Best cat brushes

Grooming

Brush your cat regularly to get rid of tangles and mats, reduce shedding and cut down on dandruff. While brushing, check your cat’s skin for things like wounds, dirt or fleas.

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Which cat brush is best?

Most cats do a great job of keeping themselves clean through regular grooming. However, cats who are elderly, obese or have long fur may have difficulty with proper grooming. As a cat owner, it’s a good idea to have a cat brush or two. Cat brushes can easily remove excess hair, reduce shedding and prevent issues such as matted hair or dandruff. 

If your cat tends to get mats or tangles in their fur, check out the HERTZKO Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. With regular brushing, your feline friend will look as great as ever.

What to know before you buy a cat brush

Type of coat

Different cats have different coats of hair. Most cats have:

  • an undercoat, known as the down
  • the basic coat, known as the awn hairs
  • an outer coat, called the guard hairs

Long-haired cats have anywhere from 2-5 inches of hair, which may frequently become tangled or matted. Short-haired cats, meanwhile, usually require less assistance when it comes to keeping their coat sleek and clean.

There are also curly-haired cats and hairless cats. Cats with curly hair are relatively uncommon, but they also shed less than other types. This type of cat usually requires minimal grooming maintenance. Hairless cats are even easier and may not require brushing at all.

When choosing a cat brush, consider the length of your cat’s hair and how many coats they have. A brush that doesn’t penetrate deep enough into the coat won’t be effective if the issue is matting and deep tangles.

Brush type

  • Slicker: Usually curved or slanted, these brushes have very thin teeth, meaning they can brush medium- or long-haired cats with ease. These brushes are effective at mitigating dander and removing loose hair that could otherwise cause matting. Slicker brushes are sharp, however, so don’t use them on short-haired cats or those with more delicate skin.
  • Mat-breakers: Designed for long-haired cats and those with several coats, mat-breakers have long, blade-like ends that let them reach the bottom of a cat’s coat. This makes them convenient for any kind of mat.
  • Dual-sided: This brush has two sides. One side is fine-toothed, while the other has softer bristles. Though less effective at removing deep tangles, these brushes can help prevent matting and shedding by removing loose hair. They also help spread the cat’s natural oils for a healthier coat.
  • Flea combs: If you’ve ever dealt with fleas, you know how important a flea comb is. Flea combs carefully part the different layers of a cat’s fur to check for fleas. If the fleas are dead, you can use a flea comb to remove them.
  • Molting combs: These combs are useful for removing mats and detangling hair. They can even be used for long-haired cats like Maine Coons.
  • De-shedding combs: Any cat comb can be used to help prevent shedding, but combs like the Furminator are a step above when it comes to effectiveness. These combs have a unique design with several fine-tooth blades that can penetrate both the topcoat and the undercoat to remove loose hair.

Benefits and risks

Even if your cat doesn’t need help with grooming, brushing them regularly can help you bond with your pet. For cats who require extra help, brushing helps with other things like removing dead hair, stimulating blood circulation, spreading natural oils for hair and skin health, preventing dandruff and flea removal.

Routine brushing can also help prevent hairballs, since it removes loose hair before the cat can swallow it while grooming. Plus, brushing your cat gives you the chance to check for any potential health concerns like bumps, mats which could pull the skin or balding.

Most cats benefit from being brushed once or twice a week. Older or obese cats or those with extremely long hair may require more frequent grooming sessions.

When brushing, be gentle and avoid pulling your cat’s hair or skin, as this could cause issues. Avoid excessive brushing, since you may accidentally pull out healthy hair rather than just remove loose hair. Always make sure to use the right type of brush to avoid nicking your cat’s skin.

What to look for in a quality cat brush

Handle and grip

When it comes to the brush itself, the handle and grip matter. A good handle should be long enough to allow you to easily adjust your grip while brushing your cat. Many handles have a rubber outer coating to prevent slipping.

Many cat brushes feature an ergonomic grip which contours to your hand. This makes holding the handle comfortable and prevents unnecessary hand strain.

Comfort

Just like humans, many cats have sensitive skin, which is part of the reason why some cats don’t like being brushed. If your cat is resistant to a brush or comb, it may be due to the way the bristles feel upon their skin. Be prepared to switch brushes until you find what works.

Also, some cats are prone to allergies, which is another prominent cause of flaky skin. Choose a cat brush that’s gentle and helps with these issues without causing new ones.

Materials like rubber and silicone are great options for cats with sensitive skin. They also remove hair and work great for older cats. Choose a material that works for both you and your cat to avoid causing skin irritations or other issues.

Special features

Some cat brushes offer special features that make using it more convenient. One common feature assists with pulling clumps of hair off the brush with the press of a button to make cleanup easier. This is useful, especially if your cat has a lot of hair that could clog up the tines of the brush.

How much you can expect to spend on a cat brush

On average, a cat brush should cost $8-$20. Some higher-end ones or ones with extra features may be slightly more.

Cat brush FAQ

How far apart should the bristles or teeth be on a cat brush?

A. This depends on the cat’s hair length and your main goal when it comes to grooming them. For a short-haired cat, the teeth of the brush should be close together. If the teeth are further apart, it may be easier to comb through long, matted or tangled hair without pulling the cat’s skin. Having a variety of cat brushes is recommended.

What’s the proper technique for brushing a cat?

A. Start at the cat’s head and move back toward their tail in a gentle but firm motion. Use one hand to flatten the hair behind the brush to prevent pulling. You may need to brush the same area a couple of times, especially if there are tangles or mats. Once the area is smooth, move on to the next spot. Depending on the cat’s tolerance level or how much hair they have, it may be necessary to take a break and brush it in sections.

What’s the best cat brush to buy?

Top cat brush

HERTZKO Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush

HERTZKO Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush

What you need to know: This heavy-duty brush easily removes knots, tangles and stray hair to bring back a shine to your cat’s coat.

What you’ll love: With an anti-slip, comfortable handle and a self-cleaning button that easily removes the collected cat hair, this brush can remove mats without stressing out your cat.

What you should consider: A traditional Furminator may be slightly more effective than this brush, but this is a more comfortable option.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

Top cat brush for the money

Hartz Groomer's Best Small Combo Brush

Hartz Groomer’s Best Small Combo Brush

What you need to know: This two-in-one combination brush is ideal for those looking for a brush that can easily detangle mats and promote skin and coat health.

What you’ll love: One side has stainless steel pins that sit on a soft, breathable mat that allows for a gentle brushing experience. The other side has nylon bristles to distribute your cat’s natural oils in their coat for healthy skin. This brush is also effective for small dogs.

What you should consider: Repeated use may lead to hair buildup on the brush, which can be tricky to remove.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Burt's Bees for Pets Cat Brush

Burt’s Bees for Pets Cat Brush

What you need to know: A great combination brush, this option is for those who need something gentle enough for sensitive cats that can still remove stray hair and reduce shedding.

What you’ll love: Made with sustainable and recycled materials such as bamboo and hemp, this brush is for those who are environmentally conscious. Although it’s gentle, it’s still effective at getting rid of tangles and small mats.

What you should consider: The brush may be unable to get rid of difficult knots and deep mats.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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