Life Lessons, resources, and random bits for rescue dogs, cats, bunnies, and their peeps

Friday, October 7, 2016

Fur-Busting: How To Keep Clothing Fur Free (Almost)

We are a multi-species household: two cats, a dog, and a rabbit, all rescues. At home, I'm totally OK being covered in fur. I call it the "well-loved" look and wouldn't have it any other way. Quite simply, fur happens. But alas, sometimes I must leave the house. To go to work, or participate in real world activities, I need to be fur free. Here are my tried and true tips for keeping your clothing fur-free (almost) while living in a multi-species home (aka, the furry vortex).

Ruby rests on the couch while giving advice on fur busting and keeping clothing fur free

Fur-Busting: How to Keep Your Clothing Fur Free (Almost)


1. Pick your battles. You can vacuum everyday (I used to do this) but there will still be fur on the couch, throw pillows, and rugs. Keep things clean, but don't go crazy.

2. Make closets pet-free zones. Keep doors and drawers closed. Please note that this is a battle I choose not to fight (see Tip 1) as my cats really like sleeping on my sweaters and the pile of clothes on the closet floor - the shirts they pulled off the hangers to make themselves a comfy bed with their very own paws. 

3. Wear colors that match your pet's fur. I prefer dark colors and as luck would have it, my two cats are both mostly black. Not only is black slimming (so say the magazines) but it also hides most fur except for white and orange (see Tip 4). Rosie can stretch out for a nap on my work clothes and no one will ever know.

4. Incorporate prints into your wardrobe. The right print can do wonders for making fur less visible. Prints are especially good for hiding white and orange fur. Keep the prints simple and only wear one at a time. Otherwise, you might be mistaken for a Christmas tree, which would freak your pets out and potentially also frighten your children. 

Rosie the rescued black cat gives advice on fur-busting and keeping clothing fur free

5. Don't get dressed until you are absolutely ready to walk out the door. Give kisses and treats BEFORE getting dressed. Once you get dressed, leave immediately and do not look back. Your fur-kids will look sad, they may even shake, but do not cave. Rescue pets have perfected the "don't leave me" look that makes us run back for one more hug. If you fall for this trick, do NOT sit down next to forlorn Fido on the couch (See Tip 1).

6. Rabbits are extra tricky and may require that you dress in the garage or backyard. Their fur is super soft and sticks to everything like glue. There's some kind of super magnetic force that sucks the fur off the bunny and onto whatever you happen to be wearing. The bunny furry vortex is real and there's no fighting it.

7. Park far away from your office or destination and hope for strong wind. I take the train to work and then walk 15 minutes to my office - all part of the fur-busting process. Special note: rabbit fur is stronger than any Chicago wind tunnel. It's pretty much with you forever. 

8. Buy lint brushes by the truckload. Keep them in every bag, room, car, etc. Duct and masking tape will also work in a pinch. Please note removing fur by hand does not work. There's always more fur and you will soon lose your mind. 

Lulu, the rescued dutch rabbit gives her tips on fur-busting and how to keep fur off clothing

9. If all else fails and you arrive covered in fur, have an excuse ready. Here are a few of my favorites;

I was on the train and this guide dog climbed right into my lap. Now, I have never actually witnessed a guide dog leave his person's side and climb into a stranger's lap, but there's a first time for everything. And everyone loves guide dogs so they will be completely caught up in the wonder of your story and forget about the fur.

There was a kitten in traffic and I had to rescue it. I didn't have a carrier and had to carry it to safety. Gosh, now I'm covered in fur. Your co-workers will pat you on the back for your good deed and ignore the fur. 

I lost my glasses. Do I have fur on my back? I can't see. Your co-workers will then feel badly and may even help remove fur off your sweater that just a few hours earlier served as a cat bed. But then you will have to walk around all day without glasses, which if you are severely sight-challenged like me, could be dangerous. 

10. And finally, just own it – the fur that is. A little fur never hurt anyone and truthfully, I don’t really care all that much. I love my pets way more than anyone who would judge me for a little (or a lot) of fur on my sweater. Do your best, love your pets, and forget the rest.

How to keep your clothing fur free (almost)

Have more tips on how to avoid the crazy cat lady look and keep your clothing fur-free? Please share your fur-busting tips in the comments.
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55 comments

  1. Hari OM
    Smileworthy tips Kristen... and I was put into nostalgia mode for Jade and Jasper's furs... huggies, YAM xx

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  2. What a great post! You have us smiling, Ruby☺

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  3. I wear my fur with pride ... I have a kitty at home that loves me (and is usually waiting for me at the door too) :)
    ps - "furry vortex" LOVE THAT!

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  4. Bailie and I don't really shed, so unless we just got our furs stripped, we are pretty safe, but the cats do shed a lot. Mom likes bright colors thankfully, as blacks and browns just don't fare well with our fur situation.

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  5. That was a furry fun post and loose fur is just a way of life here!

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  6. That was such a great post. Too funny. I didn't know you had a rabbit. Sounds like some good ideas to keep the cat hair off the clothes. We all like to get in the drawers too.

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  7. my mother always had an apron dress in the car what she wore to look not hairy like a grizzly...till she once furgot to leave it in the car and went to a conference in her ole granny apron LOL

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  8. Oh yes, we have to just own it in our household. Or, I guess outside the household, that is! This is a hilarious post!

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  9. We love to leave Momma little reminders of us all over her clothes! Once she had a big argument in a court in another city. She bought a brand new suit and kept it in the plastic bag, packed it still in the plastic, hung it up in the plastic at the hotel room, and took it out the morning of her argument -- and there was fur on it. BOL! Good luck, Momma!

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  10. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh those are some great tips. We loved the 'well loved' look.
    Both our cats have had 100% white tummies...first one was a tabby on top, Madi is charcoal gray. I never saw any of their upper furs on anything.
    Hugs madi and mom

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  11. These are some great tips and with three Goldens and a cat, we are constantly fighting the shed! lol

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  12. This is why my wardrobe is mostly tan, brown, black and white. Combination Basset & Westie wear. BOL!

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  13. For years I travel with lint brush in my car!!! Bwahahaha! The cats are a challenge but try three Siberian Huskies in coat blow season

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  14. Claire applies rule #2 for the closets, but doesn't care if there is fur on her clothes. Purrs

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    1. Those are great tips for people who care about it.

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  15. I live and die by my tape roller, lol!

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  16. SHE has the roller. Wearing mostly dark clothes with a white dog is a problem. SHE uses the put on the last layer of clothes as SHE's heading out the door method. But mostly has just learned to live with the hair.

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  17. TeeHeeHee...These are some wonderful tips!!! I usually follow Rule #10 :-)

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  18. We will consider ALL your suggestions since mom is constantly vacuuming
    Lily & Edward

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  19. Great tips and a very humorous post!! I always had a roll of shipping tape to de-cat hair myself, and the couch should, heaven forbid, someone come to visit.

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  20. BOL....love this so much!!! #10 is the best, of course....

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  21. That was a fun post! Mimi can't wear black because our kitty's orange fur shows up on it. Too bad the color orange doesn't suit her!
    Louis Dog Armstrong

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  22. Jan says that after all these years she'd feel naked if she wasn't wearing some pet hair on her clothes.

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  23. I love it! I have trouble coordinating my wardrobe to my pets though. Black cat, blonde dog, and then two dogs who have BOTH black and white fur! What's a girl to do? (not worry too much about it). I am careful never to sit on the furniture before I leave for somewhere either....that's a fur zone for sure.
    I like your "patterns" recommendation....I use the same theory when picking out a quilt for my bed....absolutely NO flat colors! :)

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  24. Great tips! The mom keeps several lint brushes handy but pretty much just "owns it" and realizes that fighting fur is a losing battle. :)

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  25. So relate-able! When you have an Army...We have 6 lint brushes of different types between the front door and the glove box. And during Opera Season, I actally wait until we arrive and either change in the car or remove the old baggy sweat clothes covering the dress things!

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  26. So relate-able! When you have an Army...We have 6 lint brushes of different types between the front door and the glove box. And during Opera Season, I actally wait until we arrive and either change in the car or remove the old baggy sweat clothes covering the dress things!

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  27. I really loved your description of rabbit fur. MOL! TW never really cared about how she looked. At you met her at Blogpaws, you'd know that.

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  28. I find that a damp washcloth works wonders on stubborn Popoki hair, which clings to everything that I have. I'm thankful I work from home, so I can walk around with her fur on me all day long and elicit no stares when I choose not to fight the fur fight.

    Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

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  29. I love the 'I lost my glasses' excuse!! Especially when you say about the sweater being used as a cat bed earlier and then you have to walk around without glasses all day. LOL!! Love this post. It made me laugh and speaking of laughter... do you happen to know whatever happened to Puddles blog? I miss her so much and she just disappeared. I know her and Pip were partners in crime and I thought you might know....?? Gracie sheds very little so I do not have too much of a fur problem.. but I have a couple of grand dogs that shed like crazy and when I come home from visiting them I am covered... happily, I might ad!

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  30. Oh my goodness, love this post 😊. So true I can't put my street clothes on until right before I'm leaving the house! Of course my one dog still manages to get a fur streak on my left side before I make it out the door 😊

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  31. With four fluffy cats in the house, I loved these tips.... I actually keep my work clothes in the spare room in a separate closet and lint-lift like a crazy person. All I need now is some of those Chicago winds on my walk into work! ;0

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  32. Love the post, am fortunate Layla does not shed but Baby RIP did and it was a never ending furry battle

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  33. I love this post more than I can say! :-) I decided quite some time ago that trying to keep up with the fur was an exercise in futility. I have lint rollers in every room of the house, in my work bag, in the car - everywhere (I should have purchased stock in 3M or Evercare!) I have also come to believe that I need all of my furniture reupholstered in denim as that seems to be the easiest material to de-fur, and that my penchant for wearing black with three blondish dogs in the house may be ill-advised. Also, in the winter, I tell people that all of my sweaters are a special mohair. ;-)

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  34. Delightful post! I love your wonderful tips, great advice. I will add that blue jeans are a great garment for hiding fur, certainly better than black pants!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  35. Delightful post! I love your wonderful tips, great advice. I will add that blue jeans are a great garment for hiding fur, certainly better than black pants!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  36. Hahahahahahaha
    I am now off to buy a new wardrobe ;)

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  37. We were in fits of giggles at number 7. Beware Rabbit fur LOL!!!!!!

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  38. I loved this post and laughed out loud at some of these great tips - so what I do is in your list: I basically change right before I leave the house. So my lounging and walking gear (yoga pants) which are covered in fur I just change out of before I leave. now I'm about to go get groceries and my sweats are covered in hair but I don't care.... it's Sunday!

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  39. 3. Wear colors that match your pet's fur.
    Yup, this is what I have to do. I used to be a dark clothing gal, but with Dexter's white fur, that is no longer an option. Thanks for the tips.

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  40. Mommy does tip number 5 all the time. We're waiting for her to go to work in her pajamas! MOL Great post!

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  41. Great tips, and a very fun post! :)

    While Moosey was still alive, we had a real challenge -- a white cat, and two black cats. No matter what we wore, we had to lint roll like demons! :)

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  42. I love this post and all of your tips. You really made me smile! I can’t count the number of times I’ve been out in public and found myself covered in fur. I wouldn’t have even known it until I observed someone staring, wide-eyed, at my outfit.

    Too bad I like wearing black since most of our pets are lighter in color. My favorite tip you gave is to not get dressed until right before leaving. Keeping clothes in pet-free areas such as drawers and closets are great ideas, too.

    You’ve given some excellent tips here so maybe I can now improve upon my grooming habits. Thanks for sharing so much wonderful advice!

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  43. For the most part I don't really worry too much about having a little dog hair on my clothes. However, I have a dress jacket that I love to wear in the winter and it looks like I let my boys use it as a dog bed for a few weeks. I thought the dryer would help take some of the hair out, but no... I'm still trying to figure out how to get rid of it all. I know a lint brush will help, but it's not going to get it all. I have no idea how it got so hairy!

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  44. I really love the way how you described it as the well loved look. Fur and feathers are so much a part of my wardrobe because of the close proximity i share with them. Its been 4 years since my Prince passed away and till date if i find one of his Fur strand i cant help but smile

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  45. You have a lot of experience with pet hair! Just my two cats are enough to keep me in an all (humanely collected) cat fur wardrobe. I go through a lot of lint rollers and just do my best to keep things clean. You can't always win in the pet hair war. The good thing is that I think that people are getting less and less grossed out over seeing pet hair on someone else's clothes. Most people have pets and they totally get it.
    -Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

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  46. Mr. N does not shed and it is awesome. Then I go to dog events and come back covered in dog hair and am like what's this?

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  47. Pet hair is a constant struggle in our house. With a tan dog, a white and black dog, and a black and white cat, there is always something that will show the fur. I use the same strategy of changing my clothes right before leaving the house. Jeans are great for either hiding or resisting dog hair.

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  49. Some of your tips made me LOL. I have a lot of animals, including rabbits, so I have come to terms with the fur and just own it (on everything I wear), LOL.

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  50. I am one of those dog moms who swears by "And finally, just own it – the fur that is." You are spot on. Sometimes it is just not worth the effort so I wear something to match hahahaha. Very cute post.

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  51. Fur free..... these words are foreign to me living in a house full of Siberian Huskies haha!

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  52. Fur isn't something we have to deal with here in Doodleville. But if it were - I don't think I would care!

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  53. Ha, ha! Smart, funny and oh so practical. Thanks fur the inspiration to walk out my door.

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  54. therz R gorgeuz gal pal N houz panther !!!!!!!!! we hope ewe is doin mega soooper grate rosie; veree nice ta see ewe two day; on this post with ruby N de bunn :) awesum post two day guys !!!!!! hope everee onez week oh end iz grate N fur filled ;) ♥♥☺☺

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