Post written by Weiyi aka Spoiltbytes’ husband. Photos by @Spoiltbytes.
5 things I’ve learnt about managing cat fur for the OCD person.
I’ve always been quite OCD when it comes to cleanliness. I’m not the most organised person in the world but I’ve always enjoyed and maintained a certain level of cleanliness. So last year when I agreed to Yuhui’s request to get cats, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
So here’s a tip for anyone that’s thinking of getting a ragdoll cat which I wished I had taken abit more seriously. They shed fur. Like a lot of fur. Like enough fur to make a whole new cat every week.
I was totally not prepared for the amount of fur our 2 fur kids would shed. It’s crazy. We literally have tumbleweed of fur rolling around the house. The fur gets into everything. Our clothes, books, furniture, sometimes even our food
So after slowly learning and managing the fur situation in our house over the past year, I’ve compiled a list of 5 tips that will help new cat owners better prep for life with fur.
Start from the cat.
Other than clearing the fur from the house, a good way to manage the situation is by starting at the source. The cat. It takes a fair amount of time but combing your cats once or twice a day will really help get rid of excess fur before it even makes it into your stuff. We currently have 4 different kinds of combs.
Shops or breeders usually provide one of these when you get your cat. It’s great for quickly clearing out excess fur but its reach is mostly limited to the top coat of the cat.
Long tooth comb:
Simplest to use and reaches in deep for the fur stuck below and is really good for long haired cats.
We’ve heard some people that swear by this and some that feel it damages the cat’s coat. We take the middle ground on this. I don’t think it should be used too often (1x a week) coz it does cut the cat’s fur when used. But it really helps reduce the fur they drop when used sparingly as well.
Speciality comb. Not so much for dealing with excess fur but deserves a mention as it’s the best tool for dealing with matted fur when that occurs.
Another way we manage it is by giving our cats regular monthly baths. The water and the subsequent blow drying helps get rid of excess fur. It also helps that our blow dryer is industrial pet grade, the Monster 3. It’s really strong. Kinda scary actually.
Lint rollers. Lots of Lint rollers.
Chances are when you meet either my wife or I there’s going to be fur on our clothes. You can eliminate most of this by invest in lint rollers. Find a wholesaler if you can. Buy them by the truckloads. Even better still, set up a lint roller factory.
For those on a limited budget like Yh and I, we currently use Ikea’s lint rollers. They’re very good for the price you pay.
Vacuuming isn’t a nice to have. It’s essential.
As the title says. Before we had cats I used to only sweep and mop the house. However I’ve found it nearly essential now to vacuum at least once every other day to manage the loose fur in the house. I’ve also learnt that you need different vacuums to combat different areas.
We live in a small house so we didn’t have the space to buy the big plug in vacuums. But yet we needed a powerful vacuum due to the copious amount of fur. Having bought (and being very happy with) the Dyson V6 for our beds previously, we decided to try one of the cordless models from the same brand. We’re using the Fluffy model currently and are very happy with the performance so far. It’s so easy to use coz it’s cordless and similarly very easy to store since it’s so slim. Plus it packs a major punch for something that’s not a plugged in model. It’s kinda pricey but it’s a really good investment if you can spare some cash.
Beds, sofas etc:
As mentioned before, when we first moved in, we bought a Dyson V6 to keep our bed dust mite free. Here’s another thing I’ve since found out. This baby is THE BEST at clearing fur off the beds and sofas (and trust me there will be A LOT of fur on your beds and sofas). The amount of fur we get in this thing off our surfaces on a daily basis is nothing short of scary. Do take note a normal handheld vacuum will NOT work for this. You need really strong suction to clean fast and effectively. Plus the brush head on the V6 really helps dislodge the fur as well.
It’s snowing…. Fur.
Truth be told I haven’t really figured this one out yet. Other than the surfaces and floors there will be wisps of fur floating around the house. Eventually it will settle and become the tumbleweeds I was mentioning about but there will always be new fur taking its place. I’m thinking an air purifier might work but it’s not cheap to keep running day after day and the refills are expensive as well. This is actually a major problem for people with breathing and respiratory problems.
For now this is what I’d recommend:
1) Find a cheap but decent air purifier.
It doesn’t necessarily have to filter PM 2.5 particles unless you need it for haze as well. Generally the smaller the particles a purifier can filter the higher the cost of running it as well since more power is needed to pump the air through the filter. For price analysis remember to factor in not just the purifier cost but the refill cost as well.
2) Run it every other day…
…in the rooms your cats go to. For best results, ensure the room is enclosed and leave the purifier running for at least 2-3 hours.
3) Ensure ventilation
Make sure the rooms are well aired and there’s a constant ventilation flow in and out of windows and doors.
Have a fur free zone.
This isn’t relevant to those of you who want to sleep and snuggle with your cat and breathe in its fur all night long. This is for people like me who need their own little refuge to retreat to when they feel their lungs getting clogged up. Designating my bedroom as a fur free zone has worked wonders for my sanity. When we first had them we allowed them to roam everywhere. However I was personally starting to get very angsty over having fur literally everywhere in the house. We decided that our bedroom would be a fur free area and made it off limited to the cats. My mental stability has since improved tremendously knowing there’s a room I can retreat to which is (relatively) fur-free. =D
So there it is. 5 things I’m currently using to manage fur in the house. Hope this was helpful. And here’s 1 more before I sign off: Keep some surgical / N95 masks in the house. You never know when a guest might be allergic to cat fur. =)