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7 Surprising Ways to Use Pet Hair

  • a Care2 favorite by Katie Waldeck
7 Surprising Ways to Use Pet Hair

Pet hair here, pet hair there, pet hair everywhere! Yep, if there’s anything pet parents have plenty of, it’s pet hair, so why not put some if it to good use? Read on for clever ways to reuse your animal friend’s hair.



Do Good.

1. Save the Planet. Most people’s hair gets greasy when it hasn’t been washed because it soaks up oil — hence the need for shampoo! And while that might not always be so great for our hygiene, it can be great for the environment. The California-based nonprofit Matter of Trust accepts donations of both pet and human hair and ships them off to help clean up oil spills. The donated hair is stuffed into hosiery and made into “booms” that are dispatched to polluted waters. Click here for detailed information on donating to this great cause.


Get Crafty!

2. Make Yarn. It might seem a little strange to sport a sweater  or scarf knitted from your pet, but, hey, it’s been going on for hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of years! Save up all that hair and spin it yourself. Or, for the less crafty among us, there are plenty of skilled artists out there (Etsy is a great resource for this) who will spin the yarn and make something great for you.

3. Use as a Stuffing. Making pillows? Pet hair makes a great stuffing.

4. Make Cat Toys. True to feline form, cats love toys made out of their own fur. And, if made properly, you don’t have to worry about any hairball problems! Watch this video for detailed instructions.



In the Garden.

5. Compost. Nitrogen-rich pet hair can works wonders on your soil. Because the stuff takes so long to decompose, your best bet is to cut the hair into smaller strands before adding it to your compost bin, or skipping the compost all together and adding it straight to the soil.

6. Help the Birds. Birds will.. er… fly at the chance to use pet hair to build their nests. You can place a basket in your yard filled with pet hair and other nest-building materials, like twigs, pine needles, and strips of bark. Don’t offer pet hair from animals that haven been chemically treated for fleas or ticks, however.

7. Ward Off Pests. Pesky slugs and snails feasting on your garden? Ward them off by sprinkling pet hair around your plants. This can also work for bigger pests like gophers, rabbits, raccoons, chipmunks, deer and other critters.

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Read more: Cats, Conscious Consumer, Crafts & Design, Crafts & Hobbies, Do Good, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Home, Lawns & Gardens, Make a Difference, Natural Pest Control, Nature, Pets, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Surprising uses for ..., , , , ,

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
6:15AM PDT on May 6, 2015

Thanks for sharing

1:30PM PDT on Apr 26, 2015


7:35AM PDT on Apr 25, 2015

I had a robin's nest close enough that I could watch the progression of the babies growing up until they flew away. With four retrievers I figured it would be full of dog hair - not a strand!
It gets composted in my own, and when I have too much I greencart it and give it to friends for their compost!

6:31PM PDT on Apr 19, 2015

Found out I could compost hair ( ours & our dogs ) a while back . I'm always looking for stuff to compaos as it's " black gold ".

5:11AM PDT on Apr 16, 2015

thanks for sharing :)

12:37AM PDT on Apr 16, 2015

I not only provide saved up cat fur for my Wild Garden Birds,
I also save up the Fluff from my Tumble Drier..
I've done this for many years & All of the Birds in this Region
have Nests which are Toasty & Cozy, all Winter long.. :)

2:20PM PDT on Apr 15, 2015

Will definitely look into the idea of donating hair to clean up oil spills .... brilliant!

7:39PM PDT on Apr 14, 2015

Yarn made out of dog hair smells just like wet dog when the yarn gets wet. Strongly encourage you to drop that from the list unless you are partial to that odor.

12:57PM PDT on Apr 14, 2015


7:56AM PDT on Apr 14, 2015

I think I'll see about making a couple of cat toys.

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Interesting. I learned something new. Thanks for sharing

Really nice article , amusing

Thanks for sharing.

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