Cats are funny creatures, aren’t they? Only when you truly know your cat do you truly know just how funny they are with their little quirks that seem to show themselves only to you.
My cat, for example, is a funny little devil. She’s my first cat so I can’t honestly say if she lives up to the ‘naughty tortie’ title.
When she first moved in she bashed my two dogs constantly. My Rottweiler took no notice, now choosing to virtually ignore her at all times – which makes Catface so thrilled when she does get 5 minutes of her attention that she is on her best behaviour.
My Labrador took two batterings to the nose, the second while she was asleep on the sofa and never forgave Catface. She even went as far as pretending to be asleep years later while Catface playfully rolled around in front of her bed trying to gently paw Chloe’s ears. I knew Chloe was awake. I could see it in her eyebrows, but she kept her eyes firmly closed and ignored her.
I think she learnt her lesson after that because when two new dogs landed with us two years ago she actively developed relationships with them, in part through terrifying them and in part to use them (although they aren’t aware of this) as back up in the garden should any neighbourhood cats think of walking on by.
She also knows when you’re in the middle of doing something, working for example, and can’t cope with her rolling around on your keyboard (especially given that 30 minutes ago she snubbed your attention). Or when she’s been out and got caught in the rain. Suddenly she’s all over you – I have news for you Catface, I know what you’re up to drying yourself on me.
Or when you’re about to leave the house and have freshly changed into ‘non-pet’ clothes. You know the ones. They’re concealed in your wardrobe and you dress like you’re Superman spinning around in a phone box to get changed and out of the house before those hairs latch onto you or before pets know what you’re up to and come after you like hair shedding zombies.
This time of year is particularly bad for pet hairs. I have three dogs, all black and tan and a tortie cat. Their hairs stick to everything – the beds, sofas, clothes – nothing is safe. I can groom the dogs to try and lessen the hair ‘damage’ but Catface is a nightmare to groom unless it’s on her own terms and even then I know she’s put me on a timer, so I need a pretty heavy duty vacuum cleaner to handle the workload.
Hairs aren’t the only problem I have. Time is a factor too. Working full time every day feels like a battle to fit everything in.
Luckily for us, we were offered the latest vacuum cleaners for pet owners from Gtech for review: the Gtech AirRam MK2 K9 (£249.99)and the Gtech Multi K9 (£169.99). Both cleaners are cordless and have decent battery life, which could make the task of vacuuming a lot easier – but did it?
Here’s what we – and our pets – made of them.
At first inspection, the boxes are well put together. There’s little to work out about how to put each together, although instruction manuals are included if needed.
The Gtech Multi K9
What You Get
This nifty little cleaner has a good battery life from its professional-grade 22V Lithium-ion battery. Gtech say that a four-hour charge gives you up to 20 minutes of cleaning time. This was about right, in fact, I only use for short bursts and turn off when moving from bed to bed or corner to corner, so often I only have to charge once a week.
The Gtech Multi K9 comes with three attachments. A long pole which makes reaching into corners for pet hairs or up to ceilings for cobwebs easy.
A flexible hose attachment, which I struggled with most but I think will be most useful in cars or similar sofa edges with the attachable brush head. And the one I found most useful, the brush head tool, which is ideal for stairs, sofa cushions and pet beds.
If you’ve previously tried the original Gtech Multi then one thing you’ll find different with this model is it comes with paw marked scented tabs which sit inside the handheld cleaner’s filter so while you work a floral scent follows you. The same scented tabs are used in the upright cleaner, similarly concealed in the filter.
The on/off button is in a good position for reflex reaction – I once tried one that you had to permanently hold the button down to keep it switched on so anytime you can switch a button on and leave it, I now see as a bonus.
The dirt bin was a little stiff to remove and it’s definitely a two hand job especially if you have small hands and can’t reach both plastic tabs to pull on, but at least you know when it’s on it’s really on and not likely to fall off!
I also chose to tap the green foam filter clean every time having fallen foul to washing before and being unable to remove that musty washed smell.
All in all, the handheld cleaner is lightweight and comes with everything you might need. The battery life gave me everything I needed and there’s little maintenance involved so I found myself thinking when I had a few minutes spare I’d just vacuum the edges here or there – if a job feels difficult it’s harder to inspire this motivation, even if it’s much needed with four pets.
For just under £170, it’s not one of the cheapest on the market but equally it’s not the most expensive. For the money though, in my experience of testing multiple cleaners for K9 Magazine, this handheld cleaner is one of the best.
The Gtech AirRam MK2 K9
What You Get
As with the Multi K9, the new Airram K9 is simple to put together and designed to be fuss free to keep the cleaner lightweight and easy to move around the home. It’s all fairly self-explanatory to assemble but a pamphlet is enclosed in case you want to read through beforehand.
If you’ve tried the original AirRam K9 there are three noticeable changes made to the updated model. Firstly, the front has a rubber flap to grab hold of more hairs as you sweep. It actually does a great job of this, even those hairs close to skirting boards.
Secondly, as with the Multi K9, the green foam filter conceals the scented tabs which are easily lifted out to be swapped for new ones when the tab dries out. You receive a pack of floral scented tabs and an extra green foam filter as standard in the box. This sounds like a small thing but when you vacuum and there’s a fresh scent in the air afterwards it’s a small touch which goes a long way.
And the third most noticeable change to this newer model is that the battery is removable so when it arrives you slot the battery into place but you can easily take out, charge in a place to suit you then slot back into the cleaner when ready. It gives a bit more flexibility on space if you don’t have a socket to charge in the space you want to store the upright cleaner.
Again like the Multi K9, the battery is a professional grade 22V Lithium-ion.
A single four hour charge will give you around 40 minutes of cleaning time for constant use or around an hour if you use it for short bursts. A new feature which is seen across different Gtech products as all designs become uniform (from vacuum cleaners to lawnmowers), is that the battery has a circular light system which when all four bars show is fully charged, as the charge decreases so do the number of lights showing. I found that when it got to two lights left, it needed a charging boost – but perhaps this is because I keep it on permanent charge.
The handle is adjustable to suit and makes it easy to lift when needed because it’s particularly lightweight. Noticeably so if you are transitioning to use after using a standard vacuum cleaner.
I’m a big fan of Gtech’s new AirRam K9. Seriously, if they want to send me an ‘I heart Gtech’ tshirt I will wear it. Or my dog or cat will, since it’s because of them that I’m a fan.
Using it is easy and emptying is simple too with little fuss involved. You simply lift out using the handles shown below, click open the lever at the side and hold upside down over the bin and move the green lever towards the opened end.
Hairs as you can probably tell, are the bane of my life. And if it’s not pet hairs, it’s dirt because I think my dogs are digging a trench in my garden. They seem quite happy about it, I’m not. Unfortunately, I also saw the cat having a go at it this week too.
Vacuuming is something I have to do, it’s not optional and on the days I just can’t squeeze it in, it makes the following day harder to clean up.
Knowing I can squeeze it in without wires and cords to trip over and I can lift it upstairs (or over pets who don’t want to move) and it’s lightweight enough to do it, makes a difference. It makes my life easier.
As with the Gtech Multi K9, the new AirRam K9 isn’t the cheapest on the market but it is priced towards the lower-middle end of the market with others in the field being priced at upwards of £400, which makes it extremely good value for what it offers for less than £250.
If you’ve tried it and have anything you’d like to share with others, comment below and spread the word!