To help you find the best cat brush for your paw-ticular pal, we tested 23 hair grooming tools in real homes with real cats.
Brushing a cat removes dirt, skin flakes, and hair that has already been shed. It also stimulates blood circulation which improves the condition of their skin, keeping their coat healthy. Cats self-groom throughout the day, but some are prone to developing mats in their fur which if left alone can lead to health complications. If you have an indoor cat, developing a routine of brushing once or twice a week will also reduce the amount of cat hair found throughout your home.
The experience of brushing your cat should be as peaceful as possible for all involved. The handle of the brush or comb should be easy to hold for extended periods, the bristles or teeth should be effective—whether designed for detangling or daily maintenance—and the brush should be easy to clean once you and your cat are done.
Mars Coat King Boar Bristle Cat Hair Brush
Bristles are very soft but not flimsy
Easy to clean
Small natural wood handle provides gentle control
Great for tangle prevention and smoothing coat
Not the most efficient with removing big knots
For weekly maintenance of a cat's coat, a brush with a head full of soft boar bristles provides a gentle glide that even the most finicky of cats will tolerate. The Mars Boar Bristle Cat Hair Brush is made with a sturdy, lightweight birchwood handle offering the control needed to delicately and efficiently brush through cat fur of all lengths.
It's one of the softest cat grooming brushes we've tried and is suitable for use on cats of any age. If you have a senior cat, you may start to notice that self-grooming is becoming more difficult for them to manage. This brush can be very beneficial for keeping the skin and coat in shape by collecting dry skin flakes, dirt, and hair that has already been shed.
The brush is made to endure with easy-to-clean natural boar bristles. With gentle strokes once or twice a week, you can decrease the amount of cat hair found throughout your home, reducing cat allergens—all while helping your cat maintain a healthy coat.
Price at time of publish: $13
Dimensions: 7.25 x 1.25 x 2 inches | Weight: 0.32 ounces | Material: Boar, wood
Best Slicker Brush
Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush
Self-cleaning retractable bristles
Works on both long- and short-haired cats
Sturdy, easy to grip handle
Can be too large for small cats
If your cat is prone to developing mats in their fur, a slicker brush is a necessary preventative tool, and we recommend the Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. The curved, flexible wire bristles are gentle on the skin but capable of getting beneath a cat's topcoat where mats tend to form. It's also excellent for removing dander along with loose hair to keep your cat's coat as well-maintained as possible.
The regular-sized Hertzko slicker is easy to handle with a brush head that's just under six inches across, providing plenty of surface area for efficient brushing. And one of the best features is the self-cleaning button. With a quick click, the bristles retract and release all the hair you've collected.
This grooming tool is ideal for both long- and short-haired felines, as well as virtually all dog breeds. The sturdy, comfort-grip handle is designed to prevent slipping and wrist strain.
Price at time of publish: $30
Dimensions: 5.8 x 3 x 10 inches | Weight: 0.2 pounds | Material: Plastic
Best for Shedding
FURminator Undercoat deShedding Tool for Cats
Significantly reduces the amount of shedding found on furniture and clothing
Four options for size and coat type
Easy to grip handle
FURejector button doesn't always fully clear hair and dander from the comb
With the FURminator Undercoat deShedding Tool, humans who share their home with a cat or two can reduce the amount of fur found throughout the home. This tool has a stainless steel comb, with very small teeth, that glide through the topcoat and into the undercoat, safely eliminating loose hair and cat dander.
The FURminator for Cats has four options. First, you select the size based on weight—small for cats up to 10 pounds and large for heavier cats. Then you choose the long-hair or short-hair model. Its ergonomically-designed handle provides a comfortable grip, and the comb is curved to accommodate the shape of a feline's body. Many cats enjoy being brushed with the FURminator because it cuts down on their self-grooming time, prevents hairballs, and feels a lot like being gently pet by their favorite human.
The tool also features an aptly named FURejector button to assist with the cleaning of the comb, but we still had to use our fingers to fully clear the hair and dander that was collected.
Price at time of publish: $22 (small, long-hair)
Dimensions: 1.75 x 2.13 x 6 inches | Weight: 4.8 ounces | Material: Plastic
Best for Dematting
GoPets Dematting Comb
Gentle but effective on matted fur
Easy to grip squishy handle
Dual-sided tool for combing out loose hair and dancer
While clearing the prongs, we experienced a lot of static electricity which then made the hair stick to us
If your cat is prone to developing mats in their fur, the GoPets Dematting Comb will help you target existing tangles and knots while helping to prevent future mats from developing. The dual-sided tool has curved teeth on both sides, one with 23 and the other with 12, to gently but effectively work through matted areas without scratching your cat's delicate skin.
The side with fewer teeth has more space between each prong making it a highly effective rake that can work through mats of all shapes and sizes. The side with more teeth serves as an efficient comb as it passes through the undercoat, removing loose hair and dander.
The squishy, non-slip handle is easy to grip and helps you get into difficult-to-reach spots, like underneath the front legs, where mats tend to develop.
Price at time of publish: $36
Dimensions: 8.9 x 2.5 x 1.4 inches | Weight: 3.52 ounces | Material: Stainless steel
Furbliss Brush for Grooming, Brushing and Bathing Dog & Cats
Suitable for use on wet or dry fur
Massages while de-shedding
Not very effective for use on matted fur
Remove cat dander and loose fur from clothing, furniture, and your kitty's coat using the Furbliss Brush for Grooming, Brushing, and Bathing. This multi-purpose tool is made out of soft silicone so it's dishwasher-safe and suitable for use on dry and wet fur. It also provides a gentle massage while removing debris and hair that's already been shed. There are two versions of the Furbliss Brush—the blue brush is for short-hair and the green brush is for long-hair. The grooming tool is designed to be held in one hand, similar to gripping a sponge, and is made in the United States.
Price at time of publish: $17 (short-hair)
Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.5 x 1 inches| Weight: 2.12 ounces | Material: Silicone
GoPets Professional Double Sided Pin & Bristle Brush
Double-sided brush head with pins and bristles
Squishy handle offers a comfortable grip
Convenient tool for homes with multiple cats
Detangles and leaves fur softer
Only available in one size which may be too large for petite cats
The squishy handle of the GoPets Professional Double-Sided Pin & Bristle Brush makes it easy to hold and switch between sides. Coat texture and length vary greatly among cats, even if they are siblings, so this two-in-one combination is exceptionally convenient if you have more than one cat in your home.
The bristle side is soft, quickly passing through the fur while collecting loose hair and dander. On the opposite side, sturdy pins with rounded tips effortlessly lift dirt and debris, helping to prevent tangles in long hair and double coats while adding a little extra volume to the fluffiness. For many cats, starting with the pin side will help to detangle the coat, and then flipping to the bristle side will smooth out the fur making it softer and shinier.
Both sides are designed to be gentle, but the brush is only available in one size which might be too large for smaller cats and kittens. Fortunately, the brush is very effective for quick grooming sessions so even if they are skittish, your cat won't have to endure the experience for very long. Similar to brushes made for human hair, both sides of this brush can be cleaned by soaking in sudsy water and then left out to air dry.
Price at time of publish: $40
Dimensions: 9.5 x 3 x 2.5 inches| Weight: 0.5 pounds | Material: Pins, bristles
KALAMANDA Slicker Brush with Cat Hair Comb
A button on the slicker activates self-cleaning retractable bristles
Slicker glides through fur and removes buildup from a cat's coat
The small comb is very gentle for use on the head and cheeks, yet sturdy enough to hold up to chewing if your cat gets a hold of it
Size of slicker brush is intimidating for some cats which makes it more difficult to brush their fur
The Kalamada Slicker Brush with Cat Hair Comb is a reasonably priced set of grooming essentials that will decrease the amount of hair your cat sheds throughout your home.
The slicker brush head has thin stainless steel pins that are curved and rounded at the ends to protect your cat's skin. The pins glide through fur collecting hair and dander. With the push of a button on the handle, the base layer of the brush lifts up releasing all the debris for easy disposal. In our real-world testing, some cats were initially afraid of having the slicker near their head but eventually warmed up to the brushing experience along their torso.
On the other hand, the small comb was immediately welcomed and gentle enough to comb our cats' between the ears, on the cheeks, and on the chest. If your cat is prone to mats, the comb can be used to slowly work through the knots.
Price at time of publish: $13
Dimensions: 8.6 x 3 x 1.1 inches | Weight: 5.61 ounces | Material: Rubber, metal, stainless steel
Our top pick is the Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush, a sturdy and easy to grip brush that works on all types of cats and is self-cleaning, for added convenience. If you’re specifically dealing with matted fur, we recommend the GoPets Dematting Comb. It's double-sided and works well on mats and tangles of all sizes.
What to Look for in a Cat Brush
To efficiently collect loose hair and dander, a brush with dense bristles, like our pick for Best Overall, Mars Coat King Bristle Cat Hair Brush, can be used on short and long hair cats. For long hair cats, you will also need a tool, such as a comb with teeth or a slicker with curved prongs, designed to glide through the undercoat to help prevent tangles and mat. Some cats may respond better to different textures, so if the first one you try isn't successful, try a different bristle material.
Ease of Cleaning
Keeping the tools you select clean will make your grooming sessions more productive.Similar to a hairbrush for humans, cleaning a cat brush may require you to pick out the hair with your fingers. You can also soak your cat brushes and combs in cat shampoo and water to clear off any remaining dander. A few of the slickers we selected have a button on the handle that pushes the collected debris off of the prongs.
Removing Mats and Tangled Fur
Mats in fur tend to form in hard-to-reach spots, like under the front legs and back legs near the butt, that are also sensitive. Focus on one mat at a time, separate it with your fingers, and use a sturdy metal comb to delicately work through it. You can find a detailed guide on de-matting a cat's fur from The Spruce Pets here.
How We Tested
We researched and purchased 23 cat grooming tools and sent each one to a real home with at least one cat for real-world testing.
Each of our feline participants was groomed with their assigned brush at least once or twice a week by their most trusted human companion. Over the course of four weeks, each cat's guardian entrusted with enhancing the grooming experience gathered insights and then provided feedback in the following categories: quality. ease of use, effectiveness, ease of cleaning, and overall value.
Equipped with this first-hand information, we ranked and categorized our top picks—all of which received high marks from our testers.
What is the best tool to remove matted fur from a cat?
Focus on one mat at a time and use your fingers to gently separate the mat as much as possible. Sprinkle a bit of talcum powder and use a sturdy metal comb with fine teeth to very delicately comb through the mat. You can find a detailed guide on de-matting a cat's fur from The Spruce Pets here.
How often should one brush a cat?
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends brushing a cat once or twice a week to help keep their skin and coat healthy. Regular brushing removes dirt, skin flakes, hair that has been shed, and grease from the coat.
Does brushing a cat help to minimize shedding?
Yes, gently brushing a cat with a soft-bristled brush, like our choice for Best Overall, the Mars Boar Bristle Cat Hair Brush, once or twice a week will collect the hair that has been shed from a cat's coat. It will collect on the head of the brush, reducing the amount of hair found throughout your home. After each brushing session, the hair collected on the brush should be disposed of in the trash.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
This roundup was updated by Anna Mejorada, a writer for The Spruce Pets, who shares her home with a happy Pomeranian named Gidget. Before researching and writing about pet products for a living, Mejorada embarked on a self-mandated, ongoing quest to find the optimal items for her dog. She is now delightfully devoted to helping humans discover and select the most favorable products for their pets.
A previous version of this article was written by Theresa Holland, a freelance writer who has contributed to The Spruce since 2020. Her work can also be found on MyDomaine.