Cats can be very independent when it comes to grooming, and you can often catch them cleaning themselves. However, your soft furry pet needs a bit of your help to achieve optimal hair and skin health, especially if they have long hair.
By brushing your cat regularly (once a day for a long-haired feline pet and once a week for a short-haired one) you are massaging its skin and bring natural oils to the surface, thus boosting the health of its skin.
Furthermore, brushing your cat is a unique way of bonding by getting it comfortable with your touch. It is also good for the hygiene of your home because it minimizes shedding the fur.
None of this would be possible without the right brush. This article will help you find the best brush for cat, and explain you the long road to the perfect choice.
Quick Links: 5 Best Cat Brushes for Long-Haired Cats
The essentials of choosing the right brush for your cat
Just as you wouldn’t use just any shampoo for your hair or any makeup product for your face, you can’t use just any grooming product for your cat. In this case, the cat brush should minimize the loss and tangling of the hair, while promoting healthy skin.
The best brush will be gentle on your cat’s skin and hair, while the average or bad ones will make your feline friend unfriendly to you.
Also, not all cats are the same, and the brush that worked well for your friend’s cat, might not be the best choice for your pet. When looking for the brush for your cat, you need to take into account some features of your cat.
How does the type of pet coat impact your choice?
Did you know that your cat’s coat has three layers? The awn hairs form most of the coat, and they are thick and long. The guard hairs are the longest, and the cat only shows them when it is frightened or forced to defend itself. Finally, the undercoats are shielded by the guard hairs.
The hair length is a significant factor when choosing the brush, and this feature varies from one cat to another. The only cats that are not supposed to be brushed are the “bald ones”, meaning the ones that have only one layer of the coat – the undercoat.
For those that do need to be brushed, you should know that the length of the teeth of the brush should be chosen according to the length of their hair. Short-haired and medium-haired cats can be brushed with a short-teeth brush, while the ones with longer hair require finding a brush with long teeth.
Cats with medium and long hair should be groomed on a daily basis, while the ones with short hair can be brushed once a week.
Find the right material for a cat brush
Just as there are different types of cats, there are different types of cat brushes. They are designed to meet specific needs of cats with different features. They differ in various factors, including materials. Brushes made of stainless steel are known to be of the top quality and last longer. Plastic ones can be durable, but not as much. If you are seeking for the most comfortable material for your friend, you should go with the rubber brush which doubles up as massage tools.
However, rubber brushes are not as durable as stainless-steel, and they are not recommended for long-haired cats because these fluffy creatures require a good brushing every day.
Types of cat brushes for types of cats
The choice of the cat brush depends mostly on the length of the cat’s hair.
The bristles are adequate for short-haired cats and for providing a smooth finish to the long-haired cats. They are ideal for evenly distributing the skin’s natural oils throughout the body, giving the fur a nice healthy glow.
There are also cat combs that can perform just as well as cat brushes when it comes to short-haired pets. The short-tooth comb is especially beloved by short-haired cats like Abyssinian and Burmese because the bristles are stiff and they provide with a wonderful scratchy feel.
For medium-haired cats, nothing works as well as slicker brushes. These brushes are usually rectangular, and they have tightly-packed wire bristles. Besides keeping the coat smooth and tangle-free, these brushes are good for detecting loosely matted fur.
Ragdoll,Persian, and other delightful feline beauties require constant grooming with a tool such as slicker brush, sturdy de-shedding tool or a steel comb.
One brush to rule them all?
While we did mention that there is no such thing as a perfect brush for all cats, there are some double-sided brushes where one side is for smoothing the fur and the other for removing the tangles. These can serve both for long and short-haired cats.
The design of the teeth
For the brush to be effective, the teeth should be properly designed, made and spaced. The trick is for them not to be too close or far from each other.
However, there is no universal rule that says just how far away they should be. This is different for different cats. Generally, if you have a cat with short or thin hair, you should look for teeth that are spaced near. For cats with long thick hair, a brush with teeth that are spaced far from each other.
Quality over the price
Naturally, the price of the product doesn’t always determine its quality, but if you are forced to choose between the two, it is always better to make compromises when it comes to price.
A quality brush will last for longer time and thus save you from making future purchases, and, most importantly, it will make your cat comfortable, healthy and well-groomed.
Since long and medium-haired cats need daily brushing, you should consider investing in a stainless steel brush, because you will be using it every day. These are sturdier and more durable when compared to the more affordable plastic and rubber brushes.
You should also consider brushes with replaceable edges, because, in the case of a brittle being deformed or broken, you will only have to replace the edge, instead of the entire brush.
A trustworthy brand
The brands that are focused on the manufacturing of grooming products for pets usually have more than one product that is of admirable quality.
This is why you need to ask around about the other products of the company as well as the materials that are used in manufacturing, regarding health and sustainability.
A pleasant design
Not everything about cat grooming products is about performance and quality. After all, cats are known as demanding when it comes to beauty and style, and so are their owners.
Make sure you choose a product you think is beautiful so that you can enjoy using it and spend pleasant time by grooming your feline friend.
Now that you know all the factors you need to consider when purchasing a brush for your beloved furry friend, it is time to check out which are the top products on the market and do they live up to our standards, and most importantly, do they meet the needs of your cat.
Top 5 brush for cats
1. Safari CAT Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush – It Does Everything, You Just Need to Hold It
As we already mentioned, slicker brushes are ideal for medium-haired cats, and they can be used to groom long-haired cats, as well. This brush has a feature that sets it apart from the other slicker brushes, and it is self-cleaning.
It is enough to press the button on the handle, and the collected fur will be pushed out of the pins, so you will never have to clean the hair with your hands.
The pins are made of stainless steel which guarantees endurance and durability. They are also set at different angles for thorough grooming, without harming the cat’s skin. The Safari brush is effective in mat prevention, hair removal, and cleaning.
However, the very material can make some more sensitive cats uncomfortable. Another problem with this brush is that there are large gaps between the bristle rows, so it can be difficult to capture shedding hairs.
What we liked:
- Grip handle is comfortable
- The stainless steel pins are durable
- Detangles fur well
- The self-cleaning feature works perfectly
What we didn’t like:
- Stainless steel can be too harsh for some sensitive cats’ skin
- The gaps between the bristle rows make it difficult to catch shedding hairs
2. GoPets Dematting Comb with 2 Sided Professional Grooming Rake – An Ambitious Endeavor That Leaves Room for Improvement
If you have a kitty that often develops mats and tangles the GoPets dematting comb might just be the right choice for you.
Don’t be intimidated by its sharp stainless steel blades. They are designed to safely cut through tangles, and matted clumps of fur and the dull rounded ends make it impossible for you to cut your cat’s skin.
Because it is a double-sided comb, it also works as a deshedding brush, and it removes loose fur from the cat’s coat. The side with 12 teeth is designed for dealing with thick heavy mats, while the side with 23 teeth can be used for everyday grooming.
Unfortunately, this tool works the best for medium-haired cats prone to tangles and mats. For long-haired pets, it can be a painful and useless experience, because it doesn’t get deep down into the coat, and it pulls the hair.
What we liked:
- The handle is soft and comfortable
- Perfect for medium-haired cats who develop tangles and mats often
- The rounded ends protect the skin of the cat
- Effective for de-shedding as well
What we didn’t like:
- It can’t get deep down into the fur of a long-haired cat
- It can pull the hair of a long-haired cat and make the experience uncomfortable
- The price is slightly above the average budget for a cat brush
3. KONG Cat ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush – A Sensitive Product for a Sensitive Cat
You have cats who love brushing, and then you have those who hiss at the very idea of it. If your pet belongs to the latter group, you should consider getting a KONG Cat ZoomGroom brush which is completely made of rubber (including its teeth).
This brush is gentle to your cat, and it doubles as a massage tool. It is designed to lift loose fur and encourage natural oil production and improved circulation. Because it is made of rubber, this brush can also be used to scrub away the dirt during a bath.
While regular grooming with this brush can help the hair quality and reducing the chances of mats and tangles, it is not efficient when it comes to de-matting. Also, the brush isn’t very durable, and the material is prone to breaking apart, which can be dangerous if it comes to contact with your cat and it ingests a chunk of it.
What we liked:
- Soft and comfortable
- Makes grooming a pleasant time for both pet and the owner
- It encourages healthy circulation by massaging the cat’s skin
- It brushes out loose hair easily
- It is very affordable
What we didn’t like:
- It is not very useful for removing tangles and mats
- It is not durable
- The material tends to break apart
4. Safari Soft Bristle Brush for Cats – It Pets More than It Grooms
The most adequate choice for a short-haired cat, this Safari Soft Bristle Brush features soft and sturdy bristles which are perfect for everyday grooming sessions with your short-haired cat.
It is also ideal for working around the delicate areas on the cat, such as ears and head, without worrying your furry friend will become nervous and uncomfortable. Because it is soft and gentle, this brush can help sooth skin problems such as dandruff and sensitive skin.
Brushing with this brush can often resemble petting more than grooming. However, this is not always a good thing. The brush often slides across the surface without getting any loose hair, while it should penetrate into the fur and remove the hair.
The length of the handle is not adequate for an adult person to hold it comfortably, so you may find it difficult and tiresome to groom your pet every day.
What we liked:
- Your cat will love it
- It is gentle to the cat’s skin
- The build quality is excellent
- It can sooth skin with dandruff
- The price fits everyone’s budget
What we didn’t like:
- The handle is too short for a comfortable grip
- The brush doesn’t penetrate deep into the hair
- It is difficult for it to remove loose hair because of the soft bristles
5. Safari Cat Shedding Comb – It Comes Close to the Effectiveness of a Brush
A good cat comb is the most challenging cat brushing tool to find. Too long or too close together teeth may cause discomfort for your cat. Fortunately, Safari Cat Shedding comb is not one of these undesirable brushes.
The teeth design is perfect, and they are not only comfortable for your cat but also useful in de-shedding. This quality comb removes excess hair and makes grooming simple. It is also a good addition to less effective brushing tool, such as bristle brushes.
The wooden handle is contoured for a secure grip, and the combination of short and long teeth makes it adequate for brushing both short and long-haired cats.
Still, while it is perfectly capable of removing loose coarse hairs, it is quite useless when it comes to undercoat. Also, the handle and the comb are not very well attached, so the comb may fall out when used for detangling stubborn tangles.
What we liked:
- One of the best cat combs on the market
- The combination of long and short teeth makes it work for all hair lengths
- Efficient in removing loose hairs
- The handle is comfortable
What we didn’t like:
- It doesn’t groom the undercoat well
- The handle and the head of the comb are not well connected
- The build quality could be better
By now, you should have figure out that the question is not which one is the best brush for cat, but which one is the best brush for YOUR cat. Regarding quality, durability and owner’s convenience, that is definitely Safari CAT Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush, which not only cleans itself (all you need to do is to push the button) but also can last for ages.
Still, it is a very good choice for cats with sensitive skin who hate brushing. If you are looking for a brush that can “multitask,” you can choose GoPets Dematting Comb with 2 Sided Professional Grooming Rake or KONG Cat ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush, but it is always better to find a product that performs one task, but performs it perfectly.