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For Those Hairy Situations

We’re always a little surprised when we get asked where’s the hair? You know, in reference to those four-legged kiddos of ours.  Whether we’re asked by readers or friends (and most recently, in the comments right here), we must admit that we think our solutions are pretty simple. And, dudes, we do have hair. We’re just like all other pet parents. But perhaps the short answer is this: we don’t ignore it. We don’t allow it to pile up, and quick 15 minute clean ups every other day are well worth the minimal effort. But you know we have the long, wordy answer for you, too.

We vacuum. The floors, of course… and the curtains. And, sometimes, the bed and the couch. We do the floors 4-5 times a week, and hit up the upholstery once a week. Remember, our home is small, so this is only a 5 minute task in our day. We absolutely scored in the luck department when we snagged a barely used Dyson Animal on Craigslist for $75 (!). Our good fortune doubled when the seller and Scott both sported Penguin ball caps (three cheers for Pittsburgh camaraderie!), which in turn lead to every attachment, spot cleaner, and spare part thrown in for free. (Tip: Flip your vacuum over and check on those bristles! Every now and then, we have to literally cut out the built-up fuzz and fluff that accumulates over time.)

We prevent hairy situations where we can. While the cats more or less have free reign, Jack’s a big, slobbery boy. He knows that furniture is off limits, which keeps the seat of our couch fur-free. (Read more about how we do it, right here.)

We lint roll for the quick in-betweens. Yes, we do separate ourselves from the vacuum for longer than a day at a time. If we notice a hair party on our stuff, we’ll roll. We roll where the kitties nest and where Jack sleeps. But most importantly, we roll where we sleep. Believe it or not, Scott is mildly allergic to cats, and a simple sticky roll goes a long way. Unless we find Miss Libby sleeping right on his pillow (in which case, we’ll swap pillows for the night), we’re generally problem free. And yeah, that’s a double-kitty-stretch-‘n-roll you’re seeing:

We Furminate. It’s true, the Furminator has changed. Our. Lives. If the thousands of 5-star Amazon reviews doesn’t do it for you (it’s what sucked us in), then hear us out. We love this brush so dang much, that every other brush in the world has become obsolete for us. Not only does it do the obvious job of clearing out the everyday loose fur and stubborn under coat, but we’ve noticed a tremendous difference in the amount of fur left around the casa. As in, there’s hardly a trace. And with every brushing, less time and effort is needed. Most importantly, the kids love it, and the kitty motors kick into overdrive during furmination. And while explaining the furminating-glory to a friend over drinks at a neighborhood bar (yeah, we’re that cool), the bouncer overheard, stepped in, and even he began raving alongside us. I mean, whoa. If I could marry the Furminator and take two husbands, I would. (Tip: There are many styles for your varying pets, but this guide can help.)

Our methods are simple but effective, but please don’t think our home is immune to hair, dust, and tumbling bunnies. We keep it in check, and we do what we can. Scott may even argue that I leave more of my own hair around the house than the kiddos shed in a month. That may or may not be true, but he does have a point (hey, I have a lot of hair!).

We spilled our so-called secrets, so what do you do? As much as we’re asked this question, we like to learn how others keep those hairy situations in check, too. Perhaps you know of the one, magical cure-all method that we haven’t heard of? Ooh, yeah.

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  • Two Pitties in the City6.20.11 - 9:34 AM

    This is one of our favorite topics, and it’s so funny we have some similar strategies. We love, love our Dyson. We also have a similar off-couch situation, and we started using a dry-sponge for random hairs on the couch. We also use fish-oil in the dogs’ food which helps keep their fur conditioned to eliminate the problem overall. It is funny how many people think owning pets means giving up any sense of style or cleanliness, but we have a white couch and most people don’t even realize we have dogs until Mr. B pops out of his tepee.ReplyCancel

  • Sara {House Bella}6.20.11 - 11:41 AM

    We have a Furminator and loooooooove it. I don’t know what I did pre-Furminator days. Seriously.ReplyCancel

  • Kim6.20.11 - 12:04 PM

    Two Pitties – to this day, that tepee kills me! I love it so!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah6.20.11 - 12:14 PM

    I’m fighting the fur and drool from my little girl, a Mastiff :)
    I am particularly interested in Jack’s collar. I wondered if you could share how thick it is and where you found it! I like to use a 2in collar but have rarely find them and always in black and sometimes with spikes and studs. I don’t want that for my baby, her name is Chloe Grace and she is pretty and sweet and not a biker! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Oh, we NEED a Furminator. Seriously, Ben’s uncle is a vet and has recommended it to us, but we’re too lazy to go get one. But, shedding the winter coat has started and we need to do something about it. Thanks for the tips!ReplyCancel

  • Kim6.20.11 - 12:24 PM

    Hi Sarah,

    We got Jack’s collar from this site:

    To be honest, the site is a little tough to navigate, but once we settled on a thick, leather collar, we couldn’t have been happier with our order! It’s the only collar he’s ever had that wasn’t stretched out, ripped, or fuzzed up in a week.

    My tip is to avoid the colored leather. As you can see, Jack has a kelly green veneer over leather, but it’s cracked off around the neck which drives me a little crazy. Just some advice: I would stick to a natural leather collar.

    It’s SO sturdy and aside from the green chipping, this collar should last a while! (He got it over a year ago).ReplyCancel

  • Jamie @ Vintage Hound6.20.11 - 12:40 PM

    Love your blog! We have the furminator but it doesn’t even matter. Our lab-hound mix drops hair like mad! When we first got him we also put office rolly chair flooring (not sure what to call it!) on our furniture but he was such a restless pup that he chewed it up and slept on the sofa anyways. Oh well!ReplyCancel

  • Wow! That’s some hardcore fur prevention! We have our Dyson too and keep most furniture covered with blankets or sheets when company isn’t around. Just throw those babies in the washer and it’s done. We try and do some brushing here and there but miss that mark more often than not.ReplyCancel

  • Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons6.20.11 - 1:18 PM

    I do all of these!!!!! =) and darling i’m swimming in fur! Silly persian mix kitty sheds buckets! Time for more furmination!! =)ReplyCancel

  • Cait @ Hernando House6.20.11 - 1:52 PM

    We might need to try the Furminator on Freckle-butt. For the most part we keep the hair at bay pretty well, but he is a shedding machine!ReplyCancel

  • kate6.20.11 - 4:34 PM

    Great tips! I’m dying to get a cat but my dear boyfriend is allergic. Maybe I can show him this post and talk him into it! Also – that double cat stretch picture is adorable!ReplyCancel

  • Amy Lynn6.20.11 - 6:10 PM

    We lint roll too …. but not just the hair, we literally lint roll the bunny-boy! :) It works fairly well, but there’s a lot of waste (i.e. at least 10 sheets per rolling) and we still have tumble-Pete’s roaming our floors. You may have talked us into the ferminator!ReplyCancel

  • Kim6.20.11 - 6:49 PM

    The furminator rocks our world. If you’re on the fence, you know what we think!ReplyCancel

  • Beth6.20.11 - 7:12 PM

    You have crazy good timing, we were just wanting to try out a new brush for our fuzzy kid. Got the Furminator this afternoon — that thing is amazing! I’m literally still in awe of it. A huge thanks for the advice from both me and our cat!ReplyCancel

  • Elisa6.21.11 - 1:00 PM

    Well written post! I’m actually waiting for a de-shedding brush to arrive in the mail and I cannot. wait. Although vacuuming is pretty obvious, I second the fact that you also need to clean the actually vacuum too!ReplyCancel

  • Aleksandra6.21.11 - 2:13 PM

    You have me feeling so messy! We are terrible at cleaning up pet hair. Sometimes before friends come over we have a brief out-of-body experience where we look around and think “oh God . . . are we THOSE PEOPLE??”
    Do you furminate dear Jack also, or just the cats?
    I’m going to go home and dust all my surfaces and vacuum the house tonight, thank you very much!ReplyCancel

  • Dale6.21.11 - 4:21 PM

    Your gray cat looks SO much like my Diva (don’t ask – she just IS one! LOL).

    I don’t have a special Dyson vacuum but maybe I need one. Roller stickies don’t do much for my two fur buckets, they’re inside kitties and so shed a great deal at the change of seasons when the landlord thinks it’s a hoot to turn on the radiators when its 70 degrees outside! (big whoop)

    I’m going to try the furminator because I was surprised as heck when I turned on the box fan last night, positioned it on the floor to blow towards the bed and woke up this morning to – – –
    ATTACK OF THE DUST BUNNIES! (sigh) Swiffer didn’t make a dent!ReplyCancel

  • Scott6.21.11 - 6:08 PM


    We do also use the Furminator on Jackson McDogg. He really loves and and it does a great job even on his short, tight fur. Having three furry house-mates, it was seriously about the best 20 bones we’ve spent! Hope this helps!ReplyCancel

  • Miss B.6.22.11 - 8:27 PM

    Is it weird to get excited about this topic? I just inherited two black silk 1930’s slipper chairs, I have two white dogs, it’s been tough. I found that when I am not using the vacuum, that a Swifter duster works really, really well. Go figure? I often buy the generic version and it makes me so happy to have a fur free abode.ReplyCancel

  • Kim6.22.11 - 9:18 PM

    Miss B, yes, we too use a generic Swiffer duster! A fur free abode = bliss.ReplyCancel

  • Megan@reFind6.23.11 - 2:28 PM

    OMG – We have the Furminator and love it!! Seriously, how can a brush change the world like it does. And for those of you that don’t have it and think that other brushes do the same thing – you are wrong.ReplyCancel

  • Aleksandra6.30.11 - 8:29 AM

    Kim & Scott:
    We broke down after this post and got the medium furminator for short-haired dogs. Stevie has nothing coming off her (probably because she is still growing a healthy coat after her past life of neglect, poor girl), but I furminated Chick and knitted two sweaters, a scarf, some mittens, and an afghan blanket out of the fur I got off that thin-coated pit bull. Amazing!

  • Kim6.30.11 - 8:57 AM

    Alex, this made me laugh out loud! We should combine your sweaters and scarves with the winter socks we’ve made from our kiddos! We’ll never be cold again.ReplyCancel

  • Chatelaine7.1.11 - 9:18 PM

    I love the furminator too! And the Dyson. I have 3 cats and couldn’t live without it.ReplyCancel

  • Serena11.23.11 - 10:21 AM

    Okay, I hoped over here from Young House Love and I’m loving your blog. As the proud owner of an 8month old rescued husky mix puppy, I feel like I’m swimming in fur! I have been looking into the Furminator based on your and your readers’ recommendations but I was wondering: where do you get replacement blades and how often do you need them? The only really negative reviews I found on Amazon where regarding the hassle and expense of replacement blades so I was curious what your experience was with them…ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.23.11 - 11:57 AM

      Hi Serena, to be totally honest, we haven’t had to purchase replacement blades yet. We use the same furminator on all 3 pets, and that blade is still going strong! Also, over time, we need to brush them less and less – the first furmination was the hairiest! Unfortunately, I’m unable to offer much help about the replacements, but we’ve had ours for more than half a year, and I don’t think we’ll be needing a new blade for quite a while.ReplyCancel

  • […] more info, you can read an in-depth discussion for our hairy situations, see our house tour or visit our pet portraiture shop. Thank you A and E for having us stop in! […]ReplyCancel

  • Hayley8.6.12 - 1:47 PM

    I can see keeping the animals off the seat cushions, but what about the cats and the back of the couch cushions? I cannot, for the life of me, keep my 1 (just 1) cat off them. I try to give her other places to lay, but she, being a typical female AND a cat, just will not listen! :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim8.6.12 - 2:34 PM

    Hi Hayley, we actually don’t mind the feline girls on the back of our couch cushions, but we do use the lint roller and/or vacuum those spots a couple times a week. By doing so, it doesn’t actually accumulate that much. Perhaps you can try laying down a scruffy blanket they don’t like?ReplyCancel

  • Linda8.30.12 - 6:53 PM

    Oh I will be checking into that Furminator tool! I have two dogs and a gray cat like yours. I have a very difficult time keeping up with all of the hair. Even my grandson comments on it and he is only seven. Thank you so much for sharing your tips with us.ReplyCancel

  • Anna11.1.12 - 2:59 AM

    Would you recommend the furminator if my medium haired cat doesn’t shed THAT much?ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.1.12 - 8:28 AM

      Hi Anna,

      Since any cats will need to be brushed from time to time, we don’t see why not! Just brush as necessary and for a shorter period of time. The Furminator helps that cats’ coats to look healthy and smooth!ReplyCancel

  • Zoe11.26.12 - 9:43 PM

    For lazy family like us. we have poddle :D hahaha!!
    Hi Kim and Scott!!!!
    New fan waving here from Malaysia :DReplyCancel

  • nerryna6.16.14 - 4:17 AM

    Hi guys!

    i came from cuckoo4design :). love your stories with the pets especially! particularly this post.
    just wondering if you could share with me your furminating strategies? i try to do it with my cats but they seem to have more fur flying about after that! so i am at loss.

    your furbabies are all adorable!ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.16.14 - 9:20 AM

      Thank you, happy you found us! To be honest, we haven’t noticed that issue. We take the girls outside (one at a time), and we brush them, making sure to catch the flying hair and putting it in a little bag before we toss it – that way we don’t get tumbleweeds of cat hair! Afterwards, they’re soft and happy, but we haven’t seen MORE fur afterwards. I wonder if the Furminator isn’t the ideal tool for your breeds? I do know that Furminator sells all different types of brushes, so perhaps you could find the one that works best?ReplyCancel

      • nerryna6.17.14 - 3:10 AM

        Thanks for the reply :). Will look at others too, then!ReplyCancel

  • […] reflect the “hairy” situations we have (and I’ve even written about it in more detail here and here), and over the years, we’ve learned what works for us vs. what doesn’t – no […]ReplyCancel

  • German Shepherd12.12.16 - 4:40 AM

    Thank you very much for sharing! Fur is also one of the problems of mine with pets. Gotta find Furminator immediately ^^ReplyCancel

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