The 15 Best Vacuums for Cats 2019 [They Totally Suck]

​Let's face it, no matter what kind of litter you use or what kind of cat you have you're still going to need to vacuum. Constantly. Probably every day if not every other day.

​You're going to want to look at the best vacuums for cats to ensure you get the job done right. I've researched thoroughly and used several myself to pull this list together.

The Best Vacuums for Cats

-Upright Vacuums-

Bissel Cleanview Bagless Pet Vacuum

a teal upright vacuum made by bissell

Bissell has been in the market for a long time and they have a name that means trust and reliability when it comes to vacuums. The Cleanview Bagless Pet model is one of their most recent options to come out and it is specifically designed for cat hair and cat litter.

It is super lightweight for an upright and the swivel steering will make it easy for you to navigate around any and all home obstacles. It is also multi surface so you can use it on bare floors or carpet! A few other things worth noting:

  • It weighs just under 20 pounds & with swivel steering you can turn it on a dime
  • It comes fully equipped with all the accessories you need to pick up pet fur and cat litter
  • It has a triple action brush designed to pull embedded pet fur up and out so you don't have to
  • It is specifically designed to minimize scattering on bare floors, no more cat litter spray
  • It has a 27 foot cord and if you hate rewinding the cord it has an auto-rewind button
"Finally, I managed to find a vacuum that picks up the cat hair!"

Shark TruePet Bagless Lift-Away

an upright vacuum from shark made specifically for pets and pet hair

Shark brings to bear one of the coolest vacuums on the market. It is primarily an upright vacuum, but if you need to get into a tight spot and use the attachments you can easily lift the canister and move into the desired area.

Tired of not being able to reach that last step? Or tired of not being able to get that tuft of cat hair floating around and hanging off the cabinets? Shark has you covered. Just push a button and lift the canister to reach whatever you need to.

A few other things worth noting on this model:

  • Features dynamic swivel steering and lift away technology to let you reach anything anywhere
  • Trying to get that tuft of cat fur from under the bed? LED lights will light it up for you easily
  • It features a 30 foot cord and weighs in at about 15 pounds (light for an upright!)
  • Comes with numerous accessories: TruePet Mini Motorized Brush, Pet Multi-Tool, Crevice Tool
  • Traps 99.9% of dust and allergens with  Complete Seal Technology and a HEPA filter 
"This thing works spectacularly on sucking up cat hair!"

Dyson Ball Animal Vacuum

a dyson ball style vacuum for felines

Dyson has made a name for itself with high quality products that tend to both look and feel innovative. They've broken the mold in vacuums, hand dryers, even home fans. Purchasing a Dyson will of course get the job done, but it'll also ensure you get any job done in style. That includes sucking up cat hair and litter.

This vacuum features some of the best suction of any vacuum on the market. On top of this Dyson outfits this model with all of the accessories you'll need to get cat hair out of pretty much anything or anywhere.

A couple of other things worth noting:

  • The cleaner head self adjusts to ensure it maintains full suction on any surface
  • Comes with 6 additional accessories to help you clean up cat fur and cat litter from any location
  • Has a 35 foot cord so you'll rarely need to stop and move the plug while vacuuming
  • It weighs in at about 17 pounds which is middle of the road for an upright
  • It features a full 5 year warranty for parts, shipping and labor, it is totally worry free purchase
"I have four long haired felines and it is the best thing ever for giant clumps of fur!"

One key item worth noting before before purchase:

  • Dyson definitely comes in on the expensive side compared to other vacuums

-Canister Vacuums-

​Bissell Zing Bagged & Corded

a maroon colored canister vacuum

​If you're tired of heavy vacuums that are hard to navigate through tight places or up and down stairs then this is the vacuum for you. Canister vacuums in general are much lighter and are easy to move almost anywhere.

This vacuum is specifically designed to be lightweight and it features an easy carry handle so it is comfortable in your hand.

  • The Multi-Surface Floor Nozzle allows for easy cleaning of carpet, rugs and bare floors
  • You can easily switch between surface types with the flip of a button right on the canister
  • The telescoping wand allows you to comfortably maneuver around and under furniture and also clean hard to reach areas like drapes and ceilings
  • Comes in at ​a weight of 12 pounds, lighter than all of the upright options
  • Automatic cord rewind for quick cord storage with the push of a button
"Never had a better vacuum. We have two cats who spread litter all over the house and it picks up litter as well as fur and dirt. Highly recommended.

One key item worth noting before before purchase:

  • ​The telecoping wand doesn't have a locking mechanism so it can slide out which is frustrating

​Eureka Mighty Mite ​Pet Vacuum

​If you're looking for power but don't want something heavy then the Mighty Mite is just for you. ​Weighing in at less than 9 pounds this is an amazing canister vacuum. It is super mobile when on the ground, but even more so because it is so light to pick up!

It also features full scale HEPA filters ensuring that you'll not only suck up cat hair and cat litter, but you'll also filter all that darn cat dander out of the air!

A few other key items worth noting:

  • ​It is only 9 pounds meaning you can take it anywhere in the house with ease
  • It has a 20 foot cord making it easy to clean entire rooms without ever unplugging
  • It features HEPA filters ensuring you get 99.97% of dust and pet dander out of the air
  •  It comes fully equipped with a telescoping wand and a crevice tool to get those hard to reach places
"This is the perfect solution for lightweight and powerful kitty litter pick-ups which is what I wanted and needed."

​Ovente Bagless Cyclonic w/ Pet Brush

a bagless canister vacuum with a pet attachment

​If you love the ​mobility and lightweight features of a canister vacuum and you don't want to deal with bags then Ovente has you covered. ​This is ​best bagless canister vacuum out there with pet focused attachments.

It'll help you pull pet hair out of those hard to reach places and it'll still be just as mobile as any other canister vacuum you might want to consider.

  • ​This ​vacuum uses powerful cyclonic ​suction to deep clean surfaces in one pass​
  • It weighs only 12 pounds so it is super easy to move around the house
  • The HEPA filter ​removes 99.97% of ​particles as small as 0.3 micrometers in diameter
  • Comes with the premium attachment specifically for pet hair
  • Features a step button for on and off, no more bending over
  • The cable rewinds automatically with the push of a button
  • The dust bin is transparent and has an LED alert to notify you when it must be emptied
"It sucked up all the litter from the nooks and crannies, even in the chairs in my living room. That was a huge relief."

One key item worth noting before before purchase:

  • ​Low profile rugs have been noted as a difficult obstacle to tackle for this vacuum

-Stick Vacuums-

​Dyson Cyclone V10 ​Cat Vacuum

a stick vacuum designed by dyson to suck up animal hair

​If you're looking for a cordless vacuum with serious power then look no farther. Dyson has basically made a name for itself with extremely powerful vacuums and this one is no different. It is the power powerful cordless vacuum on the market.

This means it'll have no trouble sucking up both cat litter and cat hair. It'll even help you suck up those bits of cat food your little mess makers have knocked out of the bowl and ignored.

A few other things worth noting on this model:

  • ​It weighs in at only 6 pounds and is the most powerful cordless on the market
  • Includes a torque drive cleaner head to suck cat hair out of any surface
  • It has up to 60 minutes of run time on a single charge, plenty for numerous ​rooms
  • You can easily modify the power mode with the flick of a switch, clean any surface easily
  • Features an extra large bin for all that cat hair it will suck up
"It is perfect for cleaning pet hair off my furniture and blinds. It also does a nice job on tracked litter in my apartment."

One key item worth noting before before purchase:

  • ​When you use the torque drive the battery may require frequent recharging

​Shark DuoClean Ultra-Light Vacuum

a two style handheld and stick vacuum from shark

​This ultra lightweight model from Shark features DuoClean Technology ​which means it has a bristle brush to deep clean carpets and a soft ​brush ​that gets those larger particles ​to leave floors looking polished. Because it doesn't have a battery it is lighter weight than many of the other stick and handheld models.

This model was specifically put together to feature a pet multi tool which allows it to easily suck up all that pet hair that gets so stubbornly stuck in pretty much everything! A few other items worth noting:

  • ​Comes in at about half the price of the Dyson model, if you're looking for value it is right here
  • Weighs ​about ​9 pounds so ​far lighter than any upright vacuum out there
  • There are LED Lights on the ​nozzle and hand vac to ​spot hidden debris easily
  • Features two power settings so you don't damage your wood floors when you switch surfaces
"We have way too many cats and even a few dogs...and it didn't sling anything back on my feet while in use. It literally polished the floors and picked up all of the hair and litter too!"

One key item worth noting before before purchase:

  • ​It can be difficult to move ​objects and hold the Shark up at the same time due to the weight

​Puppyoo Cordless Stick Vacuum

a purple stick vacuum that converts into a handheld

​The Dyson stick vacuum is definitely great, but it is also quite expensive. If you're looking for a more accessible model price wise then you'll want to consider the Puppyoo 536. It is very competitive in almost every way, but it blows Dyson out of the park on price.

Let's dig into a few of the key items we cat owners will care about:

  • ​It features a 2 in 1 design meaning you can easily convert it to a handheld or stick quickly
  • The motor features 120W powerful and stable suction never declines with working time
  • A 3 hour charge will ​get your batteries prepped for about 30 minutes of vacuuming
  • It only weighs 5.5 pounds so it'll be easy to move around the house and get almost anywhere
  • The components are washable and there are no consumables (bags/filters) for ongoing use ​
  • ​It includes numerous accessories making all those hard to reach places easy to access

One key item worth noting before before purchase:

  • ​Large clumps of cat litter can be difficult for this model to suck up due to the power difference between it and the Dyson model

-Handheld Vacuums-

​HoLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum

a hand held black and white battery operated vacuum

If your cats are all over your furniture, like most cats are, then you probably want a handheld vacuum to help pick up what they leave behind. And you probably want to be able to do it in a quick and easy fashion.

This HoLife handheld cordless vacuum makes is super easy to pull out and take care of a quick cleanup job. Got company coming over and your cat just tracked litter all over the couch and the wood floor? This vacuum is lightweight, powerful, and has a long lasting battery. It'll make that emergency cleanup a breeze.

A quick rundown of key items worth noting:

  • ​It has a ​90W motor that provides great suction ​to pick up ​hair, litter, food residue, ​and anything else your kitty might leave behind
  • It features 2200mAh lithium ion batteries that ​for a solid 30 minutes of use​
  • It recharges ​one battery within 45 minutes and fully recharges in under 5 hours​
  • The batteries are expected to last for over 500 charges
  • It weighs in at just a little over 3 pounds so it is super mobile and easy to carry all over
  • The dust bin is about 600 ML which is plenty to clean multiple rooms before emptying it
  • ​It is on the quieter side of vacuums at less than 78 decibels
"I keep it right by the litter box so I can sweep up the litter that the cats track out on the floor before they track it through the rest of the house."

​It is also worth considering the following before making a purchase:

  • Some owners experienced poor suction and have returned it for a full refund

Bissell Cordless Pet Hair Eraser

a purple and black handheld vacuum designed specifically for cat hair

If you're looking for a vacuum that not only looks cool and does a killer job, but also has an amazing name, then look no farther. The Pet Hair Eraser not only sounds awesome, its performance lives up to its ridiculously cool name.

I highly recommend you use the name of this vacuum as a conversation starter with other pet owners. There are a couple of key items worth noting on this model as well:

  • Has 4 rechargeable lithium ion batteries that give it a charge lasting up to 17 minutes
  • Includes a motorized brush head, an upholstery tool and a crevice tool
  • Had three different levels of filtering to pull dust and debris out of the air
  • The dust bin is large and easy to pop off and dump out for frequent users
  • It weighs in at a little over 4 pounds which is still on the light side for constant use
"Great hand held vacuum that easily sucks up the cat litter between deep cleaning sessions."

There is one item you'll want to consider before purchasing:

  • Replacing the filters on this model can be a bit wasteful as you have to replace the entire assembly each time you need a new paper filter

Bissell Corded Pet Hair Eraser

a hand held vacuum specifically designed to suck up pet hair

This is the original Pet Hair Eraser. It has all the power you need to pull pet hair out of pretty much any surface because it was designed to do just that. The corded version gives you the extra power you need to get that pet hair that seems like it is glued to your couch or chair.

The only thing worth noting is that with great power comes great responsibility. You'll probably need to send fluffy off to another room before flipping this guy on because it is pretty powerful and it might scare your cat!

A few other items worth noting:

  • This corded version is quite powerful which also means it is a bit heavier, it is almost 5 pounds
  • It has a specifically designed rubber nozzle for pet hair so it does an amazing job on hair
  • It is bagless and the .8 liter receptacle is super each to pop open and empty when it is full
  • It uses a cyclonic cleaning system and multi layer filtration to clean the air flowing through
  •  You never have to worry about running out of batteries
"It managed to suck out the cat hair that was weaved into the couch cushions and made the cat tree look brand new!"

One key item worth noting before clicking the buy button:

  • Given the power of the blower it can actually blow away smaller lightweight debris and make it difficult to pick up

Shark Rocket Hand Vacuum

a shark vacuum with multiple attachments including 1 for pet hair

Shark has recently become one of the top names in the world of vacuums and there's a reason for that. Their vacuums are amazing. They do a great job, they are affordable and you'll absolutely love how easy and lightweight they are!

This Shark model will have you wanting to clean your house. You'll want to pick it up to watch how much stuff it manages to suck up out of your couches, rugs and chairs. It's an absolute delight to see it clean. There are a couple of key items you'll want to know:

  • It is very light weight at less than four pounds, this makes it easy for you to take anywhere
  • It comes with an attachment called the TruePet Motorized Brush specifically for cat hair
  • No bag needed so you can save on long term costs, and it empties with the touch of a button
  • You'll never need to worry about batteries because it has a 15-foot-long power cord
  • The filters are washable and reusable so you don't have to buy new ones every few months
  • The TruePet Motorized Brush extracts pet hair, dirt, dust, and allergens from upholstery
"I've got 3 cats in the house. This does a great job on my stairs & their cat trees." 

One key item worth noting before before purchase:

  • Using this model does require the use of both hands, one to hold it and one to move the hose around. This can prove difficult if you have any hand or arm injuries.

-Robotic Vacuums-

iRobot Roomba 690

a robot vacuum from roomba made for pet hair

​If you're looking for a robot slave to do your dirty work for you then the iRobot Roomba is a great option. Robot vacuums are excellent options for someone who has another vacuum and uses this on a daily basis just to help in between deep clean sessions.

I love my robot vacuum, it does an excellent job in a hands off manner. But it doesn't solve the problem of litter on the couch or litter that gets stuck in corners and crevices, for that you'll need something else.

But robo vacuums are an excellent addition that will minimize your need to vacuum daily. Here are the key features worth noting on this model:

  • ​The 3-Stage Cleaning System and ​Multi-Surface Brushes pick up everything from small particles to large debris
  • It features Dirt Detect sensors that alert the Roomba to work harder on ​dirtier areas
  • It has a full suite of ​sensors to guide ​it under and around furniture to clean ​thoroughly
  • It has a mobile phone app you can use to clean anytime or develop a recurring schedule
  • It has about 90 minutes of battery life which is plenty for numerous rooms in one charge
  • Includes a virtual wall barrier to keep it out of specific areas of the house
"It does an awesome job cleaning up cat hair and litter!"

One key item worth noting before before purchase:

  • ​It can't fully replace a vacuum run by a person, you'll still need a traditional vacuum

-Electricity Free Options-

​Electrostatic Floor Sweeper

a floor sweeper model that does a great job picking up cat hair and litter

If ​you're looking for something whisper quiet and powered by your own strength then this is a great consideration. Not only will it pick up cat litter and cat hair, but it'll do so without ever being plugged in or charged.

The ​sweeper basically creates an electrostatic charge as you move it along the floor and that enables it to easily pull things off of both bare floors and even on low pile carpet floors. It is also light as a feather since all the weight sits on the ground!

A few other great things worth noting:

  • ​The natural Fuller Quality bristle rotor brush easily lifts pet hair, crumbs, dust, debris
  • Safe and efficient on tile, low pile carpet, and all hard floors - with very minimal effort
  • No motor so it is whisper quiet, you can clean while other people sleep
  • It folds flat so it can be hung or stored in a very small or compact area
  • It weighs in at about 3 pounds and most of that weight sits right on the floor
"Easily gets 5 stars for the removal of cat hair, cat litter and cat litter dust on high-pile carpet, medium-pile area rug and porcelain tile floors."

​It is worth noting the following:

  • ​​This is ​not a replacement for a full on vacuum, but it is great for quick or daily cleanup jobs between deep cleaning sessions

​Additional Information

Core Vacuum Types for Consideration

You're of course welcome to consider any vacuum you'd like, but in my opinion your best bet lies in both upright and canister vacuums. Beyond that both stick and hand held vacuums have nice perks and special use cases that most households will find handy. 

Robo vacuums of course have their place too, but I wouldn't consider one to do the entire job, especially since they tend to have trouble in corners and crevices. But let's take a look at some of the best types!

Upright Vacuums

Pros: Uprights ​are usually quite a bit cheaper than your typical canister vacuum. They are ​also a heck of a lot better at cleaning carpets, specifically if you get a model with a bag. ​They're also of course very easy to store given they sit upright and don't take up much space.​

Cons: Some uprights can be hard on your arm and wrist, especially if you use them daily. They have quite a bit of weight to them and with the pull from the carpet they can put a lot of strain on you, especially when they weigh ​20 pounds! ​Uprights ​also are usually quite a bit ​noisier than canisters vacuums.

Canister Vacuums

Pros: ​You'll usually find that canister models ​are great at cleaning ​hardwood and tile floors. ​They usually also have quite a few attachments to make it easy to clean things like the couch and chairs where your cat spends a lot of time sleeping. ​​​Canisters are generally ​quieter​ and the power head makes them seem lighter ​because ​a hefty chunk of ​the weight is right on the floor.

Cons: ​They don't tend to do as great of a job on carpets as your typical upright. ​They can also be a pain in the butt to store because they're usually not a single unit and the hose/attachments don't usually directly attach to the canister.​

Stick Vacuums

Pros: ​Stick vacuums are named as such because the motor is usually up near the handle and there's a long tube resembling a stick that reaches down to the floor. This makes it nice and easy on your back, no bending over. ​Most stick vacuums are both lightweight and ​battery-powered so you can take them pretty much anywhere.

Cons: Stick vacuums don't have the same amount of power or capability to do deep cleaning. ​Stick vacuums are designed to pick up items on the floor that are lightweight and visible. ​​To maintain their light weight they usually have limited capacity and require frequent emptying.

Hand-Held Vacuums

Pros: Hand held vacuums are great because they are small, lightweight, and you can get them with or without a cord. ​They're ​great for cleaning up a quick mess in a tight spot and generally work best on bare floors, though some also do have attachments for other things.

Cons: ​Due to their limited size and weight they often have shorter battery life and require frequent trips to empty out the receptacle.

Robotic Vacuums

Pros: If you absolutely hate vacuuming then a robotic vacuum can help solve your problems. Robo vacuums are designed to clean things up on their own. Depending on the model they can run on a schedule or you can kick them off whenever you like for spot cleaning. ​New models often have the ability to be started and stopped from a mobile application too.

Cons: ​Robo vacuums can ​get stuck and have difficulty reaching small tight spots because of their size. They also require constant emptying, almost every time they run in a household with cats.

Specialty ​Vacuums ​for Unique Needs

Shop Vacuums

Pros: Unrivaled power compared to other types of vacuums. They will pick up most anything, including wet messes, and they work on any type or floor. Great to consider if you have a huge number of cats and a specific room where there might be numerous litter boxes and a recurring mess.

Cons: They are ​incredibly noisy and they are ​often difficult to move around. They are also usually quite heavy given the size of the motor included and they take up lots of space for storage too.

Backpack Vacuums

Pros: ​Backpack vacuums are generally used in commercial application, but you can certainly apply some of the home models to your household. Backpack vacuums are super mobile, you rarely need to unplug them, and they usually have a pretty powerful motor too.​​​

Cons: ​The biggest drawbacks of backpack vacuums are that they tend to be quite loud and that you'll actually need to strap the vacuum onto your back every time you want to use it.​​​

Central Vacuums

Pros: ​They're easier to use than ​most vacuums because all you have to do is bring the actual tube and extension with you. There's no motor to pull along with you. ​Central vacuums ​are also quite quiet because the motor is removed from the location of vacuuming. ​Their dirt ​receptacle also rarely needs to be emptied because the central location provides ample space.

Cons: Central vacuums are pricey and can require professional installation. If you aren't building a new home or gut rehabbing one then it is unlikely you'll want to explore this option.​ The hoses are quite large in making up for the lack of a power cord so they can be hassle to store.

What Types Perform Best for Cats?

If you're buying a vacuum because you have cats then you have ​a few key things you're trying to pick up:

  1. Cat hair ​
  2. Cat litter
  3. Cat dander
  4. ​Cats nails

To say the least Upright and Canister vacuums are by far the best choices for larger projects or an entire household.​ They perform well at picking up most anything and are versatile.

They will be the most likely to pick up litter and cat hair on a consist basis without having to push the vacuum back and forth over the same area again and again.

​It is important to note your likelihood to use the vacuum though. If you're as lazy as I often am then you'll want to look at a robotic vacuum that you can schedule to run daily to help pick up some of the slack. This will decrease the need to vacuum every single day by ​picking up a bit every day.

​What Features Should I Consider?

Bagged or Bagless

The key concern to keep in mind with bagged vacuums is that you're going to have to keep buying bags. That being said, bagless vacuums have recurring costs as well. You'll need to clean the HEPA filters or full on replace them after a period of time. Emptying the receptacle of a bagless vacuum can easily get your nose and mouth filled with dust and pet dander as well. If you you have asthma you'll want to watch out for this.

​Bagged vacuums also tend to lose their effectiveness once the bag is over half full. Given this you'll need to replace bags often to maintain full efficiency.

​Motorized Brushes

Suction will only get you so far if you're trying to deep clean, especially on a carpeted floor. Motorized brush get you one step further by actually spinning and pulling debris off of the floor.

But you'll want to be careful because the brushes are rather rigid and they can damage a wood floor quite easily. If you have both bare and carpet floors you'll want to consider a vacuum with a switch that can deactivate the brushes. This ​ensures you don't damage your bare floors and ​it will help minimize scattering ​cat litter all over the place too.

​​Noise Levels

Vacuums in general are a bit noisy, but if you have a house with bare floors this will likely seem even louder. Robot vacuums tend to be quite quiet and canister vacuums tend to run quieter than their upright counterparts.

Adjustable Height

If you've got carpet floors or lots of rugs in your house then you will want to keep an eye out for a vacuum that allows you to adjust the height of the head. Without this capability you either never get a deep enough clean or you can feel like you're dragging around an extra 20 pounds while you vacuum.

Filter Type

​Vacuums these days range pretty extensively in the quality of the filters they provide. The most common type of filter you'll find these days is a HEPA filter. If anyone in your immediate or extended family has cat allergies then a HEPA filter is a must​​​

Cord Type

​This may be a small item, but ​some folks absolutely hate pick up and winding up cords. Several models out there these days have cords that automatically retract into the vacuum to save you the hassle.​​​

Battery Life

For both stick and handheld vacuums you'll want to take a look at the size and expected life of the batteries, especially if you have a larger home and your closet or storage area doesn't have a plug to charge the vacuum from. While generally you won't use a hand held vacuum for an extended session you'll also want to ensure you aren't constantly pulling it out to charge it on the kitchen counter.


I still remember pushing my old Kirby around the house with carpet floors as a kid. It was brutal. It felt like it weighed as much as I did. Vacuums have come a long way in the past 10 years.

Most are pretty light weight. But be sure to take a look at the weight before you decide on a model, especially for handhelds and stick vacuums where you'll be supporting the bulk of the weight during use.


​Even if you're buying a vacuum specifically for cat cleanup you'll still want to consider the other scenarios you'll use it for in the house. Attachments can make cleaning drapes, cars, tight spots, etc. far easier. Keep a close eye on any attachments you think you might need.

​Why Is My Cat Afraid of the Vacuum?

Why Your Cat Is Afraid:

​Many of us have cats that bolt at the first sign of the vacuum, even before you turn it on. My cat ​Lexi knows the sound of our vacuum rolling on the wood floor and usually runs and hides the second she hears it.

​There's a pretty straight forward explanation to this behavior. Vacuums are quite loud and they aren't around often. ​So cats often feel like the vacuum pops up, makes a ton of noise, chases them from room to room as they find new new hiding spots...then all of a sudden disappears!

You might be equally afraid if you had no idea what was going and why the vacuum was coming out.  But if you're wondering why you're probably more interested in what you can do to help.

What You Can Do To Help:

There are a few things you can do to assist your cat in relation to the vacuum.

Option 1:​ Move Your Cat Preemptively

Lexi, as I mentioned, dislikes the vacuum ​a lot​. The second she hears it she hides. But Lexi is also a cat that doesn't mind being picked up and doesn't mind the vacuum if she is behind a closed door while it runs.

​The easiest thing to do is pick her up and put her in a room I don't plan to vacuum or that I can vacuum later as part of a rotation. It is a simple process: Move the cat, vacuum, move the cat, vacuum, done! Voila! Problem solved.​​​

Option 2: Acclimate Your Cat to the Vacuum

​Cats can also be taught to largely ignore the vacuum. While I doubt you'll ever get them to sleep through it, you can actually slowly introduce the vacuum to them ​so they don't freak out the second it flips on.

​Ideally you can approach this when your cat is young and they haven't yet developed a fear of the vacuum yet. But even if your cat is an adult you can work on this by having another person vacuum in a different part of the house while you feed your kitty treats or play her.

She'll ​gradually associate positive things with the ​sound of the vacuum and should grow out of her fear. If you want to explore this in more detail check out this excellent article by Cat Behavior Associates on getting your cat used to the vacuum.

Can I Vacuum My Cat Safely?

​Maybe. ​More than anything it'll depend on the ​cat.  ​Since many cats run off at the sound of the vacuum you should ​already have a pretty good idea of whether or not this is even an option.

If you have a pretty laid back cat that doesn't mind the noise then you can certainly give it a shot. There are even specific vacuums that come with attachments designed for this purpose. The idea is that if you vacuum the cat off less hair will make it to the floor.

​Dyson makes a specific pet attachment that you can attach to most of their upright vacuums to suck the hair right off your cat. The attachment is designed to ensure that you never actually get full section on your cat where you might hurt them.

​To be direct, most cats will likely never allow you to vacuum them. Instead you're more likely to have to brush them to ​help minimize clumps of hair floating or rolling through your house. If you have a long haired cat this is even more important.

I personally recommend brushing your cat over vacuuming anyway. It is far better for removing potential mats and it is far more personal which will help develop a better bond between you and your feline friend. If you're looking for a good high quality brush then check out this article.

​How Do I Decrease Litter Tracking?

Behind cat hair, tracked litter is probably the second most common reason cat owners have to vacuum on such a consistent basis. It can be infuriatingly difficult to stop too, especially if you have multiple cats in the house!

​Litter tracking can be ​battled, but it usually cannot be completely stopped. There are a few things you can do to help minimize tracked litter:

  • Get yourself a high quality litter mat immediately, it is your best line of defense
  • ​Consider a top entry litter box or a piece of litter box furniture
  • ​Look into other types of litter, crystals, paper & pine are good options
  • You may also want to consider getting a groomer to trim your cat's paw fur

If you're looking for a more in depth guide on litter tracking you can find it here.

Wrap Up On The Best Vacuums For Cats

Having a cat basically means making a lifetime commitment to having cat fur and cat litter all over the place all the time. Just kidding. You can easily solve this problem with ​the right vacuum and the right schedule.

​There are some other ​great things ​you can consider to help minimize litter tracking and help minimize how much your kitties shed all over the house. These will certainly help you along the right path and minimize the vacuuming, but they certainly won't stop it.

If you've got any additional thoughts or have a vacuum you absolutely love then please leave a comment below and tell us all about it!

​​ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

References: Consumer Reports, Dyson, Bissell, Shark

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12 thoughts on “The 15 Best Vacuums for Cats 2019 [They Totally Suck]

  • December 9, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    I’ll be bookmarking this site.You really provide informative reviews on products that can make it much fun and easier to have our cats around. It’s really not easy getting those cat hair out of the cushion. anything to help is relieving. Just like you, I also prefer brushing my cat, than vacuuming them. I’d rather use the vacuum cleaner around the house.

    Thanks for writing and sharing this detailed article.

    • December 10, 2018 at 10:15 am

      Brushing is certainly preferable for the cat too. I have only ever met one cat that didn’t mind being vacuumed. I’ve seen several on YouTube, but only met one in person. It was quite a surprise to say the least!

      If you need help selecting a brush you can check out this article.

  • December 9, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Wow a great review! what made me surprised is to vacuum the cat !?!?@# ohh! it must be painful, I don’t really like this idea. Imagine that someone vacuum your head just to avoid the hair you loose in the shower 😉 I hope you are not bald, lol. Seriously, you made a great review, my vacuum is Dyson V8 and it is GREAT, for me, Dyson is the best Brand.

    • December 10, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Some cats actually really love being vacuumed. They don’t mind it one bit. Mine would never tolerate it though…

  • December 9, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    I’m reluctant to get a pet cat precisely because of all the fur that they leave behind. Your thorough article gives me hope though that if I find a cat I love, there is a solution to keeping the fur in the house down to a minimum. I really liked that you have included details about the different types of vacuums at the end of your article. 

    • December 9, 2018 at 10:10 pm

      Glad you found it helpful. Thank you for reading!

  • December 9, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    I find this article very helpful, thank you for doing the hard work of researching and coming up with the best vacuums for cats. 

    We own 3 cats and although they are so adorable, their hair (or fur) that’s everywhere can very well become a discomfort to us especially to some family members who are asthmatic. We are currently using a regular vacuum cleaner and other than being heavy, we noticed that even with the accessories that should enable it to pick up every single strand of cat’s hair on the floor and on the couch, there are still some that are left behind.

    As a result, we thought it would be best to buy a vacuum cleaner that’s especially designed for cat’s hair and litters but we are not sure which one is best for us. We prefer a handheld vacuum cleaner so it will be handy and pretty easy to use but we also want one that is pretty powerful. So I am thinking maybe between Bissell Cordless Pet Hair Eraser or Bissel Corded Pet Hair Eraser. Have you tried both? If you were to choose one of them, which one would it be?

    • December 9, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      The biggest consideration between those two models is whether or not you’re going to have to do a lot of moving throughout the house. If you have to constantly unplug and plug in that can be a bit of a hassle.

      But at the same time if your cat hair gets stuck in things like your couch as opposed to just piling up on wooden steps that head up stairs you might want the power as opposed to the convenience of no cord.

  • December 9, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    As I’ve always got a busy body, a handy and cordless is perfectly convenient for me.

    Among the few options, I think Dyson Cyclone V10 Cat Vacuum fits my taste as it has the quality and convenience I’ve been looking for aside from the fact that its apparently made specifically for cats’ use alone and that itself guarantees the usefulness, convenience and durability of this product.

    I’ve actually been the type of person who goes after first of the quality and convenience of a product ( rather than looking for the cheaper ones ) which is in fact more practical as you won’t need to buy every now and then if you’ve chosen the pricey but durable one.

    Thanks for this helpful article which really of great assistance for the cat lovers around.

    Have a great day!


    • December 10, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Glad you found it useful. Please do give us an update on how it works out for you!

  • December 16, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    Thank you so much for such a thorough blog and a little giggle with the title. 

    I am wanting to get a Maine Coon once my current darling strays move over the rainbow bridge but my other half is concerned about all the fur. Only the bedrooms are carpeted so I’m thinking the Dyson Ball Animal Vac would be the way to go for us.

    We already have a Dyson so I know they make a great product. I appreciate your honesty with some of the products, it is not often you are told how they really work and what the cons are as well as the pros, so thank you.

    • December 17, 2018 at 8:24 am

      Dyson does make an excellent product for sure.

      Maine Coons do indeed produce a ton of hair. Brushing them on a daily basis can really help too. You might want to consider a deshedding tool or a high quality brush also.


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