by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Fur in your home is a fact of life with felines (unless you have a hairless breed, which shed their fuzz minimally). You may vacuum often, but once a cat sitting on a chair rises, the seat will have fur on it. Plus, cats love to rub on furniture and the carpet to mark it with their scent. Cat grooming also motivates rubbing on furniture. But you can control how much fur flies in your home.
Feed a good quality cat food. This helps cats shed less. It’s surprising how many cat owners overlook this simple tip. High protein food helps cats shed less.
Groom kitty often, so less fur spreads through your home. Plus, he’ll love the attention. Choose the cat grooming tools that work for your cat’s fur. Long-haired cat grooming requires a brush or rake made for the task. Rubbery bristle brushes grab and hold onto fur, but won’t dig into a thick coat with an undercoat.
Some cats can become accustomed to gentle vacuuming. Use the long-bristle dusting attachment, not the upholstery attachments. Groom kitty with only the attachment, without the vacuum on or even connected. Gradually introduce the machine’s sound by running the cleaner in another room while you stroke him. Then, bring the cleaner in the same room, closer and closer. Eventually, attach the hose and groom. As long as you stay away from his head, you should be able to, essentially, vacuum your cat. Avoid areas of loose skin and always use the long-bristle attachment so it won’t suck hard the cat’s skin.
Invest in a cat groomer that lets him groom himself. The arch-shaped brush lets kitty rub off his loose fur and get a scratch anytime he wants.
Offer cat-oriented sleeping spots. Cats like a high bookshelf, window perch, or other out-of-the-way snoozing spot. Forget premade cat beds. Most cats ignore them. Instead, leave a small, unfolded blanket or towel in the sleeping places for him to claim. If you give cats special sleeping places they like, it minimizes their couch use. If your cat doesn’t like the napping spots, try a different fabric blanket. Some cats love fleece. Others like terry cloth. Still others prefer flannel under their feet. Once you find the right fabric, you’ll have your cat sitting pretty.
Use sticky clothing rollers to quickly lift off cat hair on seats before guests arrive. Don’t forget upholstered arm rests, lower surfaces (where cats love to rub) and back areas.
As any longtime cat owner would tell you, owning furniture in colors that coordinate with your cat’s fur color also helps, but if that’s not possible, toss a coordinating throw over the couch. Prints and textures help hide fur.