The Best Pet Hair Vacuum For Cleaning Up Cat Fur and Litter with Ratings & Reviews
It’s a make or break part of being a cat owner. The dreaded fur that seems to make its way onto and into everything.
There are the obvious places like sofas, bed linens, and carpets.
Then there are the not so obvious places, like bath tubs, dishware, and those champagne glasses your grandmother gave you that haven’t seen sunlight for five years.
That stuff has a tendency to get everywhere.
Because of this, the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair and cat litter is one of the most important parts of your cleaning routine.
But not just any vacuum will do the job. There are many different criteria that come into play to determine if the vacuum’s going to barely skim the surface of the sofa, or if it will be able to keep up with your three Maine Coons.
As it happens, not all vacuums are created equal. Especially not for the light, fluffy, and sometimes gravity-defying fur that accompanies our favorite four-legged friends.
Not to mention the constant battle of kitty litter versus every nook and cranny of your home.
But never fear. If you’re constantly losing the battle of cat hair versus your abode, you should consider one of these top ranked vacuums. They’ll allow you to clean faster, more efficiently, and allow for equal amounts of cat and home love.
From hand held, upright, and hybrids, to canister vs bagged, robots, and the ever-so-handy cordless vacuum. We’ve searched high and low for that purrfect cat hair and litter vacuum so you don’t have to.
- 1 Quick-Find Best-In-Category Table
- 2 Our Reviews Of The Best Vacuum For Pet Hair and Litter
- 2.1 #1. Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cord-Free Stick Vacuum – Best Overall Vacuum for Cat Litter & Hair (EDITOR’S CHOICE)
- 2.2 #2. Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum – Most Lightweight Upright Vacuum (Runner Up Best Overall)
- 2.3 #3. Shark Ninja Upright & Canister TruePet Vacuum – Best Mid-Level Option for Pet Hair
- 2.4 #4. Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum Cleaner – Best Canister Vacuum for Pet Hair
- 2.5 #5. iRobot Roomba 960 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum – Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair
- 2.6 #6. Pure Clean Automatic Robot Vacuum – Best Cheap Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair
- 2.7 #7. Shark Rocket TruePet Ultra-Light Upright Vacuum
- 2.8 #8. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser® Turbo Plus Vacuum Cleaner – An OK Vacuum for Pet Allergies
- 3 Conclusion
- 4 Extra Tips For Keeping Your House Cat Hair-Free
Quick-Find Best-In-Category Table
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When choosing the best vacuum for the pet hair in your life, it’s important to note your lifestyle and top criteria.
Are you a multi-cat household? How much does your cat shed? Do you have other pets in the home contributing to the mess? Do you live in an apartment and your storage is minimal? Is litter your main point of concern?
The answers to these questions will help guide you to the best option for your home and your budget.
If you’re a multi-pet household and your vacuum gets a lot of use throughout the week, it’s probably best to splurge and get something that gets the job done quickly and effectively.
If you’re a one cat owner and your furry friend’s shedding is on the minimal side, you can probably get away with a sturdy machine that doesn’t require all the bells and whistles.
When you’re looking at our reviews and rankings below, remember that we compared vacuums based on these criteria:
- Type of vacuum cleaner
- Suction power
- HEPA filtration
- Deep clean capabilities
Happy shopping, y’all!
Our Reviews Of The Best Vacuum For Pet Hair and Litter
You can see our “best of the best vacuums” ratings above, with the two Dyson models outperforming the rest, but we’re going to break things down a bit further by category to help you find the perfect product.
#1. Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cord-Free Stick Vacuum – Best Overall Vacuum for Cat Litter & Hair (EDITOR’S CHOICE)
What can we say? This vacuum does it all.
Cordless, great suction power, lightweight, high-volume, and with every accessory a girl (or boy) could ever want.
It also just so happens to be one of the best rated vacuums for pet hair by just about everyone who uses it, and we can see why.
The Dyson Cyclone is one seriously equipped piece of machinery.
The torque driver cleaner head picks up 25% more dirt, dander, dust and pet hair than its predecessor, which was already a pretty great vacuum.
It is also – drum roll please – one of the few vacuum cleaners that we’ve ever found to be able to handle large debris as well as fine dust.
You know what that means, folks.
If you’re looking for the best vacuum for cat litter, you just found it.
Gone are the days of rolling over your hardwood floors to just have litter shot back at you with painfully strong force.
The cyclone delivers on its promise to pick up everything it comes into contact with.
And we’re just getting started.
Its dock doubles as its charging station, meaning once you hang it up after the job, it’ll charge until you use it next.
It also powers up insanely fast in case that issue every arises.
But it probably shouldn’t, as one battery life gets about 60 full minutes of vacuuming before it needs to recharge. You could clean the entire palace of Versailles with an hour of charge!
Well, that might be an exaggeration, but you get the point.
You know why else we love cordless vacuums?
Because not only can you clean your home, but you can clean your car with them, too. The Dyson Cyclone happens to come with special tools to help. So, if you’re someone who’s cat or dog loves to ride shotgun, this feature is a major selling point to get rid of cat or dog hair.
You can switch between three settings depending on your flooring as well as many different attachments, brushes, and roller heads to tackle every surface under the sun.
It’s also potentially the quietest vacuum on the market and comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Cordless vacuum
- Best for cat litter & large debris
- Good for allergies
- Best stick vacuum
- HEPA filtration
- Needs to be emptied often
This is the meanest and leanest cat hair sucker-upper on the market, and you should buy it.
When it comes to vacuum cleaners, Dyson is synonymous with a good product that lasts (they take up our top 2 spots, so uh, yeah).
it should come as no surprise that it’s often a first choice for pet owners that are looking for something that can keep up with their busy lives and growing families.
And if the compact, cordless, stick vacuum above doesn’t quite work for you, this is a fantastic option that’s a little bit more traditional.
A big draw to Dyson is the warranty that comes with the purchase. In a time of constantly changing and, let’s face it, quite unreliable technologies, the good reputation of a name brand goes a long way.
The Dyson Ball is a small but mighty vacuum.
As a lightweight contender, its easy mobility and small stature makes it great for apartments and small abodes.
One of its shortcomings, however, is that it doesn’t do stairs well, so multi-level home owners beware.
If you’re in search of a vacuum that can tackle the more awkward carpeted corners of your home, this is something you should take note of.
Otherwise, this upright vacuum is a top choice for those looking for something to handle deep cleaning of the whole house.
There’s nothing more frustrating than having to take a dozen passes on the same spot to get everything up. The Dyson Ball does a good job of getting everything on the first go, even on hardwood floors, tile, vinyl, carpet, or upholstery.
Comparable in weight and stature to the Shark Rotator NV752 Powered Lift-Away Vacuum but with the added bonus of the warranty, it’s a safe bet you will get a solid 5 years, if not more, out your purchase.
- Great warranty
- Deep clean capabilities
- Not great for stairs
Excellent suction power and fairly easy to maneuver (though not on stairs) makes this a great option if you’re looking for a bit more heavy duty power to suck up those pesky cat hairs.
The Shark Ninja TruePet Vacuum packs a lot of punch for a mid-level model.
Its intended use, as the name would suggest, is to pick up pet hair. And the vacuum delivers.
As a semi-bulky upright (though the ability to remove the canister from the brush makes it easy to carry around), it has surprising maneuverability which allows for you to get into most of the nooks and crannies that pet hairs have a tendency to settle into.
The lift away pod with the brush roll does help and makes it great for sucking up pesky hairs from upholstery and linens.
With a removable canister, this bagless vacuum cleaner holds quite a bit of fuzz and hair which means you can get more use out of one go without frequent trips to the trashcan.
Yet, as with all bag less versions, it does mean you run the risk of spilling the contents as you empty it.
However, the vacuum’s anti-allergen complete seal technology does help make up for this. If you’re one of the many pet owners who braves your allergies for the love of your furry buddies, the anti-allergen seal is a pretty good selling factor and works well to keep the allergens IN the vacuum, thanks to a HEPA filter.
The mini-motorized brush attachment allows for extra attention to those hard to tackle areas. We all know the struggle of trying to extract every last bit of hair from the cushions of couches, corners of carpets, and that fabulous vintage velvet mid-century chair you just had to buy.
The extra touch of the motorized brush attachment can tackle even the finest of cat hair, making it a pet parents’ best friend if your cleanliness matters to you as much as your cats do.
If you can’t train your cat to not take 20-hour naps on your sofa, it’s these extra touches in vacuums that can mean you get to love your pet without resent.
All in all, the Shark Ninja is an easy contender for best vacuums for pet hair. With tons of functionality and a bunch of power, this vacuum is a good option for cat lovers that you are looking for something that will keep up with their lives and their pets for years to come.
- TruePet motorized brush great for upholstery
- Great suction power
- Anti-allergen complete seal technology
- Bagless canister can be messy
I actually have a Shark vacuum, so I may be biased here, but this is definitely the best option if you can’t afford the Dyson we recommended above. The Dyson does the best job, but the Shark is the best compromise between price and usefulness.
A throwback to the early days of the vacuum, the canister style has mostly been replaced by upright versions. But there’s something to be said about the power that can be packed into this design, making it a great option for pet owners looking to tackle big jobs.
If you’re a multi-cat and/or dog owner, this is the best canister vacuum for pet hair.
At 32 lbs., it’s a solid 26 lbs. heavier than our lightest contender. However, what you get with that extra weight is a whole lot more vacuum and the kind of state-of-art technology of a luxury item.
For example, the company’s 20-year warranty shows that it makes products to last. You wouldn’t offer something like that if there was a very small likelihood that something would break or malfunction. Kudos to Miele for that.
As the name would suggest, the Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum was built for pet owners. This is especially apparent from handy accessories like the electro plus brush and the mini turbo brush.
And while most pet-centered vacuums come with similar attachments, you can tell the quality is built to last. You can also upgrade to the Performance Pack for a bit more and get gobs more goodies to help you tackle even the worst pet hair or cat litter situations.
An added bonus of this canister vacuum is the AirClean sealed HEPA filter system structure that not only helps with those all but pleasant pet smells but is a serious defense against allergens and asthma-inducing dust, particles and dander.
Its particular strength comes in if you have a home with a lot of carpet and/or rugs. You would be amazed at how much pet hair this sucker pulls out, pun intended.
Plus, if you upgrade to the performance pack, you get a lovely little tool called the SEB-228 Powerhead that not only helps with deep cleaning but can also fix carpet nap on tons of different kinds of carpet.
If you’re a pet owner, you know carpet nap. From frequent sleep spots to those spontaneous pet messes, carpet and rugs have a tendency to get matted when you’re a pet owner.
- Deep clean capabilities
- 20-year warranty
- Great for cat litter
- AirClean great for odors and allergies
- Our heaviest option at 32 lbs.
- Less maneuverability
- Difficult to take up and down stairs
Overall, the Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum Cleaner is a very trustworthy purchase if you have a bigger budget and the muscle for the old-fashioned style. The 20-year warranty is enough to sell most vacuum shoppers on the longevity of its life.
As the first robot vacuum on the market, the iRobot Roomba was a game changer for many pet owners.
Gone are the days of actually having to physically vacuum your space in search of every last pet hair. The Roomba’s smart technology is able to efficiently navigate itself around your home, returning to the docking station on its own and resuming when its regained charge to finish the job.
It isn’t a perfect piece of machinery and some owners complain about some of its not-so-smart technology hang-ups like getting stuck under furniture. However, its flaws are greatly overpowered by its positives, making it the best robot vacuum for pet hair.
The iRobot Roomba i7 Wi-Fi Connected robot vacuum is one of the company’s most recent models and comes equipped with every extra a pet owner could want.
From the high efficiency filter that helps tackle allergens to the powerful suction and edge-sweeping brush, it cleans up hair, dust and cat litter incredibly well.
But then there’s also all the fancy accoutrements like the Wi-Fi compatibility, auto-adjust cleaning head and smart navigation that pretty much means once you set it up, the only thing you’ll have to do is empty out all the fun stuff it collects.
On top of all of the amazing functionality and technology, one of our favorite features is how well this robot vacuum cleans up litter. Cat owners rejoice!
Probably the biggest flaw of the Roomba is the fact that you can’t clean upholstery with it. These vacuums are designed specifically for all types of floors.
However, you can simply purchase a decent quality handheld vacuum to tackle any of the places the robot vacuum can’t.
There are also the horror stories you hear about what happens when one of these little puppies picks up something it shouldn’t have. We won’t get too graphic but let’s just say it begins with a P and rhymes with loop.
All in all, the iRoomba i7 offer a hands-free cleaning option for the pet owners that want to spend time and energy wisely AKA more time cuddling cats and less time wrangling vacuum cleaners.
The price can vary quite a lot but keep in mind that the more money you spend, the more cat hair friendly features you get.
- Great for fur and cat litter
- Wi-Fi & Alexa compatible
- Impressive suction power
- Not a great option for multi-level homes
- Additional vacuum needed for stairs and upholstery
Upgrading to this version or a similar model will lend itself to longevity and no purchase regret which are key factors when you want something to stick around for years to come. The best robot model we found.
Yes, it’s a robot. Yes, it has the capability to maneuver around your house and suck up the cat hair, dander, dirt and fuzz that linger on your floors on the daily.
But that’s about all it can do. And to be totally frank, it doesn’t do it all that well.
Well, I guess that isn’t totally fair.
It does vacuum things.
But only if you want to take the time daily to remove all your rugs, mats, cords, cat toys, and other miscellaneous objects. Then, this vacuum might just be the bargain you’ve been looking for.
However, we all know that just isn’t reality. Even if you consider yourself a clean freak and your home is clutter free, there’s still a high chance you own some awkward furniture or leave a shoe laying around every now and again.
What makes the smart technology of robot vacuums so convenient is their ability to read surroundings and get themselves out of the trickiest of situations. Some of these things can even climb stairs.
And sure, the high-end ones will tend to get themselves into trouble every now and again. For the most part, they are equipped to handle the daily clutter and awkward angles modern furniture presents.
Ultimately, the Pure Clean is missing the fundamental skills that make robot vacuum cleaners attractive for buyers looking for a hands-off way to manage cat hair, dander, allergens and litter.
The Pure Clean Robot product description even states that the little guy isn’t the best at tackling flooring that isn’t a hard floor or low-pile carpet.
So, if you have anything other than those in your home, which most of us do, then opt for a robot vacuum that can accommodate your home and its furnishings.
- Good for small apartments with hardwood or vinyl flooring
- Good suction for for pet hair
- Bad suction for pet litter
- Does not maneuver obstacles well
- Not rug friendly
It’s not great if you have a lot of different types of flooring in your home, but if you have basic hardwood and just need a regular clean throughout the day, it’s a decent option for a really good price.
On the surface, the Shark Rocket TruePet Ultra-Light Upright Vacuum has everything you need as a pet owner.
It’s light and small which means it fits just about everywhere. Seriously, this stick vacuum impresses with how well it can maneuver around your buffet or coffee table.
It comes with some fancy extra gadgets that help you vacuum places and things other than floors, and it packs up small so you can store it away in cluttered or tiny spaces.
It has all of these admirable features but ultimately it lacks the most basic function cat owners need: super suction.
With two different settings, one for hard floors and one for carpet, you’ll find that you have to use the carpet feature to thoroughly clean your whole home. Especially if you have flooring with cracks and crevices where hair, litter and other unmentionables have a tendency to settle.
The other key feature to take into account with this vacuum is longevity. If you’re going to drop up to a couple hundred bucks on a vacuum that you’ll get use out of for a whopping 18 months before the motor burns out, then you might as well opt for a more expensive one that’ll last 5+ years.
That’s not to say it’s definitely doing to fail, it’s just that we found a few more reports of this than we’re totally comfortable with.
Customer product reviews say the Shark Rocket notoriously dies after a short amount of time.
For me, this is a deal breaker with any appliance.
In a day and age of sketchy and unreliable electronics, it’s important to pay attention to warranties and product reviews that suggest a sturdy product. Otherwise, what’s the point?
- Good for quick pick ups
- Super lightweight
- Not very powerful
- Bad at vacuuming litter
- Short lifespan
A good vacuum at a good price, it just lacks that extra suction that would have made it great. It also may not have the longevity you’re looking for.
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus includes a lot of the frills you might need to tackle your pet-filled home.
Probably its biggest pet-focused feature is the Smartseal Allergen System with Febreze that not only helps pick up and lock away pet odors, but replaces them with the light and clean scent of the popular home fragrance.
Now, this may be a big draw for some, but to be honest, you might consider it to be one of the vacuums greatest weaknesses.
With many households moving toward more organic cleaning products, the days of Febreze scented homes is more college dorm circa 2004 than a modern selling feature.
As for everything else, the packaging may woo you with tangle-free brush rolls, hands-free empty, LED Lighted crevice tools a 2-in-1 pet dusting brush.
Buuuut, don’t be fooled.
Most of these fancy sounding features are just “hype” names for standard features that come with just about every vacuum these days – pet related or not.
Let’s take the hands-free empty for instance.
Yes, it may be nice to never have to touch the dust and dirt filled gunk that your vacuum pulls up on the daily. Especially when it isn’t just dirt and gunk. We’ve all been there.
But that fancy feature isn’t enough to sell the whole machine, and in fact, is quite common for many bag less vacuums from brands like Dyson and Shark.
Neither are the “specialized pet tools” like the LED Lighted Crevice Tool, TurboEraser or the 2-in-1 Pet Dusting Brush. These fancy-sounding doodads are, again, pretty common attachments that most vacuums come with these days.
The one that probably confuses the most is the LED Lighted Crevice tool.
I think most pet owners would honestly say that the pet hair that covers their home is better off unseen than seen. Do you really want to know what’s lurking in the corners or under your furniture? Probably not. You know it’s there, you know you have to vacuum and that’s that. Plus, if you can actually see it, it takes half the fun out of when you hear that big “gulp” sound.
At 18 lbs., this vacuum is on the heavier side but is surprisingly easy to maneuver around furniture, litter boxes and up and down stairs.
Plus, Bissell isn’t exactly a name to scoff at when looking to purchase appliances and electronics for your home.
- Good at absorbing odors
- Smartseal great for allergies
- 2-in-1 pet dusting brush good for fine cat hair
- Febreze scent can be overkill
- Mediocre suction
Overall, the Powerglide Lift Off Pet Plus’s suction capabilities were underwhelming and you’d be better off spending a bit more for another option.
With so many different types of vacuums cleaners, purchasing the right one for your household can be a tad intimidating.
As one of the most important appliances in your home, it better live up to the job you bought it for – cleaning up all the cat hair, dander, litter and other unmentionables your four-legged friends create.
And more than that, it better continue to do so for as long as possible.
In a time of unreliable technology, household investment take a lot of research and research takes time and time is of the essence. So, we’ve done all the dirty work for you so you, your pets and your vacuum can live happily ever after.
Our biggest takeaways from this project were that you do in fact get more when you spend more.
We recommend expanding your budget as much as possible to ensure you purchase a vacuum that not only has all the features you need to keep up with your pets but also that it does it for years to come. You can still get a quality vacuum with a smaller budget, but research suggests that the less you spend, the fewer years it’ll last you.
Extra Tips For Keeping Your House Cat Hair-Free
If your cat sheds a lot, it could be their nature or a sign that their overall health is off (some cats are just naturally shedders, while others hardly shed). Trying different methods like frequent grooming, supplements and diet changes can help reduce the amount of fur that goes onto your floors, furniture and clothes.
Here’s what we recommend:
- Regular grooming with a good quality brush like a Furminator will take you a long way in your struggle with pet hair. Cat doesn’t like brushes? Try the gloves.
- Rub-a-dub-dub get that cat in the tub. Yes, it’s true that cats notoriously don’t like water. But if you can start young, a bath once a month can greatly reduce excess fur.
- Using certain sprays to keep cats off of your furniture has been known to help some owners. We recommend trying a natural one to reduce chance of irritation.
- Diet and health play the biggest role in feline shedding habits. Most kibble is high in carbs like corn, soy and wheat so adding protein to your cat’s food can help improve coat health, so they shed less.
- Adding supplements like Omega-3’s or shedding-focused daily vitamins to their diet can help reduce the amount and frequency of hair loss.
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