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Books

Crafting With Cat Hair: Gross? Or Awesome!

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Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 7:00 AM

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Well, it's here. A book about cat fur. Crafting With Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make With Your Cat is out this month from Quirk Books. The idea comes from Japan (of course).

The translator, Amy Hirschman, lives in Los Angeles. She hasn't made the cat hair crafts yet, but plans to get together with her friends to do so with the hair they collect. It will, no doubt, be a fun and highly allergenic time. "I think American audiences are a little more squeamish when it comes to the idea of crafting with cat hair," Hirschman says. "I've found that the reaction is either 'Gross! Weird!' or 'What an interesting idea! This is so cute, I really want to try this! Lord knows I have enough cat hair.'"

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And what does author Kaori Tsutaya think? She took time out of her busy cat-fur-crafting schedule to answer some of our most burning questions.

Do you think crafting with cat fur is gross? I showed the book to several people and "Eeew, gross" was their first response.

But I think it's a great way of communicating with cats and would not have devoted so much of myself to this crafting if I thought it was gross.

The projects in the book actually aren't too extreme. Was that a deliberate decision? For instance, the finger puppets were the only ones 100% out of cat fur. You could have gone all out and done some really cat-fur-intensive projects. A dress or a shirt made entirely out of cat hair, for example. Do you think that is a good idea?

Cat hair does not have the strength or durability to make practical items, such as shirts or bags, but it does work well for small designs, mascots, or decorations.

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Do certain breeds of cat provide better hair for crafting than others?

Even short haired cats can provide good materials and the color of the fur doesn't matter. However, it's also not a good idea to try to get hair from cats who don't like to be brushed.

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Would a cat play with a toy made out of its own fur?

A cat will snap at cat-hair products (as they can detect smells of other cats) and so readers shouldn't wave cat-hair felt puppets in front of cats.

Yes, that sounds like a good way to get yourself killed. Thank you for the advice, Kaori.

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