8 Best Cat Brushes of 2021

Best Cat Brushes
Image by Anurak Pong / Canva

While cats have a reputation for being excellent self-groomers, it’s still important as an owner to pay close attention to the health of their coats and skin. The ASPCA recommends a weekly brushing or combing session (or biweekly, particularly for long-haired cats) to remove dirt, dander, and dead hair. Brushing your cat is also a great way to cultivate some bonding time, making it pleasurable for cats and their owners. In this article, we have the best cat brushes rounded up for you to choose based on your cat’s personal needs.

Some breeds may require trips to the groomer, but in general, grooming your cat at home is accessible and affordable thanks to a variety of cat brushes and grooming products on the market. Keep reading to discover our favorite finds for keeping those coats shiny and healthy.

Our Top Picks: Best Cat Brushes

Groom your kitty with one of these exceptional brushes:

  • Best Overall: Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. The thin, stainless steel pins on this brush ensure thorough but gentle grooming for cats of all coat types.
  • Best Curry Comb: Kong ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush. Kong’s rubber brush is a cat’s dream massage and your ticket to less flyaway cat hair.
  • Best for Long Hair: JW Pet Gripsoft Cat Comb. For regular grooming of longer coats, JW Pet’s comb is a simple, gentle, and effective choice.
  • Best for Short Hair: Safari Bristle Cat Brush. Short-haired cats need some love too! This bristle brush is all you need for low-maintenance care.
  • Best for Shedding: FURminator deShedding Tool. When it comes to tackling heavy shedding, the FURminator is tough to beat.
  • Best Dematting Brush: Pet Republique Dematting Rake. Matted fur is both unclean and uncomfortable for your pet. Pet Republique’s rake is specifically designed to tackle matted messes.
  • Best Grooming Glove: HandsOn All-In-One Pet Bathing and Grooming Gloves. For the brush-shy, this gentle glove turns grooming into a massage. It’s a bonding event for cats and their owners.
  • Best Detangler: Tropiclean Tangle Remover Spray. If your cat’s fur tends to get tangled, Tropiclean’s eco-friendly, detergent-free spray can streamline the grooming process.

1. Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush

The best cat grooming brush overall

Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Cats

Brand: Coastal Pet Products | Material: Stainless Steel | Coat Length: Any | Price: 💰💰

Safari’s slicker brush is a versatile crowd-pleaser. The pins on this brush are sturdy enough to penetrate to cats’ undercoats but thin enough to be gentle on the skin. Because of its track record as a soothing but powerful tool for managing shedding, tangles, and overall coat health, we are confident in recommending it for cats of all coat lengths.

Safari also takes into account the groomer’s comfort with a soft, easy-grip handle and a self-cleaning feature. At the push of a button, the pins retract into the brush head, and the accumulating hair simply sweeps away.

  • Good grip
  • Ease of clean up
  • Cats enjoy the sensation

  • Long pins can become bent
  • Pins are not rounded, which can be harsher on extremely sensitive skin

2. KONG ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush

The best curry comb for cats

KONG Cat ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush

Brand: KONG | Material: Rubber | Coat Length: Any | Price: 💰

We found that most groomers advise using a rubber curry comb before or after a standard brush or comb. Curry combs help loosen fur in the undercoat, stimulate circulation, and relax your cat during grooming.

While there are plenty of good options on the market, KONG’s stands out for its soft but penetrating bristles and friendly price. The rubber “fingers” on this comb are long enough to use on long-haired cats as well.

  • Softness of bristles
  • Picks up a lot of fur
  • Calming effect on cats

  • Bristles are spaced out too widely for some
  • Doesn’t collect hair well, leading to messy cleanup

3. JW Pet Gripsoft Cat Comb

The best cat brush for long hair

JW Pet Gripsoft Cat Comb

Brand: Petmate | Material: Metal | Coat Length: Medium to Long | Price: 💰

Combing is one of the best things you can do to maintain a healthy coat on a long-haired cat. A good comb will reach through the outer coat to pick up the shedding fur beneath before it threatens to become matted.

We like JW Pet’s simple but durable and effective design, and we aren’t alone. Reviewers were consistently impressed with how easily this comb cut through their fluffier felines’ coats without any uncomfortable tugging.

  • Fairly priced
  • Comfortable handle
  • Cuts through fur without pulling

  • Produces static
  • Requires multiple strokes for optimal effectiveness

4. Safari Bristle Cat Brush

The best cat brush for short hair

Safari Bristle Cat Brush

Brand: Coastal Pet Products | Material: Nylon | Coat Length: Short | Price: 💰

While long-haired cats are more prone to matting, grooming short hair is still important. Regular brushing promotes healthy skin, circulation, and cleanliness.

Safari’s brush is a basic, no-frills option best for cats with short hair. The nylon bristles are soft, making the grooming experience pleasant and free of irritation.

  • Rubber grip on handle
  • Leaves hair feeling soft
  • Cats enjoy the gentle massage

  • Not suitable for managing heavy shedding
  • Soft bristles now strong enough for tough detangling

5. FURminator deShedding Tool

The best cat brush for shedding

FURminator for Cats

Brand: FURminator | Material: Stainless Steel | Coat Length: Any | Price: 💰💰💰

Anyone who’s owned a cat with a very thick undercoat can tell you: they shed—a lot. Heavy shedding causes a mess in the house, but it’s also the culprit behind hairballs, which can pose real dangers for your cat’s health.

If you’ve heard the name FURminator before, that’s because cat owners swear by it. Its stainless steel blade is curved to conform to your cat’s body, while a skin guard prevents any irritation from the tough blade. If you’ve been battling heavy shedding without making much headway, the FURminator is our top choice for really getting in deep.

Take note, however, that not all cats need such deep treatment. Unnecessarily removing too much undercoat isn’t healthy either. So if you’re unsure how problematic your cat’s shedding is, consult your vet first.

  • Easy to clean
  • Powerful and effective
  • Comes in different sizes

  • Expensive
  • Blades are sharp

6. Pet Republique Dematting Rake

The best grooming tool for matted fur

Pet Republique Dematting Rake

Brand: Pet Republique | Material: Metal | Coat Length: Long | Price: 💰

When it comes to heavy-duty matting, regular brushes and combs won’t do much aside from tug at your cat’s already uncomfortable mane. Specially designed dematting tools use curved blades to break up the fur without pulling at the roots.

We like that Pet Republique offers a useful and safely designed dematting rake at a fraction of the price of competitors. The blades are sharp on the inside to tackle tough spots but curved on the outside for safety.

Approach matted fur with caution, though. Mats that are extensive or close to the skin are best left to a vet or professional groomer.

  • Friendly price
  • Painless for the cat
  • Gets to the undercoat

  • Messy cleanup
  • Ineffective on large or close-to-the-skin mats

7. HandsOn All-In-One Pet Bathing and Grooming Gloves

The best grooming glove for cats

HandsOn All-In-One Pet Bathing and Grooming Gloves

Brand: HandsOn | Material: Rubber | Coat Length: Any | Price: 💰💰💰

Are you convinced that your cat can read your mind any time you go to get out the dreaded grooming tools? If the very smell of a brush sends them slinking under the couch, a grooming glove is an alternative some cats find friendlier.

HandsOn’s glove uses gentle rubber nubs to massage cats down to the skin level. We like that the nubs vary in size; the smaller bristles on the fingertips help you work into delicate areas like the face and neck. Maybe the solution to finding the best cat brushes is in your hands?

  • Relaxing effect
  • Comes in a range of sizes
  • Efficacy and variety of bristles

  • Pricier than other gloves
  • Not as efficient as other types of brushes

8. Tropiclean Tangle Remover Spray

The best detangling spray for cat grooming

Tropiclean Tangle Remover Spray

Brand: Tropiclean | Material: Organic Extracts and Plant Proteins | Coat Length: Any | Price: 💰

Stubborn tangles are a pain to manage. Potentially a literal pain for your cat, who might not always appreciate when you attempt to pull a comb through a knot. We believe any addition to the grooming routine that makes it a more pleasant experience for your cat is worthwhile. If your cat is more comfortable, grooming will go more smoothly for you both.

You can think of Tropiclean’s detangling spray’s mild formula as the grease for the squeaky wheel. Spray then massage it into tangles, and see how much easier combing or brushing can become.

As a bonus, Tropiclean uses eco-friendly ingredients that are safe for sensitive skin.

  • Softens fur
  • Pleasant but mild scent
  • Lessens stress and potential pain of combing and brushing

  • Not effective on bigger knots or mats
  • Best used after a bath, and not all kitties want that!

Why Groom Your Cat?

Woman Using One of the Best Cat Brushes
Image by Casarsa Guru / Canva

Even if your cat is a practiced self-groomer, it’s crucial to develop a grooming relationship with them. The earlier, the better. For one thing, brushing your cat will keep shedding off your furniture. But brushing also promotes circulation and maintains overall skin health. Furthermore, self-grooming can also lead to hairballs, which are painful and can be dangerous.

Nearly all cats find it more difficult to groom themselves as they age. If you have a brushing routine down before that time comes, you’re setting yourself up for success when it comes to maintaining your cat’s health and cleanliness throughout their life.

Establishing a Healthy Routine

If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that cats have minds of their own. Minds with opinions! There may be some trial and error as you find a brush that your cat likes.

You’re in luck, though. We’ve found that with few exceptions, the best options on the market are quite affordable. We recommend trying out a standard brush or comb alongside a curry comb or other massaging tool. When you find a product your cat enjoys, work up to longer brushing sessions, using treats as a reward.

Once you’ve established a routine, your regular grooming time is a great time to bond with your cat. It’s also an opportunity to check your cat’s skin for any blemishes, bumps, or wounds. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, contact your veterinarian.

Our Process

For this guide on the best cat brushes, our team spent 2 hours researching the most popular options from over 30 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about one hundred and fifty user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each brush. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 8 cat brushes on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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