Hair’s the Deal: Managing Cat Hair in Your Home

hairAll cats shed. All of them. Even the “hairless” variety, which has a barely-there downy fuzz. Shedding is part of a healthy coat in any cat. The hair grows to a certain length, dies, then falls out.  Long haired cats shed longer hairs, which makes it seem like a LOT more hair, short-haired cats shed shorter hair, which makes it seem less. If you have a cat, you will have to deal with shed. Period.

However, that doesn’t mean you are completely unable to control the amount of hair you have to deal with. There are several approaches and methods for dealing with cat hair in the home, and the most important one starts within.

A full checkup by your veterinarian can help determine if your cat has any health issues that may lead to excessive shedding. Allergies, thyroid issues, infections, and parasites are just a few of the common conditions that can cause a cat to develop skin and shedding issues. Excessive shedding can cause health issues, including hairballs and blockages.

Nutrition plays a large part in minimizing shedding as well. A well-balanced diet of quality, animal protein-based food (cats MUST have meat protein in their diets, not by-product proteins) that also has a decent amount of fatty acids will keep the skin healthy and soft, thereby reducing shedding. Avoiding foods with primary ingredients like wheat, corn, and soy can also help, as they are often found to irritate cats’ skin. As always, a plentiful source of fresh water is a must.

Developing a daily brushing routine is one of the most important things you can do to reduce the amount of shedding by your cat. Find a brush suitable for your cat’s fur, such as metal combs for short hair and slicker brushes for longer hair. Set aside a few minutes each day to sit down with your cat and brush or comb it. Not only will it help get rid of the dead hair, but it can strengthen your bond and establish a calming routine.

Now, what do you do about the cat hair already in your house? And your closet, on your clothes? And in your refrigerator, in your ham sandwich, and on your toothbrush?

How to get rid of cat hair in the home:

  1. Everyday. In different directions. Staying ahead of it helps reduce possible reactions to dander.
  2. Fabric rollers. This is quick and easy but can become expensive if you have several animals and a lot of hair to deal with.
  3. Rubber gloves. This is a brilliant method! Put on a pair of regular kitchen gloves and dampen them. Wipe your hand across the couch or chair or fabric surface, and you will be AMAZED at the amount of hair it picks up!
  4. Lightly spray furniture with a mixture of fabric softener and water then wipe with a dry cloth.
  5. Use an anti-static spray or cloth when dusting.
  6. For quick removal of hair on clothing throw in the dryer with a dryer sheet for 10 minutes.

Cats that stay indoors year-round don’t necessarily have a seasonal shed, but it may often seem worse in the winter months. This is usually because the air is dryer, creating more static electricity. Running a humidifier during those cold months can do wonders for everyone’s dry skin!

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