It’s no secret that cats enjoy being pampered – but a good brushing session has practical benefits too.
If, like me, you don’t appreciate your furniture being covered in fluff, brushing your cat regularly will help minimize shedding. It will also prevent hairballs and even reduce human allergies if dander is a trigger.
That said, some brushes make the job easier than others; we’ve tried almost all of them by now so I thought I’d share some recommendations. These are the brushes that our cats liked (or at least tolerated) and also did a great job at deshedding.
***Great for shedding***
As far as cat brushes go, the Furminator is pretty famous, and for good reason – it’s one of the best deshedding tools around. The Furminator is the original metal comb cat brush; it uses its narrow stainless steel teeth to reach beneath the animal’s topcoat to brush the undercoat, pulling out a large amount of loose hair.
Although it’s incredibly effective at what it does, you will need to deal with matted areas separately beforehand. Metal combs for cats will pull out the entire clump of knotted hair, much to kitty’s dismay! You can use a gentle brush first to resolve knotting and then go in with the Furminator to deshed. Another point of caution is that it shouldn’t be used on breeds that don’t shed such as Siamese, Siberian and Burmese cats.
This brush is designed with a convenient button push mechanism to remove fur from the metal teeth. There are four options available: a short hair brush for up to 2 inch long fur and a long hair version for longer than 2 inches. These both come in a small and large model for cats under and over 10 lbs.
|Furminator is a well-established brand||Pulls at knots and mats – remove them first|
|Large and small designs available||Not suitable for breeds who do not shed fur|
|Long and short hair designs available|
|Easy to remove fur with “furejector” button|
|Claims to reduce shedding by up to 90%|
|Recommended by vets and grooming professionals|
***Great for short haired cats***
Safari is another big name in pet grooming products. The brush I use for my British Shorthair is their self-cleaning slicker brush. It has thin, flexible, metal bristles and is designed to get rid of knots. Like the Furminator, it does a good job at deshedding my shorthaired cat. As for longhaired cats, I find that the bristles are too short to reach Loki’s undercoat and it can pull a bit too much.
Safari’s Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush does remove impressive amounts of fur and also includes a push button on the back to release the hair that’s accumulated on the bristles. It’s comfortable to hold with a rubber handle and solid construction. It’s also suitable for brushing out mats and knots as the flexible bristles detangle rather than yanking on a whole clump of fur.
|Great for deshedding short haired cats||Not as effective for long haired cats|
|Button to release fur from brush|
|Suitable for mats and knots|
|Safari is a well-established brand|
***Great for long haired cats***
Finding a brush that worked for my long haired cat was a challenge. Some of the more aggressive deshedding designs pulled too hard while others simply couldn’t reach his undercoat. This double sided pin and bristle brush is the best I’ve found so far.
This brush from Tailmate has two sides with two brush types but we mostly use the pin bristle side. The bristles are longer and stiffer than the Safari slicker so they easily penetrate his topcoat of long fur and detangle his undercoat. The pins are topped with tiny balls so it won’t hurt his skin.
The other side has a soft bristle brush which doesn’t detangle but just smooths the surface leaving a shiny finish. Apparently it’s also good for removing dirt from outdoor cats but our two are indoor only so I haven’t tried that.
|Ball-tipped pins good for sensitive cats
||Not extremely effective for desheddingf|
|Great for long haired cats
|Great for detangling
|2 Brushes in 1
|Works for long and short haired cats|
| Soft bristles remove dirt and give shine
***Grooming glove, great for sensitive cats***
A really fun alternative to conventional cat brushes is the mitt brush or grooming glove. This design from Hands On is particularly popular and can be used both wet or dry – very helpful when shampooing your pet. It’s basically a heavy duty glove with plastic bristles on the palm. You brush the cat by petting it with the glove on.
If your cat isn’t a fan of being brushed due to sensitive skin or simply an aversion to the object itself, a grooming glove could work. It supposedly feelsl like a kitty massage while also being pretty good at deshedding short haired cats.
| Glove design good for cats who fear brushes
|| Not as effective for long haired cats
| Most cats enjoy the sensation
| Can be used wet or dry
| Great for deshedding
| Gentle – no sharp bristles
| Can easily brush hard to reach spots
How to brush your cat
Brushing your cat is quite straightforward – usually he’ll show you what he likes and purr when you get it right! Here are some general tips:
Most brushes are best used on clean, dry fur. The Furminator in paricular recommends brusing immediately after washing and drying your cat.
First remove any large knots with a slicker other suitable brush. Then you can move onto deshedding.
Start out gently, brushing with long strokes down your cat’s coat in the hair’s natural growth direction. Start at the head and work back, taking care in sensitive areas like the stomach and legs. Don’t focus excessively on one spot and don’t apply too much pressure as it can cause irritation.
Clean excess hair from the brush as you go; brush for as long as your cat will tolerate it, or until you get bored. By the time you’ve finished, very little hair should be coming out onto the brush. About 15-20 minutes is recommended.
How often you brush your cat depends on the type of fur and whether it’s shedding season or not. Once or twice a week is the usual recommendation.