Herding Cat Hair: Harder Than Herding Cats


I open my front door. My spurs jingle, and the heels of my cowboy boots echo on the hardwood floors as I take my position. A rattlesnake shakes its tail, and through a dust-dappled ray of sunshine, a tiny little tumbleweed rolls by.

Oh, wait: That’s not a tumbleweed! It’s a rolling floof of cat hair!

Well, there goes my Spaghetti Western fantasy. I’m not a gunslingin’ sheriff riding off with my posse to get a bunch of train robbers; I’m just another cat caretaker, and the only thing tumbling across my floor is a constant supply of fur.

I could vacuum every day, all day, and I still wouldn’t get rid of all the fur. Seriously. When I do vacuum — which I do as infrequently as possible, because it’s the chore I hate the most — I go all out, getting in every last crevice and corner, under all the furniture, and across the bedding. Sometimes I even vacuum my closets and the landing outside my front door.

But it never fails: The minute I put the vacuum cleaner away, I see another chunk of fur. I swear they pull clumps of half-shed fur out just to spite me, because they hate the vacuum even more than I do.

Sure, I try to stay ahead of the dead-hair mayhem. I groom my cats with a FURminator and they loooooove it. Sure, they walk around back and forth and climb all over me, but the purrs that emanate from them as I run those metal teeth through their fur reverberate through my whole body. I imagine all that loose fur must be terribly itchy, so I’m sure it feels wonderful when that itching stops. Here’s a video of me FURminating my cat, Siouxsie.

Of course, at least half of the stray fur I groom out gets all over the clothes I’m wearing. But that’s what lint brushes, fur rollers, and damp washcloths are for.

This isn’t a complaint, mind you; it’s just acknowledging a fact about living with cats — unless you have a Sphynx or a Peterbald, that is, in which case you have other grooming issues to contend with. (How ’bout those oil spots all over the furniture if you don’t bathe them regularly?)

I’ve been herding cats since I was a kid, and herding cat hair for just as long, and I’ll tell you this: It’s a lot easier to herd cats than it is to herd cat fur.

What techniques do you use to keep the cat fur at an acceptable level in your home? Have you found anything other than vacuuming away all of your free time to control the hair? Please share your tips on the comments below!

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