If you’ve got a cat, then you’ve got cat hair. It’s unavoidable…kind of like taxes, and death.
Cat hair gets into corners, burrows down into carpet fibers, and sticks to the upholstery on your furniture. Oh and don’t forget the lovely feeling when you put down your clean laundry in a pile of cat hair, and you go to work with more fur on you than your actual cat has.
No matter whether you live with a short-haired Mau or fluffy Persian, their hair manages to get bloody EVERYWHERE.
So what’s a pet parent to do?
Well other than demanding your cat clean up after himself (riiiiight), the first step to tackling this cat hair overwhelm is to get the best vacuum for cat hair you can find.
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Getting Rid of Cat Hair at Home
There is no way to get around frequent vacuuming at home if you’ve got a cat – and we’ll help you pick out the best vacuum for cat hair in a minute – but first, here are some tricks that will help make your battle with cat hair a winning one.
Cat hair sticks to all surfaces, even the hardwood floor or glass on your furniture and windows. Microfiber cloths that are made slightly moist with your favorite cleaning liquid act like a magnet for cat hair. Don’t let it get too wet, and make sure that you are changing it out often so that you are not just spreading cat hair from one surface to the next.
The same practice can be used on your hard surface floors. A Swiffer Sweeper is really great for getting cat hair off of a hard floor, and is not an expensive investment. The handle pivots to let you get into corners and other tight spots where cat hair loves to settle, and the pads pick up cat hair easily along with everything else.
The last step of cleaning your upholstered furniture is to use one of the vacuums we recommend below, but you should do some pre-cleaning first.
Run a damp rubber glove or squeegee over the surface first so that you loosen any hairs that have become embedded in the fabric. This will make a big difference in how much fur you are able to pull out when it comes time to vacuum.
Use a vacuum first on any blankets or beds that your cat spends their time on before you throw them into the washing machine. They should also be washed separately to avoid transference to your other laundry.
Make sure that when you are finished, you wipe down the sides of the washing machine canister with a damp cloth to pick up the hairs that were left behind. Don’t forget to empty the lint basket in your dryer afterward as well!
Cat hair also gets on your clothes and can be very troublesome to get out. Put them through a 10-minute dryer cycle first without any heat to loosen the hairs out of the fabric.
When washing, a half cup of white vinegar will relax the fibers in your clothes, making it easier for the hairs to disengage from them.
When put back into the dryer to dry this time, don’t forget to add a dryer sheet to cut down on static cling and the affinity for cat hair to just throw itself back onto your favorite sweater.
The Best Vacuums For Pet Hair Rated
- Removes 99.9% of dust and allergens
- Brush roll shutoff
- Hands-off cleaning
- Automatic docking and recharge
- Scheduling options
- Hard-Floor cleaning
- V-shape for under and around corners
- Purchase supports BISSELL Pet Foundation
- Powerful suction
- Good cleaning on first pass
- Easy empty dirt tank
Reviews Of The Best Vacuums for Cat Hair
Once you are satisfied that you have gotten as much of the cat hair loosened and removed as possible, it’s time to pull out the big guns.
The type of vacuum you use really will make a difference in how well all of it is taken out from your rugs, carpeting, and furniture.
Out of about a million possible options, we’ve chosen those that will help you keep your home clean. The top couple of picks are the best of the best, but we also wanted to give you a couple more budget-friendly options that will still get the job done, plus a fun (and super convenient) robot option. Here are our reviews!
#1. Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (EDITOR’S CHOICE)
This bad boy is our top pick, and actually seems to outperform some more expensive and “fancy” vacuums.
In fact, we’ve found a lot of people have ditched their fancy vacuums for this one. While it’s not as cheap as a unit you’d pick up on sale at Walmart, it’s not ridiculously expensive, either.
This has got a ton of cool features, but the most important one is that it actually cleans up the hair and dander (and all the other usual stuff like dust). It just works, you know?
You may think your house is pretty clean before you get this. But after using this Shark, you will think, “Oh my goodness I’ve been living in dirt for years.”
Not only does it pick up pretty much every single hair, but it can literally make your carpet look new, which is to say that it may return it to its natural, non-dust-covered color, which just makes the bits of your carpet you haven’t yet vacuumed, look sad and dirty.
So while it may gross you out at first, it’s a testament to just how powerful this thing is.
It works equally as well on hard floor surfaces like hardwood or linoleum.
Helpfully for pet owners, the HEPA filter and anti-allergen technology will lock all of the dander and potential allergens inside the vacuum, so you’re not just stirring it up into the air.
It’s light and versatile. Not only is the whole unit just 13 or 14 pounds, but you can remove the suction part and carry it around to use with the handheld wand attachment thing. Super useful so you’re not dragging the thing around into small spaces.
Specifically for pets, it has a Pet Hair Power brush, though in many cases just vacuuming furniture and whatnot with the entire vacuum is doable and works even better. However, if you have small spaces or really need to focus on one bad spot, it’s like a smaller attachment with a brush that helps bring up all the trapped hair.
For anyone, this is a fantastic option, but time and again, I’m amazed at how well it gets all of the gross out of the house, across multiple floor types, and with multiple cats.
Absolutely recommended, and our top pick.
#2. iRobot Roomba 650 Vacuum (Best Robot Vacuum For Cat Litter & Fur)
Ok, so it can be easy to think that this is just a gimmick.
It is a robot vacuum after all.
However, you shouldn’t dismiss it just yet. It’s actually a fantastic way of keeping up with your kitty’s shedding.
Instead of pulling out the vacuum every few days or once a week (or whatever your schedule is like), you can just schedule the Roomba to run continuously when you’re not there, meaning the mess will never be able to get too out of control.
And it actually does a good job at cleaning it up, too.
The features on this thing are basically endless, you’ve got the smart navigation that makes sure it gets the whole floor, automatic recharging (it’ll go back to its dock when it senses it’s low on battery), a sweeper brush to get along the baseboard and any other wall-type area that the circular Roomba wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach, “Dirt Detect” sensors to get those really dirty spots…I mean it is pretty amazing.
But again, what we want here is a solution to get the fur off our floors, and somewhat surprisingly, it works great.
I think the only thing to worry about is if your pet is often sick or sometimes does his business outside of the litter box. There are horror stories of the robot going through a nice, wet pile of sick or poop, and smearing it everywhere. Pretty hilarious to read about, but absolutely horrifying if you’re the one who has to clean up that mess.
I also thought it would be too small and not powerful enough, but it ended up having enough power to get most of the fur off of multiple floor types, so I am pretty happy to recommend it as a more hands-off solution.
#3. BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Despite the unusual design, this is a decent option if you don’t want to spend as much on a vacuum, but still want a decent option.
The V-shaped suction head design allows you to approach things like chair legs, pet food bowls, wall corners, and more without needing to make two passes like you would with a normal-shaped vacuum.
It’s, therefore, a bit more efficient, and actually seems to direct the bigger debris into the center, where it’s got a stronger suction, and the outer edges pick up finer particles like dust.
It’s hard to say that the design actually makes it a more useful machine, as I’m not sure I’d even notice having to change the path of my normal device in order to work around a corner or a chair leg or whatever. But it might help you out a bit if you are dealing with the areas around food bowls and litter boxes that you don’t really want to move or disturb. You may be better able to work around these things without bumping into them with this unique design.
It’s not quite as high quality as some of the more expensive options, but I guess that’s something you just have to assume. It generally sucks things up well, but longevity is not entirely guaranteed.
I’m kind of in the middle on this one. Works just fine, great for pets, nothing all that special, but might run into problems over the long run (but might not). So yeah, if the convenience of the design appeals to you and you’re looking for a budget vac, definitely a decent model!
#4. Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless Vacuum with OnePass
This is literally the best-selling vacuum on Amazon a lot of the time.
It’s another budget-friendly option, and overall just a really functional machine. And since it’s the best selling one, we wanted to have a look to see what the fuss was about.
It’s really fine, honestly, and I like that it has the usual “mode”, where you just vacuum normally, but that you can also remove the hose on the back to get into harder-to-reach places. Plus the hose attaches to a small tool that is useful for cleaning things like stairs and cushions and furniture.
It deals with most pet hair just fine but is better at picking it up on a carpeted floor surface than it is on a harder floor. On a carpet, the suction is really impressive, actually, but it wasn’t as good on a smoother floor.
The thing I’ve noticed about these cheaper vacuums is that some of them might work for years and years and people will sing their praises, but every one in ten people or so will get one and it will just not work. Either because it’s not very high quality, or because the basic design is impaired by sucking up some random thing or other, that renders it useless.
If you have lots of carpets, definitely worth a look, or if you need to stick to a budget it’s a good choice. Overall would definitely recommend the Shark at #1, though.