It’s official: Shedding season is here. In fact, right now your cat is dropping fur like generic pop starlets drop albums. Shedding peaks in the spring, tapers off in the summer, and spikes again in the fall before declining for the winter. Here are five ways I’ve learned to manage the hairiest time of year. Share your own tips in the comments!
I hate the vacuum cleaner almost as much as my cats do. I totally sympathize with their impulse to arch their backs, hiss, and hide under the bed as soon as it rumbles into the room like a miniature tornado on wheels.
One thing that helps: In the morning before I leave the house, I cover the couch with Mysterious Purr Padds (yes, that’s really what they’re called). They are designed to absorb dander, hair, and dust, and my cats love them. When I get home, I slide the Purr Padds under the couch (they’re thin and easy to fold and store), and I get to sit down on a relatively clean space. It’s a win-win situation for both parties involved. Of course, it doesn’t stop that third cat from growing slowly under the dresser, but hey, it’s a start.
This may look like an ordinary sweatshirt, but it is actually my own personal suit of armor in my ongoing war against cat hair. During shedding season, basically anything I wear at home for more than five minutes becomes unsuitable to wear in public. I’ve actually had strangers ask me if I have cats, and more familiar folks will come up to me and start picking hair off my clothes.
I’m generally pretty laid back when it comes to my appearance -ÔÇô I own exactly zero pairs of heels, and I think a three-year-old would do a better job at applying eyeliner and painting my nails than I do. I will talk about my cats to anyone who will listen, but I’d rather not look like I’ve napped on a pallet of cat hair all afternoon.
The idea of sitting down on my couch wearing black pants is almost humorous. I recently gave away two black sweaters because they attracted cat hair the way my best friend attracts crazy men. Instead of giving up on wearing black pants entirely (my very favorite skinny jeans in all the world are black, and I would not be the same without them), I just take off my pants the minute I walk in the door. Seriously ÔÇô- without a moment’s hesitation. Pants are overrated anyway, right?
I hoard lint rollers the way some people hoard shoes, lipstick, or records. They have their own place of honor in a kitchen cabinet, right next to the, uh, feather toys. Because my cats rule my life, obviously. In any case, if I play my cards right, it will be years before I have to buy another.
My abundance of lint rollers allows me to keep one in my car, office, and closet. I might not have been to the grocery store this week and am unsure of the location of my cell phone, but I’m definitely prepared for a previously unnoticed bit of gray fuzz (courtesy of Bubba Lee Kinsey) on the seat of my new navy blue business pants.
Since shedding season demands I vacuum at least every other day, I’ve devised various ways to use this chore to my advantage; unfortunately, each of these methods undoes the other’s usefulness, but they both make vacuuming more pleasant. When I’m feeling productive, I’ll incorporate vacuuming into my workout. I’ll do a set of squats, crunches, pushups, bicep curls, etc. ÔÇô- and then I’ll vacuum a room and call it cardio.
On my lazy days, I’ll vacuum a room, then give myself a treat, like an Oreo or some candy. Fortunately I vacuum a lot, so everything seems to even out in the end.
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About Angela: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she’s an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.