Brushing Your Cat

Before choosing the right brush for your cat, it’s useful to know how and when to brush your cat.

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Short-haired cats should be brushed a couple of times a week, while long-haired cats may need to be brushed once a day. Of course, seasonal shedding fluctuations will play a part in dictating how regularly your cat requires brushing. Depending on your cat’s coat condition, brushing sessions can take between 5-20 minutes.

It’s recommended that you follow the natural direction of your cat’s fur – going against the grain could hurt and annoy your cat. Gently stroke your cat’s fur with the brush, making sure to inspect for any wounds, parasites, or other skin problems as you go across your cat’s coat.

While some cats love the experience of being brushed, others hate it. If your cat appears frustrated, stop brushing and give them a treat in reward for their patience, then try again later or with a different tool. Before we dive into our picks for the best cat brushes available today, let’s take a look at the numerous ways that brushing your cat can improve both their life and yours.

Quick Look : Expert Recommended Cat Brushes

Brush Price Quality Rating
Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for CatsSafari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Cats
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$$ A+ 5 stars
KONG Cat ZoomGroom Multi-Use BrushKONG Cat ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$ A+ 5 stars
FURminator deShedding ToolFURminator deShedding Tool
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$$$ A+ 5 stars
GoPets Dematting Comb with 2 Sided Professional Grooming RakeGoPets Dematting Comb with 2 Sided Professional Grooming Rake
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$$$ A- 5 stars
Four Paws Love Glove Grooming Mitt for CatsFour Paws Love Glove Grooming Mitt for Cats
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$ A 5 stars

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Why brush your cat when they already groom themselves?

Cats groom themselves.

It’s why brushing your cat’s fur may initially appear unnecessary – and it’s also one of the most important reasons why brushing is so beneficial.

1. Reduced hairballs

Cats ingest as much as ⅔ of the fur they shed, and it doesn’t always go through their system successfully. Ingesting too much fur could result in them hacking up hairball after hairball – an unpleasant situation for all parties involved. That’s where a brush comes in handy: it allows your cat to get groomed without ingesting any fur. You can brush the excess fur away, collect it, and discard it, allowing your cat to ingest less fur and spend less time hacking it back up.

2. Less fur around the house

A small cat can shed an incredible amount of fur. Because indoor cats shed year-round, they can easily leave a heavy coating on furniture, clothing, and the floor. If it seems like your cat’s shedding is getting a little bit out of control, brushing your cat can help to ensure that the fur goes straight from your cat to the trash – without stopping on your favorite black shirt on the way.

3. Prevent matting

Without proper maintenance, cats can develop tangled, matted clumps of fur. These mats can be uncomfortable or painful, plus they’re a breeding ground for parasites and infection. What’s more, once they’ve developed, they can be tricky to remove. The best way to deal with matted fur is to prevent it. Regularly brushing your cat is the best thing you can do to help prevent their fur from matting. The right type of brush can also help you to remove mats after they’ve developed.

4. Keep your cat extra fresh

Cats are great at grooming themselves, but if you’re looking to keep your cat extra fresh, remove dirt and dander with a brush. Especially if your cat spends time exploring the outdoors, they can pick up plenty of dirt. Instead of letting your cat work through all of the filth on their own, brushing enables you to help your cat stay clean without ingesting anything unpleasant. Plus a cleaner cat with less dander leads to a friendlier environment for people with allergies.

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5. Inspection time

While you brush your cat, you get a close look at their skin and coat, allowing you to spot any skin abnormalities, wounds, and dryness, as well as fleas, ticks, and other parasites. Brushing your cat regularly encourages greater awareness of their overall health.

6. Ahh…it’s a massage

Whether your cat loves it or hates it, brushing your cat offers them a great massage, encouraging healthy circulation and natural oil production. This means that it helps to improve your cat’s skin and coat health. If your cat is one of those who appreciates the massaging feeling of a brush running through their fur and over their skin, brushing time can be a happy bonding moment.

Types of Cat Brushes

There’s a range of cat brushes available to suit specific needs and preferences.

It’s good to know what your options are, so let’s take a look at which types are out there and determine which purposes they’re best for.

1. Dematting Tools

Ideal for: long haired cats who often get matted fur

These combs and brushes are equipped with blades that safely cut through the mats, allowing you to quickly remove matted areas without ripping or damaging your cat’s coat. There are a variety of dematting tool designs available, but their purpose is always the same: they detangle and cut through mats to keep your cat’s coat healthy and smooth.

Pros

  • Allows you to safely remove mats without using a razor
  • Some dematting tools can also be used to maintain your cat’s coat by just removing loose fur

Cons

  • Best for cats with longer fur

2. Slicker Brushes

Ideal for: medium to long haired cats who need extra freshness

Slicker brushes have very thin wire teeth set on different angles designed to thoroughly groom your cat without hurting their skin. These thin wires run through your cat’s fur, effectively removing loose fur, dirt, and dander while smoothing and freshening the appearance of their coat. Slicker brushes are also perfect for light detangling.

Pros

  • Thin teeth effectively comb through the fur for a thorough brushing
  • Great for preventing matting in long-haired cats
  • Can detangle fur and clear out loose mats

Cons

  • Some cats don’t like the feeling of the wire teeth
  • Shouldn’t be used on cats with sensitive or wounded skin

3. Grooming Mitts and Gloves

Ideal for: cats who are uncomfortable with brushes

If your cat hates being brushed and you have the scars to prove it, a grooming mitt or glove might help. These are gloves or mitts that slip onto your hand and feature rubber nubs on the palm area. As you pet your cat, the mitt or glove works to pick up loose fur, freshen their coat, and offer a gentle massage. It’s a more soothing way to remove loose hair and freshen up your cat’s coat. These tools won’t do much for serious mats, but they’re a great way to perform daily coat maintenance without disturbing your brush-shy cat.

Pros

  • If your cat doesn’t like being brushed but loves being pet, these tools provide a solution
  • Exceptionally easy to use
  • Can be used on things besides your cat – remove fur from furniture and clothing
  • Gentle rubber brush is easy on sensitive skin

Cons

  • Most are only available in one size, meaning that they may not fit all hand sizes
  • Doesn’t go deep into the fur to access all loose hair
  • Not effective in removing heavy mats

4. Rubber Brushes

Ideal for: sensitive cats

Rubber brushes are just brushes made with rubber teeth. They work like other wide-toothed brushes to remove loose fur while lightly detangling. The rubber teeth also provide a gentle massage that improves circulation and skin health. Soft and gentle, rubber brushes are great for sensitive cats who won’t tolerate other brushes.

Pros

  • Soft and gentle rubber nubs are perfect for sensitive cats
  • Helps to spread natural oils across the skin
  • Encourages healthy circulation
  • Removes loose fur
  • Appropriate for both long and short-haired cats

Cons

  • Not great for heavy matting
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5. Pin Brushes

Ideal for: general use on medium to long fur

A good starter brush, pin brushes feature wide-set teeth that gently run through your cat’s fur to loosen tangles and remove loose hairs. They’re good for cats who don’t like to be brushed with more aggressive tools like slicker brushes and deshedders.

Pros

  • Gently detangles and removes flyaway hairs
  • Often recommended for sensitive cats who don’t tolerate other brushes
  • Helps to prevent mats

Cons

  • Not the most effective brush for getting rid of loose hairs
  • Not great for removing heavy matting

6. Bristle Brushes

Ideal for: distributing natural oils and beautifying the coat

These brushes are made with soft natural or synthetic bristles that gently remove loose fur and beautify your cat’s coat by distributing natural oils and smoothing the fur. They’re great for regular grooming and daily touch-ups, plus make a great finishing tool after a grooming session. You’ll often find these brushes paired with a pin brush on double-sided brushes for a complete grooming tool.

Pros

  • Soft and gentle for sensitive cats
  • Effective for smoothing and freshening your cat’s coat while removing loose hairs

Cons

  • Not very effective for detangling or removing mats
  • Doesn’t reach deep into the coat to access all loose fur

7. Deshedding Tools and Rakes

Ideal for: cats with thick coats who shed like crazy

Cats naturally shed seasonally, and if your cat lives in a temperature-controlled environment, they’ll shed all year. If your cat leaves drifted piles of fur in the corners of the home, a deshedding tool is your best option for keeping it under control. Deshedding tools (aka undercoat rakes) feature thin metal teeth that reach deep into your cat’s coat to remove the loose hairs that have been trapped under the top layer of fur. In so doing, they help to prevent matting and keep your cat’s shedding under control.

Pros

  • Extremely effective for cats who shed a lot
  • Helps to prevent matting
  • Appropriate for cats with any coat length

Cons

  • Can be uncomfortable for sensitive cats and those with skin problems

Choosing the Best Brush for Your Cat

Other brushes incorporate combinations of the useful features mentioned above. Every brush is slightly different and will work differently for each cat – so it’s important to be aware of which features are best for you and your cat.

Each product on the following list of our picks for the top five best cat brushes will appeal to a slightly different combination of needs, but certain qualities are universal among all of the best brushes.

Regardless of design, great cat brushes:

  • Are comfortable and easy to hold
  • Effectively remove loose fur to minimize hairballs and fur-covered furniture
  • Are painless when used correctly
  • Have been cat tested and approved
  • Are durable, high quality products that will last for years of brushing

Top 5 Best Cat Brushes

Brush Price Quality Rating
Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for CatsSafari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Cats
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$$ A+ 5 stars
KONG Cat ZoomGroom Multi-Use BrushKONG Cat ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$ A+ 5 stars
FURminator deShedding ToolFURminator deShedding Tool
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$$$ A+ 5 stars
GoPets Dematting Comb with 2 Sided Professional Grooming RakeGoPets Dematting Comb with 2 Sided Professional Grooming Rake
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$$$ A- 5 stars
Four Paws Love Glove Grooming Mitt for CatsFour Paws Love Glove Grooming Mitt for Cats
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$ A 5 stars

Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Cats Review

For thorough grooming and easy cleanup, this self-cleaning slicker brush does the job well

What sets this brush apart from other slicker brushes is its self-cleaning feature. With the touch of a button, any collected fur is cleanly pushed off of the pins, meaning that you’ll never have to pick cat fur out of the teeth. Made with thin stainless steel pins set on varying angles, this brush is designed to groom thoroughly without hurting your cat’s skin. It effectively picks through your cat’s fur for maximum loose hair removal, mat prevention, and cleaning. That said, slicker brushes like this one can be too aggressive for some sensitive cats. It’s important to go gently on your cat’s thin skin. – Buy It

Pros

  • Comfort grip handle and angled brush head reduce fatigue and make grooming easy
  • Self-cleaning feature makes it easy to quickly transfer loose hairs from your cat to the trash
  • Thin stainless steel pins are set at varying angles for thorough, gentle grooming
  • Great for medium and long-haired cats – effectively prevents matting and detangles fur
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Cons

  • Some cats don’t like the feeling of the stainless steel pins on their skin, so it’s important to be gentle and test the brush on your own skin to determine appropriate pressure

KONG Cat ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush Review

This gentle rubber brush makes grooming fun for sensitive kitties

If your cat is one of those who hisses at the thought of being brushed, the ZoomGroom may be the solution. With wide-set ¾” long rubber teeth, this brush both massages and grooms your cat, lifting away loose fur while encouraging improved circulation and natural oil production. Besides working as a massage groomer, this brush can also be used during bathing to help scrub away dirt. The ZoomGroom reaches deep into your cat’s coat to access loose hairs trapped beneath the top coat, making it an effective choice to reduce shedding. – Buy It

Pros

  • An ideal choice for cats who don’t like most other brushes
  • Massages your cat to encourage healthy circulation and natural oil production
  • Effectively brushes out loose hairs

Cons

  • While it can help to prevent matting, this brush isn’t effective for removing mats
  • Removed fur may not cleanly collect on the brush

FURminator deShedding Tool Review

An incredibly popular deshedding tool designed to remove loose fur caught beneath the top coat

Developed by a groomer frustrated by the lack of truly effective brushes for pets, the FURminator is an extremely popular choice for those looking to get their cat’s shedding under control. The stainless steel deshedding edge reaches deep beneath your cat’s topcoat to access the fuzzy undercoat, where loose hairs can get trapped as your cat sheds. The ejector button makes it easy to dispose of collected fur. – Buy It

Pros

  • Made with high-quality, durable materials – the textured rubber grip is easy to hold and designed for comfort
  • Available in different sizes to suit your cat’s hair length and body size
  • Highly effective in removing loose hair from your cat’s coat – claims to reduce shedding by up to 90%
  • Extremely popular with rave reviews from customers

Cons

  • May be too harsh for some cats – again, it’s important to be use light pressure

GoPets Dematting Comb with 2 Sided Professional Grooming Rake Review

This dematting tool safely and effectively removes mats while brushing fur

For cats who often develop tangles or mats, this comb features features sharp stainless steel blades that safely cut through matted clumps of fur. The blades have dull rounded ends to make sure that you don’t cut your cat’s skin while working through their coat. Besides effectively removing mats, this double-sided comb also works as a deshedding brush, removing loose fur from throughout the coat. The 12 tooth side is made to work through thick, heavy mats while the 23 tooth side can be used for regular grooming and detangling. – Buy It

Pros

  • Soft gel handle makes it comfortable to use
  • Great for long-haired cats who regularly develop mats
  • Effective for both dematting & deshedding
  • Made with gentle rounded ends to protect your cat’s skin

Cons

  • Fur may get stuck to the gel grip
  • Some reviews suggest that the blades aren’t extremely sharp

Four Paws Love Glove Grooming Mitt for Cats Review

For cats who would rather be pet than brushed, this grooming mitt allows you to gently groom your cat as you pet them

If your cat despises being brushed but loves to be pet, the Love Glove may offer a grooming solution for you. This mitt is made from soft, flexible neoprene with rubber nubs that gently run through your cat’s fur, lifting away loose fur and dirt. This soft, soothing brush doesn’t go very deep to access trapped hairs and does little to help loosen tangles and matting. It’s a great choice for gentle maintenance. – Buy It

Pros

  • Massaging action is great for your cat’s circulation and natural oil production, keeping their skin and coat healthy
  • Gently lifts off loose fur and dirt
  • Perfect for cats who don’t like being brushed
  • Encourages cat-human bonding
  • One-size-fits-all mitt features an adjustable strap to keep it on your hand

Cons

  • Removed hair may not cleanly collect on the nubs
  • Doesn’t go deep into the coat to remove all loose hair
  • Not ideal for cats with matted fur

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Mallory Crusta

Mallory Crusta offers simple, honest knowledge about natural cat care and products that work so that you can spend less time researching natural cat care and more time having fun with your cat. She blogs about it at WildernessCat.com.

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