Article at a Glance….
- The best cat brushes I’ve found are Safari’s slicker brush (great for short hair cats, shedding, removes a lot of loose fur) and Go Pets pin/bristle brush (better for long haired cats)
- Brushing your cat regularly helps keep your house fur free and prevents hairballs.
- Ideally you should brush your cat at least twice a week, more if your pet sheds a lot.
We had a seriously bad shedding situation when we first moved our cats overseas. I think the temperature change from a cold to a hot climate triggered the cataclysmic hair loss (he he he). To paint a picture, there was hair in our food, our eyes, on my husband’s work clothes…everywhere! We literally inhaled cat hairs when going to sleep at night. Add into the equation that my husband is pretty allergic to cats and we have a total meltdown.
We were desperate to find the best brush for the job. Something that would remove the loose hairs before they ended up on everything we owned. I tried about five different types in the end and am happy to say I found a winner or two. Read on to find out all you need to know about brushing your cat.
Why brush your cat?
Controls fur in your home
This one’s obvious, but you need to brush your cat so that you don’t end up suffocating on stray fur like we did! Trust me, having to pull a long cat hair from your eye is not something you want to do (it was so gross and slimy!)
If you don’t brush your cat, she will end up swallowing her loose fur when licking herself. This leads to hairballs and vomiting. Not only are hairballs uncomfortable for your pet, they can lead to intestinal blockages if not treated (source). Buying a good brush will save you money long term as hairballs often require medication prescribed by a vet.
Keep your pet looking sleek
Brushing stops long haired cats from developing matted areas and removes some of the skin flakes (dander) that cause human allergies.
It’s can help bonding
Brushing can help relax nervous cats. It can take a while to find a brush and technique that your cat likes but when you do, it can feel like a bonding experience.
How often should you brush your cat?
How often you brush your cat depends on the type of fur and whether it’s shedding season or not. Our British Shorthair is the main culprit when it comes to shedding in our home. I find 15 minutes a day keeps my house nearly hair-free. If you don’t have time for that, you can spend 30 minutes once or twice a week.
Keep brushing until very little hair comes onto the brush. You will figure out the best schedule for your pet very quickly.
Common types of cat brushes
I think there must be more types of brush for cats than for humans! Some you’re likely to come across are:
- The slicker brush: Has thin metal bristles and gets rid of knots.
- Matbreakers: Have wide teeth and blades to cut out matting.
- Metal comb: Another detangler with narrow teeth. A good example is the Furminator.
- Natural bristle brush: This doesn’t detangle but just smooths the surface.
- Mitt brush: This is a cat brush glove with bristles on the palm. You brush the cat by petting it with the glove on.
How to brush your cat
How to brush your cat is something you learn with experience. Every cat is different and they have certain sensitive spots and places they like to be brushed. When you get it right, she’ll be purring!
Start out gently and brush harder if your cat tolerates it. Brush until you (or your cat) get bored of it. As I said, I try to do it for 15 minutes every day but it does get boring since I have two cats. Maybe do it with your favorite TV show in the background.
Brushes for shedding
In my opinion, Safari’s self-cleaning slicker is the best option for short haired cats who shed a lot. It removes impressive amounts of hair – at least three times as much as other brushes I’ve tried.
As soon as you have the Safari slicker in your hands, you can tell it’s built to last. The stainless steel pins are strong but flexible. They won’t pull on any knots and hurt your pet. It’s ergonomic and comfortable to use. When you’re brushing daily, it helps, trust me.
As for self-cleaning – what does that mean? Well it doesn’t pop itself into the sink and lather up. Instead, this refers to the button at the back which releases the clump of cat hair it’s just removed. Convenient! I think this is definitely the best cat deshedding brush.
The only negative I experienced was that it pulled on my Siberian’s fur a bit too much. He has very long, slightly rough hair so, you might want to try the other option below for long hairs.
Brushes for long hair cats
While it’s true that the Safari brush is amazing for deshedding, if your cat is particularly sensitive and has long fur, you may want to look for something a bit more gentle. I recommend the Tailmate pin and bristle brush.
It has two sides. The side I use most has long, ball tipped metal pins which allow you to brush right through to the undercoat. The ball tips make sure it doesn’t scratch your cat’s skin. You also have a softer side which is good for removing dirt and giving a shiny finish.
I hope this post has helped you pick a brush for your furry family members (cats that is…not overly hairy in-laws…). If you’ve tried an amazing cat brush that’s better than the ones I’ve mentioned, I would truly love to hear about it. Anything to make our girlie’s life even more luxurious 😛