Written by James Hall | 1 Comment | Last Updated: January 11, 2018
Miele C3 Cat and Dog
Miele has a history of manufacturing excellent vacuums for pet hair, but the company was forced to change their designs when the EU began limiting motor power. The result is the C3 Cat and Dog, which maintains a high level of suction power yet with a far more energy efficient design.
With its Active AirClean filter, “A” rated hard floor cleaning performance and focus on picking up pet hair, there’s no doubt that the Miele C3 Cat and Dog has been built for pet owners. It’s also received rave reviews from buyers on shopping sites, where it’s quickly become one of the most popular pet vacuums.
But does the vacuum really suck up even the toughest pet hair? Or are you better off buying the cheaper C3 Complete? We’ll answer these questions and many more in our Miele C3 Cat and Dog PowerLine review!
Please Note: This review is of the 1200W version of the Cat & Dog. Miele has since released a 900W version with near-identical features, aside from a less powerful motor, to comply with EU regulations. Much of this review still applies to the 900W version.
Overview of this Model
- Two floorheads, including a Turbobrush for carpets and EcoTeq floorhead for hard floors
- Excellent pet hair pickup and powerful suction
- Active AirClean filter removes pet odours from exhaust air
- 11-stage filtration system to minimise allergens
- Self-closing bag system prevents dust and allergens leaking into the air
- Power settings can be adjusted by foot for extra convenience
- Several tools including a crevice nozzle, upholstery nozzle and dusting brush
- On-board storage for tools
In-Depth Miele C3 Cat and Dog Feature Review
Appearance and Design
The first thing to note is that this is a bagged cylinder vacuum, so you’ll need to spend a bit of money on replacement bags. Fortunately, the bags are simple to fit and remove, although we recommend buying the genuine Miele bags as they provide extra filtration (more on that in the filtration section).
Despite the focus on powerful suction, the Miele C3 is relatively lightweight at just 5kg. This puts it on the edge of our lightweight category (you can see our recommended lightweight models by clicking here) and means it isn’t too tiring to use around the home.
Don’t be fooled by the lightweight design though – this is a sturdy model with a relatively large 4.5 litre dust capacity. It also has a comfortable handle for carrying up and down stairs, and the tube/hose reach is long enough to clean at least halfway up a staircase (so you can clean the entire staircase without needing to put the vacuum on a step). The body is supported by three wheels, making it easy to move around the home. It’s also easy to use and much more mobile than the average upright.
Additionally, Miele have a reputation for producing high-quality and reliable machines. This vacuum has been tested for the equivalent of 20 years of regular use, which includes around 1000 hours of motor usage. The manufacturer even runs “crash tests,” so you can be sure it’s a rugged vacuum that doesn’t break easily.
Suction Power and Performance
As we mentioned in the introduction, this model has a relatively low power of 1200W – at least compared to previous Miele pet vacuums. This initially caused concern over whether the vacuum would be able to cope with the toughest pet hairs.
The good news is vacuum cleaner performance isn’t all about raw power. In fact, the model is capable of suction comparable to a 2000W vacuum despite its motor only using 1200W (at its maximum), and the vacuum has been rated A for pickup on hard floors and B on carpets, which is an excellent result.
This is largely due to the new EcoTeq floorhead which increases air flow. For extra manoeuvrability, the floorhead is lightweight and comes with a pivoting design. You can also lower the brushes for better cleaning on hard floors.
For stubborn pet hair, the C3 also comes with a Turbobrush for stirring up carpets during cleaning. This does a great job of removing hair, even if you have a big Labrador or heavy-shedding cat. We recommend using the turbobrush on thick carpet and the EcoTeq with brushes lowered for hard floors.
Additionally, the model comes with electronic controls for variable suction power. This is a useful feature for reducing suction on certain surfaces such as carpets and vinyl flooring.
Ease of Use
It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into making the model easy to use. Here are some examples of useful features:
- The cable can be rewound with a single press of the footswitch, saving you time and stress. This is an often-overlooked feature that makes using a vacuum more convenient, so we’re glad Miele included it with the C3 Cat and Dog.
- When you need to change the bag, the vacuum automatically closes the bag to prevent allergens leaking into the surrounding air.
- The cleaning radius is 11 metres with a cable that’s 7.5 metres long, which isn’t huge but should be enough for most jobs. We would have liked a slightly longer cord to avoid changing plug sockets so often though.
- The model is relatively quiet at just 77dB when using the EcoTeq head on max power. This isn’t low enough to put it in our quiet vacuum category though.
- A bonus of the C3 floorheads is the vacuum cleans right to the edge of carpets.
- An external indicator tells you when to replace the bag. This isn’t 100% accurate though, so we usually recommend checking the bag manually before changing it.
While the vacuum doesn’t come with a HEPA filter (this is included with the more expensive C3 Total Solution Allergy model) the 11-stage filtration system, which includes an Active Airclean filter, is a step up from regular filters – especially for pet owners.
The AirClean filter includes an extra layer of charcoal. This helps remove pet odours from the air to prevent your home suffering from that “doggy” smell after cleaning. The Active AirClean filter also has a useful indicator when it needs to be replaced (the filter should last between 1-2 years depending on how much you use the vacuum).
In addition to the filter itself, the bag fleece is designed to filter air multiple times. This process removes more small dust particles and other allergens.
The vacuum certainly isn’t the cheapest model on the market, with an RRP or £270 (although it can often be bought for considerably less than this). We think that the combination of excellent suction power on both carpets and hardfloors, odour-reducing filter and self-closing bags makes the model more than worth the money if you have pets.
Several on-board tools are included with the Miele C3 Cat and Dog. These are a crevice tool, upholstery brush and dusting tool, in addition to the Turbobrush and EcoTeq floorheads.
While you shouldn’t expect the crevice tool to be as effective at picking up pet hair as the Turbobrush or EcoTeq, it still does a decent job for cleaning those hard to reach areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I buy the C3 Powerline or the C3 Cat and Dog Powerline?
We reviewed the excellent C3 Powerline here, and while it’s considerably cheaper than the Cat and Dog it’s clearly inferior if you have pets. The filter doesn’t include the Active system and you only get a single standard floorhead (compared to the Turbobrush and EcoTeq). If you don’t have pets, however, then the C3 Powerline is still a great option.
How often do the bags need to be changed?
This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on how often you need to vacuum and the size/breed of your pets. In general, you should expect a bag to last several weeks.
If you need a powerful vacuum for getting rid of pet hair while removing that unpleasant doggy smell, the Miele C3 Cat and Dog is one of the best options on the market.
It has strong suction power, a lightweight design and a relatively large capacity, while the two floorheads make short work of both carpet and hard-floor cleaning. There are cheaper options available, but the C3 Cat and Dog more than justifies its price for pet owners. Click here to view the vacuum’s price.