Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pet Hair Management

I'm a self-proclaimed cat lady... I admit it! But what I'm not so fond of is cat hair all over the place. I wanted to dedicate a post to how I keep the pet hair to a minimum in my home and on my clothes, because as much as I love my little fuzzball, I don't want to wear her to work.

1. Brush her daily... or close to it
Riley loves to be brushed on and around her head and chest, and that's about it. I can brush her back a little, but definitely not her legs or tail - nuh-uh.. No way. But that's not all cats; my parents' cats will let you brush them bald. Literally.

Brushing is great to remove the loose fur. I'm a big fan of wire brushes. They seem to work the best on Riley to remove her hair and wire brushes are very easy to clean. I also invested in a Furminator brush. Look it up. It wasn't cheap (+$40 Cdn), but was SO worth the money for me. If you have a cat or dog with a thick undercoat (the downy fur closest to their skin), this brush will thin it out without removing the top coat. But be careful you don't over-brush! My sister went a little nuts using the Furminator on Angel and brushed away all of his undercoat...  

2. Bathe her twice a year (spring and fall)
Riley hates baths. She's a cat so that pretty much goes without saying, but I think washing her helps loosen up some of the old fur so it comes out more easily. Riley also get a little dandruff-y and oily so a bi-annual wash helps with that too.

I find washes are most effective in the spring and fall. Also make sure to use a pet-friendly shampoo! After I'm done washing, I swaddle Riley in a thick towel (She loves this... not!) for a few minutes, then let her air dry. Once she's dry, I brush her with the wire brush. If I don't brush her, her fur kind of sticks together... but she's sooo fluffy and cute once she's washed and dried and brushed!

3. Hairball reducing cat food
I only buy hairball reducing formula cat food. I've tried various brands and like Purina and Iams the best. I thought they just helped Riley not have hairballs, but I think they also help keep her fur in.. does that make sense? One time I bought a bag of regular cat food and I couldn't believe how much more hair I had floating around my apartment!! So now I stick exclusively with hairball reducing formula. In terms of its intended use, hairball reduction, I think it works for that too lol I find a hairball about every two months or so, which isn't bad if you ask me.

4. A damp hand
The quickest and easiest way to remove Riley's hair from fabrics is to wet my hand every so slightly then rub my hand down the fabric. This works to gather the hair up in a clump, which is easily removable. It works like a charm every single time. Note that all of my pet hair issues with Riley stem from the fuzzy undercoat hairs, which are wavy and super fine. If you're finding lots of straight thicker hairs, like what a lab retriever has, you might need a different method.

5. Beige and grey...are your friends
I've come to terms with the fact that I'm always covered in cat hair. It's a part of my life. I've never not had cats/dogs so I'm used to it. But if pet hair on your clothes and in your house bothers you, beige and grey will be your salvation. Specifically light beige and light grey. Don't even try to wear black. For some reason, lighter fur shows up on darker clothes SO much more than darker fur does on lighter clothes.

What are your tips and tricks to pet hair management? I'd love to hear how you keep the fur at bay!

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