If you are a cat owner (and you obviously are, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this) you know it’s just a matter of time before you wake up under a large pile of cat hair. Because cats shed, and they shed a lot that’s why you need a cat brush.
What is a cat brush and why do I need one?
In their natural environment, they shed seasonally, but unless you are a barbarian that rides a tiger in its free time, your house cat will shed all year. Not just the long hair kind, every breed of cat will leave their hair on your favorite sofa, t-shirt, the best water fountain for cats, your shoes and everything you hold dear to you.
Cat brushes are a wonderful invention that saves the cat’s physical health and along with that, your mental health,
The purpose of the cat grooming brush
You see, cats spend a lot of their time grooming themselves, up to 50% of their awake time. But sometimes that is not enough. Long hair and medium hair cats cannot possibly clean themselves properly without brushing, while short hair cats benefit from regular brushing too.
Cats do most of their grooming with their tongue, that is true, but they also swallow a lot of their hair and cough it up later, which is unpleasant for them and messy for you.
If they manage to do it in the dust-free cat litter, yay, but don’t get your hopes high. Also, their tongue, even with the help of paws and teeth, cannot perfectly clean them or reach to every part of their body, especially for the bigger or older cats.
But a cat brush can and is designed for that purpose. Using gentle moves, you can clean your cat’s coat from every mat, tangle, dead skin and excess fur while giving a nice massage that helps produce the natural oils in the skin that protect the fur and gives it a nice and healthy look.
Along with that, while brushing the cat, you are inspecting their skin and fur for possible parasites, small wounds and the symptoms of the disease.
Types of Cat Grooming Brushes with Pros and Cons
The market holds a plethora of choices for the cat brushes. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages that depend on your cat’s breed, size, length of the fur and habits. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
They are an ideal type for sensitive and nervous cats. The light touch or rubber teeth will cause a pleasant effect on your grumpy cat while giving it a nice massage and ensure the smooth circulation of blood.
A rubber grooming brush can be used both for long hair cats and the short hair ones, removing the fur and detangling it. Although, with heavy shedding, this brush might not be the best choice, because the brush teeth are usually very widely set.
They are an essential tool for brushing your medium or long hair cat. The longer the coat, the longer the pins you will need. There are two types: fixed and retractable.
If you get yourself a retractable pin brush, you will simplify the cleaning of it by retracting the pins into the base of the brush thus making it easy to just wipe the hair and fur. However, if your cat has a very thick coat or a bad case of tangling, you might consider other choices.
Grooming mitts and gloves
If your cat hisses at you and you notice a strange killer look in her eyes when she sees a grooming brush, this is the right choice for you. Just put on a mitt or two, and start petting your cat. The rubber or silicone teeth on the glove are short and soft, so your cat will purr out of pure pleasure while you are cleaning its coat of excess fur and tangles.
The process is very quick, especially if you use both gloves, but they are commonly used for shorthaired cats. But beware, some cats that don’t like the smell or the feel of rubber/silicone touching their skin.
They kinda look like our own brushes, so don’t get confused. Made of natural or artificial materials, they are used mostly for a full brush of short and medium hair cats, and for a finishing touch on long-haired ones. Like any other type, they come in many variations, depending on the purpose.
The cats with the shorter hair demand thicker and shorter bristles, while the long-haired ones need the bristles to be wide and long to be able to reach the skin.
The cats with the thick, coarse hair will need sturdier bristle brushes. The bristle grooming brushes are well proven in the field of cat aesthetic although they don’t remove mats and tangles quite effectively.
If your cat sheds like she is preparing for the World Shedding Championship, this is the choice for you. Rakes consist of relatively long metal teeth that can, with their thin and sturdy design, reach the deepest parts of your cat’s coat to remove the excess hair and fur.
That will help prevent matting and drastically reduce shedding and tangling the hair. Be careful if your cat has sensitive skin or any skin problem, because of the metal parts that can give them an unpleasant feeling.
Although all cats have issues regarding matting the fur, your long-haired pet will have significant problems if not cared properly. Dematting tools are created for the sole purpose of helping with that problem.
A variety of tools is used for that purpose, all with the same goal: to gently cut through the mats and detangle them, not damaging the skin or coat of your beloved pet. Some of the tools even combine cutting the mats and removing the excess hair.
Most of the dematting tools are designed specifically for long-haired cats and are a much better choice than the usage of scissors that can hurt your pet.
What attributes make a great cat grooming brush?
With a great cat brush comes great responsibility. Our responsibility is to help you choose a truly great one for your greatest pet, so you can show her to the world proudly while carrying it in the best cat carrier, so the world can see the effects of the great cat brush and gaze and envy you.
Needs – the length of the hair
As we mentioned before, the choice of the cat brush depends on the purpose you need it to fulfill. Some types of brushes are designed specifically for long-haired, some are for short-haired. Using the wrong type of brush on your cat’s coat can be useless, or in the worst case can even harm your pet.
Here is a handy reminder:
- Hairless cats, despite the name, also grow some little hair, but they use a cat shampoo.
- Short hair cats are considered to have hair up to two inches and demand the least amount of brushing necessary
- Medium hair cats, or semi-hared, have the hair from two to four inches and need a daily grooming
- Long hair cats are the ones with the fur longer than five inches, and demand daily brush topped with extra care for the fur
Teeth type and spacing
Metal teeth or pins are commonly used for long-haired cats, while the other types of teeth can manage all the length and thickness of the coat. Longer teeth can get to the cat skin for a deep brushing, while the shorter one will just brush the surface of the fur.
Denser teeth will get the most excess fur and secure the deshedding but are not suitable for a denser fur. Widely spaced teeth can manage through the denser fur and mats and tangles, but they are not great when it comes to short hair or medium hair cats.
You get the picture now: choose the one that suits your needs the most.
It is simple, the longer the bristle, the better the cleaning of dead skin and dandruff. If your cat is short-haired, pick a brush with shorter bristles. Longer the hair, longer the bristle.
The choice of the handle is completely yours as you will be the one brushing the cat, and sadly not the other way around. Pick a handle that won’t slip from your sweaty hand, and has an ergonomic grip for maximum comfort. Wood, rubber or some other material, the handle needs to fit good in your hand and be a pleasure to use.
The durability of the cat grooming brush
The cat brush that you choose must be durable enough to withstand years of brushing. Your cat can really get used to a certain brush and you don’t want to spend more time getting her used to a new one.
Pick a nice, firm cat brush made of quality materials that will serve its purpose for a long time without getting damaged or broken.
Does spending more means more quality
Spending a ridiculous amount of money doesn’t guarantee you anything with any product. However, with the help of this guide and a little extra homework, you will be able to choose the best value for your money.
The reputation and good feedback of manufacturer and seller are more valuable than saving a few coins by choosing low prices from shady sources. Quality comes with a price, that is true, but a great product, the one that will serve you for years, is worth every penny spent.
How to properly brush your cat
First, you need to take a little inspection of your pet’s health. Gently slide the fingers through her fur, from the tail to the head, and perform a visual inspection for fleas, small cuts and wounds, skin diseases or fleas. If you notice anything suspicious, pay a visit to your vet.
If everything is all right you can start the brushing. Use the dematting tool (carefully) to remove any mats and start removing tangles by using a medium-size cat grooming brush. A brush with longer bristles is used for finishing touch and removing all the excess fur and hair that might be left behind.
While brushing, your moves must be gentle, safe and confident. Take small moves instead of large rough ones to avoid eventually pulling the cat’s skin, or that is going to finish bad (for you). Always follow the natural direction of the fur, because going backward will seriously annoy and irritate your cat, and you don’t want that.
Be very careful while brushing the most sensitive parts, like belly, face and the territory around the tail. The trick for brushing the face is to use a human toothbrush because of its size and ergonomic design.
How to clean and maintain a cat brush
Cleaning your cat’s brush after every use is a must, for the safety of you, your cat and everyone else’s health in the household. After you are finished with brushing your pet, a brush contains dead skin, excess fur, possible fleas and other parasites, and present a health hazard.
Start by removing as much hair as you can from the brush. Then it’s up to warm water and a pet-friendly mild shampoo, or vinegar if you don’t like chemicals. Leave the brush to soak for 10-20 minutes, then gently remove the remaining dirt, without damaging the brush and rinse it with the cold water.
Let the brush dry in the sun and remember never to use a wet brush. After drying, use an antibacterial spray for maximum safety and disinfection.
Be careful with the metal parts on some brushes as they can get rusty when not properly dried. For the wooden or leather parts, also use appropriate treatment so they can last for a long time.
Frequently Asked Questions – all the how’s, when’s and why’s
Can you brush a cat too much?
As long as you are not hurting the cat or cutting their fur, there is no such thing as too much brushing and you will be amazed by the quantity of excess fur.
Don’t worry, your cat will explain eloquently, with her claws and teeth, when she has really had enough. Of course, cats with sensitive skin or skin problems might not enjoy being brushed too frequently.
How to brush a cat’s undercoat?
By using brushes with medium or long teeth or bristles you will be able to perfectly brush your cat’s undercoat and reduce shedding. Be careful with mats and tangles and always check your cat’s fur before you start brushing.
How often should you brush your cat?
Your long-haired beauty must be brushed every day, sometimes even twice, as she is more prone to mats and tangles. Short and medium-haired cats, you can brush them several times per weak but daily brushing will do them good.
Of course, using your eyes and common sense, you’ll notice the need to brush the cat more or less often.
When is the best time to brush a cat?
Choosing the right time to brush a cat is essential. Pick a moment when there is no distraction, like dogs, children running or any loud sounds. Usually when your cat has finished (over)eating and is ready to cuddle or take a nap, so she feels calm and secure.
Always have a brush and some treats near her favorite napping place, so you don’t waste time looking for it.
What can I do if my cat hates brushing?
There are several solutions to that. First, you need to check if she has some skin disease or any other state that would explain the hate towards brushing. You can also change the type of brush and see will that work out for you. The most successful type for the brush-hating cuts is grooming mitts and gloves.
Don’t overpush the long grooming, rather try to groom your pet for a shorter period, then reward it generously with treats. Continue with that tempo: little brushing – little treats, as long as it works.
Of course, when the cat is fully accustomed to brushing, you should reduce the number of treats given. The little trick from the sleeve is to spray some catnip on your cat’s brush so it might become her favorite toy.
What is the weirdest cat grooming brush that you have ever seen?
Funny that you mentioned that. There is an absolutely hilarious product you can purchase online that allows you to brush your cat by licking it. Yes, I said that.
This prototype brush is made of soft silicone and pretty much looks like a tongue. Just bite the base of the brush and start licking your cat with this funny tongue brush. If she meows weirdly, meow back at her.
You can’t judge a man by his appearance, but you can judge a cat by her fur because an unhealthy looking fur is usually a first symptom that something is wrong with your cat. Keep your cat happy, her fur clean and healthy and good luck when the next shedding season arrives.
Photos from: ilona75 / depositphotos.com, Laures / depositphotos.com, monte_a / depositphotos.com, herreid / depositphotos.com, noskov / depositphotos.com, kaninstudio / depositphotos.com, AnkevanWyk / depositphotos.com, dadooda / depositphotos.com, lufimorgan / depositphotos.com.
Big pet lover and a dog training and behavior expert who loves to share his knowledge and experience. Happy owner of two amazing dogs Labrador Bela and Jack Russell Terrier Piksi and one cuddly cat Tom.
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