Guest Post by Lorie Huston, DVM
Please join Lorie on her website – Pet Health Care Gazette
Those of us who live with cats know how fast the cat hair can accumulate. It seems it shows up everywhere; on the floor, on the furniture, on the bedding, on our clothing, you name it and there’s cat hair there.
I’ve been asked what cat owners should do to deal with the hair. I’m certainly not an expert on the subject, but as a person who shares a home with six cats, I’ll be happy to tell you how I deal with the issue.
Regardless of what you do to handle your cat’s shedding, you need to keep your expectations realistic. All cats shed. There’s no magic bullet to prevent shedding. There are ways to minimize shedding but you’ll still be faced with loose cat hair in your home.
The best way to minimize shedding is to keep your cat healthy. Paying special attention to your cat’s nutrition is an important part of doing that. Feed a high quality diet and feed your cat to keep him lean. The best food for a cat is a controversial subject. Whether you elect to feed a commercial diet, a home-cooked diet, or even a raw diet, it’s crucial that the diet be balanced to meet all of your cat’s nutritional needs. Consult your veterinarian for help in choosing the best food for your cat.
Keep you cat well groomed. Regular brushing/combing is important for many reasons. It helps remove loose hair, helps prevent matting of the hair, and helps keep your cat’s skin healthy. One of my very favorite tools is the Furminator Deshedding Tool. I’m continually amazed how much hair this tool removes from my cats every time I use it. Of course, the more hair that is removed during grooming, the less hair that ends up elsewhere. I am aware that there are many imitation products available. I have no experience with these so I can’t say how they compare to the Furminator product.
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For removing hair from flooring and furniture, frequent vacuuming is necessary. I have a Bissell vacuum cleaner that I purchased several years ago and I love it. Besides having reasonably powerful suction, it also has onboard attachments that I find really useful in vacuuming furniture and getting into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. It works well on both carpeting and on hard surfaces too. The vacuum is bagless, which is nice, but the chamber fills quickly and needs to be emptied often, which is annoying. Fortunately, it’s easily emptied and replaced, so this is only a minor annoyance.
For quick cleanups, I use a handheld vacuum. It’s particularly useful in keeping the area surrounding the litter boxes and food dishes clean.
A damp cloth is also useful for removing hair from furniture.
For removing hair from clothing, lint brushes work as well for me as anything else. Personally, I like the ones that can be manually cleaned and reused as opposed to the rollers that require sticky refills. But I think either type works. In a pinch, even a length of sticky tape (like packaging tape) can work.
Read Lorie’s other articles on Floppycats: