds. I petted him a few minutes ago and am now covered with white hairs. So it goes.

The battle against cat hair is a slightly shameful one. If you’ve ever had to lint roll a guest to get cat’s hair off them, or if you’ve ever found cat hair in your mouth, you know what I’m talking about. Lately there’s been a slew of products on TV claiming to be specially designed for pet hair. I am curious but skeptical. It’s well known that cleaning companies take their usual products, change them slightly, and re-market them as specialty products in the hope of making some extra cash. So I’m not sure if these new pet-hair product work better than the usual methods–but I would love to hear of any that have surprised you.

In the meantime, here’s some things that help control cat’s hair:

* Brushing the Cat: That hair is going to come off one way or another so it might as well be on a brush instead of the furniture. Brushing the cat takes time and is annoying–especially if your cat doesn’t like being brushed–but it does help with the hair.

* Corner Comb: I haven’t tried this, but many groomers recommend a corner comb, a device that goes on your wall that the cat rubs against, like so:

It effectively combs them for you. I could see that corner getting pretty messy, however.

* Cat Bed. I bought each of my cats a bed and trained them to sleep there through a combination of catnip and encouragement. If they are sleeping on their own bed, they are not shedding on the furniture, and I can just wash the cat bed when it gets bad. This method works pretty well, although it’s hard to get them to sleep there all the time.

* Microfiber Glove. I was using one of those sticky lint rollers to pick up extra hair but then a friend gave me a red microfiber glove she got at the store:

It works better than the lint rollers, plus it’s reusable. In a pinch, packing tape wrapped around the hand or a wet rubber glove also works.

* Dryer Sheets. In the dryer, that is–I am not sure about rubbing dryer sheets on the cat. Some dryer sheets specially advertise getting pet hair off your clothes when you dry them, but it seems to me that all dryer sheets should work. The reason cat hair doesn’t come off your clothes when you wash them is static cling keeps the hairs, well, clinging. Dryer sheets are designed to reduce static cling, so they should remove cat hair. I haven’t used dryer sheets for a couple of years, but I’m thinking of starting up again because of this.

* Vacuum. Should you buy a special vacuum designed to remove cat hair? Consumer Reports says no. They tested 46 vacuums on pet hair and picked the two that worked best. They also happen to be good vacuums in general.

It’s the Kenmore Progressive model 35922, for $300. It rated excellent for both pet hair and overall cleaning.

Another option, the Eureka Boss Smart Vac Ultra model 4870 performed nearly as well for half the price, $150. Either one will pick up after your furry friend.

I guess there is no magic formula for taking care of cat hair. No matter how you slice it, it takes a lot of incremental cleaning to keep on top of it. But hey, they’re worth it.

6 Comments »

Comment by Anonymous

July 22, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

Cats are not worth it. They are filthy! sorry but that’s the truth.

Comment by gaynor

September 17, 2011 @ 4:50 pm

Not really sure why someone who hates cats would be reading this article. They are not filthy, ask yourself how often you clean yourself and then compare this to a cat. Cat wins hands down. Yes they do shed and that is annoying but if you don’t want to deal with it then buy a sphinx.

Comment by Trolls Suck

December 12, 2011 @ 11:03 am

You want to know what’s really disgusting? The amount of dead skin cells and hair YOU shed throughout the day. Cats are a lot cleaner than you think – so are dogs and most other animals. Yeah, they shed fur, but so do we in the form of skin and hair. F**king troll…

Comment by Jess

April 4, 2012 @ 1:20 am

@anonymous: Humans who hate cats are not worth it. Humans like that are filthy! Sorry but that’s the truth. And also this is true: If you’re wondering exactly how many skin cells fall off, get ready for some staggering numbers. Scientists estimate that the human body is made up of around 10 trillion cells in total. Your skin makes up about 16 percent of your body weight, which means you have roughly 1.6 trillion skin cells [source: BBC]. Of course, this estimate can vary tremendously according to a person’s size. The important thing is that you have a lot of skin cells. Of those billions of skin cells, between 30,000 and 40,000 of them fall off every hour. Over a 24-hour period, you lose almost a million skin cells [source: Boston Globe].
Where do they all go? The dust that collects on your tables, TV, windowsills and on those picture frames that are so hard to get clean is made mostly from dead human skin cells. In other words, your house is filled with former bits of yourself. In one year, you’ll shed more than 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) of dead skin. It gets even grosser: Your house is also filled with trillions of microscopic life forms called dust mites that eat your old dead skin.

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