Ideal brushes for your cat

Standing in front of the shelf, with countless brushes and combs to choose from, can be daunting if you don’t know what would be ideal for your cat. To make it a little easier for you, here is a breakdown of the brushes available, and when to use which one.

Types of brushes:

1. Slicker brush

These are curved or slanted brushes with very thin teeth. They are ideal for medium- to long-haired cats and work well to remove dirt, dander, and damaged or loose hair. If used regularly, they’ll prevent matting, but they can also be used to help remove mats.

2. Matbreaker

These brushes are made for long-haired cats who need to have mats removed. They are long, slender brushes that have long blades instead of teeth. Matbreakers are used to remove mats without damaging the rest of the coat.

3. Dual-sided brush

Ideal for short- to medium-length coats. They have a pin brush on one side and a soft-bristled brush on the other, for removing tangles and spreading natural oils, respectively. Both are useful tools, each with its own benefits.

4. Mitt brush

These are rubber or vinyl gloves or mittens that go over your hand. They have a toothed side that can be used to brush your cat. These brushes are unique in that they’re more like petting your cat than actually grooming her, and she might not know the difference. They have short, soft teeth that remove dirt, dander and loose hair, leaving your cat’s coat sleek and smooth. They can be used on all coat types.

5. Shedding comb

These combs come in different types, most notably the Poodle comb and the Greyhound comb. The Poodle comb has thin teeth that are spread far apart and are ideal for long-haired cats, as they remove tangles and loose hair. Greyhound combs’ teeth are much closer together and can be used for all coat types but are ideal for short- to medium-length coats.

6. Shedding blade

Shedding blades and rakes pull out loose or damaged hair, dirt and dander. They are ideal for all coat types, and freshen up the coat quickly, as they cover a large surface area of the body at a time.

7. Furminator

The Furminator and similar brands are smaller, finer-toothed shedding blades that remove both the top- and undercoat. They are effective at getting rid of excess dirt and dander, and can be used on all coat types.

Double coats

Most cats actually have double coats. The exception is the single-coated Rex who sports fine, curly hair and does not shed. A double coat is made up of an outer ‘guard’ layer that is longer and coarser. The inner layer is very soft and fine. That is the undercoat.

Guard hairs are single and have individual follicles. The undercoat is more like clumps, and when those clumps become tangled with masses of guard hairs, a dense and painful mat forms. These tangles lie close to the skin and tug at the undercoat when the animal moves. They are both difficult and dangerous to remove and should never be cut away for fear of harming the animal’s delicate skin.

 

Keep in mind

Although your cat grooms herself, she needs your help to get rid of loose hairs, especially when she’s shedding. Always brush her from her head to her tail, and never the other way around! If you brush her regularly, chances are that less matting will occur. If you struggle to keep her coat groomed, ask a professional groomer for assistance.

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