Contents of Article
- Here are a few things to think about before choosing a hair trimmer for your cat.
- Pay attention to the clipper’s SPM or strokes per minute, but don’t overvalue speed.
- If you’re grooming a cat with a thick coat or matted fur, you’ll need more power.
- So speed and wattage can’t tell you how strong a clipper is. What can?
- Choose a unit that emits 50 to 60 decibels or less.
- What kind of blade do you need?
- Decide whether you want a corded or cordless clipper.
- Best Clippers for Cats: Our Top 5 Recommendations
- Overall Best Clipper for Cats: Andis UltraEdge Super 2-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper
- Best Clipper for Cats—Cordless Alternative: Wahl Professional Animal Bravura Lithium Clipper
- Best Clipper for Mats: Oster A5 Golden Pet Clipper
- Best Cat Clipper and Grooming Kit: Sminiker Professional Low Noise Rechargeable Cordless Cat and Dog Clippers Kit
- Best Quiet Clipper for Cats: ONEISALL Dog Shaver Clippers Low Noise Rechargeable Cordless Electric Quiet Hair Clippers Set for Dogs Cats Pets
- Ultimately, the best cat hair clipper is the one that meets your needs.
The best clippers for cat hair stay cool while effectively trimming all coat types, don’t make a lot of noise, and are built to last for a lifetime of grooming.
Most online product recommendations and buyers’ guides are geared towards professional groomers, which is a great baseline for quality, but chances are you don’t have a groomer’s needs. Unlike a groomer who needs to prepare for unknown animals, home groomers can tailor their tool choices to meet the needs of just one or two cats.
In this article, you’ll learn about which features can make or break a clipper, how to choose the right one for your cat’s special needs, and which cat hair trimmers stand out as the best on the market.
Quick Look : Top 5 Best Cat Hair Clippers
Here are a few things to think about before choosing a hair trimmer for your cat.
Pay attention to the clipper’s SPM or strokes per minute, but don’t overvalue speed.
This value is a measure of how rapidly the blade moves from side to side—in other words, it tells you how fast the clipper is.
Most clippers fall in the range between 2,000 and 7,000 SPM. To make your search more interesting, this number doesn’t have the same meaning to every manufacturer. Some companies count a stroke each time the blade goes to the left, while others count a stroke each time the blade moves to the left and returns, effectively cutting the SPM value in half.
The fastest clippers aren’t necessarily the best.
As the clipper’s speed increases, so does its noise output. Ultra-fast clippers aren’t recommended for noise-sensitive cats. Fast clippers also generate heat in a short amount of time, increasing your chances of burning your cat.
While it might seem that a faster clipper must be more powerful, this isn’t always the case. The best clippers have a combination of power and speed to slice through mats and thick hair.
If you’re grooming a cat with a thick coat or matted fur, you’ll need more power.
Your clipper’s strength—the ability to maintain speed under a load of hair—is the most important factor in how well a clipper will zip through a long, thick coat or heavy matting, but power is difficult to quantify and determined by multiple factors.
Efficiency, the materials in the drive system, and the clipper’s motor type all weigh in on how powerful a given clipper will be. You can’t crack the code by comparing one clipper’s watt usage to another’s. Octavio Alen, a senior engineer for Oster, tells Equus magazine that “A product may say 40 watts, which means it’s consuming 40 watts, but it may be producing 25 watts.”
So speed and wattage can’t tell you how strong a clipper is. What can?
Without trying them out, it’s difficult to know which clippers are brawny enough to handle the densest fur and mats, but a few indicators can point you in the right direction.
One is the product category.
Most companies separate their products into lines or give them duty ratings. Andis’ MC3 model type, for example, has a “light” duty rating and is recommended for touch-ups and light body grooming. Their MBG2s model type has a heavy duty rating and is recommended for medium coats.
The clipper’s motor can also give you an idea of its strength.
Three main types of motors are used in clippers for cats. Here’s an overview of how each affects the clipper’s performance.
- Units with a universal rotary motor are the strongest, but they’re heavy, loud, and require a fan to stay cool.
- Pivot and magnet motors are lighter and less noisy. They’re slightly less powerful and are best-suited to light and medium coats.
- Permanent magnet motors are a type of rotary motor without a gearing system, meaning that they vibrate less and don’t make as much noise as a universal rotary motor. They range from weak to powerful.
Choose a unit that emits 50 to 60 decibels or less.
The quietest cat hair clippers emit no more than 60 decibels—about as loud as a normal conversation or rain falling on a sidewalk. Some clipper companies test and publish the clipper’s noise output. Some don’t. You can make guesses about how noisy a clipper will be based on its motor type, blade speed, and customer reviews.
What kind of blade do you need?
Most clippers come with a number 10 blade. It’s the most popular blade size and trims your cat’s hair to 1/16 of an inch—the same length as a US soldier’s induction haircut. This blade is a good match for the most common cuts, including mat removal, hygiene cuts, and lion cuts. It’s long enough to prevent nicks and short enough to remove mats.
Other styles require a variety of blades and guard combs. If you want to trim your cat’s fur but don’t want to get close to the skin, a kit with several combs will allow you to trim to the desired length.
Metal or ceramic?
In cat clippers and kitchen knives, ceramic blades are ideal. Ceramic blades don’t conduct heat well and therefore don’t get hot as quickly as steel. They also offer greater longevity over steel blades. Ceramic blades, however, are more expensive.
Decide whether you want a corded or cordless clipper.
Corded clippers plug into an electric outlet and operate as long as they’re connected to a power source. They limit your mobility slightly and your cat may find the cord irritating if it drapes over their body. Cordless units run on a battery and typically need to be charged once every 60-90 minutes.
So that you can continue working while the clipper charges, opt for one with a charging cable rather than a dock. While a cordless clipper provides flexibility and comfort, it may lack power. Cordless trimmers are typically weaker than their corded counterparts.
Best Clippers for Cats: Our Top 5 Recommendations
Overall Best Clipper for Cats: Andis UltraEdge Super 2-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper
Less expensive, less advanced clippers are more than enough for those who clip their cat once a year or less. But if you’re serious about using the best products on the market and getting a superior trim, you’ll probably want to choose something similar to this Andis clipper.
It’s a moderately fast clipper that operates at two speeds of 3,400 and 4,400 SPM. Thanks to its robust rotary motor and quality construction, this Andis clipper has plenty of muscle to get you through the thickest coats.
This Andis clipper runs cool and is unlikely to burn your cat’s delicate skin.
The Andis ProClip Super 2-Speed clipper comes with one detachable steel #10 blade. It’s compatible with the full range of Andis blades, including their EGT™ UltraEdge Cat Blades, which are designed for feline grooming and, according to Andis, provide a smooth finish with no track lines.
The biggest drawbacks of this Andis model are ergonomics and price. The clipper is bulky and relatively heavy, weighing in at 17.5 ounces. At just under $160, the clipper might be hard to justify if you aren’t a regular cat groomer.
- Powerful motor allows the clipper to fly through all coat types
- Cool, quiet operation
- Long-lasting, high-quality construction
- Can be uncomfortable to hold
Best Clipper for Cats—Cordless Alternative: Wahl Professional Animal Bravura Lithium Clipper
This featherlight Wahl trimmer sacrifices some power for less weight and more flexibility. At just 8.8 ounces, it’s popular as a lightweight alternative to Andis or Oster units, which may weigh up to 2 lbs.
The Bravura only has one speed setting, and it’s fast—the Bravura runs at 5,500 SPM.
It’s powered by a long-lasting lithium-ion battery with a 90 minute run time. When it comes time to charge, you’ll plug it into the corded charger and keep on trimming. You can use the clipper as a corded unit while it’s charging, so you’ll never have to lose grooming time while waiting for the battery to charge. The charge time is approximately 60 minutes. The battery is designed to last for 1,000 run-charge cycles before starting to lose power.
It’s fast, but not particularly powerful. Shayla McConnell, a professional groomer writing for Play Bark Run, says that the Wahl Bravura isn’t ideal for thick coats or heavy matting. This little clipper has plenty enough power, however, to tackle most long-haired coats and smaller mats. It keeps up with changes in coat density with Constant Speed Control, a feature that delivers more power when you need it most.
The 5-in-1 design means that with the touch of a lever, you can adjust the blade from a #9 to a #40 cut length. It also comes with several attachment combs, measuring 3 mm, 6 mm, 9 mm, 12 mm, 18 mm, and 25 mm in length. The blade is made of stainless steel and, according to the manufacturer, doesn’t heat up.
The Bravura is available in a variety of colors—turquoise, purple, berry, pink, and gunmetal. It’s covered by Wahl’s 1-year limited warranty.
- Lightweight construction reduces fatigue
- Cordless design lets you groom anywhere
- 5-in-1 blade easily extends and retracts for different cut lengths
- Constant Speed Control delivers more power in hard-to-trim areas
- Some may prefer a more powerful clipper
Best Clipper for Mats: Oster A5 Golden Pet Clipper
Along with Andis, Oster is one of the most popular high-power clipper brands among groomers. This two-speed clipper is one of their top-rated products. It has a top speed of 2,700 SPM, so it’s not one of the fastest clippers on the market, but it has plenty of brawn to get you through the toughest mats. Oster says that it’s a virtually unbreakable clipper. The brand has the reputation to back up that claim. Several reviewers say they bought this clipper to replace a 30-or-40-year old Oster.
This professional-quality clipper is powered by a universal rotary motor, which Oster says runs quiet and cool. Like other clippers with universal rotary motors, the Oster A5 2-Speed clipper is not for those who want a lightweight tool. It weighs 1.7 lbs. Another hinderance to the clipper’s maneuverability is its cord. You don’t have to charge it, but you’re also limited to grooming your cat within 12 feet of an electrical outlet.
The Oster A5 Golden clipper is compatible with Oster’s detachable Cryogen-X™ blades, Elite Cryogen-X™, and Take Down Quick Wide ™ blade series. It features a detachable blade system for easy blade changes.
The clipper is covered by Oster’s 1-year limited warranty.
- A powerful beast of a clipper
- Ideal for cats with thick hair and mats
- Long-lasting and durable
- Blade stays relatively cool during operation
- Relatively expensive at just over $120
- Heavy and cumbersome
- Power cord may be uncomfortable
Best Cat Clipper and Grooming Kit: Sminiker Professional Low Noise Rechargeable Cordless Cat and Dog Clippers Kit
If you’re new to cat grooming and want an affordable kit that includes everything you need to get started, this kit from Sminiker might be a good choice.
In addition to a cordless clipper, the kit includes a scissors, comb, nail file, nail clipper, and four comb attachments measuring 3 mm, 6 mm, 9 mm, and 12 mm. A cleaning brush and bottle of oil are also included for blade maintenance.
The clipper is powered by a quiet motor that operates at around 50 decibels. It’s a cordless clipper that, according to the company, runs for 5-6 hours before you’ll need to recharge it. The battery takes 3-4 hours to recharge.
Sminiker doesn’t specify the clipper’s SPM rate. It has a fully-adjustable titanium alloy blade with a ceramic moving blade for cool operation.
At around $25, this is an affordable entry-level kit for those who don’t need a robust professional-grade clipper. The Sminiker clipper is covered by the company’s 2-year guarantee.
- Comes with a variety of essential grooming tools
- Affordable at around $25
- Cool, quiet operation
- May not be powerful enough for every job
- Sminiker doesn’t state SPM
Best Quiet Clipper for Cats: ONEISALL Dog Shaver Clippers Low Noise Rechargeable Cordless Electric Quiet Hair Clippers Set for Dogs Cats Pets
This economical clipper kit is a best seller on Amazon.
The cordless clipper has several crowd-pleasing features that set it apart as one of the best hair clippers for cats. It’s quiet, emitting no more than 50 decibels while operating. It has a stainless steel fixed blade with a ceramic moving blade. Customer reviews attest that the blades stayed cool during operation.
It’s battery operated and takes about five hours to charge, but you can use it while it’s charging, so the cordless operation won’t slow you down. It’s unclear how long the battery lasts while operating. Some users say that it lasts for a long time, while others said they had to recharge in the middle of their grooming session.
The kit includes four guard combs measuring 3mm, 6mm, 9mm, and 12mm. In conjunction with the adjustable-length blade, this variety of combs gives you plenty of options for multiple coat lengths.
It comes with a bottle of lubricant and an oil application brush, along with a metal comb and scissors.
The company cautions users to use the scissors before using the trimmer on long and thick hair. Most customers, however, don’t seem to have a problem with the trimmer. A few say that it jammed, but most say that the unit powered right through their cats’ and dogs’ fur.
The ONEISALL hair trimmer set is available in three colors—silver, red, and gold.
- Affordable at just under $30
- Comes with a scissors and comb
- Pairs with a set of four guard combs
- Extremely quiet at 50 db
- ONEISALL doesn’t state the clipper’s speed or motor type
- Not strong enough for every cat or user
Ultimately, the best cat hair clipper is the one that meets your needs.
Persians and other breeds with thick fur may require a more powerful clipper than those with thinner coats. Matted cats definitely need a brawny clipper. Cats with thinner coats might get away with a lightweight economy model. Low-priced, low-powered clippers may not be ideal for the pro groomer, but they might be just right for your long-haired cat.
You’ll also want to consider how frequently you plan to groom your cat. People who groom regularly might spring for a more expensive, durable hair trimmer, while those who do so on an occasional basis may prefer to stick with cheaper pet clippers.