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Excessive cat hair in your home can be a nuisance, and is one of the things that we as pet owners must deal with on a day to day basis. But did you know that there are a lot of surprising uses for cat hair? Before you throw away that ball of fur from your latest grooming session, take a look at the ideas on this list to see if any spark your interest!
1. Environmental Cleanup
The first time I heard that cat hair could have a practical use was when I was cat sitting for a neighbor. When she was showing me around the house, she pointed out a Ziploc bag full of cat hair. “I’ve been saving the cat hair in this bag after I brush them,” she explained. Apparently, since hair is one of the best collectors of oil, it is used by environmental agencies to help clean up oil spills. People can donate to the cause by sending in bags of pet fur to Matter of Trust, a San Francisco-based environmental nonprofit. Pretty cool!
2. Protect Your Garden
Since animals such as rabbits, mice, and squirrels fear cats as natural predators, lining your garden with cat hair helps to keep these pesky munchers away. Even deer avoid gardens that are protected with cat hair. To keep it from blowing away in the wind, try forming the hair into balls and staking them down with little cocktail skewers. Enough cat hair can also help keep slugs away, because their little slug bodies have a hard time getting through the fur.
3. Felted Crafts
Creating crafts out of cat hair has been a “thing” for a while now. I heard about it when I was looking for books online and ran across this book, Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat. What in the world?… I thought to myself. A quick trip to Pinterest confirmed that this is a popular activity and surprisingly genius use for extra cat hair. Because shed cat hair sticks to itself, the more you work with it and rub it around between your fingers, the more it turns into a felt material.
If you are extra crafty, cat hair can also be spun into yarn to make all kinds of crocheted or knit projects. Of course this requires expert level skill, so if you aren’t able to make your own yarn, you could send in your cat hair to Nine Lives Twine and they will do it for you. In addition to making hand spun yarn from your pet’s fur, they also offer custom keepsake services. You could have your pet’s hair turned into things like scarves, blankets, pillows, even teddy bears! These would be one of a kind, heirloom pieces that you could cherish forever, even after your pet’s passing.
5. Compost It
Because cat hair is an organic material, it makes an excellent ingredient to throw into your backyard compost. Hair is a is green compost ingredient, meaning it adds nitrogen into the mix. To compost with cat hair, sprinkle it in with your other green ingredients when you do that layer. Sprinkling it helps it to break down faster than adding it in clumps. It usually takes at least a month for the hair to break down enough to add into your garden soil.
6. Donate to Charity
Keep your eyes and ears out for any local charitable organizations that are looking for pet fur donations. It is sometimes needed for things like scientific development of pet allergy vaccines. It seems a waste to throw away pet hair when it could be used for a greater good! In an article by Jeffrey Shaffer in The Christian Science Monitor, he proposed ideas to use pet hair for new innovative things like an automotive fuel additive, compressed pellets to reduce styrofoam production, wall and attic insulation, and even fur to replace coal in coal-fired power plants. It is, after all, a renewable resource. Imagine if cat hair could help solve the energy crisis!
7. Contribute to Bird Nests
Instead of throwing away the mounds of cat hair that accumulate after brushing your cat, you could put them outside by a bird feeder or in a suet cage. Birds will indeed use the fur to line their nests and are probably appreciative of the extra soft material!
8. Cat Toys
In addition to felt and yarn, cat hair can also be made into a toy for your cat to play with. This could be as simple as rolling the hair into a tight ball and tossing it over to your kitty for her to bat around. One of my cat’s favorite toys are those simple little puff balls that come in multipacks in the pet aisle. A ball made out of their own fur might be an even bigger hit because it smells just like them. This YouTube video by SuriNoel demonstrates how to use a needle felting tool to make the ball extra durable. (Plus you get to watch FIVE adorable cats getting brushed and then playing with their own fur.)
I hope this list gave you some good ideas for ways to repurpose your cat’s never ending supply of hair. Do you know of any other practical uses for cat hair? Let me know below!