Keeping Fur Off The Furniture

Dear Home Ec 101,

My cats seem to drop enough fur to make a few new cats on my furniture every day. It’s ridiculous. How can I both prevent this and keep my furniture fur-free?

Thanks,

Fuzz Butt

Ivy says:

There are several things you can do to help keep the pet hair at bay. Of course, being a cat lover, you know that there’s no way to keep it away completely, since cats have a tendency to drop more fur than one would think is possible every day, but you can at least keep it to a minimum with some of these ideas.

First, prevention is key. I have found that brewer’s yeast supplements help some with shedding. It’s also a natural flea preventative, or so I hear. You can find these supplements at just about any pet supply store, they aren’t terribly expensive.

Brushing your cat daily is also very, very important. Cats like to groom themselves, but they don’t do a good enough job of getting all the loose hair off their bodies. (Thankfully. Can you imagine what they’d hoark up if they did?) So you need to pick up the slack by giving them a thorough brushing every day. I’ve experimented with different sorts of brushes over the years, but the kind that works the best for me is a wire brush. I’ve heard people have had great results with the Furminator, but I haven’t tried one yet.

As far as keeping it off the furniture, I’ve tried lots of different products, but the best thing, really, is to vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. If I don’t have time to do a thorough vacuuming, or I’ve got a chair that is particularly covered in hair, running a slightly damp paper towel over the area works well, too.

Good luck with getting everything de-furred!

Submit your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com!

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Comments

  1. Karen says

    You’re not going to want to do this daily but for important occasions (hair on job interview suit, mother-in-law is visiting…) tape does a really nice job of getting the hair that the vacuum or lint brush doesn’t.

  2. says

    Another thing that helps is spraying some Static Guard on the furniture or rugs before vacuuming. I don’t do this every time because I worry about what it might do to the fabrics long-term, but to do a good thorough job every once in a while it really works.

  3. says

    This isn’t for keeping things spotless, but for the cat’s favorite chair right before friendly company comes over, I use one of the attachments from my “ScumBuster.” It looks like the dusting attachment for a vacuum, but it’s got thicker, harder bristles. This works _WAY_ better than a lint roller for my long-haired cat’s donations to the furniture. It’s also a good first cut for rugs prior to vaccuming.

    But all I can say is “yay for Pergo!” :)

  4. says

    About three years ago, we started shaving our two long-haired cats every spring. It’s a two-person job and a bath is necessary for both you and the cat afterwards, but my home is a lot less fluffy during their peak shedding times now, and the cats seem to quickly forget the insult of the bathtub once their coats are dry.

  5. ScrappyQuilter says

    I bought a cheapie all rubber pet brush a few years ago. It works well on the pets, but I figured out by accident that brushing the upholstry with it will get the pet hair off the couch and chairs. It also works great on the carpet in a room that hasn’t been vacumed for a while–no worries about all the fur getting stuck in the bristles on the beater brush. I have 2 dogs and 2 cats, so I have a *lot* of stray hairs to deal with, and this is the best thing I’ve found so far.

    Walmart had them in the impulse items at the cash register for a dollar, but if you can’t find them there I’ve seen them at PetSmart for $3.

  6. Mom of three says

    What worked best for me was to make kitty an outside kitty. Haven’t seen a fur ball since. And man did it cut down on the dust balls. But not many people are wiling or able to do that. Our kitty sleeps on a screened in porch, so she can be safe at night but free to play in the day time and we live in a quiet area.

  7. Keter says

    Shedding combs like the Furminator definitely work. I have three large dogs, one of which is a triple-sized Benji, and together they shed the equivalent of a Chihuahua every day. I have two of these combs, one upstairs and one downstairs (so one will be close to hand when one of them gets in the mood to be brushed). I got one at a pet store for about $15 and the other at Big Lots for $5!

    One thing I would caution, however, after watching that video on the Furminator web site, is make sure you know if your dog/cat has any growths on their skin BEFORE you brush that vigorously – you could hurt them otherwise. I found that working slower and using shorter strokes works better, particularly on animals with very heavy undercoats.

  8. Cheryl says

    I know many of you will consider this cheating, but my dog sleeps on the couch. The couch has a cover from Big Lots on it. His hair and assorted dirt gets on the cover and I just wash the cover or take it off completely for Important Company.

  9. Mom of three says

    Wow, Just watched that Furminator video. I see what you mean. My poor Westie would be bald if I brushed him like that. I want one of these for him, but I think I will be more gentle than that. Does it cut the hair? It was removing more hair than my clippers do.

  10. Kimberly says

    The lint brushes that are in tape rolling form work well. Designed for lint or pet hair on your clothes. A quick clean up and fairly cheap.

  11. says

    I agree with Ivy about the vacuuming. There is really nothing that you can do for your furniture or carpet that is more effective for both cleanliness, indoor air quality, and the longevity of the upholstery. Dust and dirt are both abrasive. They will wear and tear on your upholstery untill it is distorted and ugly. Vacuuming is very important.

    • Marie says

      So very sorry for what you have been through! Been there, done that. No one that hasn’t wouldn’t understand. To keep a cat quarantined for three months (before allowing it to be with our others) and to find out it had Feline Leukemia was the worst.

  12. Chrissy says

    I think I will be trying the Furminator as I have 2 dogs, 1 cat and a foster cat.

    The reason I am posting this is because I want to discourage anyone from making their cat an outside cat as an earlier post suggested. I am a volunteer at an animal shelter and I see what happens to outside cats all the time. Right now we have one cat who was hit by a car with two broken legs, who is going to be put down today since we do not have the money to pay for the surgery. He had a collar, so he was probably someone’s pet. We also have two others with very nasty infections due to getting in fights. Not to mention all the diseases including FIV and Feline Leukemia.

  13. says

    that is why I don’t keep cats. lol. they just go around and leave their furs everywhere. and i hate following it up. but anyway thanks for the help and the advices.

  14. says

    I definitly need one of those furminator thingys!!! I have an short hair labrador and oh man he loses fur like hell. I love him but this fur problem is his only little tic.

  15. Jennifer says

    Although shaving your pet seems like a good option for humans, it isn't for our pets. They need their fur for a number of reasons, including keeping them warm in the winter, keeping them cool (yes, it's true as counter-intuitive it may seem) in the summer and preventing sunburn. Keeping your pet well groomed not only helps control shedding mayhem, but increases the bond between you and your furry family member.

  16. jcjetty says

    As a professional cleaner I run into fur on upholstery ALL of the time.

    The best method I have found for removing fur from upholstery is really quite simple and very effective.

    Simply spray a little water from a spray bottle into the area and use the flat of your palm to run little circles on the upholstery. This will ball the fur up into managable clumps.

    Give it a try.
    Jay Jetty
    Carpet Cleaning Pahrump

    Carpet Cleaning Las Vegas

  17. says

    We keep a hand vacuum in the living area where the cats like to chill as it is so much easier to pick it up and start vacuuming instead of having to lug the floor one out. The other areas in the house are fine as there are no upholstery around (we have wooden floors). For the reason we have animals in our home we decide to use leather seats with a simple piece of throw-over so we can share space with our cats (and a dog) and not get hairball-choked to death.

    Richard

  18. Lora Beth says

    I have two dogs (1 med and 1 lg) and two cats both with med length hair. As a mom of a VERY active family I don’t have time to brush them all everyday but I try to rotate which one I brush. So each gets 1 good brushing a week then I bought a glove from wal-mart and while I’m listening to the kids read, watching tv, or whatever I pet the pets while wearing this glove. It doesn’t work as well as the brush but it takes very little effort. I also vacuum the dogs and one of the cats with the little attachment brush. They were a little scared at first but once they figured out it won’t hurt they didn’t mind at all. (one cat is very scared and never took to it) One (the big one) actually comes running when she hears the vacuum! So on Sunday after I bathe and blow dry them I do their ears, nails, and teeth and by this time they are good and dry and I vacuum them then the floor where I’ve worked on them. I also use the swifer on the floor and the glove on the furniture. Good luck!