Finding the right brush for your pet. A comparison .
Other than beauty products the single thing I get asked the most is , “What is the best brush for cats?”
Pet brushes are a bit overwhelming. At least to me they were but after leaping in head first and using many tools I have some strong opinions on good tools and how they work.
When I got my first Ragdoll cat I knew hair management would be something I had to deal with from day one. For long-haired cats I feel it is important to get them accustomed to being brushed immediately so you don’t struggle with mats, hairballs or excessive shedding over the course of their life. It’s also a great way to bond with your pet.
Now that I have two Ragdolls I have tried several brushes over 2 years and they all work in some capacity for different reasons. You may find you need multiple tools for your pet for different reasons. Think of it how a woman uses hairbrushes and combs: One is for blow-drying, one for detangling, maybe another for teasing and so on.
My cats enjoy brushing and one of them even begs for it! Not even once have either of them had a hairball.
Let’s look at some of the tools out there that I’ve tried and how to best use them. I buy them all on Amazon because it is convenient and they have a great return policy. Links will be included.
If you aren’t familiar with Ragdoll cats they have dense long coats ranging from 3”-4” long hair depending which part of the body. The mane tends to be very long as are the hairs on the tail. The hair will mat at some point if they aren’t kept brushed or can mat even if you go more than 2-3 days without a good brushing depending on the cats’ activity (how it lays, plays, etc)
This is a metal detangling comb and claims to remove loose hair. It’s not ideal for ragdolls if you want a one for all tool but it does fluff up the main nicely and can be used to part and work out smaller tangles and mats. It’s good to have on hand. They are inexpensive as well. https://amzn.to/2n0j1bk
Best for: fluffing up
This is a basic brush with short bristles. It’s comfortable to hold, works around the face/cheek/neck of your cat or dog and is very nice for day to day pleasure brushing and blood circulation in older pets. It absolutely cannot get deep into the coat of longer-haired pets. I keep one in the bathroom for when the cats have a messy poo and I flick it out with a brush or wet soapy water brushing it out of the hind area. I wouldn’t be without this one. https://amzn.to/2mZyJ6A
Best for: day to day coat love.
This Grooming rake is a serious tool. There are two lengths of rounded bristles and while it can’t get to the base of a long-haired pets hair, this tool is fantastic for getting out loose hair when seasons change or other times your indoor only cat needs a good de-shedding due to lack of climate change. I don’t find it effective at mat removal but it helps with smaller tangles. Mainly the problem is the tool can’t isolate the base of a mat like the metal comb can or the furminator can (coming up next) https://amzn.to/2n8XtsX
Best for: deshedding
Yes it’s the furminator! There are quite a few versions of it now. I am going to make the case for the small one vs. what would be the instinct to buy the model for these large 20 lb cats. It’s because of how I use it. I do not like this brush for all over use. It can “cut” the hair thus sacrificing the look of the long hair that we love in our long hair breeds. What the furminator excels at is getting mats out.
The teeth are very short so to use it for dematting, part the cat or dog’s hair so the base of the mat is exposed and begin to work it out of the coat with this. It also can work out a small tangle in the mane with one gentle swipe. For me, this is a must-have. It’s the next best thing to blunt-tipped scissors for mat removal. You won’t have a line of demarcation where the mat was taken out and you don’t risk cutting your cat’s tissue paper skin with scissors.
They have come way down in price they used to hoover around $60. https://amzn.to/2n9bbvX
Best for: mat removal
The glove. I want to love this silicone glove. I really do but it’s not useful for long haired cats. It may be somewhat helpful for dogs but they have a different type of hair. Back when I had sort haired cats the glove and the other silicon brush I have was great for them. They work because of friction. As you rub the coat with silicone the loose hair is draw to the silicone friction and it does a fine job of getting the short loose hairs off. I find them useless for my breed of cat and really any long haired cat.
Best for: dogs and short haired cats.
Four paws instant mat remover is quite something. It has by far the longest metal teeth of any tool I have seen, a great grip control and breaks up mats easily. This has been a life saver for me. There is a space as the base of the brush head your finger can fit in to really make small detailed movements close to the base of the mat. Also the long teeth can be wiggled and worked INTO the mat thus giving you an additional way to break it up other than just tearing and ripping it out with another tool. Ok, it’s not that bad but those are the movements you would use with some of the other mat removers. This one could take some patience but if your pet is acclimated to being brushed and loves the attention from it it is no bother at all. It’s the best $5-7 bucks you will spend.
Best for: serious mat removal
Happy brushing1 I’d love to hear about any tools you like for your pet grooming.
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