Covered in Cat Hair

It’s one thing to overcome the “cat lady” stereotype once you meet someone and they find out you have cats. But what if they can tell you have cats before they even meet you? A few years ago I was on an escalator with a girlfriend of mine when she pointed to the older woman ahead of us and said, “That’s going to be you.”

Catlady stereotype

The woman’s back, from beret to corduroys, was covered in light grey fuzz. It wasn’t mohair. She had cat(s). It wasn’t a good look and I knew immediately this was a fate I had to avoid at all costs. It was then that I committed myself to waging an aggressive battle against an unrelenting opponent with never-ending ammunitions. Cat hair.

If you step into my closet, you may think the light has gone out. Not so. It’s just that like most Manhattanites my closet is filled with dark color clothing – serving to give my opponent an added advantage. (As a side note, I’m convinced this dark attire is less a function of looking cool and more about concealing the city grime).

On any given morning you’re likely find me armed with a vacuum in one hand and a sticky roller in the other. I feel terrible about the environmental implications; I purchase those plastic rollers in bulk and have one in every room as well as at the office, and sometimes even in my handbag. My cats are subjected to vigorous brushings – sometimes against their will (it’s not pretty). I’ve even been known to pop into a FedEx to use their sticky label sleeves like a mitt to de-fur en route to a client meeting.

I wear my cat-hair-free black clothing like a badge of honor. The memory of the escalator-cat-lady keeps me strong in my never-ending battle. If you passed me on the street you would never know. Even my dry-cleaner was surprised to learn I have cat(s).

As for the furniture and men – well, that’s another blog posting all together.

This was originally written as a guest post on Gina K. Callaghan’s blog OldCatsRule (she authored “Close Encounters of the Feline Kind” for my blog in December).

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  • Great post over there! Just went and checked it out and left a comment. So true… 😉

  • Ihavecat

    Thanks for reading it and letting me know! Hope you come back to read some of my older posts. Your blog is so cute!

  • I just read your post and love it! I can totally identify of course. I stopped wearing black clothes a long time ago, and I believe this coincided with the arrival of my first cat. However I HAVE noticed that when in NYC, it is best to wear dark clothes because they DO get dirty as soon as one steps out. I usually keep a sticky roller in my purse as too. I NEVER let my cats into my closets and somehow, although they do shed quite a bit, you’d never know I have cats except when I wear my black trench (which attracts EVERY SINGLE dust particle it seems) and also for the fact that I end up mentioning them in practically every conversation! I’ll add your blog to my links and try visiting once in a while…
    ilana aka Smiler

    • Ihavecat

      THanks so much! I’m glad you stopped by! I really enjoy your blog because you are so honest and address topics many people fear addressing. I am quite a straight-shooter to, and I admire your courage! I will add your link too!
      PS _ My chubby cat PETEY (the scared one) is ALWAYS in my closet and I feel bad closing the door because I feel it’s his “safe” place! wah!

  • Love your latest post, T!

    I thought I was safe with Katie. A black and white kitty for a girl whose wardrobe rarely ventures outside of black and white.

    Doesn’t work that way. Katie is a master at distributing the white hair on the black clothes and the black hair on the white clothes.

    Forever in cat hair,
    (I’ve got Neil Diamond singing in my head…)

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks “Glogirly”!
      It’s amazing right? doesn’t matter what color the cat! LOL
      PS – still considering a blog posting perhaps? guest blogger?? hmmm???? 🙂

  • Happy birthday January 7th! Just read your comment on our blog, glad we gave you a birthday laugh!


  • Faythe R. Goldsmith

    Love your post!!! Since I have 3 black cats, 1 white w/black spots, and my boyfriend’s cat is dark grey tabby, I’ve switched from colors to black or grey…. works better for me, even though I too am armed with vacuum and lint rollers (in every room, and at Mike’s house, too). Ernie (my icon picture) is of course my most persistent (problem?), and it’s a standing joke with Mike and me that “Ernie goes with us everywhere” even though he never leaves my house. Mike’s car has Ernie all in it, my truck does, and I can roll my clothes before I leave the house, and I swear, Ernie has to kiss me bye before I can get out the door! 😀

    • Ihavecat

      i love it! the things we do! i have every hair removing contraption on the market it seems. though for furniture it still seems a damp rag works best (like my mom always said…!).
      thanks for dropping by, glad you like the post!
      THat’s nice that you get loves from Ernie when you leave!

  • haha that’s so cute. I only have one cat that sheds a lot. Jackie has very thick coat, but he doesn’t shed as much. After we finish brushing our cats, we use the same brush to brush off the hair adhered to our clothes. it works like a charm.

  • Zee

    I always wear black or dark clothes, It sorta influenced my decision to get a black & white cat, because I figured it would at least cut the threat in half, but before your know it, I ended up with 3 black & white cats! So I guess it sorta cancelled out..


    • Ihavecat

      Zee that figures! Best laid plans! It’s a non-stop battle that’s for sure!

  • Damp rags do work really well. I also have the rollers and other devices. I’m not impressed with the results from my hand vac (Dirt Devil). I’m afraid I like to wear black too, but my cats are all kinds of colors, so I don’t think it matters much.

    • Ihavecat

      Hi Scotti! Thanks for reading the post and taking the time to post a comment!

      I’ve never tried the Dirt Devil…i tried the Dust Buster and I didn’t like it….but I have been happy with my Shark – i’ve gone through 2 of them in the 5ish years I have had cats.

      Don’t disagree that a damp rag works well – esp on my micro suede sofa and winter coats.

      I hope you read some of my other posts and sign up for the I HAVE CAT email alerts!

  • Hey, which model of Shark hand-held vacuums are you raving about? We have 6 cats (down from 8–when 2 went with my daughter to her house) and an occasional dog visiting. I’d really love to know which one!!! THANKS–enjoy your Facebook entries!!!

    • Ihavecat

      Hi Laura, welcome to I HAVE CAT! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and to post a comment!

      This is the model I have. I use it for my wood floors/stairs in the corners etc and also my micro suede sofas. It’s $39 on Amazon.

      And thanks for the compliments/feedback! Hope you check out some of my older posts and sign up for the email updates!

  • Pingback: They Walk Among Us « I Have Cat()

  • The pictures of the shirt and pants looks just like mine when my ferrets are shedding. I am going to have to look into the shark vaccum and see how well it will do with ferret hair.

    • Ihavecat

      Oh yes! Check it out and let us know how it works out!

    • Ihavecat

      AmyJo, were you at BLOGPAWS too?!

  • Just like the elevator catlady, it’s not what’s on the front but what’s on the back that’s the problem, and I never look! I have no upholstery except the padded seats on my desk chairs, and I keep covers on those and most other seats. Coats go immediately in the closet, and nothing is left out for kitties to knead and nap in unless it’s destined for the laundry. Unlike most New Yorkers I wear fairly colorful clothing and lots of patterns, and this helps to disguise what I miss, but it’s there–a friend allergic to cats reacts to my winter coats as if they are…covered in cat hair.

    • Ihavecat

      Perhaps I should reconsider patterns…is black with grey pinstripes a pattern? LOL!

  • elaine lively

    oh yes, the hair!! did you hear how some people weave the cat hair into knitting yarn! and also i saw at a gallery an made of it ,ha!!!

  • elaine lively

    you missed the word artwork!!!!

    • Ihavecat

      I will have to look into the cat hair artwork…..might be a good way to put the hair from the furminator to work! LOL

  • Having a good supply of lint brushes is key if you’re on the down-low about having cats, but I say, wear your cat hair with pride! (and I should know since I run )!

    • Ihavecat

      Hi Robin! Thanks for visiting and commenting! Hope you don’t mind the post title 🙂
      You are the QUEEN of Covered In Cat hair of course!

  • gordon3764

    Try this. Petshops sell small packages of disposable cat hair remover. They are packaged like the small handy wipes, and are meant to groom your cat by stroking her with a wipe to remove excess hair.
    My black clothes were covered in cat hair even after washing. I threw one of those little wipes into the  dryer with the clothes. Voila! Cat hair was completely removed from the clothes. I haven’t tried this with dry clothes, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

    • I will have to try that! Unfortunately living in the city i have to pay $2bucks everytime i need to use the dryer so i try to keep it to a minimum!

  • Mary Ann

    I’ve tried just about everything. I have 2 cats and polyester blend slacks and they are covered in cat hair- tried, the lint roller, wet cloth, brushing, vacuuming. I just saw something on amazon that is made by 3m everyone is raving about. I posted to ask if it works on clothing not just apolstery.. It’s emabarrassing. I have it also all over my new black wool coat.