Monday, May 11, 2009

Dealing with cat hair

Mau grooming herself. I think she's using her claws to comb her hair, so no matting for her. I put in this picture for show 'coz she's lovable.

Cats are delightful. However, dealing with the hair they shed is not. There will be cat hair on the sofa, bed, desks, under the table, on your clothes. Heck, there will even be some strands on your plate when you sit down for dinner.

When I was a novice cat owner, I asked a friend how she deals with unwanted fur. “I love my cats, ergo, I love the hair they shed,” she chirped.

Of course, not everyone shares her view. Caressing a smooth, silky pelt is a joy, but picking off cat hair from your favorite black shirt is something else. Those lint removers are no help either, and no matter how much packaging or adhesive tapes you use, there will always be cat hair swirling, wafting, circulating in your home. Brushing your cat will not solve the problem, unless you strip her bald.

(A bald husband at home is ok, but cats have more dignity than humans.)

No matter how much you vacuum or sweep, the problem is perennial. Cat owners have learned to deal with the hair problem in their own ways. I stock up on packing tapes, having noticed that I pick up many more hair from my shirts/pants that way. In fact, I use those tapes to clean up the bed sheets, too, since a number of my cats would sometimes share the bed.

While combing or brushing will not solve the problem, it is important to groom kitty, even if you see her licking her coat endlessly. Brushing will help avoid mats, especially for long-haired cats.

Dr. Jon of has these tips on how to handle hair tangles:

Removing hair mats is fraught with potential complications. Many mats are firmly attached to the skin, so you must be extremely careful not to cut the skin as you cut off the mat. Many small mats can be removed with thorough brushing. If mats remain, try to make the mats smaller by brushing the hair near the mats.

Once you are sure that the mats can only be removed by cutting the hair, then go for the scissors. Clippers are the safest and best way to remove matted hair. Unfortunately, most people do not own clippers and must make do with scissors. Be very careful. For severely matted pets, it is easier and safer to see a groomer for professional help.

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