Although cats instinctively self-groom their coats, most need help from you to maintain healthy hair and skin. Regular brushing can do wonders to minimize shedding, prevent troublesome fur matting, and save your kitty from those terrible hairballs. According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), brushing also helps remove dead skin cells, distribute healthy skin oils, and stimulate blood circulation, which improves overall skin health.
But because cats have so many different coat types, lengths, and layers of fur, how do you know what tools you need to keep their hair under control and healthy? And is your cat going to cooperate with the kind of brush you choose? We know how finicky our feline friends can be!
We’ve done our research to find the best cat brushes, combs, and other tools to help you narrow down your choices based on your cat’s specific coat grooming needs. We also give you some important brushing tips to help make the process as smooth as possible.
At A Glance: Our Favorite Cat Brushes
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What Type Of Brush Should I Use?
Depending on if you have a short, medium, or long-haired cat and the number of coats (cats can have one, two, or even three coats), you may need more than one grooming tool to minimize shedding and keep your cat’s coat healthy and shiny. Here’s our quick guide on what types of cat brushes are available and what they’re good for.
Metal Pet Combs
Many professional groomers swear by simple metal pet combs. They’re can be the best starting place for every coat length and type to remove shedding hair from both the undercoat and topcoat. They’re also effective at tackling tangles and mats in long-haired cats. However, some cats don’t care for combing and are more cooperative with brushing.
Slicker brushes are ideal for all coat types and lengths. They have fine wire bristles that do a super job clearing away shedding fur, dander, and dirt from multiple angles. The wire bristles won’t cut or harm your cat’s skin, but they can irritate cats with sensitive skin. Some slicker brushes come with plastic pins on the bottom of the bristles to help kitties with sensitive skin.
If your feline friend has a very thick undercoat that a comb or slicker brush can’t tackle efficiently, you may want to invest in a de-shedding tool. These tools can reach deep into all layers of hair to help significantly reduce undercoat shedding and matting.
Many experts warn against cutting out mats with scissors due to the risk of injury. So using a dematting tool is a much safer option. Dematting tools are designed for long-haired cats that are prone to mats and tangles. They have sharp blades that can cut out mats quickly but are rounded at the ends to prevent injury.
A rubber brush is ideal for cats with sensitive skin that becomes irritated by combs or brushes (as well as for cats who hate being brushed). They have wide rubber teeth that gently remove loose fur, dander, and dirt. Many cats enjoy the feel of a rubber brush, and they help your cat’s coat look clean and shiny.
Brush gloves are best suited for short-haired cats with no undercoat or cats that refuse to get brushed of any type. These slip-on gloves have multiple tips that attract loose hair and are a comfortable massage-like experience for your kitty’s body. However, they’re not as effective as brushes at significantly reducing shedding.
Soft Bristle Brushes
Soft bristle brushes, made of animal hair or soft synthetic material, are ideal for short-haired cats who don’t shed much and for making your kitty’s coat look smooth and sleek. They’re often used on show cats. But they’re not very effective with super shedders.
Best Cat Brushes: Our Top Picks By Brush Type
We’ve chosen our top picks in many categories for your cat’s specific needs. While choosing products, we took into account each brush’s performance, quality, customer feedback, pricing, and more.
Best Brush For Long-Haired Cats
Paws Pamper Greyhound Comb
Many professional groomers recommend using the Greyhound Comb as the best way to remove shedding hair from any type of cat. But the long teeth on this comb make it easy to get down to the undercoat and remove tangles and mats on long-haired cats.
This comb has two pin sizes to accommodate all coats. The finer teeth are ideal for thinner coats, and the larger pins are good for thick fur and to detangle knots and mats in your cat’s coat. Depending on your cat’s coat thickness and matting issues, you may need to use additional tools to get the job done. But this comb is a great place to start.
Best Brush For Short-Haired Cats
Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush
The Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is one of the most popular cat brushes with pet parents, with excellent reviews to boot. The angled wire bristles do a fantastic job removing shedding hair and dander, even through multiple coats. And the bristles are fine enough that they’re easy on your kitty’s skin.
While we’ve picked Hertzko as the best brush for short-haired cats, it also works well for longer hair and is effective at tackling matting. This brush is durable, has a comfortable grip, and, as a bonus, is self-cleaning. Once you’re done brushing, all you have to do is click the button to retract the bristles into the brush and simply wipe off all the fur.
Best Deshedding Tool
FURminator Deshedding Tool
If your cat is a super shedder with a dense undercoat, the FURminator deshedding tool can greatly minimize loose hair that’s hard to reach with regular brushes. The angled stainless steel edge penetrates deep down to safely groom the undercoat without excessive pulling. Not only does this undercoat brush for cats seriously reduce shedding, but it’s also an excellent tool to help prevent matting, tangling, and furballs during self-grooming.
The FURminator comes in two sizes to accommodate short and long-haired cats. When you’re done brushing, you press the FURejector button, which pushes the hair out of the comb. However, some customers say it’s not great at releasing all of the hair out. The recommended use is at least once a week for the best results.
Best Dematting Tool
GoPets Dematting Comb
Some long-haired cats develop stubborn mats in their fur, which you can easily remove with this double-sided GoPets Dematting Comb. On one side, this tool has sharp stainless steel blades with dull rounded ends that safely and quickly cut through mats and tangles without yanking on your kitty’s hair. The other side is a deshedding tool you can use to groom your cat’s undercoat. With a non-slip silicone gel-filled handle, it’s comfortable to hold. If you’re tired of struggling with mat removal, the GoPets comb is a simple, painless solution.
Best Brush For Cats That Hate To Be Brushed
CeleMoon Cat Brush
The CeleMoon cat brush is our top pick for cats who hate being brushed and those with sensitive skin. While you might think that a rubber brush won’t work well, tons of pet parents say the CeleMoon does a fantastic job of removing loose fur. And many cats love the ultra-soft feel of the wide, flexible silicone teeth vs metal teeth. It works for short and long-haired cats and is easy to hold and maneuver.
The manufacturer recommends wetting the brush to help attract more fur. The downside to this and other rubber brushes is flyaway fur that gets all over you and your furniture. And some customers complain that the prongs pull on their cat’s hair too much.
Best Grooming Gloves
DELMO Pet Grooming Glove
If your feline friend simply refuses any type of brush or comb, these DELMO Pet Grooming Gloves could be your best option to reduce shedding and keep her coat clean. Some cats prefer them because they mimic being gently rubbed. These slip-on gloves have 255 silicone grooming tips that attract loose hair, dander, and dirt. And the hair sticks to the gloves for easy removal.
They’re super easy to use. All you have to do is spray a bit of water on them and sweep them over your cat’s coat. They’re even machine washable. These DELMO gloves come in five colors and one size with an adjustable velcro strap. Unfortunately, they may be too large for small hands even with the adjustable velcro strap.
Best Soft Bristle Brush
Mars Coat-King Bristle Cat Hair Brush
The German-made Mars Coat King brush has natural boar-hair bristles and a classic wooden birchwood handle. While it works well to remove loose hair from short-haired cats, it’s not the best brush for super shedders or long-haired cats. And it’s not designed to handle the undercoat. But it’s your best bet for finishing off your cat’s coat with a super sleek look. If you’re looking for a brush to make your cat look ready for the red carpet, we think this brush is your best bet.
Best Cat Brushes & Grooming Tips For Specific Breeds
We also have our top cat brush picks and grooming tips by breed. These in-depth breed-specific guides include lots of details about shedding triggers, grooming needs, brushing tips, and much more. We’ll continue to add more breeds as fast as we can roll them out!
How To Brush A Cat
Follow these tips to get the most loose hair off your cat and to help make the process as comfortable for her as possible. It can help to follow the same brushing routine so your kitty knows what to expect. If your cat refuses brushing, don’t force it.
- Choose a calm, quiet place and begin your routine by rubbing your kitty to make sure she’s in the right mood.
- Check your cat’s coat before brushing to make sure she doesn’t have any fleas, ticks, bald spots, or unusual bumps or lumps.
- Starting with the neck and head, gently work your way down your cat’s body with the brush, following the direction of her fur.
- If you find any tangles or mats, work through them gently using your fingers or a dematting tool. Never tug or yank at your cat’s hair.
- Give your kitty a few low-calorie treats and praise during the process to help keep her calm and happy.
How Often Should I Brush My Cat?
Brushing frequency depends on your cat’s coat. If your cat has long or curly hair, you should brush her every day to prevent tangles and matted fur. Pay close attention to areas where matting occurs more often, including the chest, neck, the back of the legs, in between the legs, and armpits. Most short-haired cats only require brushing once or twice per week. For older short-haired cats who don’t self-groom as often as they used to, you may need to bump up the frequency.
Brushing a cat regularly isn’t always a simple task, but it’s so important for your cat’s skin and coat health. Unhealthy skin and severe matting can lead to itching, irritation, and even skin infections. We hope we’ve given you all the information you need to choose the best coat grooming tool(s) for your furbaby. And if your cat isn’t cooperative with your first brush choice, don’t give up. You can always try another type that she may tolerate much better. Remember, your kitty’s coat and skin health depend on you.