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).
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.
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.
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.
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.