Yes, your cat is a self-groomer, but he can’t get all the loose fur off. And all the fur he removes is fur he swallows, which will eventually cause serious, even life-threatening problems. For this reason, he/she needs to be brushed regularly.
Brushes come in all shapes, sizes, and variations, and the “best” brush for your cat depends on the breed and fur type of your cat. For short-haired cats, a soft bristle brush is usually enough. For medium to long-haired cats, you will need something stronger with longer teeth to reach below the topcoat and de-shed the undercoat.
Brushes range from soft-bristled to metal-toothed, and each one has its strong points and its flaws. Pet grooming is not a one size fits all. To know which tool your pet needs, you should understand how each tool works. Let’s take a look at several of the top-selling brushes on today’s market.
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5 Best Cat Brushes
1. Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Cat Brush
This brush is designed with hundreds of stainless steel pins long enough to cut through the topcoat into the undercoat.
This design is meant to dislodge and remove loose, dead hair from the undercoat. The cat can’t remove this layer by self-grooming, so it’s important to remove these hairs by brushing.
A press-and-release button extends the pins through the plastic casing for grooming. When the brush is full, the button is pressed again to retract the pins. This leaves the hair gathered on the surface of the brush head.
It can then easily be removed into a waste can, making clean up a much tidier affair. The brush is stored with the pins retracted to avoid damage to the pins.
The ergonomic handle is designed for maximum comfort so your pet can enjoy a long grooming session without your hand and wrist paying the price.
- Product Dimensions: 5.8x3x10 inches; 3.2 ounces
- Material: Plastic casing and handle; stainless steel pins
- Color: Purple
- Cleaning: Self-cleaning
What We Like
- Innovative design
- Small head
- Comfortable handle
What We Don’t Like
- Doesn’t perform as advertised
- Plastic in stressed areas is too thin and breaks easily
- Release button does not lock pins in place
- Pins get caught under faceplate and bend
- Pins cut and scrape cat’s skin
- Causes pain to the cat even with a light touch
SummaryWhile the design is well thought out, it is not so well executed. This brush can do significant damage to your fur baby’s skin and cause him or her a great deal of pain. You may want to do your own research on the Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush before purchasing.
2. Pet Grooming Brush for Cats
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This is one tool that does exactly what the advertising states it will do. The strong stainless steel blade cuts through the topcoat to remove the dead undercoat.
The sturdy ergonomic handle won’t break or come off. It is designed for many years of steady use.
This tool can reduce grooming time down to ten minutes, relieving your pet’s anxiety over hours of grooming. Best of all, it causes no pain to the pet and does no harm to the cat’s sensitive skin.
- Product Dimensions: 8x5x1inch; 4.8 ounces
- Color: blue
- Blade size: 100mm
What We Like
- Performs as advertised
- Removes 95% off dead undercoat
- Doesn’t harm kitty’s skin or cause pain
- Replaceable blade
What We Don’t Like
- Cleaning requires two hands
- Blade fills up with just a few strokes requiring frequent cleaning
SummaryIf your cats need to lose their undercoats, try the Professional De-Shedding Tool for a painless experience.
3. 2 Sided Undercoat Rake for Cats
The two-sided undercoat rake was designed to remove mats safely and painlessly from your cat’s coat. One side features nine teeth spaced widely apart. The other side has seventeen teeth placed close together.
The idea is for the wide teeth to work through mats while the narrow teeth help to remove dead, loose undercoat. The problem is that the teeth are not sharp enough to cut. Instead, they pull.
- Product Dimensions: 6.8x3.6x1.1; 5.6 ounces
- Materials: rubber and stainless steel
- Color: blue and black
What We Like
- Rounded teeth are safe for kitty’s skin
- Ergonomic handle prevents wrist strain
- Sturdy construction
What We Don’t Like
- Teeth do not actually cut through mats
- Pulls kitty’s hair
- Causes pain to your pet
SummaryBefore you use the two-sided undercoat rake, research what other pet owners say about such a tool.
4. Furminator Longhair deShedding Tool for Large Cats
- Stainless steel deShedding edge reaches through topcoat to safely and easily remove loose hair and undercoat
- FURejector button releases hair with ease
- Ergonomic handle for comfort and easy use
- Remove loose hair without damaging the coat or cutting the skin when used as directed
- deShedding tool for large (over 10 lbs) cats with long hair
The FURminator is one of the most popular tools in pet grooming. Featuring a wide stainless steel head with short teeth, it resembles hair clippers.
The teeth, which measure 2.65 inches, reach through the topcoat to remove the loose undercoat. This product is 100% as effective as marketing advertises it to be.
It is painless to your pet and doesn’t pull their fur. When the blade is full, simply press the FURejector button to release the fur into a waste container.
- Product dimensions: 1.75x3x6; 5.44 ounces
- Materials: Plastic and stainless steel
- Color: Purple and black with yellow logo
What We Like
- Works as advertised
- Causes no pain to pet
- Ergonomic handle
- Reduces shedding up to 90%
What We Don’t Like
- Blade fills up quickly
- Ejector release button lets fur fly everywhere
- Cleaning requires two hands
SummaryFor your long-haired cats, give the FURminator Long Hair De-Shedding Tool a try.
5. HandsOn Pet Grooming Gloves
- [ Works on Dogs, Cats, Horses, and More ] : Simply pass the five finger design glove over your pet's hair and watch it fall...
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- [ Easy to Clean in Seconds ] : Simply rub your gloved hands together and the pet hair falls right off. When finished...
Gloves provide a casual, stress-free approach to pet grooming. The palms of these gloves are covered in raised rubber mounds designed to massage your cat’s skin to promote circulation. This keeps kitty’s coat healthy.
The fingers are covered in rubber bristles that are actually a bit sharp but are designed to grasp the dead, loose undercoat, and remove it. They also help with the distribution of natural oils throughout kitty’s coat.
These gloves help with the daily maintenance of your pet’s coat, making it easier to control how much your pet sheds.
When the surface of the glove is full, you can peel off the hair and discard it. To clean the gloves, all that is needed is to rub them together under running water and allow to air dry. Or you can toss in the clothes washer.
Gloves are more gentle than many other grooming tools, so for your picky pet who doesn’t like to be brushed, these gloves may be the solution.
- Product dimensions:13x5.75x0.5; 64 ounces
- Materials: Nylon and rubber
- Color: Green and Black
What We Like
- Work as described
- Does not hurt pet
- Does not pull hair
- Easy to clean
- Adjustable wristbands
What We Don’t Like
- Doesn’t work as well on short-haired pets
- Doesn’t keep fur compacted on glove surface
- Fit too snugly; difficult to remove
SummaryHandsOn Pet Grooming Gloves give you a less aggressive way to groom your furry friends.
The Best Cat Brush Reaches The Deepest Layers
The FURminator Longhair De-shedder has been ranked the best overall cat brush in terms of performance and ease of use.
The FURminator easily and painlessly de-sheds the undercoat and topcoat of even the longest haired breeds up to ten pounds.
The collected fur is easily expelled by depressing the FURejector button, which makes clean up super simple and quick.
This tool doesn’t need to be used every day. Manufacturers recommend that you de-shed your cat once or twice weekly.
This will remove the loose undercoat hairs and discourage mats from forming.
Types Of Cat Brushes Provide A Wide Range Of Options
Cat brushes come in many different forms. Essentially, there are seven types of grooming tools available for cats. These categories are as follows:
- Wire pin
- Fine-toothed comb
- Brush glove
- Brush mitten
Bristle Brushes Get The Top Layer
The bristle brush is much like a human’s hairbrush. It is made of nylon bristles that range from soft to stiff.
Short-haired cats can use shorter bristles while long-haired cats will need longer, stiffer bristles. These brushes are used for everyday maintenance to keep your cat’s coat shiny and clean.
They remove loose hair and dirt while massaging kitty’s skin and promoting the production of natural oils to keep kitty’s hair healthy.
Wire Pin Brushes Go Below The Surface
These brushes are made with thin metal wires meant to reach into the undercoat. Some of these brushes will have rubber tips on the ends of the wires to avoid causing pain or injury to the cat’s skin.
The tips help to massage the skin and spread the natural oils through the fur, keeping it shiny and healthy. Unfortunately, these don’t work so well for cats that have unusually thick or tangled hair.
The rubber tips just get enmeshed in the tangle and make it many times worse while pulling the cat's hair and causing pain.
Slicker Brushes Can Cause Great Damage
Marketed as great brushes for removing mats and tangles, these brushes can cause extreme pain to the cat and, in some cases, can make the cat bleed from the untipped metal wires.
They tend to tug at the cat’s fur, which makes it an unpleasant experience for your fur baby.
These should be used with extreme caution, if used at all.
Fine Toothed Combs Work the Kinks Out
These tools are not meant to be used for daily grooming; they are only intended for working out large tangles or mats in long-haired cats.
They should not be used any place except where the tangle is. The combs are stiff and far too rough for all-over combing. It will cause your cat unnecessary discomfort.
Rubber Brushes Add The Finishing Touch
Rubber brushes work well for removing loose hair or debris from cat fur. They also massage the skin, helping to distribute the natural oils, which keeps hair healthy.
This is the type of brush you finish off with once you have removed all the tangles and dead hair. They double as a furniture brush since they excel at snagging stray hairs from the sofa as well as the cat’s back.
Glove Brushes Lower Stress
Some cats become anxious when they see a traditional brush, especially if they’ve had painful experiences in the past.
A glove brush is less stressful because it feels more like petting than grooming. For cats who have severe anxiety issues, this may be the only type of brush they will allow near them.
Caution must be used because the protrusions on these gloves are sometimes metal, sometimes plastic. But in either case, they are extremely sharp. Any pressure added to these gloves can cause the sharp protrusions to damage kitty’s skin, or at the least, inflict pain.
Mitten Brushes Cover A Bigger Area
The mitten brush is just a glove brush without fingers. The major difference between the two is that the mitten can cover a larger surface area per stroke. This can reduce grooming time and is especially well suited for larger cats.
Clean up is quick and easy since the hair compacts into a solid mat, and you just peel it off. This may not be suitable for those who have small hands since the mitt may slip around too much.
Here’s How To Brush Your Cat
While there’s no scientific formula for brushing cats, there are some general guidelines to follow.
Start at the Top
Start brushing your cat at the head and work down toward the tail. Be careful around the ears since these are sensitive. The tail is another sensitive place that requires great care to avoid hurting your cat.
Cats are protective of their underside, so your angel baby may turn into a ninja warrior when you try to brush his or her belly.
Go With the Flow
Always brush in the direction that the fur grows. If your cat is not used to being brushed, you may need to take it slow at first.
Not all cats like to be brushed, and most of them are suspicious of anything new. Let him or her sniff the brush and even play with it they want. This will help them to feel less threatened by it.
If your cat starts to bite or slap at the brush, it’s probably time to give it a rest. Continuing when your cat is done will just cause him or her to become anxious and stressed.
Inspect Fur and Skin
As you brush, look for signs of:
- Bumps under the skin
- Bald spot
These issues need to be assessed by your vet as soon as possible.
How Often Should I Groom My Cat?
The frequency with which your cat should be brushed depends largely on two things:
- Your cat’s fur type
- Whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat
Outside Cats Need More Attention
For outdoor cats, no matter the fur type, they probably need to be brushed at least several times a week. They get into all kinds of dirt and debris which need to be removed. As well, mats and tangles form more easily in outdoor cats, and they are more likely to pick up fleas and ticks.
Indoor Cats Need Consistent Attention
For indoor cats, they really can be brushed as often as they wish, but a rule of thumb is:
- Short-haired cats should be brushed once a week
- Medium haired cats should be brushed three to four times a week
- Long-haired cats should be brushed every day
This is because long-haired cats are much more susceptible to mats and tangles if they go without grooming for even one day.
Where Is The Best Place To Brush My Cat?
Wherever kitty is comfortable is the best place to brush him or her, but here are some recommendations:
- Outdoors is best. If your cat sheds excessively and your brush doesn’t do such a great job of trapping the hair, it might be best to brush your cat out of doors.
- Indoors should be comfortable for kitty. If you choose to brush indoors, it is a good idea to choose a place your cat likes to relax. This will help them feel safe and less stressed.
- Using a small space means less mess. Ideally, you want this to be a small space, so hair doesn’t fly so far, creating a clean-up headache.
A good idea is to keep brushes in several different locations throughout the house. That way, wherever kitty wants to cuddle can become a good place to groom.
The Best Cat Brush For De-shedding Works Like A Charm
The best de-shedding tool is hands down the FURminator Undercoat De-shedding Tool. Although it is so expensive, it seems like a ridiculous purchase, most cat owners agree it is well worth the money. This tool helps to remove the loose fur off the undercoat that is missed by routine brushing.
The FURminatior is not meant to be used solo but as a follow-up to your regular cat brush. To get the leftovers, as it were.
- You will notice an immediate difference in your cat’s coat after using the FURminator. Your cat will probably appear thinner than before.
- This is because most brushes only reach the topcoat. The undercoat is left to mat because a normal brush cannot cut through the thickness of the topcoat to reach the layer below.
- This is especially true of cats who have especially thick or curly hair. Most often, they are never brushed below the top layer of fur.
The FURminator resolves this issue. In fact, you may need to limit how long you use this tool on your cat because it may remove too much hair. Some owners have given their cats a bald spot by brushing too long in one place.
The FURminator is designed to give kitty a pain-free de-shedding experience. The largest one can be quite heavy, so you’ll need to be cognizant of how much weight is resting on your cat.
Especially the area over the spine needs to be treated with care so that kitty isn’t feeling too much pressure from the weight of the de-shedder.
The Best Cat Brush For Short Hair Is A Simple Brush
Short-haired cats seem to do best with the Mars Coat King Boar Bristle brush. The boar bristles are strong enough to reach through all the layers of fur but flexible enough that they do not cause pain or discomfort to your feline friend.
It is designed for short, fine hair that doesn’t have a thick undercoat.
This brush not only removes loose, dead hair, but it redistributes natural oils to make kitty’s hair shiny again. Use this regularly, and your feline will look like a show kitty.
The Best Cat Brush For Long-haired Cats Must Be Used Cautiously
Long-haired cats need a special brush, and that special brush is called the Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. Made with hundreds of thin stainless steel pins, it is designed to work tangles and mats out quickly.
Long-haired cats have a high propensity to tangle and mat, no matter how consistently you care for their coats. This brush can take on the challenges of grooming a long-haired cat with ease.
A push-button on the back retracts pins for easy cleaning once the brush is full of fur.
You have to be extremely careful with this type of brush because the steel pins are not tipped. This poses a great risk of injury to your cat if the pins contact the skin. Puncture wounds and scratches can occur if pressure is applied with this brush.
These tools also have a tendency to pull rather than gently brush, which is distressing to a kitty. Think of how much you would enjoy your hairdresser yanking and pulling your hair. Yeah, kitty doesn’t like it either.
While these may be necessary to work out tangles and mats, kitty would probably much prefer at least a tipped brush for routine grooming.
The Best Cat Brush For Mats Is A Sharp Cutter
Mats in your cat’s hair can be stressful both for you and for your cat. But with the GoPets Dematting Comb, mats don’t have to be the bane of your pet’s existence.
- This comb has two sides; one with wide-spaced teeth and one with narrower spaced teeth. Either side will work for de-matting your cat’s long hair.
- The curved teeth are sharpened on the inside to cut through the mats instead of just tugging on them.
- This tool is designed to work with either medium or long-haired breeds, as well as breeds with multiple coats.
For this tool to work properly, the teeth need to be kept sharp. Otherwise, you’ll just be yanking clumps of hair out instead of slicing through mats. Your kitty will be in severe pain and probably won’t tolerate this activity for long.
Remember, mats form in the most sensitive places, so any tugging is going to cause your pet considerable misery.
This product should not be used for regular maintenance. It should be used only on mats. If the mats are close to the skin, you probably should let a professional groomer remove them. This tool could cause injury if it came into contact with the skin.
Here’s How To Get Mats Out Of Your Cat’s Coat
Working mats out of your pet’s coat can be a trial to your patience and a test of your cat’s forbearance.
But they must be removed because they are not only ugly, but they are painful to your cat and put him or her at risk for skin infections.
Work with it dry. Do not wet the cat’s coat before attempting to remove mat; this will only make it worse.
- Try to pull apart loose mats with your finger before combing
- Holding the hair at the base so that it doesn’t pull, gently work at the ends of the hair with a large-toothed comb
- Slowly and gently work upward toward the base of the mat
Take breaks whenever kitty gets antsy. It may take several days to completely remove the mats. Patience and persistence are the keys.
Don’t wait until it gets bad. When you notice that your cat has a small mat-forming, you should tend to it immediately because it will only get worse.
Cats that have massive mats should be tended by a vet, but if you tackle small mats as soon as you find them, professional services are not required.
Do not attempt to cut mats from your cat’s coat! This could lead to cutting your cat’s skin, which raises a whole new set of potential problems.
Your Cat Will Tell You Which Brush is Best
Ultimately, the best cat brush is the one your cat will at least tolerate, and hopefully, come to like.
Cats are notoriously picky about what they allow to touch them. They are easily overstimulated and quickly become stressed if the grooming experience is not a pleasant one for them.
Some cats love being groomed by their owners; some cats hate it. So, at the end of the day, the best brush is the one your cat will let you use on him or her.