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If you live with fur-bearing critters, you will have to deal with pet hair. And even though one of my co-workers claims that the best way to get rid of pet hair is to get rid of the pets, most of us prefer to keep our companion animals. So we have to deal with the hair.
I share my life with three animals: a long-haired gray/cream Maine Coon cat, a short-haired bad tempered black cat, and a tri-color (black/white/brown) beagle. Dealing with pet hair has become a way of life. Here are my best tips for dealing with it:
When I first got my oldest cat, my strategy was to wear clothing that the hair wouldn’t show on. Now, with the animals I have, there is nothing that will camoflauge all the different colors of hair. So if choosing mono-chromatic pets to match a mono-chromatic wardrobe isn’t your thing, here is what you can use to get hair off the clothing:
- Brushes. Most stores sell a variety of pet-hair removal brushes. They all work differently, depending on what type of hair they are designed for.
- Rollers. Rollers are great big rolls of tape on handles that are used to run over your clothing and remove the hair (and lint).
- Packing tape. Since I normally notice the hair on my clothes while I am at work, I use packing tape to remove it. I rip off a piece, make a tube around my hand, sticky side out, and run it over my clothes. Packing tape, because it is so sticky, gets a lot of hair off, and is my preferred method, above the other two.
Keeping dogs and cats off the furniture when you are not home is not an easy task. Everytime I get home I find a warm beagle-sized dent on my bed, for instance. There are a few ways to remove pet hair from furniture
- Vacuum. A strong vacuum can remove a lot of pet hair from furniture, but it may not get all of it.
- Water and a rubber glove. A light misting of water, then running over the surface with a rubber glove on your hand will remove quite a bit of hair.
- Scotch Fur Fighters I was skeptical of this device, but tried it when my mother sent me one. It really does work, and I use it on my dining room chairs. The cost of the refills is prohibitive, though, and I stretch mine by cleaning them with an old toothbrush.
Of course, pets don’t stay on the furniture all the time. They have to traverse the floors as they move from sofa to bed. So that means fur on the floors. Whether you have fabric or not on the floors, you can keep pet hair under control.
- Misted dust mop. If you have a good dust mop, lightly mist it with water and run it over your non-carpeted floors. This will pick up a large amount of hair. You may have to refresh the misting, depending on the size of the floor you are working with.
- Swiffer Sweeper. I am not a fan of flimsy, non-reusable things in general, but these dry Swiffers work like nothing else on the hair in my house.
- Vacuum. Of course, vacuuming will remove the hair, or at least chase it into big piles, but if you don’t feel like running the vacuum yourself, try
- The iRobot Roomba. Roombas are much more sturdy than they were a few years ago, and they are now able to be fixed by the average person, with plug-and-play replacement parts available from the manufacturer. Even better, they vacuum with minimal interference from humans.
A Word About Prevention
One of the best ways to limit the amount of hair your pets shed is to get it before it sticks to other stuff. Each of my pets has a preference, and a method that works best:
- KONG ZoomGroom. The beagle loves the Zoom Groom. For a rubbery brush, it picks up a lot of hair, and the hair sticks to the brush.
- Li’l Pals Bristle Brush for Kittens. The bad-tempered cat has extremely sensitive skin, so it is necessary to use a kitten brush on her. It takes longer to get the fur off, but this is the only brush that doesn’t make her hiss.
- FURminator This is the best tool, ever, for getting the Maine Coon. Maine Coons have longish hair, and a soft fluffy undercoat. When I am done brushing the cat, I have enough hair to assemble another cat, and the cat loves the pull on his coat.
There are many ways to handle pet shedding, from prevention to cleanup. Do you have any favorite methods? Share below.
Photo by Yukari*