How to minimize cat hair – hair everywhere – be blind to it!

How to minimize cat hair?? Cat hair is the most irritating thing for people who live with cats I’m told. The others in descending order of importance (after cat hair) are:

  1. Urinating in the wrong place or spraying
  2. Cleaning the litter box
  3. Veterinary care
  4. Litter box smells
  5. Being woken up in the early hours! (How to Stop This)

This is based on a large survey from a well-known cat site, that I will thank but not mention! Cat hair is shed naturally, of course and one thing we can do to minimize it going everywhere is to groom our cat with a device that removes loose hair so that it is collected in the grooming device before it goes everywhere else!

Car hair everywhere
Car hair everywhere. Pic: MikeB.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

A well-known and effective device is the FURminator. This device is available worldwide and on Amazon, for example. Note: some cats allow themselves to be vacuumed, it’s true but most won’t because the noise frightens them and this should never be forced on a cat. Once the hair has been shed the only thing to do is to get it up and I have found that the best hand device is what has been called a “buzzy brush”. It is a felt brush. It has no conventional brush hairs just felt which has a nap pointing in one direction and it is this nap that allows the brush to pick up the fine cat hairs.

We could go back to the beginning and adapt a cat that might shed less than others. Some cats have short hair and some long and some short haired cats have single coats. Normally cat hair has a double coat or even a triple coat. The three layers are:

  1. Guard hairs
  2. Awn hairs (Bristle)
  3. Down hairs

The hairless cats, such as the famous Sphynx, have a fine, sparse, down hair coat. Mixed breed cats have single coats sometimes and some purebred cats have single coats. It is these cats that one should choose in my opinion, as grooming is much easier and shedding lighter. You can feel the difference between a double and single coat.

You can feel more of the cat’s body and bone beneath the hair on a single coated cat. A purebred with a single coat would be the the Oriental Shorthair and the Havana Brown. There are others. As for the moggies we just have to look and feel to find out. Of course, the opposite is true, the thick long-haired cats such as the Persian will produce more “bad hair days!”.

RELATED: Non Shedding Cat Breeds?

THERE ARE MORE ARTICLES ON SHEDDING AT THE BASE OF THE PAGE.

So, in answer to the question, “How to minimize cat hair?”, one answer is to live with a cat with a single thin coat. And a cat that I have not mentioned yet with a thin crinkly coat that is meant to be one of the least shedding cats is the Devon Rex. You might like to read about Non-Shedding Cat Breeds. They don’t exist 😊.

An alternative method

The above section was written about 13 years ago and is the conventional viewpoint. An alternative viewpoint is better and simpler: you are blind to cat hair! Through a gradual process of self-indoctrination and self-training, you become the inured to the presence of cat hair in your home. You become blind to it because you learn to accept it. It becomes part and parcel of the home and has no impact upon your mentality.

And in that vein, I believe that a home with laminate or vinyl flooring as opposed to carpeting is better in respect of managing cat hair around the home. This is because when you walk on hard flooring the air currents generated cause cat hair to form little balls. I call them “tumbleweed hair balls”. And they find their way to the skirting board where they can be picked up if you want to remove them that way. Or you can hoover them. It’s a small improvement but if you hate cat hair but love cats it might please you.

Do cat's whiskers fall out?
Whiskers fall out and grow back. So you’ll see whiskers around the home from time to time too.

Shedding

You may know that cats shed hair when the ambient conditions change and it is not when conditions become warmer but when they become lighter. Clearly environmental warmth is linked to environmental light as the seasons change but it is the light which triggers shedding. Full-time indoor cats don’t have this seasonal shedding and probably shed all the time to a lesser extent.

You might be thinking of adopting a Sphynx cat if you hate cat hair. That may help. It will help in terms of the amount of hair you have to pick up but there are downsides to looking after a Sphynx cat; they need wiping over regularly because the sebaceous glands in the skin deposit oils on the skin rather than in the hair where it attracts dirt so the hairless cat becomes a bit grimy and smelly. It’s swings and roundabouts really. And you’ve got to keep hairless cats inside the home full-time which means that you have a greater responsibility to entertain your cat and to stimulate them.

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