June 11, 2006 2:20 PM   Subscribe

How do I keep cat fuzz from balling up into lintballs on all my laundry?

In summertime, I do my laundry with Ecover in a standard washing machine and hang it outside to dry.

I also have a long-haired cat with very fine soft sheddable fur.

When I take the clothes out of the washer, almost all fabrics (synthetics and natural) are beaded all over with little nubbins of cat lint. These stick and have to be pulled off, one by one, by hand.

It doesn't help that I favour dark clothes and my cat's fur is a light pewtery gray.

I love the smell and feel of line-dried clothes. Is there a product or technique to help me avoid this lint-ball problem, while not resorting to using the dryer all the time?
posted by zadcat to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You could try getting a set of these.
posted by viachicago at 2:38 PM on June 11, 2006

viachicago: any experience with those? Do they work as described? I'm interested in seeing good answers to this one, too.

One thing I can contribute to help: While it won't solve your problem 100% - do buy a good quality cat brush if you haven't already, and brush him/her regularly. It really reduces the amount of shedding (as it all comes onto the brush and is easy to dispose of, rather than gradually coating your home).
posted by twiggy at 2:49 PM on June 11, 2006

Unfortunately no personal experience, no. It was the first thing that came to mind, right next to getting a lint roller and rolling it over the clothes before you wash them. Hope you can find something that works, though.
posted by viachicago at 2:57 PM on June 11, 2006

If anyone can answer this, they will have my etrnal gratitude.
posted by ontic at 3:23 PM on June 11, 2006

Response by poster: I'll try those lint catchers and also try, once again, to see whether Madame will let me brush her. She's never been keen.
posted by zadcat at 3:53 PM on June 11, 2006

You might have better luck brushing kitty when she's sleepy. Don't wake her up from being asleep, mind you, but brush her as she's groggy and falling asleep, and be gentle with it the first few times. If she cooperates, give her a treat (have it ready beforehand without her noticing, if at all possible). That should condition her to like it more.
posted by twiggy at 4:06 PM on June 11, 2006

my current washer seems to leave a lot of normal int on the clothes.

When I line dry, I often take the lintest cloths and run them through a short cycle in the dryer just to get the lint off.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 7:15 PM on June 11, 2006

Response by poster: She's a cat, she's always either waking up or falling asleep.

She's very affectionate and gentle normally, but she's always been clear that she doesn't like having things done to her.

What amazes me is that her fur's practically invisible. I can't even see it on a garment I've worn that's ready to be washed. But then everything comes out with these lintballs stuck on.
posted by zadcat at 8:46 PM on June 11, 2006

Hmmm. Are you using some type of these lint rollers on your clothes on a regular basis? I generally keep rolling, and peeling off layers of tape, until no more fur sticks to the tape.

Most cats eventually like to be brushed, even if they start out hating it. Just make sure to always stop before they're really pissed off, even if that means just doing two or three strokes and giving up. I find that spending a lot of the time brushing the sides of their cheeks (hold it up to their face, and they'll often rub against the brush themselves), which they love, makes them more willing to have their backs and sides brushed.
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 6:38 PM on June 12, 2006

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