Tools for Possibilities: issue no. 9

Once a week we’ll send out a page from Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities. The tools might be outdated or obsolete, but the possibilities they inspire are new. Sign up here to get Tools for Possibilities a week early in your inbox.

Cat hair remover
Love Glove, $6

With three cats in the house, fur gets all over our furniture and clothes. I bought a Love Glove to attack the problem at its source – on the cats.

The Love Glove looks like an oven mitt. The palm side is covered with rubber nubs. To use it, you simply pet your cat. The loose fur comes off and sticks to the glove. It’s easy to peel off. My cats go into throes of ecstasy when I use the Love Glove on them. They even get excited just seeing me approach them with the glove on my hand. – Mark Frauenfelder
Intense feline grooming
FURminator De-Shedding Tool, $17

The FURminator is the only really functional cat-grooming tool I’ve ever found. The stiff steel rake grabs the undercoat while leaving the topcoat intact. It does a tremendous job of removing loose fur. Be prepared, especially the first time you brush your cat. For my cats, the big difference between the FURminator and regular brushes is that the softer bristles of standard brushes just get hair from the surface – the topcoat, and a bit of undercoat– whereas the stiffer teeth of the FURminator primarily snag the undercoat (and lots of it!) as well as loose hairs of the topcoat. The best part is that all that fur goes in the trash, and not on your sofa, bed, or carpet. The environment of my apartment has been improved dramatically, and I no longer need to spend a lot of time vacuuming up cat hair. While the FURminator is expensive for a grooming tool, it’s solidly constructed and ergonomically designed, and best of all, it really works. My vet used it on my cats while they were in for a visit. I was shocked at how much hair came off in just a few strokes, so I bought one to take home and have been using it for several months. I then threw out the other standard, cat/slicker brushes I had acquired over the years, and bought two more FURminators to give to cat-owning friends. The one I use is 1.75″ and is intended for cats, so although the FURinator comes in larger sizes for dogs, I can really only speak to its utility when it comes to cats. – Debbie Chachra
Cheapest little robot
Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box$35

Ever since I’ve had my cat, I have found the litter task quite unbearable. I’ve read a lot of reviews for various automatic litter box cleaners and most of them are too expensive, too error prone, and usually a combination of both.

Eventually I found the Omega litter box and I’ve never been happier. It is similar to the previously reviewed The Litter Robot, but it is cheaper and is NOT automatic which means a reduced likelihood of it breaking.

I’ve been using this litter box for almost 2 years now and the process is imple as ever: roll the litter box to the right, then roll it back. Get the shelf with the litter out and throw it in the garbage. DONE. No mechanical issues, no special sand, no electricity usage and NO SCOOPING. I love it. – Vitaly Belman
Feline meds delivery
Pill Pockets, $6

If you’ve ever tried to give a pill to a cat, you know it’s not only not fun, it can be downright dangerous. Dogs will eat anything. Cats, not so much.

I had a cat that was on medication for years, and every day it was the same struggle to get a pill down her throat. Now, I have a semi-feral, and very strong, older cat who needs thyroid medication every day. I would probably have lost a finger or two if I hadn’t found these things. You just fold the pill up into the little pocket, drop it in front of the cat, and it’s gone, like magic. Everyone’s happy, especially the cat. And you don’t need the asbestos gloves anymore. – Charles Richardson

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