Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog FAQ, Troubleshooting, and Pet Cleaning Tips

The Miele Cat & Dog is one of the best investments you can make for a home with furry friends.
The Miele Cat & Dog is one of the best investments you can make for a home with furry friends.

The Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog is one of the most popular vacuums for families with pets for a reason: it cleans up after them better than nearly anything else. Whether you’ve got golden retrievers like we do, a pack of labs, or enough cats to recreate The Lion King, when it comes to pets, they make messes, they shed, and the quicker the cleanup, the less your house looks (and smells) like a zoo. While you can spend more on certain valuable upgrades in the Marin, it’s ultimately not going to clean out stains and dander better than the C & D. Today we’re going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about cleaning and maintaining your Cat & Dog, with warranty information, dust bag and filter recommendations, and more. Our Brilliant FAQ is here and our Marin FAQ is here.

What’s the difference between the Complete C3 Marin and Complete C3 Cat & Dog canisters?

Even though the Marin typically costs at least $100 more than the Cat & Dog, the truth is that there aren’t very many differences between them, at least when it comes to cleaning power. Both will do a good job on just about any surface and you can thoroughly clean a house full of pets and children with either. However, the Marin uses a replaceable HEPA filter for filtration while the Cat & Dog makes use of a carbon filter–specifically, the Miele Active AirClean 50 Filter. Let’s look at how they compare.

Both are designed to be replaced after around 50 hours of usage, or roughly 12 months in a home and family environment. The charcoal cassette in the AirClean is designed to absorb odors more effectively than what you’d get through regular filtration, and we find it works quite well with urine, vomit, and poop stains. The HEPA filter, in contrast, is tuned for particle absorption, which is helpful for families with children or adults with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory or health issues. Beyond the filtration differences, the Marin also includes an automatic power adjuster, which you don’t get with the Cat & Dog.

What’s the difference between the Cat & Dog canister and upright? Is the C3 Complete worth the additional money?

While ultimately, you’re the only one who can decide what works within your family’s budget, we’ve compared the Cat & Dog canister to upright and in our books, the canister blows away the upright and is well worth the price difference. The canister is simply easier to port around and is also far more friendly for more petite users, seniors, or individuals with back issues or disabilities. The cleaning power is significantly upgraded in the canister and most people find it more efficient to use, especially once you figure out how to “dance” with it.

You’ll be able to pull out fur from wherever your cats are shedding, take care of hard wood floors and area rugs with equal ease, clean under beds, navigate up and down stairs, reach into corners and beneath cabinets…it’s just a lot easier to use to get into all the nooks and crannies that make a house a home. The upright, in contrast, only really has the advantages of being cheaper and being able to keep up with a home without any obstacles (things like tables, chairs, sofas, pianos, kennels, and so on).

Is the Cat & Dog worth it (or appropriate) if I don’t have  pets or carpet and only have hard wood floors?

Because the Cat & Dog tends to do everything well, there are many people who buy it even if they don’t have lots of carpeting and upholstery; there are even people who buy it even though they don’t have pets. While the Cat & Dog will do a perfectly good job in pet-free or carpet-free homes, the truth is that you might find it a bit overkill for such situations, particularly if you’re stretching your budget to buy it. To put it simply, if you don’t have carpets or rugs and aren’t planning on getting any in the future, you don’t really need a Miele canister with a power head. You can get the non-carpeted cleaning power, longevity, and build quality of the Cat & Dog for $100-$200 less by investing instead in the C3 Calima or the C3 Alize; both are excellent vacuums that leave little to be desired. We review and compare the Calima and Alize here.

Which kinds of dust bags, pre-motor filters, and charcoal filters do you need for the Cat & Dog, and when do you need to replace them?

The Cat & Dog requires the standard Miele GN Airclean 3D Efficiency Dust Bag; each box contains four bags and a pair of filters (motor and air). The bags should be replaced whenever they’re full and you’ll want to replace the motor filter with every fourth bag. It’s a good idea to buy several boxes at once and keep them in your basement or closet, as they’re not going to go bad and it’ll be far more convenient to be able to switch them as needed than to need to vacuum with a full bag or an inefficient filter while waiting for a new order to come in. As noted above, for the charcoal filter you’ll want the Miele Active AirClean 50 Filter. You’ll need to replace it every 12 months or after 50 hours of vacuuming, a number you’ll reach sooner than you’d think if your pets, like ours, want to turn your home into a giant fur ball.

You can buy the Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog here on Amazon. If you want to upgrade to the Marin, you can buy the Marin here. If you’d prefer the Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog, buy it here. You can also buy the C3 Calima here and buy the C3 Alize here if you’re on a smaller budget but still want C3 canister quality .We won’t judge.

Canadians can buy the Cat & Dog here, the Marin here, the Calima here, and the Alize here.

If you find our research on PMC helpful, you can follow our efforts to keep maniacally reviewing home cleaning tools by shopping through our links above. We promise to keep fighting the good fight against every horror children, animals, and grown, yet messy humans can inflict upon a clean home.

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