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kitty korner :: my god, it's full of hair

aside from the questions about poop, the thing i get asked about most often when people find out how much of a crazy cat lady i am is how i deal with the hair. my answer is just that i deal with it. i vacuum a lot, i should buy stocks in companies that make those sticky rollers for clothes and i learn to deal with the fact that there is going to be some cat hair on me a lot of the time.

if cat hair is really going to bother you- if it's really going to be an irritant- then my advice is simple: don't get a cat. yes, there are hairless varieties [which are kind of awesome, because they feel like cuddling a hot water bottle when you hold them], but the fact is that having a cat is going to mess up your sh*t in some way and if the thought of hair is going to keep you awake at nights then it's a fair bet that there will be other things about cat ownership that you're not going to like. they're extremely clean animals, but no animal is supposed to be cleaner than us and you should see the way some people live.

things i wish i'd invented...
for those of you who can handle it, hair is an issue, but it's not the end of the world. there's no magic solution to dealing with it, you just have to make hair removal part of your regular routine. methods of cleaning it are pretty standard- vacuuming where you can, those ubiquitous lint rollers, even a damp cloth is great for getting hair off a rough surface [like a lot of textured furniture upholstery].

here are a few things i've learned about cat hair, some of which may help you, some of which may not. feel free to leave your own tips and tricks ::

1. have a brush or comb on hand. grooming your cat not only helps keep their fur healthy and mat-free, but it also allows you to control where more of the shedding takes place. a lot of dead hair will come off during the grooming process, which means it won't come off in the next half a dozen places your cat chooses to roll around.

THAT'S NOT ALL!



2. do not assume that short-haired cats are going to shed less than long-haired cats. a very long history of owning both has taught me that the only difference between the two varieties in terms of shedding is that one sheds longer hairs than the other.

3. be aware of changes in the amount of hair that your cats shed. of course, if it gets warmer, it makes sense that they'd shed more. [for years, arthur had two different fur lengths- one for the summer season, one for fall and winter. he's fashionable that way.] excessive shedding that doesn't seem to be related to the weather can be a sign of health problems or stress [like it can with you].

4. just petting your cats is an awesome way to groom them for all concerned.

5. laying on things or rubbing against things is one of the ways that cats get their scent on stuff that isn't just normally lying around like your clothes. so if you're in the habit of laying your clothes out when you're getting ready for work, or if you have nice piles of clean laundry you haven't put away yet, be aware that those are essentially large signs inviting your cats to make a deposit [hopefully hair]. you can either change your ways or just deal with it via the sticky roller.

this is really all the wisdom i have to impart. the fact is that cleaning up after a cat isn't really rocket science and there's no magic system for dealing with it. but the fact is that once you do own cats, the benefits of things like companionship and the entertainment value of watching them interact with their environment and each other are going to make the hair issues seem pretty minor. i promise.

Comments

Jen said…
I brush Boots but all in all, it is a losing battle. No matter how much I brush, he still loses lots of fur. At least I can tell where he lays down.
flora_mundi said…
I like to think of it as a way of learning to accept that which I cannot change and integrate it into my life. Makes it seem very Zen.

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