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Can I Vacuum My Cat? (To Remove Pests and Excess Hair)

Can I Vacuum My Cat? (To Remove Pests and Excess Hair)

The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.

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If you own a feline pet, chances are you’d do anything and everything within your power to make sure they’re healthy, safe, and happy.

Besides providing your cat with quality food and fun toys, you also need to groom them as well as protect them from diseases caused by insects and parasites such as fleas and ticks.

On their mission of removing excess shed hair and getting rid of pests, some pet owners resort to vacuums. This brings us to today’s question: can I vacuum my cat?

You may be thinking that the idea is a bit extreme or you may be curious to try it, after all, those who did it swear by it.

Either way, today we’re discussing the possibility of vacuuming a cat, whether it can benefit your fluffy pet, or if it’s going to result in problems.

If you do decide to give this grooming method a go, we’re also sharing a guide on how you can help your cat get used to the vacuum so you can achieve better results.

Can I Vacuum My Cat?

In short, the answer is yes. Technically, you can vacuum your cat if that’s something you want to try.

However, you need to make sure that the process doesn’t cause any distress or harm to your cat. This means using a suitable power setting and the proper vacuum attachment to get the job done as smoothly as possible.

That said, the reality of whether or not you can vacuum your cat depends on how they respond to the action. If your cat is chill with the idea, then you probably won’t come across any issues. If your cat is scared of the vacuum cleaner, you may not be able to do it.

How to Vacuum a Cat

Just because you can vacuum your cat, doesn’t mean you can just plug in your machine and start sucking off excess fur and whatever pests that may be lingering in your pet’s coat.

As we mentioned above, you need to use the right attachment to get the job done calmly and effectively. In this case, you need a hose attachment for vacuuming your cat.

If your vacuum cleaner already comes with one of those attachments, then you’re all set to start vacuuming your feline pet. This will help you easily pick up excess hairs and/or eliminate fleas.

Some cat owners do this as a simple grooming solution for their long-haired pets. So if you got a cat that sheds a lot, then this method can save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to grooming and cleaning up.

In addition to using a hose attachment, you should also make the experience positive for your cat so they don’t act out while. If your feline pet doesn’t “approve” of what’s happening, it’s going to react poorly.

This reaction can be as simple as running away or as dramatic as clawing or biting you. It ultimately depends on the temperament of the cat -which differs from one cat to another-, but it’s not something you want to deal with anyway.

Limitations of Using a Vacuum on Your Cat

Using a vacuum on a cat can be a good solution to remove excess fur and get rid of pests such as fleas and ticks. However, the whole idea can go down the drain if the cat in question isn’t on board.

The main limitation of vacuuming your cat is fear. If you don’t already know, a lot of cats are naturally scared of vacuum cleaners due to their loud noise.

Now, imagine trying to put it on their bodies. Yeah — not a pretty sight!

If your feline pet is afraid of the vacuum cleaner, it’s going to want to stay away from the machine. The same things will probably happen with dogs.

Granted, not all cats are terrified of vacuum cleaners, and there are ways you can help cats get over their fear. If you can get your cat used to the sound of the vacuum cleaners, you’re more likely to succeed in your mission.

How to Help Your Cat Overcome Vacuum Fear

When trying to help your cat to overcome vacuum fear, you need to consider your pet’s age as follows before implementing the desensitizing technique:

  • Kitten — if your cat is still a kitten, you can go ahead and begin desensitizing them to the presence and noise of the vacuum cleaner by gradual exposure.

This will significantly improve the likelihood of your cat growing up into an adult that doesn’t demonstrate negative reactions out of fear of vacuum cleaners whenever you whip out your machine.

  • Adult — if your cat is already an adult that’s afraid of the vacuum, desensitizing them to the machine can still work but they may always react to it with a certain level of concern whenever they’re too close to it.

For you to vacuum such a cat, you don’t have to reach the point of total disturbance with the desensitization process. It’s enough that you get to a point where your cat isn’t too anxious to be close to the vacuum.

Step 1

The first step of desensitization is simply that you leave your vacuum cleaner out of the cleaning closet or wherever you usually keep it. The goal here is to let the machine sit around the cat where they can see it.

If your feline pet is an adult, then the mere presence of the vacuum nearby will be scary enough for a start. Reward your cat with treats or toys for staying in the same room as the vacuum, for walking by it, for approaching it, and for sniffing it.

Continue to leave the vacuum out for a few days in a row in the same spot. After that, move the vacuum to another room that the cat frequents but not to your pet’s “special spots”. For example, the litter box or where the cat eats and sleeps.

Don’t forget to keep rewarding your furry pal for not responding negatively to the vacuum’s presence.

Step 2

Now, you can move on to turning on the vacuum cleaner in a different room than where your cat currently is. Preferably, leave the vacuum running in that room while you stay with your cat in the room they’re in to soothe and reward them for not panicking to the sound.

This way, you’ll help your cat get accustomed to the noise but at a comfortable enough distance that doesn’t distress them too much.

Step 3

The final step of the desensitization process involves taking the vacuum out and letting it sit in the same room as the cat for a short while before turning it on.

This gives your cat a notice of the vacuum so they can expect what’s about to happen.

Power up the machine with its face away from the cat. Run it for a short time and don’t forget to reward your cat when it stays in the same room.

Final Thougts

So, can I vacuum my cat? In short, the answer is yes. You can vacuum your cat if that’s something you want to try.

However, you need to make sure that the process doesn’t cause any distress or harm to your cat. This means using a suitable power setting and the proper vacuum attachment to get the job done as smoothly as possible