The Shed Vac is a portable vacuum powered by three AA batteries (not included), designed to loosen pet hair and suck it into a built-in canister while gently massaging the cat or dog. Functionally, it's very similar to the PetVac (*Est. $20). The manufacturer claims it's quiet enough not to scare pets, yet powerful enough to pull hair up from the undercoat to solve shedding problems. The removable canister collects the pet hair for emptying later. The Shed Vac can also be used on clothing, furniture or corners where pet hair has collected.
Reviews of the Shed Vac are mixed when it comes to how much pets enjoy the experience: The loud motor scared some pets during testing. Most owners say it lacks suction and is largely ineffective. It's possible to collect some pet hair with it, but reviewers dispute the manufacturer's claim that the Shed Vac removes loose hair from the undercoat. The verdict: Providing your pet doesn't mind the noise, it will remove some hair, but it's not going to eliminate a shedding problem.
We didn't find any objective tests of the Shed Vac on cats, but we did find two involving dogs. Reporters at two TV stations, WXIA (Atlanta) and WPCO (Cincinnati), ask volunteer testers to try the Shed Vac on their dogs, with very mixed results. We found about 30 reviews from cat owners at Does-The-Product-Work.com. Least credible is the review at JennyReviews.com, an apparent affiliate site that doesn't document any testing.
1. WXIA (Atlanta)
Susan Tauber tests the Shed Vac on her two Labrador retrievers, who shed so much that she has to vacuum twice a day. The device is gentle and doesn't bother either dog; they seem to enjoy the vac's massaging action. However, after comparing the Shed Vac with another de-shedding tool called the Furminator, Tauber says the Furmintor picked up a lot of hair that the Shed Vac left behind. She concludes that the Shed Vac doesn't pull enough hair from the undercoat to really solve a shedding problem. "It stirs up the fur but doesn't really do a deep cleaning, which is what causes shedding," Tauber says.
Review: Try It Review: Shed Vac, Oct. 20, 2010
2. WPCO (Cincinnati)
Lance Barry, a volunteer tester, tries the Shed Vac on his Labrador retriever. The loud motor scared the dog, and she kept running away whenever the device was turned on. The Shed Vac does collect some hair, but reporter Suzanne Murray questions its claim to have a calming effect on pets, considering how loud it is.
Review: Try it Out Tuesday: Shed Vac, Suzanne Murray, Sept. 7, 2010
About 30 owners rate and review the Shed Vac here, and most say it's junk. They complain of flimsy construction and inadequate suction, or say it scares their pets. A few say they're happy with the Shed Vac; even satisfied owners say it took a while for their pets to get used to the noise, however.
Review: Shed Vac, Contributors to Does-The-Product-Work.com
Although the Shed Vac earns a perfect 5-star rating, no testing is documented. This seems to be an affiliate site for the products reviewed, not a true testing site.
Review: Shed Vac, Editors of JennyReviews.com