If you share your home with a cat, chances are there is cat fur on every surface. Cat owners may joke about choosing furniture or clothing to coordinate with the cat’s color so the hair won’t show up as much. But it can be a real problem, especially if family members or guests have allergies. How can you win the battle and keep the cat fur problem to a minimum?
Keep your cat healthy and feed him a quality pet food. Cats with healthy fur coats tend to shed a bit less. Daily brushing, even for short hair varieties, also helps; once the cat gets used to it he’ll enjoy it as well. Bathing may work, but since most cats hate baths, this isn’t really an option.
When choosing a vacuum cleaner, test it out to see how well it cleans pet fur. This may involve bringing your own “sample” with you to the store to try out on their demonstration carpet square! Owners of pets that shed fur will need a more powerful vacuum, and it’s worth it to spend the extra money.
Be careful when choosing products to clean pet fur from furniture and clothing, because the only thing that really works is a sticky surface. You can make your own pet hair cleaner with a strip of wide masking tape, or purchase a roller. Roller type pet hair cleaners come in two varieties – one is basically a roll of masking tape, the other is a re-usable surface that cleans off with soapy water.
If keeping home surfaces clean of cat fur is really important to you, choose materials that don’t attract it. Cat fur doesn’t stick to leather or vinyl, and even a plain cloth couch is easier to keep fur-free than a plush surface. Shaggy carpets are the worst choice for harboring cat fur – choose a Berber carpet or better yet, hardwood or vinyl flooring. Make sure any fabrics are machine washable, such as rugs, curtains, and pillows. If a slight allergy to pet fur is a problem, it may help to keep the cat out of bedrooms.
Most cat owners don’t have much choice over which feline will win their hearts. But if you are considering adopting a cat, you may be surprised to learn that there are breeds of cats that don’t shed.
The Cornish Rex and Devon Rex both have short, curly hair that won’t accumulate on your favorite chair like the fur of most cats. The Sphinx is a hairless breed, with only a light coat of fuzz. Though the appearance of a Sphinx may take some getting used to, this cat is a great choice for people with allergies.
Owning any pet presents many challenges, but the annoying cat fur problem can be minimized. Maintaining the cat’s health, daily brushing, and using effective cleaning tools are a good strategy. Choosing furniture and floor covering that does not attract fur also helps a great deal. Though the fur on every surface can be annoying, it is a minor inconvenience compared to the companionship and love that cats bring to a home.