Cats tend to elicit strong emotions, but if you're here reading this, you are likely a cat lover. They can be quite adorable, and make for easy, low-maintenance companions at home. They like to sleep (sometimes in the laundry), and they like to stay clean. You also don't have to worry about taking a cat out for a walk.
While cats don't need much, they do need to stay clean and well-groomed. The below guide is going to break down how to buy and use a cat brush to keep your furry friend looking their glamorous best. You will leave here with all of the information necessary to get a great product for you and your cat.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The best Cat Brush: Our Picks
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about cat brushes
- 4.1 What is a cat brush?
- 4.2 What are the advantages of a cat brush?
- 4.3 How to use a cat brush correctly?
- 4.4 How do I use a cat brush if my pet is nervous?
- 4.5 What types of cat brushes are there?
- 4.6 What if I don't use a cat brush?
- 4.7 Why do I need a short-haired cat brush?
- 4.8 Should I buy a cat brush or should I take them to the cat groomer?
- 4.9 Is it better to buy a cat brush or bathe my cat?
- 5 Shopping Criteria
- 6 Summary
- Keeping your cat healthy is your main responsibility as a pet owner. It's not just about looking after their litterbox needs, but taking care of their fur coat as well. You should brush your cat's hair once a day, even if it isn't a long-haired breed.
- One of the primary benefits of a cat brush is that you get to have a hair-free home. This will keep the hair off your couch, out of your clothes and, if you have allergies, out fo your nose.
- We recommend a careful approach when introducing a brush to your cat's daily routine. Don't expect a cat to be thrilled about daily brushing, as cats aren't the best at adapting to new routines.
The best Cat Brush: Our Picks
Keeping a cat's hair in check has a different purpose than keeping a human's hair in check, as a cat needs to have their coat at a certain length in order to regulate their temperature and be comfortable. Dead hair gets all over the place. The below list was compiled to include five of the best cat brushes on the market so you can get the one that is best for you.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about cat brushes
Getting the right brush for your bet can be complicated. When getting a cat brush, be mindful of the size, age, and type of cat you have to make a good purchase. The following section contains some of the most commonly asked questions from cat owners.
What is a cat brush?
While cats do a good enough job on their own, you, as a pet owner, should do what you can to make their job easier. If you have a long-haired cat, they will likely start suffering from hairballs at some point. When this happens, you can brush them daily, and also introduce malt into their diet.
What are the advantages of a cat brush?
- It removes dead hair, as well as dandruff, dust, pollen from plants and all kinds of dirt.
- Helps prevent your cat from choking on hairballs.
- Helps facilitate good blood circulation and makes hair look more lustrous and strong. This, in turn, leads to less hair loss over time.
- By brushing it every day, cats benefit from better muscle tone.
- By extracting the dead hair, your cat's skin will get more oxygen.
- Maintains a smooth coat that is free of knots, which makes for better thermoregulation.
- When you brush you get to see if your cat has parasites, such as fleas or ticks, as well as any skin wounds.
- Spending more time with your cat will bring the two of you closer together.
- Brushing your cat will remind it of when it was a kitten when it was cleaned by its mother.
How to use a cat brush correctly?
- Always feel your cat's fur first to see where the tangles and/or knots are, as these can complicate brushing quite a bit.
- If your cat has excessive knots you can always take them to a groomer for professional treatment. You can often address the issue yourself by carefully cutting out the tangled fur. Don't panic if the final product looks patchy, as their hair grows back fast.
- Always be careful of their sensitive nose, eyes, and ears while grooming them. Also, be sensitive about any wounds or skin irritations a cat might have.
- When you sense your cat is receptive to being brushed, gently move the brush with the hair in the direction it grows. You avoid damaging the follicles when you brush like this.
- Try getting their back done first because this is the part of their body cats have the most trouble grooming.
- The quicker your cat becomes accustomed to brushing, the more they will learn to love it. Cats like routines, so if brushing becomes a normal part of the routine, they are likely to accept it.
- After you've brushed them, give them a reward for not panicking or freaking out (a piece of tuna, or a treat). This helps them identify brushing with something positive.
- You should always ensure the cat brush is clean, so it needs a good wash after each brushing.
How do I use a cat brush if my pet is nervous?
- Choose somewhere calming to do your brushing. Cats like doing the same things over and over, and if you all of a sudden brush them away from their usual spot, it can be unnerving to them. Set a designated brushing spot and stick to it.
- Have everything you need before beginning. You don't want to end up having your cat ready for grooming only to have to disrupt your positive energy and go and retrieve something.
- Have a treat ready to distract them, especially if your cat is stressed out. If you reward them for good behaviour and letting you groom them it will become much easier over time.
- Set a grooming time. Again, back to the topic of routines. If your cat comes to expect it at the same time, it will make them more comfortable.
- As your cat becomes more accustomed to it, it will not be necessary to ply them with treats every time.
What types of cat brushes are there?
There is actually a lot more information to consider than you might have originally thought. Below we have put together a list of the different kinds of cat brushes. You will be able to find one from that list that is best suited to your cat's hair. There are generally six kinds of brushes, and each has had its pros and cons laid out for you.
|Type of brush||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Bristle brush|| The most commonly used
Great multiuse tool
|It isn't great at getting out knots|
|Rubber brush|| pins with soft rubber tips
Cats like them
Come in glove form
Best way to get your cat comfortable with brushing
| If your cat is ticklish it may not like this brush and will try to escape
Not a highly effective grooming tool
|Moulting comb|| Mitigates against knots and hairballs
Cuts down on hair around the house
|Not great if there are already many knots and can even hurt your cat if you try too hard|
|Spiked comb||Great at untangling and getting out knots|| Bristle material can generate static electricity
If knots are too tough, this kind of brush won't work on them
|Flea comb|| Mango or comb-shaped
Tips are close together so it removes not only fleas but dirt and dander as well
|Not as multiuse|
|Slicker brush|| Great brush for cats with longer/medium length hair
It divides the tangles or knots into smaller pieces as well as extracts dead skin generated by these
| Make sure you're not injuring your cat's skin, especially if your cat is restless while you're grooming it
Might end up tugging too much, especially with tough knots
What if I don't use a cat brush?
- Your house will likely become harrier. Cats shed, that is life. Instead of being frustrated with your cat about it, helping them minimize the amount of hair they shed by brushing them every day, or every other day.
- You won't be able to be proactive about parasites or skin issues if you don't know they're there.
- Your cat will be a knotty mess if they are long-haired. You might have to end up having them shorn, which could end up irritating their skin.
- Your cat may get stressed if it can't properly groom itself.
- You won't get to bond as much with your pet. Brushing your cat isn't just helping it take care of itself, but it builds trust and affection between you two.
- Your cat might end up overheating as shedding and grooming is an important part of thermoregulation.
- Your cat could suffer from poorer overall health and well-being because combing is good at promoting circulation and massaging the skin.
Why do I need a short-haired cat brush?
Previously we touched on why it was important to develop a daily grooming routine, as well as what might happen if you neglected to do so. It is inconsequential if your cat isn't long-haired; any amount of hair presents risks and needs - hairballs, parasites, skin irritation. Whatever breed of cat you have, you have to brush it often to keep it healthy and your home hair-free.
Should I buy a cat brush or should I take them to the cat groomer?
Insofar as you need to take your cat to the groomer regularly, there are different answers depending on the situation. If your cat suffers from excessive and deep knots, you will have to take it to the groomer for professional knot-removal. Taking your cat to the groomer will give you peace of mind that your cat's grooming is being attended to properly.
Is it better to buy a cat brush or bathe my cat?
Sometimes you need to bathe your cat, such as when something spills on it (either toxic or staining). Remember that cats are not dogs in this sense, and most will react quite violently to being doused with water and shampoo. Below are some tips to help make the task easier on both of you:
- Put a dry towel or mat on the floor
- Fill the tub with warm water. Don't fill the tub too much because your cat might freak out about the depth. The aim is to make your cat at ease, not make it more stressed.
- Be careful around the ears, eyes, and mouth, and slowly and calmly wet its body
- Get a special cat shampoo. If you can it's best to use an odourless shampoo. Never use human shampoos because the chemical composition is not right for cat skin.
- Once the shampoo has been applied, rinse the coat (see the product instructions, particularly if it is a shampoo for managing fleas and other parasites, as you may be required to leave the shampoo on for a few minutes).
- Be wary that as soon as you let your cat go it will shake itself dry. You can preempt this by taking your cat somewhere warm and gently drying it with a towel. Cat's sometimes don't like the noise of the hairdryer, so only use one if you're sure your cat has gotten used to it.
Now we arrive at the crucial moment: time to make your purchase. After going through the shopping guide, you've decided to get one, but now you must also decide which is the best one to get. Keep the below shopping criteria in mind before getting your cat brush.
First of all, you must ask yourself exactly what you are going to use this brush for as the brush you choose won't cater for every situation. Different brushes do different things - removing excess hair, getting rid of knots, and coat maintenance. It might help to go over the table we created in the previous section that highlights the pros and cons of each kind of brush.
The intended use of the comb will also reflect in the price of the brush as certain types of brushes are much more expensive than others. Always make sure you get your cat used to a new brush slowly because anything sudden might spook them and send them running.
Type of cat
You should also carefully consider the breed and personality of your cat before getting a comb. For example, with longer-haired breeds, stainless steel bristles do a better job of penetrating the undercoat, whereas a glove will not.
If you have a short-haired cat you should be wary about using any brush with long bristles because you could hurt their skin. Brushes with massage capabilities (like gloves) are great for them. Using this kind of brush will help you quickly get rid of any hair on the surface that might make its way onto the ground (or onto your clothes).
Rather than simply looking at the price of a cat brush, you should invest some time in choosing the most suitable comb. That is not to say that you can't take brand and reputation as signs of quality, but you should do your own independent investigation before buying anything. Don't worry if you get a brush that is suited to just one task, as having multiple brushes is quite common among cat and dog owners.
Some manufacturers give you return guarantees in case you don't find the brush useful. This is definitely something to take note of and might even sway your final decision. You should try and compromise between budget and your cat's needs.
Stainless steel is not the only material when it comes to a cat brush as there are also silicone combs, that often come in the mitten form and are very good at removing hair and dirt. Some additional commonly encountered materials include plastic for medium and short-haired cats and ones made from rubber.
When selecting the best material for a cat brush, the trick is to get your cat accustomed to frequent brushing rather than a specific type of material. When getting a brush you need to get one that is well-made that is going to stand the test of time. Most good brushes have hard and thick plastic handles that are non-slip and ergonomically designed.
Not all combs and brushes for your cat are the same as some brushes offer extra functions or tools that can be very useful. Some cat brushes let you get rid of dirt and hair using water. Others have retractable handles or are "self-cleaning" in that you push a button to get the hair off the bristles.
When the time comes to make a decision you should consider these accessories and whether or not they are valuable to you. You might choose a cheaper product and spend more time cleaning the comb, but it's better to go for quality over price. Also, keep in mind that hair buildup on a brush tends to make it less effective.
People like cats because they are low maintenance, independent and exhibit a range of interesting behaviours. If you love your pet cat, you need to make sure they are well looked after. One essential part of this is daily grooming.
After reading through this article you should have a great idea of how to go about buying a cat brush. Always keep in mind that reading things on the internet is no substitute for sound medical advice from a vet.
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(Source of featured image: Prat Kitchatorn : 87644579/ 123rf.com)