Most cats are wonderfully soft and fluffy, but their lovely fur can also lead to a lot of cat hair flying about in your home. Today we’re looking at ways to reduce cat hair in your home and effective tools to remove cat hair from your clothes.
Why do cats lose so much hair?
Cats shed hair all the time, and while the shedding cycle can vary from cat to cat, usually the peak of cat shedding season is during summer when they change their coat. Indoor cats especially lose a lot of hair throughout the year, because the hair cycle also depends on the duration of daylight and the temperature – and artificial light sources extend the day of cats just like they extend ours.
Nevertheless, even in winter with the heating turned on it’s usually colder than in summer with lots of sunlight, which is why indoor cats also lose a lot of hair between April and October.
How to reduce cat hair in your home?
Brushing your cat
Of course, brushing cats does not help against the hair itself, but it does help against the hair flying around the house. Loose hair is collected in the brush and can be easily disposed of. Cat hair can be composted or used as plant fertilizer.
I suppose when it comes to brushes, it also depends a lot on your cats and what they like. I can tell you, though, that my two boys – two European shorthair cats – love the brush I bought them. (Mine is this Moser slicker brush from Amazon.de, but you can get a similar one on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk).
We had another one before they didn’t like it as much – with this one, though, although they were slightly sceptical at first, now they love to be brushed endlessly and they can’t get enough of it. After a few minutes of brushing, there’ll be so much hair in the brush that you’ll wonder why your cat has any fur left. And of course, all the hair you pick out of the brush will not be collecting on your furniture (or thrown up as a hairball).
Cat hair is supposed to make good fertilizer, so sometimes I stick some cat hair into my flower pots to let it do its thing. I’m not sure if it really works, but it can’t hurt to try.
Of course, once the hair has collected on your clothes or sofa cushions, brushing your cat won’t help. This is when you can use a lint roller or lint remover.
Disposable lint rollers
I’m sure everyone knows disposable lint rollers (like these on Amazon.co.uk or these on Amazon.com) . They don’t cost the earth and you can roll them across your clothes, cushions or furniture and they collect hair on their sticky surface. They get the job done, but produce a lot of waste because once the hair has covered the sticky surface, you need to tear it off and throw it out. Apart from being a hassle, this is also not particularly environmentally friendly.
Reusable lint rolls
When I found out about reusable lint rollers, I had to try them. On the one hand I was skeptical because they’re just another plastic thing lying around. You only have to buy them once, though, and they promise to be easy to use, so I decided to give it a shot.
You can get reusable lint rollers by the original manufacturer PacPak on Amazon.com (or Amazon.co.uk). There are also knockoffs without the brand name. If you wonder why I own three – I bought one and liked it, then the importer of the original contacted me and sent me the original along with the updated version (in the image on the far left).
To make it short: These lint rollers deliver what they promise. They collect the hair well and you can easily dispose of it afterwards. Moving it back and forth is a bit unusual at first because you think you’re just moving the lint and hair back and forth, but in between hair and debris are stripped off into the collection container. So the system works.
I have used a reusable lint roller to easily remove cat hair from clothes and recently we used it to get our mattress free of cat hair as well. Our two black cats have learned how to crawl into the drawers of our Ikea bed and when we turned the mattress over, there were several black „cat hair clusters“ on the white mattress. (Not to mention the cat hair we find on the bed sheets where the cats curl up in the drawers.)
Removing the cat hair from our mattress was really easy with the reusable lint roller, although it can be slightly more cumbersome if you’re removing hair from clothes. Since you’re moving the lint roller back and forth, you essentially have to hold your clothes down from both sides, which is less convenient than using the roller on a heavier object like a cushion or sofa.
In general, I can definitely recommend the reusable lint roller: It works and you don’t have to replace disposable rollers anymore.
Vacuum cleaner robot
Of course, once the cat hair is on the floor, it’s necessary to use your vacuum cleaner, which was never my favorite chore. To make it a little easier, you can get a vaccum robot. I have the aptly named iRobot Roomba (see on Amazon.co.uk), which evokes an image of Will Smith himself coming by to help me with my chores. (I, Robot anyone?)
Jokes aside, a Rooma is a great piece of technology that vacuums your place at a set time, so you can come home to a lovely cat-hair free place.
Having said that, though, there might be a bit of preparation required if you’re anything like me and you leave cat toys and cardboard boxes lying around all over the place to give your cat a nice place to hide and things to entertain it with. So I set my Roomba to vaccum manually: I throw all the boxes and cat toys on the sofa and turn on my robot vacuum to do its thing while I make dinner. If it does vacuum up a toy mouse or anything else, it will stop and say „error, error“, so I can free the toy and tell it to resume. If you’re less messy than me, though, the timer might work for you.
My cats still eye the Roomba suspiciously when it’s working, even though they’re less afraid than they were when I first got it. I still forsee a long road until I, too, can make silly cat videos of my boys riding the vacuum.
What to do with cat hair?
Finally a few words about what you can do with cat hair. I already mentioned it above: Cat hair is said to be a good long-term fertilizer. I haven’t done any comparative studies yet, but at least with human hair this has been scientifically proven. So cut up some cat hair and sprinkle it into your soil or flower pots and see what happens.
Apart from that, there is a book that has received a lot of attention in on social media, probably because it just sounds pretty wacky: Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat (also available on Amazon.co.uk). If I was even remotely talented in handicraft, I would buy this, but as I’m not, I leave it to others to make their cats‘ hair into furry finger puppets.