Cat Hair Cleanup

Your cat brings you endless joy. She sleeps on your foot, sits on your keyboard while you type and gets silly on catnip. Unfortunately, when you have company, it’s obvious how much you love your cat. Her hair is everywhere, but it doesn’t need to be. You can safely remove cat hair from curtains, upholstery and rugs without resorting to shaving Fluffy bald.

Use Those Vacuum Attachments

Remember all those goofy tubes and brushes that came with your vacuum cleaner? Dig them out of the back of the closet, because they sure come in handy. Use the long-tube attachment for strong suction to remove cat hair from curtains without having to lift the vacuum cleaner. Use the brush attachment to remove cat hair from upholstery. You can also use the long-tube attachment to suck up those annoying cat hair clumps that sit in corners and behind doors.

Buy a Small Dust Buster

A dust buster, also called a hand vacuum, can be your best friend for a quick fix, or if you don’t own a traditional vacuum cleaner. With a dust buster, you can remove cat hair from curtains, furniture and rugs without breaking a sweat or the bank. Different models have different degrees of effectiveness, so look for one that advertises that it picks up pet hair.

Slipcovers Are Not Tacky Anymore

The do-it-yourself movement is a fast-growing trend. If you can sew, make slipcovers for your sofa and chairs. Use durable, washable fabric. When the cat hair starts to accumulate, simply remove the slipcover and wash it. If you aren’t the crafty type or simply don’t want to bother, you can buy ready-made slipcovers in a variety of styles.

If you’re in the market for new furniture, consider buying a sofa with a built-in slipcover. Crate and Barrel makes lovely slip-covered sofas in a variety of styles, and the great thing is that you can’t even tell they have slipcovers at all.

Use Lint Rollers and Tape

To spot clean, use a lint roller to remove cat hair from curtains and upholstery. You can also use tape in an emergency, provided you don’t have very delicate, lacy curtains. Wide tapes like packing and masking tape work best for removing cat hair from large surface areas.

Your Dryer Has a Lint Trap

If you can safely put curtains in your dryer, giving them a quick spin is a great way to remove cat hair in a hurry. The tumbling motion of the dryer combined with the all-powerful lint trap will catch the cat hair. You may need to do a little spot cleaning afterward, but the dryer will remove most of the cat hair. Don’t forget to clean out the lint trap when you’re done, because too much cat hair buildup in the lint trap could start a fire.

Hire a Professional

If your cat hair buildup is truly awful and nothing else seems to work, hire a professional steam cleaner to come and shampoo your furniture and clean your curtains. Then, start from scratch by using other cat hair removal and prevention methods.

Choose Curtain Fabric Wisely

The right curtains can make a room in a way that blinds can’t. If you’re thinking of giving up your curtains because of cat hair, think again. You can choose lovely curtain fabric that is also durable and washable.

Consider also choosing fabric in a color or pattern that matches your cat, or at least doesn’t accentuate the problem. Black or brown curtains sharing a home with a long-haired white cat don’t stand a chance, but white or cream-colored curtains could go for longer periods of time between cleanings.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are some ways to avoid cat-hair buildup in the future.

Invest in Washable Floor Rugs

Instead of removing cat hair from curtains, keep it from accumulating in the first place. Hem curtains so they hang a foot or so above the floor, and place small, washable floor rugs underneath them. This works especially well if you have hardwood floors. The rugs will catch the cat hair, and you can remove the cat hair from the rugs by throwing them in the washing machine.

Brush Your Cat Regularly

Brushing your cat is a great way to remove loose hair that would otherwise get shed all over your house. Many cats enjoy being brushed, and you’ll also cut down on the number of hairballs Fluffy yaks up on the rug.

For more information:

Read dust buster reviews and compare prices at:

Information about furniture slipcovers:

For instructions on how to groom your cat and what kind of brush to choose, check out The Cat Owner’s Problem Solver by John and Caroline Bower, published by Reader’s Digest, 1998.

For instructions on how to make your own curtains quickly and easily:

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