The Best Vacuums for Cat Hair

Written by Kristin Hitchcock
Updated: February 13, 2023
© DreamBig/Shutterstock.com

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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall vacuum for cat hair is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Corded Vacuum.
  • Cats shed a lot and tidying up after them often requires a powerful vacuum.
  • There are a variety of vacuum specifically for pet hair on the market but not all are equal. There are cordless, corded, uprights, and handheld options to name a few.

Cats can shed a lot. In fact, given how small most cats are, they lose quite a bit of hair. A single cat can easily coat a whole couch during shedding season, especially if you pet them while on it.

For this reason, you’ll probably need to invest in a vacuum that can handle all of the cat hair being left behind. While multi-cat households need these vacuums the most, homes with a single cat will likely benefit from one.

There are tons of vacuums out there advertised as being for pet hair. However, not all of these are made equal. Some of them are a lot better than others.

Choosing the right option can be challenging. To help you out, we’ve chosen and reviewed the best options on the market. Check out our top pick below and several other vacuums that may be right for you.

  1. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Corded Vacuum
    • Works well on a variety of surfaces, including upholstery and carpet
    • You can use it safely on your sofa, carpet, and inside your car
    • Its multi-level filtration system won't clog
    • Features a 16-foot power cord
    • Best for spot cleaning
    Check Amazon
  2. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Vacuum
    • Handheld for easy portability
    • Operates on powerful 14V lithium-ion battery
    • Easily picks up dirt and pet hair
    • Easy-to-empty dirt bin
    • Includes special pet-specific cleaning tools to work on upholstery and crevices
    Check Amazon
  3. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus Lightweight Vacuum
    • Perfect for heavy-duty cleaning and removing cat hair throughout your home
    • Lightweight and agile
    • Easy to carry
    • Easy to maneuver
    • Features a cyclonic hair-spooling system so you won't need to remove hair from the vacuum by hand
    Check Amazon
  4. Miele Blizzard CX1Comfort PowerLine Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
    • This premium vacuum cleans on a professional level
    • Entirely bagless
    • Works on all flooring types
    • Easy to clean out due to vortex technology
    • Captures far more dust, dirt, and pet hair than other options
    Check Amazon

A-Z Animals Top Picks for Vacuums for Cat Hair

#1 Best Overall: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Corded Vacuum

Our best overall choice for a vacuum for cat hair is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Corded Vacuum.

This vacuum works well on various surfaces, including upholstery and carpet. You can safely use it on your couch, carpet, and even inside your car. It features a multi-level filtration system that sucks up hair without clogging.

With a 16-foot power cord, this vacuum will reach just about anywhere. It holds 0.78 liters of hair, dirt, and debris before needing to be emptied. Therefore, it is best for spot cleaning and is not necessarily designed to clean your whole house.

Because it is handheld, this vacuum is easy to use and not very heavy. This vacuum is an excellent option if you want to remove the hair from where your cat tends to nap. The rubberized nozzle helps dislodge hair from upholstery and carpet, although customers reported that this does need replacing fairly quickly after regular use. This vacuum includes two different nozzles that you can utilize for different cleaning situations.

Pros and Cons of the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Corded Vacuum

ProsCons
This vacuum works well on various surfaces, including upholstery and carpet.As it only has a capacity of only 0.78 liters it is only suitable for spot cleaning.
It features a multi-level filtration system.The rubberized nozzle needs replacing fairly quickly.
It has a 16-foot power cord.
It is light and easy to use.
It features two different nozzles.
Best Overall
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Corded Vacuum
  • Works well on a variety of surfaces, including upholstery and carpet
  • You can use it safely on your sofa, carpet, and inside your car
  • Its multi-level filtration system won't clog
  • Features a 16-foot power cord
  • Best for spot cleaning
Check Amazon

2. Best Handheld: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Vacuum

Sometimes, you don’t want to deal with a cord. In these cases, we highly recommend going with the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Vacuum.

This vacuum is cordless and operates with a 14 V lithium-ion battery. The motorized brush gets to work right away to remove embedded dirt and pet hair and the dirt cup capacity maxes out at 0.7 liters. This size does mean it’s only really suitable for spot cleaning though. However, it’s equipped with triple-level filtration to help improve cleaning performance and comes with a set of specialized pet tools including the motorized brush tool, an upholstery tool, and a crevice tool.

Pet hair isn’t the only thing this vacuum takes care of. Pet messes happen all the time, whether it’s kibble that spills out the food bowl or accidents that leave your floor littered with miscellaneous debris. With this tool, you can tackle soft surfaces on your furniture and can reach into those tight spots in between cushions. It can even help to keep your pet’s bed free from grime and pet hair.

Unfortunately, a replacement filter for this vacuum is a little pricier than expected. Also, some customers have reported that this vacuum takes a long time to charge, which is not ideal.

Pros and Cons of the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Vacuum

ProsCons
This vacuum has a 14 V lithium-ion battery.It takes a long time to charge.
It features triple-level filtration to help improve cleaning performance.The replacement filters are expensive.
It comes with a set of specialized pet tools.
Best Handheld
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Vacuum
  • Handheld for easy portability
  • Operates on powerful 14V lithium-ion battery
  • Easily picks up dirt and pet hair
  • Easy-to-empty dirt bin
  • Includes special pet-specific cleaning tools to work on upholstery and crevices
Check Amazon

3. Best Upright: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus Lightweight Vacuum

Our selection as the best upright vacuum is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus Lightweight Vacuum which is perfect for heavy-duty cleaning.

While this vacuum is more expensive than most we’ve mentioned so far, that’s only because it is so large. You can easily use this vacuum to clean your entire house and remove cat hair from anywhere.

Bissell designed this vacuum to be lightweight and agile. It is easy to carry up and down stairs as necessary. Its maneuverability around furniture makes it much easier to use than other vacuums.

It features a cyclonic hair spooling system to make it easier to clean out. You won’t have to reach your hand in and pull all the hair out yourself. In the end, this makes emptying the dust bin much faster and cleaner.

This upright vacuum is equipped with a “smart seal” allergen system that captures fine dust and allergens inside the vacuum, without spitting them back out into the air. There is an optional Febreze pet odor eliminator filter that helps you deliver the fresh scent of Febreze throughout your home for a clean you can smell. It’s also equipped with edge-to-edge suction for powerful cleaning around those typically hard-to-reach areas like room edges and baseboards.

Plus, this vacuum comes with many different pet tools for you to utilize. For instance, it comes with a dusting brush and crevice tool for getting in those tight spaces. The crevice brush even comes with an LED light to illuminate those dark corners and under furniture.

You can use this vacuum on low to high pile carpets, rugs, and hard surfaces. The brush can be turned on and off as necessary. You can even control the suction with your finger while vacuuming.

The main complaint that customers had about this product is that the cord is too short. Some people also found that the front of it is too bulky to get underneath some furniture.

Pros and Cons of the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus Lightweight Vacuum

ProsCons
This vacuum features a cyclonic hair spooling system to make it easier to clean out.The cord is short.
It is lightweight and easy to move around.The front is too bulky to get underneath some furniture.
This vacuum features edge-to-edge suction for powerful cleaning.
It has a “smart seal” allergen system that captures fine dust and allergens inside the vacuum.
It features an optional Febreze pet odor eliminator filter.
It comes with several brush attachments.
Best Upright
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus Lightweight Vacuum
  • Perfect for heavy-duty cleaning and removing cat hair throughout your home
  • Lightweight and agile
  • Easy to carry
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Features a cyclonic hair-spooling system so you won't need to remove hair from the vacuum by hand
Check Amazon

4. Best Premium: Miele Blizzard CX1Comfort PowerLine Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

If you don’t mind splurging then the Miele Blizzard CX1Comfort PowerLine Bagless Vacuum Cleaner is undoubtedly one of the most powerful vacuums around.

Compared to other vacuums out there, this model is costly. However, this is for a good reason as it comes with many more features overall and tends to perform on a more professional level.

Firstly, this vacuum is entirely bagless. It works on all flooring types and has specialized settings for different surfaces. This vacuum rarely clogs and is much easier to clean out thanks to its vortex technology. Plus, it captures much more dirt and dust than other options.

It is equipped with a HEPA filter, which is likely why it is so expensive. This filter is top-notch and designed to remove practically all dust and debris from your air. Therefore, this vacuum can leave your home’s air quality much better off than other vacuums.

Plus, this vacuum also comes with a range of different accessories. You can use a crevice tool, upholstery tool, turbo brush, and two different floorheads. However, some customers have reported that the nozzle are too big to get into small spaces with.

Pros and Cons of the Miele Blizzard CX1Comfort PowerLine Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

ProsCons
This vacuum in entirely bagless.It is more expensive than other vacuums on the list.
It works on all flooring types and has specialized settings for the different surfaces.The nozzles are too big to get into small spaces with.
It is easy to clean due to the vortex technology.
This vacuum is equipped with a HEPA filter which removes dust and debris from the air.
It features several different accessories.
Best Premium
Miele Blizzard CX1Comfort PowerLine Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
  • This premium vacuum cleans on a professional level
  • Entirely bagless
  • Works on all flooring types
  • Easy to clean out due to vortex technology
  • Captures far more dust, dirt, and pet hair than other options
Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

You need to consider several factors when looking for a vacuum for cat hair. Not all of these vacuums are made equal, after all. To choose the best option for your home, you need to consider the price, filtration, attachments, and durability.

Let’s take a look at each of these factors in turn:

Price

The price of a vacuum for cat hair can vary from $30 to nearly $3000. Usually, the cost depends on the vacuum’s suction, size, and quality. Most homeowners do not need a commercial-level vacuum, so we do not recommend going with the most expensive vacuum you find.

You’re the only one that knows your budget and you should select a vacuum that is suitable for your price point.

Filtration

A vacuum’s filtration will affect how much dander and dust it catches — and how much is sent back into the air. Therefore, vacuums with better filters will lead to better air quality and fewer allergy symptoms for you. However, be sure to clean these filters regularly. They are not effective if they are full of dust and dander.

Attachments

Most vacuums come with attachments of some sort. These attachments are essential for getting into smaller spaces and effectively cleaning your couch. Therefore, attachments can mean a lot when cleaning up cat fur.

Durability

Vacuums typically last quite a while. However, some vacuums are built more durable than others. Preferably, you want a vacuum that will last you a few years, at least.

In many cases, you may be able to save money over time by purchasing a more expensive vacuum that will last longer. Purchasing a cheap vacuum every year can get expensive, even if you’re only spending $100 at a time.

The Different Types of Vacuums

When choosing a cat vacuum, you’ll notice a few key differences between models. Some models are cordless, while others are corded. Some are full-sized, while others are handheld.

These types are not necessarily all-encompassing. Plus, most vacuums will fall into two categories. However, each does have its benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a look at each below.

  • Corded vacuum: Corded cat vacuums have a cord. You have to plug them into an outlet for them to work.
  • Cordless vacuum: Cordless vacuums have no cord and run on a battery. However, this does mean that you have to charge them.
  • Upright vacuums: Full-sized vacuums are tall and bulky. However, they have much more suction and are suited to cleaning your whole house.
  • Handheld vacuums: These smaller vacuums are designed for spot cleaning and are small enough to be used with one hand. Usually, they are cordless, though this isn’t always the case.

Corded Vacuum

ProsCons
You don’t have to worry about charging it.You are restricted by the cord.
They are usually more powerful than other options.

Cordless Vacuum

ProsCons
You’re not restricted by a power cord.They are usually not as powerful as corded vacuums.
It requires regular charging.

Upright Vacuums

ProsCons
They are more powerful.They can be heavy.
They often have plenty of attachments.They can be difficult to move around or carry.

Handheld Vacuums

ProsCons
They are easy to transport.They are not as powerful as other options.
It fits into smaller spaces.They are not designed for cleaning large areas.

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About the Author

Kristin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering dogs, cats, fish, and other pets. She has been an animal writer for seven years, writing for top publications on everything from chinchilla cancer to the rise of designer dogs. She currently lives in Tennessee with her cat, dogs, and two children. When she isn't writing about pets, she enjoys hiking and crocheting.

The Best Vacuums for Cat Hair FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the best choice for a vacuum for cat hair?

In this review the best vacuum for pet hair is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Corded Vacuum.

Is an upright or a handheld vacuum best for cat hair?

The honest answer is that it depends on your needs.  If you only need something to clean your couch or a specific area where your cat spends a lot of time then a handheld vacuum would be perfectly fine.  However, if you require something to clean your whole house then an upright would be better as they have a bigger capacity and are usually more powerful.

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