It seems so simple. A few passes with a brush, nail clipping, the occasional bath, and there you have it: a well-groomed cat. If only. When it comes to the Maine Coon, standard grooming tools may not be enough.
We know Maine Coons for their luscious locks. While the dense coat of the Maine Coon offers protection from the elements, it’s also prone to tangles and matting.
Keeping your gentle giant tangle free may seem like a full-time job, but the right tools make all the difference. With the help of my model, The Great Catsby—Catsby for short—I’ve tested some of the top-selling grooming tools to see how they perform against the thick coat of the Maine Coon cat. Read on for the best brushes to keep your cat’s coat in tip-top condition.
At A Glance: Best Brushes For Maine Coon Cats
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Maine Coon Coat
Along with their significant stature, cat enthusiasts prize the Maine Coon for their long hair and delightfully thick coats. This breed’s double-layer coat is composed of an undercoat and topcoat and consists of three hair types (this is why you might have seen Maine Coons called triple-coat cats).
The topcoat has long guard hairs that are coarser than other hairs. Guard hairs are semi-oily to repel water and protect the undercoat. The topcoat blocks sunlight and protects against scratches and other skin abrasions.
As part of their topcoat, Maine Coons also have awn hairs, considered an intermediate or hybrid of the guard hairs and undercoat. Awn hairs begin growth like guard hairs, but halfway down the length, they grow thin and wavy like the down hair of the undercoat. Awn hair has the characteristic of both guard hair and down hair. It can repel water and aid in thermoregulation.
Wavy, short hair—called down hair—comprises the undercoat. Maine Coon will have a significant undercoat, which provides insulation. In warm weather, this layer sheds. The undercoat will become thinner and regulate temperature by trapping cool air near the skin.
While their coat makes them an excellent cuddle partner, it does require extra maintenance. You’ll need to brush your Maine Coon weekly at minimum. Ideally, you should brush your Maine Coon daily. Aim for two to three times per week if you’re pressed for time.
Types Of Brushes
Brushing your feline’s fur serves many functions. It eliminates tangles and mats, lubricates the skin by dispersing your cat’s natural oil, and keeps pet hair off clothing, furniture, and surfaces around the home. Various types of grooming tools are available for cats. Here are the five main categories:
- Bristle Brush: A bristle brush is made of tightly-packed natural bristles (typically boar hair). These brushes massage your cat while also stimulating oil production. Using a bristle brush on any hair length promotes a glossy, healthy-looking coat. Think of the bristle brush as a finishing brush to be used in combination with another option.
- Comb: Grooming combs work well at detangling and removing mats without irritating your cat’s skin. You can find grooming combs made of plastic, metal, and wood.
- Pin Brush: Pin brushes look similar to typical brushes used by people. They are usually oval-shaped with flexible wire pins tipped with plastic or rubber. A pin brush will pick up loose hair before it sheds onto your clothes and quickly break up minor tangles before they become matted.
- Rake Brush: Rakes are brushes designed to remove tangles and loose hair in the undercoat. They typically look like a shaving razor and feature a row of tightly-spaced pins. When looking for a rake brush, choosing one that’s the correct length for your pet’s coat is essential. Rakes that are too short will miss the undercoat, while rakes that are too long may irritate your kitty’s skin.
- Slicker Brush: The slicker brush has fine, short wires packed together on a flat or curved brush head. This brush can work with all coat types, removing loose fur and tangles. Always brush gently when using a slicker brush; The brush can feel painful if too much pressure is applied.
Best Grooming Tools For Maine Coons
Best Overall: FURminator Cat DeShedding Tool
- Stainless steel edge reaches through the topcoat to remove loose hair and undercoat
- Collects dirt and debris
- Release button to eject hair
- Curved edge acts as skin guard
- Ergonomic handle
- Reduces loose hair up to 90% with regular use
The FURminator is the best brush for Maine Coons. This deshedding tool outperforms any other brush I’ve tried. Honestly, you have to see it to believe it. The brand promises that the FURminator reduces loose hair from shedding up to 90 percent with regular use. It works by reaching through the topcoat to remove the undercoat and any other loose hair without damaging the topcoat or cutting the skin.
I wasn’t sure how Catsby would respond to this tool (he’s a sensitive boy), but he took to it right away. The stainless steel teeth easily moved through his dense coat and quickly removed hair. With a few strokes of this tool, there was already a pile of loose hair.
I like that this tool has a fur ejector, so there isn’t a long pause where you have to remove hair from the brush head. The eject button is especially nice if you have an antsy cat who hates sitting for brush time. It’s quick, easy, painless, and worth every penny.
FURminator makes various deshedding tools, so get the one for long-haired cats. The brand recommends brushing weekly to reduce shedding and prevent matting and hairball formation.
Runner Up: Coastal Pet Products Safari Shedding Comb
- Dual-length comb target undercoat while also collecting loose fur
- Collects dirt and debris
- Metal teeth have rounded tips to avoid skin irritation
- Contoured wooden handle
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Ideal for long-haired cat with thick coats
The Coastal Pets Safari Cat Shedding Comb is my runner-up overall for best brush for Maine Coons and my top choice for painlessly removing matted hair. The wide-toothed grooming comb features metal teeth with rounded tips to prevent skin scratching. The long teeth act as an undercoat rake, while the short teeth collect loose fur, dirt, and debris.
Catsby tolerated this comb (his owners say it’s his preferred choice). I found that this comb worked very well at reaching through the dense layers of his coat and could easily glide through his top coat. The manufacturer markets this comb as a shedding rake, but it also did a fantastic job removing matted hair with no fuss from Catsby.
The comb itself is small, lightweight, and easy to use. The contoured wood handle is durable and comfortable to grip. With a significantly lower price tag than the number one pick, this is a great and inexpensive tool in your arsenal.
Third Place: Hertzko Self Cleaner Slicker Brush
- Removes loose hair, dirt, and debris
- Fine, angled bristles
- Ergonomic, anti-slip handle
- Eyelet hole in handle for convenient storage
- Push-button retractable bristles for easy cleaning
- Supports oil distribution across the skin and coat for shiny, smooth hair
With more than 90,000 Amazon reviews and a 4.5-star rating, the Hertzko self-cleaning slicker brush is indeed a favorite among pet parents. This brush has a lot to love. Its angled bristles remove loose hair, dirt, and debris while keeping your kitty’s coat shiny. It’s easy to clean—push the button on the top of the brush to retract the bristles and collect the loose hair. It’s also easy to use and features a comfortable handle.
How did this brush perform against Catsby’s coat? The slicker brush did an okay job of removing loose hair. While Catsby didn’t show any discomfort, I worried that the fine, tightly-spaced wires would cause pain if I applied too much pressure. Since the short bristles didn’t reach through Catsby’s dense coat, the brush didn’t collect hair nearly as fast as the top two options. Still, with patience, this brush does an adequate job of removing loose hair and preventing matting.
I recommend this brush for people willing to brush their cats daily. Regular, gentle brushing will keep the hair detangled and prevent the build-up of hair and other debris.
Burt's Bees 2-in-1 Double-Sided Pin & Bristle Brush
- Pins remove tangles, dirt, and dander
- Soft bristles remove loose hair and boost coat’s luster
- Made of bamboo and recycled materials
- Helps distribute natural oils and reduce flaking
- Very gentle
- Can be paired with waterless shampoo or dander-reducing spray to evenly disperse over coat
While I wouldn’t recommend this brush as your sole grooming tool, the Burt’s Bees 2-in-1 Double-Sided Pine & Bristle brush makes a great finishing brush after you’ve used one of the heavy-duty options listed in the top three.
This brush is made of eco-friendly materials: bamboo and hemp. The pins help to remove tangles, while the soft, hemp bristles promote silky strands. It’s a quality daily brush for long-haired cats and can keep your cat’s coat in good shape between more-serious grooming sessions.
Delomo Pet Grooming Gloves
- Alternative to brushing for sensitive cats
- Removes dirt, debris, and loose hair
- Skin-friendly silicone bristles
- Adjustable wrist strap
- Also work as a bath brush
- Washing-machine safe
For cats that absolutely will not tolerate brushes or combs, a grooming glove is the next-best option. How do they work? It’s easy: put them on, spray a bit of water onto the silicon, and brush your cat in a sweeping motion (like you’re petting them). The fur peels off the gloves easily. Clean the gloves by hand or put through the washing machine.
While these gloves are good at removing surface-level loose hair and debris, they will never perform better than a brush or comb. Still, this is a good option for cats in between professional grooming sessions.
Best Cleaning Tool
The brushing is done, but now you’re left with hair here, there, and everywhere. Enter the ChomChom. This roller works by quickly removing hair from any soft surface. Roll the ChomChom back and forth in short strokes, and the ChomChom will collect the hair. Pressing the button at the top of the tool opens the chamber where the hair collects. From there, you can remove the hair and start over again.
I’ve used countless other rollers like this—even sticky tape and pet hair vacuums. None perform like the ChomChom. I don’t know what magic was used to create this tool, but the result is the absolute best hair collector. Every pet parent needs it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should You Brush A Maine Coon?
Typically, you’ll need to brush a Maine Coon two to three times per week. If you use a deshedding brush or comb, you may be able to extend this to once a week.
Why Is My Maine Coon So Matted?
The Maine Coon coat is more likely to mat during shedding season. When a Maine Coon sheds, their fur can become tangled, leading to mats. If you notice your cat is matting more than normal, you need to brush more regularly. Consider using a dry shampoo for cats to remove dirt and debris that can cause matting. If these adjustments don’t act as remedies, consult with your veterinarian. Matting can also be a sign of underlying health problems.
Is It Okay To Shave My Maine Coon?
Many Maine Coon owners choose to have their Maine Coon professionally shaved into a style called the lion cut. There are mixed opinions on the efficacy of shaving a Maine Coon. Sassy Koonz, a Maine Coon cattery, shares all the pros and cons of shaving a Maine Coon on its blog.
It’s important to start grooming your feline as early as possible. This helps them become comfortable with the process and make brushing more enjoyable in the long run. Do you want the best brush for Maine Coons? In the end, the best brush is whatever one your cat allows. For an extra beautiful coat, consider investing in a few different grooming tools: one for deshedding, one for daily maintenance, and one to condition the coat for a glossy finish.