Choosing The Best Cat Brush [That Your Cat Will Use]

What Type Of Brush Is Best For Cats?

Choosing a brush for your cat seems like a simple task until you actually start looking at the brushes. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and intended uses.

How are you supposed to know what brush is best for your cat? The most common type of cat brush will be the slicker brush, dual-sided brush, and grooming comb.

Those are great places to start but what if you want to learn more? Below I’ll go over the features of each type of cat brush and comb so that you’ll be able to decide for yourself which is the best for your cat.

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long-haired cat laying on the ground holding and attacking a cat brush

My Top Picks:

How Do I Choose A Cat Brush?

The first step in choosing a cat brush is determining the reason why you are brushing them. Then you’ll be able to buy the brush that works best for that task.

What type of cat brush you need can also depend on your cat’s features and preferences. A cat with long fur is going to need a different brush than a shorthair.

If your cat is sensitive to bristles, one with rubber bristles may be better. It’ll also depend on the purpose behind your brushing.

Does your cat have matted fur? Are you trying to remove fleas or do you simply want to pick up extra fur while you’re petting them?

Below I’ll cover all the types of cat brushes and what each one is good for.

Best Cat Brushes By Type

There are quite a few types of cat brushes on the market. It’s easy to get overwhelmed looking at them all.

In this section, I’ll cover what each style brush does best and what type of cat this brush would be best for. Let’s begin!

Slicker Brush

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Slicker brushes are made up of lots of thin wires that are attached to the flat head of the brush. Usually, the ends of the wires are bent slightly to make it less pokey and more comfortable for your cat.

The length of the wire bristles lets them get deep into your kitty’s coat which helps loosen up fur and dander. A slicker brush is a great choice to help prevent mats in long-haired cats.

Slicker cat brushes are best for:

  • Best all-around cat brush for all coat types
  • Great at detangling cat fur
  • Gentle enough for sensitive skin
  • Removing a lot of loose fur and dander
  • Making coat shine

I’m a fan of this slicker brush because it is self-cleaning. You don’t have to spend time getting your fingers poked while trying to remove fur.

Instead, simply press the button on the handle and the bristles retract inside, allowing you to easily wipe the brush clean. Some cats do find the wire bristles to be uncomfortable so not all cats will like it.

Bristle Brush

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A soft-bristled brush is a great beginner cat brush. Since the bristles are super soft, they’re gentle on your cat’s sensitive skin.

Bristle brushes are good for elderly or frail cats who may need more tender handling. If your cat has dry skin, a soft bristle brush mainly brushes the top coat so it won’t irritate your cat’s flaking skin.

Soft bristled cat brushes are best for:

  • Best beginner cat brush for long and short-haired cats
  • Cats with sensitive skin
  • Elderly or frail cats
  • Cats with dry skin
  • Helping distribute fur oil for shine

For bristle brushes, I prefer this one since it works for both short and long-haired cats. It’s a great deal on a high-quality and effective soft-bristled cat brush.

The major downside to a soft-bristled brush is that it’s not going to remove or collect as much loose fur as some of the wire-bristled cat brushes. You can always start with a soft-bristled brush for training and work up to a wire-bristled one.

Pin Brush

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A pin brush is exactly what it sounds like: a brush made out of long pins. The top of the pins are blunt so you don’t have to worry about them hurting your cat.

The long pin length lets the bristles get into your cat’s undercoat, detangling it and keeping it healthy. If you have a long-haired cat and don’t regularly brush the undercoat, your cat could get snarled and matted fur.

Pin cat brushes are best for:

  • Medium to long cat fur
  • Cats who find a slicker brush too uncomfortable
  • Fur that knots and mats easily

If you’d like to try out a pin brush for your cat, I recommend this one. It has a wooden handle and is appropriately sized for a cat.

Pin cat brushes aren’t as widely used as slicker or soft-bristled brushes. Since the pin bristles are widely spaced, it’s more gentle than a slicker brush.

But these wider spaced bristles also make it not as effective at removing fur from thick undercoated cats.

Double-Sided Brush

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A double-sided cat brush is the best of both worlds. On one side is a soft-bristled brush and on the other side, a pin brush.

If you have multiple cats, each with a different coat type, this is an economical choice. Dual-sided brushes are also good to grab if you aren’t’ sure what style brush your cat likes yet.

Double-sided cat brushes are best for:

  • If you aren’t sure what style brush your cat likes
  • You have multiple cats with different fur types
  • You want to save money and only buy one cat brush
  • Elderly and sensitive cats

A dual-sided cat brush is perfect if you want one brush to do it all. This is the one I recommend since it’s durable and the handle is comfortable to grip.

The soft bristles are good for sensitive cats. They’ll also help distribute the oils on your cat’s topcoat to make it shiny.

The pin bristles will let you easily detangle and de-mat your cat’s fur. The long pins reach farther into your cat’s coat than soft bristles can.

Have a soft and pin bristled option makes this dual-sided brush great for elderly cats. Some days they may prefer a lighter touch and others the deeper reaching pin bristles.

Rubber Brush

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A rubber bristled brush is a great option if your cat is wary about metal bristles. Even the non-poking metal bristles can sometimes be too harsh on a sensitive cat’s skin.

That’s where rubber cat brushes come in. The bristles are wide and chunky with a blunted end. They surprisingly catch a lot of cat fur when you use them.

The first time I used a rubber cat brush I couldn’t believe how much fur came off my cat. And the fur just kept coming! The more I brushed, the more loose fur that came out.

Rubber cat brushes are best for:

  • Great beginner cat brush for removing loose fur
  • Cats who don’t like metal bristles
  • Cats with sensitive skin
  • Cats who shed a lot
  • Works well for both short and long-haired cats

This is one of my cat’s favorite brushes. It is gentle on her skin but catches a ton of fur.

The length of the bristles on this rubber brush makes it suitable for both long and short-haired cats. The main downfall of this style of brush is that it isn’t good for detangling, only getting rid of shed fur.

Silicone Brush

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A silicone cat brush is another option for cats who don’t like traditional bristled brushes. This brush is marketed as a massage comb.

The small nubby bristles make it suited for short-haired cats. When you run the brush over your cat, the short flexible bristles act like a massager.

Silicone cat brushes are best for:

  • Removing a lot of loose fur
  • Easy brush cleaning
  • Cats with sensitive skin
  • Elderly cats
  • Giving your cat a massage

If you’re looking for a sleekly designed cat brush, this silicone one removes a ton of fur in style.

This brush is an alternative for cats with sensitive skin or older cats since the bristles are wider and soft. The main feature of this brush is that it collects a lot of shed fur.

The fur is easily removed so you aren’t spending time picking out fur through bristles. A lot of cats who hate traditional brushes don’t mind this style.

Just like the rubber brush, a silicone brush isn’t suitable for detangling or removing mats from fur so you’ll need a different brush to do that.

Grooming Gloves

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Cat grooming gloves work the same way that regular brushes do except the brush is built into the glove. If your cat is wary about your approaching them with any type of brush, this could be a good place to start.

The gloves fit like any other glove except the palm side has soft rubber or silicone bristles. To use it, you pet your cat like you normally would.

Grooming glove brushes are best for:

  • Wary cats who don’t like traditional brushes
  • Cat’s who prefer to be pet rather than brushed
  • Elderly or sensitive cats

This pair of grooming gloves is a good size to use with cats. The bristles aren’t too large and the gloves are appropriately oversized.

Grooming gloves are helpful to use when giving your cat a bath as well. The bristles will remove any loose fur during the bathing process.

Depending on the size of your hands, sometimes grooming gloves can feel a bit clunky and unnatural. If your cat doesn’t mind, you may prefer to use one of the regular brushes instead.


Best Cat Combs By Type

Cat combs are different than cat brushes since all of the bristles are along a single plane. Cat combs typically have longer bristles and can get down deeper into your cat’s coat.

Shedding Comb

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A shedding comb is also known as a moulting comb depending on where you’re from. On a shedding comb, the bristles alternate in length from long to short.

Shedding combs are a must for a long-haired cat. The longer bristles really reach down into the thicker undercoat of your cat to remove as much loose fur as possible.

Shedding combs are best for:

  • Long-haired cat breeds like Himalayans
  • Cats whose fur tangles and mats easily

The staggered design of this shedding comb gets tons of loose fur off your cat so it doesn’t spread around your house.

With a comb, you have a lot more control to focus on one small section of fur. This is important when you’re working out a clump of matted fur.

The bristles are blunted so you won’t poke your cat’s sensitive skin. The bristles of this style comb are close together so if your cat shows sensitivity you should look for a comb with more space between each bristle.

Grooming Comb

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A grooming comb is great for deshedding as well. It effectively gets into your cat’s undercoat to remove all of the loose fur and dander.

The shape of this type of comb makes it easy to use like a brush. This style comb can be used on all breeds of cats.

Grooming combs are best for:

  • All breeds of cats
  • Both long and short-haired cats
  • Cats that shed a lot of fur.

This comb has a button you can press to easily remove the fur from the bristles. If you have a long-haired cat, go with this version.

The head of this comb is weighted which helps with it picking up so much fur. If you have an elderly cat or one with sensitive skin, they may not like this comb as much, even when you use light pressure.

Dematting Comb

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If you have a long-haired cat with a dense undercoat, having a dematting comb is a must. This style comb is dual-sided.

The outer edges are blunted but the inner edges are able to cut through matted fur. Once you learn how to use a de-matting comb effectively, you can do a lot of your long-haired cat’s required grooming at home.

Grooming combs are best for:

  • Long-haired cat breeds like Himalayans
  • Cats whose fur mats and tangles
  • Cats who require regular trips to the groomers
  • Sensitive and elderly cats

If you want a grooming comb, this version is smaller and perfectly sized for cats.

While a grooming comb shouldn’t be used everyday, learning how to use one on your cat can prevent you from needing the groomer to shave or cut out the patches of badly matted fur.

The teeth of this comb are wide apart to help prevent uncomfortable pulling. This helps make the comb comfortable for your older or sensitive-skin cat.

Flea Comb

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A flea comb is a comb thats bristles are thin and very close together. The purpose of the comb is to remove fleas so the bristles have to be close enough so that the fleas don’t slide right through.

This flea comb is thin enough to effectively grab fleas and thin enough to be dunked into a cup of soapy water to remove the fleas from the comb.

Flea combs are best for:

  • Cats who have fleas

This is the flea comb I have on hand to check my cats periodically.

The purpose of a flea comb is solely for flea removal. If your cat doesn’t have fleas, you wouldn’t use this comb for deshedding or dematting.

Conclusion

There are many types of brushes and combs you can choose from depending on your needs. I hope that the list above helped you pick out the best cat brush for you and your cat.

The most common cat brush options people choose are the slicker brush, dual-sided brush, and grooming comb. Specialty combs like the flea comb and de-matting comb are great if your cat has those specific issues.

Let me know what brush or comb you ended up choosing down below.

Stephanie Mantilla curiosity trained header logo holding black cat
Stephanie Mantilla

Positive Reinforcement Trainer & Enrichment Specialist

Stephanie has over 12 years of experience training and enriching exotic animals as a Zookeeper. During this time, she received a certificate in Behavioral Husbandry from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and is an expert in animal behavior.
In her free time, she uses positive reinforcement to train her numerous pets at home and is always thinking up creative ways to prevent her pets from getting bored. On Curiosity Trained, Stephanie now helps people make their pets’ lives better by giving them easy to follow tips and science-backed information.

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