Even when fed the best cat food, cats still shed hair. It’s a natural and unavoidable process, and indoor cats tend to shed hair all year long. The Internet abounds with products that claim to reduce or control shedding and you could end up spending a lot of money trying one after the other. Here are three recommended methods for controlling cat hair.
Your cat may love to be vacuumed
This is worth a try even with a cat who runs the other way from the noise of your vacuum cleaner. As you can see from the video embedded below, my cat and I were both surprised at how good this felt to her. I use a little five-gallon shop vac with a paper bag designed to capture sheetrock dust — so it definitely captures cat hair. I find it worth buying the longer eight-foot hose (*Est. $22) that’s also extra flexible and ergonomic, with an air diffuser to reduce suction if need be. This hose also lets me place the shop vac across the room from the cat so the noise is less intense. The soft round brush seems to feel good to my cat: she even rolls over so I can do her tummy.
For a quieter solution, the Furminator really works
The Furminator de-shedding tools (*Est. $32) come in four models for cats: two blade lengths — one for short-haired cats, one for long-haired — and two widths (for small or large cats). Designed to pull out loose hair from the undercoat as well as the topcoat, the Furminator gives you a head start on minimizing hair ready to shed.
Since this tool is pricey compared with most cat grooming tools, I checked out reviews before buying it. Tests of a similar Furminator (for dogs) earned praise at KFVS 12 (Cape Girardeau, MO), where all the testers reported that grooming with it definitely reduced shedding. At Amazon.com, the vast majority of the over 200 user-written reviews are positive for the latest version of the Furminator grooming tools for cats. Reading these reviews also prepared me for the huge amount of cat hair I could expect to remove every time I use the tool. You can easily fill a small wastebasket with fur.
When the blade gets full of fur, which happens fast and often, you push a button to release it into the wastebasket — so you don’t get fur on your hands. Pretty soon static electricity starts sifting it into the air, though, so you do get cat hair all over your hands. I found a fine solution, though, that works with a small three-gallon wastebasket (typical bathroom size). Just drape an adult wet wipe inside the wastebasket to capture the loose cat hair. You can also use it to wipe loose hairs off the cat and your hand if need be.
This tool really works, so it’s worth the price. Be prepared for some long sessions, though, even if you use the Furminator regularly. The amount of cat hair that comes off can be amazing. The vacuum cleaner is faster, though.
If your cat likes to be vacuumed, you can fit the Furminator onto the end of the vacuum cleaner hose using an adapter, the FURminator FurVac Vacuum Accessory (*Est. $20). This earns mixed reviews from the handful of users rating it at Amazon.com. It’s important to use the newer version of the Furminator so you can keep releasing the fur into the vacuum hose; otherwise the tool just clogs.
You’ll still need a big roller for furniture
I’ve been happy with a giant-sized Evercare Large Surface Adhesive Roller (*Est. $11), which now comes with a handle that extends as long as three feet. The ten-inch width lets this roller speed over a bed or sofa, and the adhesive sheets pull off easily (starting with one triangular corner). Once you get used to this method of pulling one off, it makes switching to a clean sheet quick and easy.
The design of this larger roller is also handy for removing cat hair from pants; you can hold your hand in a more natural way. The 50-sheet Evercare roller refills are pricey if bought individually (*Est. $8), even at big-box stores. It’s not hard, though, to find bulk discounts or packages. (Be careful: some refills have only 25 sheets.) If you have at least one cat at home, this is a supply worth keeping on hand.
Reading reviews of the Evercare Large Surface Adhesive Roller and its refills, I find that most other users agree that it picks up pet hair well. At Drugstore.com, all 30 users reviewing it say they’d recommend it to a friend. The only complaint is that it can take several sheets to get the job done. This complaint is also noted in several of the dozen or so reviews at Amazon.com, but overall, users agree that the roller fulfills its purpose.