What Fur? Cleaning Strategies

Having cats means there will be fur that is no longer on the cat. The Sphinx and such wire-haired breeds as the Cornish Rex are not going to shed the way a long-haired Persian will. This might be a factor in which cat we get, but no matter the cat, we need to know how to deal with the fur.

A consistent grooming schedule is one way to keep shedding down. There are also times when a cat will shed more than others, such as change of the seasons or times of stress. When under attack, a cat will seem to lose their hold on their fur, letting it fall out more enthusiastically to offer less of a grip for their enemies. This is why it's not unusual to find the carrier covered with fur after a trip to the vet.

However it gets away from the cat, we will want to get fur off upholstery and rugs for easy cleaning. I've used a number of different tools. Here are my favorites:
  • The Zoom Groomwill not only groom the cat easily, it will let you clean cat fur from couches, pillows, and blankets. Don't rely on the wash to get fur off clothes and throws. Leave a Zoom Groom in the laundry room to whisk off the fur before throwing something in the washing machine. In this way we won't overload the machine and can make sure the fur doesn't simply wind up redeposited somewhere else.
  • Need to cover large areas in a hurry? A simple window squeegee, available at hardware or cleaning supply stores, will peel off fur on any kind of upholstery, even tweedy fabrics that are often resistant to the usual vacuuming.
  • Get a good vacuum. I've been impressed with our year-old Bissell Cleanview II. Out of all the vacuums in its price range I've tried, it seems to cope the best with fur, bits of cardboard, and the miscellaneous junk from under Dear Husband's art table. You'll want to look for a design which won't bail out over large amounts of fluff, especially one which has enough power to keep the flexible hose from clogging up and interfering with off-floor cleaning. I look for dust cups I can empty, instead of bags which have to be changed. This keeps costs down and encourages us to empty often.
  • My favorite lint brushes are the ones which rely on an easily peeled off roll of sticky paper, though I've also used strips of packing tape, or even Scotch tape. It's easy to miss something while rushing around in the morning. Clothes we don't wear very often are particularly prone to turn up with a previously unnoticed patch of contrasting fur. And no matter what color our cat, the fur always winds up being contrasting.

Getting good cleaning tools and keeping them handy will let us integrate the little extra effort needed to get fur whisked away. Don't exasperate ourselves with what doesn't work; get things we know will work, and it becomes easy.


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