Good vacuum cleaners for people with multiple pets?

esgaAugust 16, 2011

I have 5 cats, and I don't like to vacuum all that much. I find that regular vacuum cleaners don't really handle pet hair that well - they don't pick it up that well, and their filters aren't really made to handle lots of pet hair, resulting in needing professional cleaning more often than they should.

Woot has a special today on a refurbished Dyson made especially for households with pets. It's $289, but it's also heavy, around 20 lbs. The feedback on it is good, but I am hesitating mainly because it's so heavy. Before I invest so much, I thought I would come here and find out what other pet owners recommend.

Also, I have wood and cork floors, no carpet. I sweep, but I need to vacuum too - it's just more effective.


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I LOVE my Dyson Animal DC27. I bought it on Woot too a few weeks back and it was half off the original price of $600 and well worth every penny. Not only does it get all the pet hair, but I used my old vacuum to see a comparison; I ran the old vac per usual and then the Dyson, I had to clean out the Dyson canister three times before one room was clean, that is how poorly a regular vacuum works. I think it got every single grain of dust and cat litter ever crushed into the carpet.

Dyson, for sure, you won't regret it!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 5:58AM
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Several years ago when I got tired of going through a vacuum a week in my animal house (only a slight exaggeration), I was inspired to buy the highly recommended Dyson. Sure enough, it was the best vacuum I'd ever had, and it lasted more than a year (VERY impressive for my household) before finally giving up the ghost. I didn't have the money to either repair or replace it, so I just stuck it up against a wall and relied on vacuum giveaways on Freecycle to get me through.

Last month, I decided I REALLY wanted my Dyson back, so I called around again to try to find someone who would repair it for a reasonable fee. To my utter delight and amazement, I found that Sears would send it off to their repair center and fix whatever was wrong with it for a flat fee of $79. Turns out the motor was completely shot, so Sears installed a brand new Dyson motor, bushings, beater bar, and various other parts - essentially returning to me a functionally brand new Dyson vacuum for only $79! YIPPEE!!!!

So, here's my tip of the year for all of my pet-loving friends. Call your local Sears store and ask if and for how much they repair Dyson vacuum cleaners. If they offer the same sort of deal that my Sears store offered me, then go on your local Freecycle and/or Craig's List and see if you can find someone with a broken Dyson that they want to give away. You might just end up with the best vacuum you've ever owned for the price of a flat fee repair!

Happy Dyson hunting!


    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 12:08PM
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My sis has an older vacuum that has a water tank and she says it is better than any she has ever used. I think they still make them but they are expensive.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 8:31PM
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If you search over on the 'appliance' forum you'll find more than you care to know about vacuums. Most of the high end vacuums all came recommended but you can browse for opinions about other ones too. Yes, the Dyson was one that everyone seemed happy with. I bought an Oreck which I love because it's really light weight. (Found it on QVC). I don't have a lot of pet hair but it gets the carpets clean without re-swipes. I can pick it up and do the stairs and furniture without needing attachments. I love being able to do the stairs - I used to avoid until necessary. The only thing I don't like about mine is that I bought one that needs bags. I like the canisters you can empty but all the cheaper ones I've bought over the years have broken rather quickly or end up heavy. One of them bit the dust in under a year - waste of money. I was glad though because it was too heavy and was an excuse to buy a decent one!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 11:09PM
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I have a Simplicity vacuum that I love (also known as Riccar) ... 4 cats and 2 hairy dogs. It's the only one I've had that does a great job getting up the animal hair.

Prices are generally cheaper than Dyson, and I prefer a vacuum with bags.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 12:41PM
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Simplicity here, too. Great on pet hair, HEPA filters - but it is heavy. One repair in 8 years (I had to have the cord replaced after I ran over it too many times.)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 9:19AM
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Thanks for the advice everyone! Pet hair puts a special strain on vacuums - and so does the cat litter that gets tracked around. I really appreciate the advice. I need to look up my particular (but old) Kenmore on Consumer Reports - there are a couple Kenmore models that they rate highly for pet hair. I hold off on using it because I know that picking up lots of hair will shorten its life. But then what's the point of having it?

Well, it looks like heavy means quality. Heavy also means I won't vacuum very much. anyway, I missed that offer on Woot, but it sounds like these turn up there from time to time, and I do have a working vacuum at the moment. thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 8:59AM
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We have two dysons...the animal...and the ball...I love the ball cause it's much easier to clean the beater bar then my old animal...but that animal is great for picking up hair...I take both of them outside and blow the motor parts out with our air compressor very regularly and you should see the dust fly out of them!

We also have two Eurekas and their pretty good too!! We have two collies and a long haired cat so they all get a good workout!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 10:16AM
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We have cats, dogs and a big bird cage in a home with wood and vinyl flooring.

Our 10 gallon heavy-duty Genie wet/dry shop vacuum works well for us, and it has a fabric filter that is washable for re-use. I'm not sure they make that model now, but something similar might work for you.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:17AM
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spedigrees z4VT

Save yourself a bunch of bucks and get a shop vac. They have way more suction than any of the models mentioned above and cost about 1/6th of the price. Also they last forever and they are lightweight and easy to handle. I have two small ones in the room where my bird lives, an old model in the basement that I purchased in the 1980s, and a shop vac hangup with a very long hose, which acts as a central vaccuum unit for the upstairs.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 5:44PM
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A Dyson "Animal" is the best; we've had ours for seven years now, no repairs, no problems. We have four dogs and a cat in a house with mostly carpet and some solid-surface floors. I also use it for the vehicles.

If this one dies, I'll buy another one without hesitation. The newer ones are a bit lighter, but I'd take a copy of the one I have if it's all I could find.

liz_ga, taking the air compressor to the parts is a wonderful idea and I'm going to do that tomorrow. Up until now I've spent time "whacking" it to get the built-up dust out of the intake/cyclone section. It works, but seems to take forever. Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 4:33PM
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Like Kittens, I have an 8lb Oreck and am very happy with it. I've had it since '94. It's needed new brushes and belts from time to time, and I've used it a lot. Pros are that it is light and adjusts from floor to floor- from thick carpet, to tile, to low nap rugs. Cons are that it uses bags, and also that it does not fit into tight areas- like under the toe-kick of cabinets.

If I only had hard floors, I would probably not buy an Oreck. I've considered that my next vacuum might very well be a Kenmore or Electrolux cannister with a power brush head. They seem to be expensive, but I've heard some good things about them.

For the hard floor areas, I LOVE my old Big Green Clean Machine. I don't know if they still make them, but I LOVE mine for dry and wet vacuuming (as well as wet carpet and upholstery cleaning). When it dies, I might have to settle for a shop vac.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 1:00PM
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We have had our Dyson Animal for 7 years as well and have never had a problem with it. I keep the filters clean and throughly clean the vent holes every month or so. It may not be the most powerful vacuum out on the market but it does live up to it's reputation by not losing any either.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 10:25PM
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I could open a sweater shop with the amount of hair these dogs shed. I absolutely love my Oreck - it was the best present I ever got myself. I also heard great things about the Dyson Animal and I use to really really want a Miele Dog & Cat model.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 5:59PM
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I also have and like Dyson vacuums. I was the third person to buy one in the U.S. when they were introduced. The one we have now is very powerful, and will lift carpet off the floor. I've never had a motor problem, or other problems really, with any of them. We've had 5. We've used them for just about anything you can imagine. Our household tends to get a new vac about every three years. With Dyson it has worked out pretty good because their machines have evolved and improved, and all of them have been excellent (our first was a purple Pet). If you find a nice looking used one I wouldn't hesitate

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 1:36AM
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We have the Dyson animal, too. It is heavy, clumsy to maneuver, and the removable hose is a hassle.

But that vacuum picks up more pet hair than any other vac we've ever had.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 6:19PM
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We have two bulldogges & a lab so we have lots of dog hair. I had a Hoover bagged vacuum before buying my Dyson. I thought the Hoover was doing an OK job, I couldn't really see any hair after using it. The first time I used the Dyson I dumped the canister at least 6x. Using the hose & attachments is a little awkward compared to my old one, but it's not a bad trade off.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 11:32AM
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I just bought a Shark navigator at Walmart for $169. I was sitting watching T.V. one day and there was a program on vacuums and since I was in the market for one I decided to watch it. It was a promo for the Shark. My curiosity was sparked so I decided to purchase it at Walmart's because we have one close by and if I didn't like it, it would be easy to return. I LOVE it. The first time I used it, the canister filled up with dirt. I had only vacuumed five days before and I'm talking about one 6 x 9 area rug! It is extremely light weight. Try it, you'll like it and if you don't, do as I do, bring it back. Even DH was amazed at the suction. The one negative is that the cord is short, but I use an extension cord. It may not be the perfect vacuum, but the suction is great, it's extremely light weight and the cost was more than reasonable.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:04PM
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Got me a 6.5 hp shop vac, 10 gallon size which is small enough to easily use around the house but large enough to hold a good amount of debris - sawdust/ plaster dust from home renovation projects, etc.. It has an upholstery attachment good for cat hair on furniture and clothing, And for the loose litter that always gets scattered around the litterbox.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:00PM
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I have a Miele Polaris vacuum cleaner that my sister bought for me as a gift. Love it! She used to have as many as 5 dogs and 2 cats, so she knows about animal hair (I have only 1 cat).

The Mieles are not cheap but they are very powerful, lightweight, and quiet.

I've never used a Dyson so couldn't tell you how they compare.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 2:06AM
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I love my Oreck - have had it for almost 20 years now and have only had to replace a belt once. It is so lightweight. The only con is that it doesn't have a cannister attachment but I don't have carpeted stairs so it isn't a problem for me.

It does use bags but my experience with bagless vacs is that they need emptying too often. --- the suction is reduced quickly as it fills up. Rather go with the bags.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 4:45PM
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