What’s the Best Brush for Cats? We Share Our Top 5 Picks
As cat owners, we often forget that our feline friends need a little help in the grooming department. They may be the masters of self-grooming, but they can still shed like crazy. And without a little help from brushing, your furry companion will wind up hacking up hairballs left and right during shedding season.
We’re going to show you how to brush your cat properly, and share our top five picks for the best feline brushes.
How to Brush Your Cat
Cat hair is a lot like human hair. It goes through cycles of growth and rest. When the new hair starts to grow, it pushes out old, dead hair.
Brushing your cat’s coat will help keep it shiny and healthy. It will also help keep some of the hair off your furniture, floors and everywhere else.
Cats, like dogs, can have a variety of different coats. Different coat types will require different brushes, but there are a few basic rules that you should follow when brushing your cat – regardless of what tool you’re using.
Timing is Everything
There’s a right time and a wrong time to brush a cat. It’s always better to wait until your cat is calm and relaxed to start grooming (like after a nap). If she’s stressed, grumpy or wants nothing to do with you, trying to brush her coat will only make her agitated.
A few gentle strokes can help relax your cat and get her ready for grooming.
Use Long, Gentle Strokes
While it may be tempting to dive right in and start brushing like crazy, being too aggressive will only aggravate or frighten your cat.
Use long, gentle strokes with the brush when you start your grooming sessions. The strokes should be similar to how you pet your cat.
Go Against the Grain
Once your cat is comfortable and happy, start brushing against the direction of the growth. Going against the growth will remove more dead hair.
Again, it’s important to use gentle strokes when brushing in the opposite direction. Pulling from knots and tangles may hurt the cat if you’re too aggressive with your brushing.
You may need to clean the brush a few times before you’re finished. Keeping the brush clean will keep you from creating more clumps or knots.
Clean the Brush and Finish
Once you’ve worked your way through the entire coat, you can clean the brush and finish up the grooming session.
Many brushes have retractable bristles or blades that make it super easy to clean up.
When you’re through with brushing, you can give your cat one more once-over with a chamois to remove any leftover hair and to give the coat some shine. While this last step is optional, it is highly recommended to keep your pet’s coat looking healthy.
Most cats love being brushed, especially if you start grooming them at an early age. But if your cat isn’t warming up to the idea, take things slow and start off with a very gentle brush. Do your best to make the experience as positive as possible, and wait for a non-stimulating time to try brushing (e.g. when she wakes up from a nap).
Types of Cat Brushes
Cats can have a variety of coats, depending on the breed, and there are brushes designed for each coat type.
Slicker brushes are ideal for cats that shed. A series of wire bristles catch and remove excess fur to reduce shedding, mats and tangles.
These brushes are not ideal for every cat. Short-haired cats with silky coats usually find slicker brushes to be too painful and uncomfortable.
Ideal for long-haired cats, a moulting comb detangles the coat and prevents matting. If your cat has a double coat, this type of brush may be a good option for you.
The comb has two pin lengths. The longer teeth remove knots from the top coat and remove loose fur from the undercoat. The shorter teeth catch the loose fur for easy removal.
Bristle brushes are ideal for cats with short, sleek fur. These brushes have soft bristles to keep the cat’s coat shiny and smooth.
Pin brushes are similar to slicker brushes. They help remove knots, tangles and mats. Great for medium- and long-haired cats, the pin bristles easily move through the coat to keep it looking neat and healthy.
A double-sided comb features a pin side and a bristle brush side. The pin side removes tangles and knots, while the bristle side helps distribute oils for better shine.
This type of brush works with most coat types.
How to Choose the Best Brush for Cats
Now you know how to brush your cat, and you know what types of brushes are available. But which brush is the right choice for your cat?
Here are some things to keep in mind:
Your cat’s coat type will be main deciding factor when choosing a brush. Some coats will do better with some brushes than others.
- Double coat: For cats with double coats, a slicker brush is ideal because it pulls out the loose and matted hair from the undercoat. De-shedding tools and combs are also great for this coat type.
- Thick: Slicker brushes also work well for thick coats, but pin brushes are a great alternative.
- Short and silky: For cats with short and silky coats, bristle brushes work best. These brushes have soft bristles that will distribute your cat’s natural oils to keep the coat looking shiny and healthy. Slicker brushes and pin brushes may be too harsh for this coat type.
If you’re not sure what type of coat your cat has, consult with your vet or a groomer to find out.
Another important consideration is your cat’s temperament. If your cat already loves to be brushed, this may not be an issue for you, but if you’re just getting started with a grooming routine or your cat isn’t a fan of brushes, you may need to start off with a gentle option, like a bristle brush.
If you should be using a slicker brush but your cat isn’t a fan of them, a bristle brush may get her accustomed to grooming and create a positive attitude toward brushing.
The Best Cat Brush – Our 5 Picks
1. Pet Portal Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
Pet Portable’s slicker brush is self-cleaning and features retractable bristles for easy grooming on both long and short haired cats.
If your cat’s coat has issues with matting or tangling, this slicker brush can help ensure your furry friend’s coat stays smooth and silky. And the efficient design of this brush also helps remove dirt and loose, dead hair from the coat.
What makes this brush stand out from the rest is its self-cleaning feature. Just press a button, wipe the brush clean, and you’re good to go.
The Pet Portal slicker brush is effective at removing dead hair, mats and tangles, but it’s also gentle on the skin and coat thanks to its soft, flexible bristles.
Featuring stainless steel bristles, this high-quality brush comes in three sizes: small, medium and large.
- Gentle but effective at removing tangles and mats
- Convenient self-cleaning feature
- Durable design with stainless steel bristles that resist corrosion
- Ergonomic handle
- May not be ideal for short-haired cats
The layout of the bristles on this slicker brush make it difficult to catch short and fine hair, so this may not be the ideal brush for short-haired cats.
Otherwise, the durable design and self-cleaning feature make this brush stand out from the crowd.
2. Chirpy Pets Cat Brush for Shedding
If your cat is a serious shedder, the Chirpy Pets shedding brush may be the right choice for you. This de-shedding tool claims it can remove up to 90% of shedding fur from a cat in minutes.
The Chirpy Pets slicker brush features 4,” stainless steel bristles with dull ends to protect your pet’s skin.
Although this brush can be used on both dogs and cats, it’s most effective for cats because of the comb’s design. The teeth are close together, which makes it easy to catch cat fur. Cats love the sensation of this brush, and it’s just the right size for their smaller bodies.
- Stainless steel teeth are durable
- Comb’s teeth are close together to easily catch fur
- Removes up to 90% of shedding
- Ergonomic design
- Easy to clean
- Not ideal for cats that don’t shed
This brush is not designed for cat breeds that don’t shed, like Siamese, Burmese and Siberian. For non-shedding breeds, you’ll need a softer bristle brush for grooming.
If your cat does shed – and sheds a lot – you will be surprised by how much fur this slicker brush removes. Gentle and effective, the Chirpy Pet brush is one of our top picks for cats.
3. DakPets Cat Brush
DakPets slicker brush is designed for coats of all lengths and works to greatly reduce shedding. The design of this brush is similar to the Chirpy Pets model, but comes with some additional features that cat owners will appreciate.
This comb-style brush features a 4″ stainless steel blade that removes loose fur from the undercoat. The blade itself is detachable, which makes for quick and easy cleaning. Just press the button on the top of the comb to release the blade.
An ergonomic, non-slip handle makes grooming comfortable and safe. There’s also an eyelet hole at the bottom of the handle for easy hanging storage.
- Durable stainless-steel blade is rust-resistant
- Removable blade allows for easy cleaning
- Ergonomic handle makes grooming more comfortable
- Non-slip handle for added safety
- Eyelet hole allows you to clip or hang the brush
- Not ideal for short-haired cats
The blade on this brush may still be too sharp for short-haired cats that don’t shed very much. The DakPets brush is better suited for cats with thicker and longer coats.
If your cat has a shedding problem and you want a brush that’s easy to clean, DakPets may be a good fit for you.
4. barkOutfitters Cat Slicker Brush
The barkOutfitters slicker brush reduces shedding by up to 90% to help keep your home fur-free. With more bristles than the average brush, this slicker brush stimulates the skin to promote circulation and boost shine.
The ergonomic handle features a non-slip design and is virtually unbreakable, according to the manufacturer. The rubber, gripping texture helps prevent fatigue and strain while grooming, so you can complete your session without issue.
A one-click clean button makes it easy to remove fur from the brush after each session, and the bristles remove tangles, mats and excess hair. Removing excess cat hair will help reduce hairballs and shedding to keep your home cleaner.
- Reduces shedding by up to 90%
- Bristles stimulate skin to promote circulation
- Comfortable, ergonomic grip
- One-click clean brush feature
- Eliminates mats and tangles
- Not ideal for all coat types
Some cat owners have found that that bristles are too far apart with this brush, which makes it difficult to remove loose hair from some coats.
If your cat has a thick, long coat, this brush will have no issues removing all of the loose, excess fur and reduce shedding. It will also help eliminate mats and reduce the number of hairballs your cat experiences.
5. Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush
Hertzko’s self-cleaning slicker brush is a best-seller and very similar to the previous brush on our list. With its soft but effective bristles, this brush can remove mats, tangles, dander, dirt and loose hair with ease.
The fine, bent wire bristles allow you to groom your cat without causing pain or discomfort. And with the push of a button, the bristles retract for easy cleaning.
The grip on this brush is comfortable and ergonomically designed to prevent fatigue and strain. There’s also a thumb rest to give you more control over brushing without hurting your cat.
- Self-clean feature makes it easy to remove fur from the bristles.
- Fine wire bristles are gentle on the skin
- Rubber grip prevents fatigue and slipping
- Removes mats, dander, dirt, tangles and excess hair
- Big and bulky
Hertzko’s brush is a little big and bulky, which may be an issue for people with smaller cats or kittens.
The Hertzko slicker brush makes our list because of its durable design, effective bristles, self-cleaning feature and comfortable grip.
All five of these brushes will leave your cat’s coat looking healthy and smooth, but the Pet Portal brush is our favorite because of its self-cleaning feature and durable bristles. You can’t go wrong with any of these brushes, so choose one that’s right of your cat and her coat type.