One of the reasons we love cats is their fur. It’s soft, it’s silky, and it’s lovely to stroke and pet. Unfortunately, cat hair is also one of the biggest hassles about owning a cat because it gets everywhere! Every pet owner knows this well. Cats shed. And shed. And shed. It may seem like it never ends, and you’re right. Cats shed fur constantly. Let’s take a look at the reasons why.
Quick Look : Best Cat Litter Vacuum in 2019
Cat Hair Basics
Most mammals, even us humans, shed dead hair regularly. Just take a look at your hairbrush! For animals like cats, who have much more than we do, that shedding can mean a lot of clean up. It clings to everything, including our clothes.
Why do cats shed? Well in the wild, cats will shed a great deal of hair in the spring to prepare for the hot summer months. When Fall arrives, their shedding will slow considerably. With our pampered indoor kitties, that cycle is disrupted thanks to indoor heating, so they shed all year round.
Sometimes cats will shed even more than usual. This is usually due to stress, but there are other causes as well…
Why Do Cats Shed?
If you notice your cat seems to be shedding excessively, contact your vet, especially if you see bald and irritated patches of skin.
A side effect of shedding is hairballs. Since cats are such fastidious creatures and are always cleaning themselves, they tend to ingest a lot of hair. This hair isn’t easily digestible, but in small amounts will pass through and wind up in the litter box. Sometimes though, it builds up in the gut until the cat heaves it up just in time for you to step in it on your way to the bathroom at 2 am. Yep, every cat owner has been there!
To minimize this, groom your cat regularly with a good quality comb or brush. Many cats enjoy this quite a bit. Grooming is especially crucial for long-haired cats, not just because they shed a lot more than short hairs, but because their fur tends to matte if it’s not brushed regularly. This can be very painful for the cat.
Regular combing and brushing is also an excellent way to minimize the amount of fur that finds its way onto your carpets, furniture, and clothes because it catches the dead hair before it can be deposited.
If your cat strenuously objects to grooming, your vet can do it for you. It’s important to get it done regularly either way. Another way to keep cat shedding down is by feeding your cat a high quality diet. Doing so promotes healthy skin and fur, and the healthier it is, the better!
Fleas are another big reason for increased shedding. If your cat goes outside at all or is around other animals, like your dog, that does, treat her monthly with Frontline or Advantage. Don’t bother with flea collars. At best they are ineffective, at worst they can seriously harm her.
A good quality vacuum is the best way to deal with your cat’s shedding, but not all of them are alike. Now that you’ve got the basics of cat shedding and how to reduce it let’s take a closer look at what you need to think about when purchasing a vacuum to pick up what’s left.
What to look for when buying a vacuum for cat hair
Cat hair is not easy to pick up, as anyone who’s tried knows. There are a variety of items and gadgets available designed to do it, from special gloves to rolls of tape, but the best tool is a vacuum with plenty of power and suction.
Looks for one from a well-known brand like Bissell or Hoover, so you know what you’re getting. Off brands may look enticing, but all too often you get what you pay for-weak suction, flimsy brush rolls and a lot of frustration.
Remember though, that even the best vacuum will eventually lose suction if it’s not properly maintained!
Since you’re going to be using it a lot, durability is critical. All vacuums are made of plastic these days, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Plastic is lightweight and easy to clean. Just make sure the plastic is high quality, and the vacuum has a good motor. This is where reading reviews comes in handy. If a vacuum sucks because it doesn’t, the reviews will make it loud and clear!
It’s not much of a secret that cats are not fond of loud noises. They are fond of vacuums even less. If your cat runs and hides or hisses when the vacuum comes out, that’s pretty normal. While vacuums are loud by their very nature as the motors needed to create all that suction just have to be, some are louder than others.
Do your cat and yourself a favor and look for the quietest model you can. Remember, stress makes cats shed even more, and there are few things more stressful in a cat’s world than a vacuum!
By the way, if you can’t find a vacuum your cat can live with, don’t despair. Put your cat in a quiet room away from the one you’re working on before you turn on your vacuum, and she’ll be a lot happier!
Gone are the days when homes were almost always wall to wall carpeting. These days most of us have multiple surfaces to clean. Tile in the bathroom, laminate in the kitchen, hardwood in the den and carpet in the bedroom for example. This means you’ve got to juggle multiple cleaning tools right? Not necessarily. Today many manufacturers are offering dual-use devices that are both a vacuum and a steam mop. This can save you money, time and space.
Corded or Cordless?
This is another choice vacuum buyers have these days. You can choose from corded or battery operated models, and handheld or stick. If you have large areas to clean, cordless vacs may seem like an ideal choice because you’re not chained to a socket, but most of them have relatively limited battery life before they need recharging.
Handheld models are great for cleaning up quick messes without having to haul out the big guns and for furniture. It’s ideal to have both around.
Ease of Cleaning
No matter how much you spend on a vacuum, if you don’t maintain it correctly, it won’t last. That’s why a vacuum that’s easy to clean is a good investment. Look for ones with large tanks that offer hands-free emptying and brush rolls that are designed to resist letting hair wrap around them. Clogged up rolls are a leading cause of suction loss and other vacuum issues. The vacuum should be easy to lift and inspect and have attachments that are easy to clean as well.
Even if no one in your household has asthma or allergies, a good filter system is worth having. It will clean and freshen your air as you vacuum and trap more dust and debris than a vacuum without. Look for a HEPA system with multi-layers, and that has easy to clean filters.
You hope you’ll never have to use, but it’s sure great to have it there if you need it! Don’t settle for less than a one-year warranty. Some manufacturers may offer even longer ones, so look for the best one you can. Extended service plans are an option but not necessarily a good one, as we’ll discuss in a minute.
Of course, the price is always something to consider. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking the more expensive, the better though, as that’s not always the case. Research each model carefully and read as many reviews as you can. You can use Google to compare prices and look for promo codes and sales.
This is one area where buying used is not the best idea. Vacuums take a beating, and a used model may end up costing you dearly with repairs in the long run.
What to Avoid When Looking at Vacuums for Cat Hair
There are a few things you should avoid when looking for a new vacuum. First, don’t fall for the “As Seen on TV” hype. If you see a model you think you just have to have anyway, check Amazon and your local box stores. Chances are you’ll find them there.
Ordering direct from the commercial is not a good idea, as you run the risk of being hit with hard upsells for all kinds of attachments and will almost certainly pay more than you have to. One popular tactic is to get customers to accept a free trial of some related accessory, for example, say a rug deodorizer or cleaning pads, the ones that agree will find often find themselves enrolled in a monthly auto-ship program that’s difficult to cancel. Stick to what you can find locally or on sites like Amazon, and to well know brands you can trust.
Reviewed: The Best Vacuums for Cat Hair
Now that you’re an expert on cat fur and what to look for when buying a vacuum for cat hair let’s take a look five top brands of vacuums for picking up cat hair. Each brand and type has benefits and drawbacks, so we advise weighing them carefully before making a purchase. Read product descriptions and reviews carefully. Lucky for you, we’ve got the job started already by including the pros and cons of each brand for your review.
Kenmore 81614 Bagged Canister Vac with Pet PowerMate Buy It
The Kenmore 81614 Bagged Canister Vac with Pet PowerMate is designed with convenience in mind. It features a POP-N-GO floor brush and a Pet Powermate attachment to make cleaning all kinds of messes quick and simple. It also has filters to capture odors and allergens. The sealed bag system makes emptying a breeze.
- Motorized pet hair brush
- Allergen removal system
Bissell Symphony Pet All-in-One Vacuum & Steam Mop Buy It
The Bissell Symphony Pet All-in-One Vacuum & Steam Mop is great for cat owners with multiple surfaces to clean. The vacuum makes quick work of cleaning carpets and hardwood floors while the steam mop cleans and sanitizes tile, hardwood and stone flooring. It features easy to use digital controls, washable mop pads, and a no-fuss hands-free tank.
- Vacuum and steam mop
- Hands-free tank
- Digital controls
- Washable mop pads
- May remove the shine from waxed floors
- Not recommended for unsealed wood flooring
Dibea 600W Lightweight 2 in 1 Bagless Hard Floor Pet Hair Vacuum Buy It
The Dibea Lightweight 2 in 1 Bagless Pet Hair Vacuum features a convenient 2 in 1 design that gives you both an upright vac and a hand vac. It’s lightweight, easy to store and works on carpets and hard floors. There’s also a comprehensive air filtration system to reduce household allergens.
- HEPA filtration system
- Can be converted to a hand vac
- Can get into small spaces
- Easy to store
- Not cordless
Dirt Devil Power Flex Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum Buy It
The Dirt Devil Power Flex Pet Bagless Upright features Spin Free Pro brush roll technology to clean carpet and hard floors and has an extra large dirt bin. It also has an odor trapping carbon filter and a turbo claw pet hair tool to make removing fur from furniture a breeze.
- Odor trapping carbon filter
- Light weight
- Extra large dirt bin
- Turbo claw pet hair tool
Eureka 2-in-1 Stick & Hand Vacuum Buy It
The Eureka 2-in-1 Stick and Hand Vacuum offer the convenience of both an upright and handheld vacuum in a lightweight package. An extra-large dirt bin means less time spent emptying, and since it’s cordless it can go wherever you need it to.
- Optional wall-mounted charging station
- Washable filter
- Short battery life