Dealing with cats in your nice home using the best vacuum for pet hair and smart interior tricks

Hello, darlings,


Today on the blog: how I’ve kept cats in my house for years without having to go without nice furnishings.


If you’ve ever owned cats or had friends who have feline companions, you’re sure to have heard nightmares about the devastation they can wreak on your nice woodwork, fabric pieces, and decorative items.

When I first decided to welcome cats into my home, I admit I was worried. And, in the process of learning, I lost a few treasured items, and uttered some foul curses to my furry little friends. Over the years, though, I’ve learned how to balance pet ownership with interior design ambition.


The biggest single thing you can do to help your cats coexist with your decor is to have them declawed. I know that’s controversial, but it can be done safely and comfortably. It’s the approach I’ve taken with my kitties, and I think they’ve forgiven me entirely. If you’re not comfortable going down that route, you will need to be very vigilant about trimming their claws to keep them in control. Long, sharpened claws are a nightmare for your curtains, rugs, and woodwork. Do what you can to rein them in!


When it comes to protecting your woodwork and keeping floors clean, the key is to give your kitties other surfaces to destroy, so they’re not so interested in the nice bannisters you’ve selected for your stairways. Cardboard furniture is the easiest thing, and you can use catnip essential oils to make it even more enticing! The opposite is true as well: cats don’t like citrus, so placing some essential oils is a great way to make your nice hardwoods less appealing. Give them plenty of scratching spots so that your furniture isn’t the ideal place to get out their angsty scratching


The other key thing you can do is to use thick lacquer on furnishings, making them harder to scratch. The thicker your varnish, the more protection you’re going to give your wood. Think of it as an attractive buffer between expensive hardwoods and your cat’s claws.


I also like to use lots of citrusy scents on my nice fabric furnishings like curtains, rugs, and drapery to protect them from destructive paws! This also works on plants, and I’ve found it saves my succulents from naughty nibblers!


Aside from destruction, the other big challenge faced by trendy pet owners is the mess your furry friends can create. My herd produces about a bale of fur per day at minimum, and I often feel swept off my feet trying to keep up. For years, I made do with a tiny stick vacuum, because like any good design nerd, I’m always obsessed with sleek spiffy engineering. The problem soon became apparent: with a tiny compartment to work with, I was emptying the vacuum at least once a day. Ugh.


At long last, I ended up searching the web for something a little better-equipped to handle masses of pet hair. Again, I’m a total design snob, and as with so many appliances, there’s nothing quite like German engineering for vacuums. I ended up going with  a Miele canister vacuum, after searching on

They have nice natural bristles, not like the cheap nylon brushes that have ruined so many of my varnishes over the years before I learned to take more care . They’re also compact, which is super important for me. As you’ll read on the review site, I think it’s of the utmost importance to find a vacuum that cleans your valuable decor touches without damaging any of them.


You’ll need to vacuum regularly, and make sure you pay special attention to your fabrics. Nothing drags your interior down like musty dusty drapes! Be sure to make smart use of your upholstery tool. One reason my Miele is so great is that it has adjustable suction levels, so you can treat your fabrics with care. That was one of the main reasons it was recommended on


My other favorite feature on my little Miele is its dusting brush, so often a disappointment with American brands. This thing is absolutely fabulous, with probably 2 inches of thick, soft bristles. I feel totally comfortable using it on my sculpture pieces, figurines, and molding, where in the past I would have resigned myself to a miserable afternoon with the feather duster.

Let’s review: the easy steps for keeping pets in trendy homes are to


-address the danger of claws

-make your furnishings less appealing

-provide lots of alternative scratching grounds

-get a great vacuum for pet hair that can clean your furnishings without compromising them


Hope this helps,