When you find the best cat brush, you and your cat will both know it. Good brushes feel great in your hand, are gentle on your cat’s skin, and are a perfect fit for their coat type. There are cat brushes designed for all different grooming needs and all different cat types. So, how do you know which brush makes the most sense for your pet?
We’ve put several grooming tools to the test, calling out the best brushes for detangling, daily maintenance, and more. Here are our top 12 cat brushes for peaceful and effective grooming—plus, a run-down of 8 different brush types and what they’re best for.
At a Glance: Best Cat Brushes & De-Shedding Tools To Buy
- The pin side is ideal for long or thick double coats
- A ventilation hole near the pins allows them to contour to the animal’s body
- Excellent for sensitive cats
Why Trust Cats.com
Over the last two years, we’ve spent a lot of time figuring out what it takes to make a great cat brush. We’ve researched the types of brushes & de-shedding tools available, read hundreds of customer reviews, and performed real-world tests on over a dozen top brushes. We spent over 35 hours testing their sturdiness, cat-friendliness, and ability to prevent shedding and hair loss.
To nail down which cat brushes were worth testing, we considered a range of grooming needs, from removing mats to getting a perfectly glossy coat. We prioritized effectiveness, user-friendly designs, and ease of cleaning. We also selected brushes that appeared durable yet gentle on feline skin.
Based on this extensive research and hands-on testing, we’ve selected the following 12 cat brushes as the best you can buy.
Top Picks Explained
While we’ve since updated our recommendations in this article, we still love the cat brushes and brands Mallory talks about in this video.
The Top 12 Best Cat Brushes and Deshedding Tools for Long & Short Haired Cats
Our rankings are determined by a variety of factors. Each cat will have different needs and preferences, so while the Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is our top choice, it may not be ideal for your unique cat. To help you choose the right brush for your cat, we’ve broken down our recommendations by brush type, hair type, specific grooming goals (ie: deshedding and removing mats), and other key considerations.
8 Types of Cat Brushes
As our lineup reveals, cat brushes come in endless varieties. For the best grooming results, it’s helpful to understand how different tools work. Here’s an explanation of the cat brushes you’ll encounter most often—with a look at the cats they’ll work for best.
1. Slicker Brushes
These brushes have fine wire teeth set on varying angles. Because the wire teeth comb through your cat’s fur from multiple angles, these brushes are very effective for removing loose hair as well as dirt and dander. The thin metal tines aren’t painful for most cats but can irritate sensitive skin. If your cat has damaged skin or is particularly sensitive to touch, you may want to choose a rubber brush or grooming glove instead.
Slicker brushes are ideal for all coat types and cats who like being brushed.
2. Dematting Tools
Don’t use a pair of scissors to cut out a mat. If your cat flinches or you snip in the wrong place, you could cut their skin instead of the matted fur. Instead, use a dematting tool. These tools have sharp blades with rounded tips. They scoop underneath the mat and gently cut it out without harming the skin underneath.
Dematting tools are ideal for long-haired cats, those prone to matting, and cats who struggle to groom themselves.
3. Brush Gloves
The great thing about grooming gloves is that they aren’t brushes. They’re gloves with small rubber nubs and bristles that gently massage your cat’s coat and draw out loose hair. Instead of feeling alien on your cat’s skin, the touch of a gloved hand is both comforting and natural. Plus, it acts as a deshedding tool.
Brush gloves are ideal for short coats, cats with sensitive skin, and cats who dislike traditional grooming.
4. Bristle Brushes
A bristle brush smooths and beautifies the hair. They’re popular for use on show cats and other felines who need to look shiny and fabulous. They make an excellent finishing cat brush for coats of all types.
Bristle brushes are ideal for cats who need a gentle touch and for those who need a brilliant finish.
5. Rubber Brushes
Rubber brushes have wide-set rubber teeth, which gently move through the fur, detangling and removing loose hair. The rubber teeth provide a gentle massage as well, improving circulation and boosting the health of your cat’s skin. They’re a gentler choice for cats who can’t tolerate harsh metal brushes.
Rubber brushes are ideal for short hair, sensitive cats, massaging, and boosting circulation.
6. Deshedding Tools
Remember that your cat’s coat has three different layers. Most cats have guard hairs, awn hairs, and down hairs. The thickest, densest layer is the down or undercoat, which lies at the base of the coat nearest to the skin. Cats with particularly long, dense undercoats are prone to matting problems and severe shedding. The undercoat can also make a cat overly warm during hot weather.
Deshedding tools reach deep through the layers of your cat’s coat to access the soft, dense undercoat. When used on a cat with a thick undercoat, deshedding tools can produce dramatic piles of downy hair while leaving your cat’s coat looking silky and smooth.
Deshedding tools are ideal for cats with thick undercoats, those prone to heavy shedding, and homes with a lot of hair accumulation.
7. Detangling Combs
These combs have long teeth that pick through your cat’s coat, removing loose hair while gently detangling. They can help to prevent mat formation as well.
While these are useful for cats with longer coats, they’re not the best choice for cats who don’t like brushing. Detangling combs aren’t soft and do little to massage the skin.
Detangling combs are ideal for medium to long-haired cats and those prone to knots.
8. Pin Brushes
A pin cat brush is similar to a slicker brush but has more widely-spaced teeth and is a less aggressive grooming tool. The pins are tipped with plastic balls that massage your cat’s skin and distribute natural oils through their coat.
Pin brushes are ideal for medium to long-haired cats.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I brush my cat?
The frequency with which you need to brush your cat may depend on its coat type and length. For long-haired cats, daily brushing is recommended but short-haired cats may only need to be brushed once a week.
Does brushing help with cat dandruff?
Most cats are meticulous groomers, so they keep their coats in pretty good condition. When it comes to issues like dry skin and dandruff, however, they may need a little help. Regular brushing can help exfoliate the skin but you may also want to bathe your cat with hydrating shampoo and conditioner.
Should I brush or comb my cat?
Choosing the right grooming tool depends on your cat’s coat type. For long fur and fine coats combing with a wide-toothed comb can help remove mild tangles in cat hair, but you may need a dematting tool for bigger mats. For short-haired cats, a bristle brush or rubber brush will help with dead hair removal and will leave the coat nice and shiny.