The Top Cat Grooming Tools That Actually Work

Written by Austin S.
Updated: May 27, 2024
© iStock.com/Daria Kulkova

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Got your furball’s hair at sixes and sevens and strewn all over the place? It’s up to you to rid the hairy mess and save the day before it gets out of hand — or ends up in your furball’s belly, which can cause many health problems for your kitty. And what better way to do that than grooming them with the best cat grooming tools while spending some quality bond time together? The best cat grooming tools help you curb your furball’s hair outgrowth without any pain or discomfort driving a wedge between you two.

Can’t determine which product is right for you? Our expert review will give you a jumpstart. We’ve scoured through tons of product reviews from real customers and gleaned a list of the most suitable candidates for specific grooming needs. Here are our picks for the best products in many different categories.

  1. KONG Cat Zoom Groom Brush
    • Brushes are very supple
    • Gently removes excessive hair
    • Stimulate your cat's natural oils
    • The rubber teeth are well-spaced
    Check Chewy
  2. Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog & Cat Slicker Brush
    • Easy to untangle and loosen hairs
    • Features a self-cleaning mode
    • 100% satisfaction guarantee
    • Gently penetrates thick hair
    Check Chewy
  3. Mars Coat King Bristle Cat Hair Brush
    • Short-teeth brush for short hair
    • Supple bristles
    • Lightweight ergonomic design
    • Perfect for deshedding
    Check Amazon
  4. Safari Flea Comb for Cats
    • Features compact bristles
    • Specially-designed teeth remove fleas effectively
    • Designed for all breeds of cats
    • Great value for money
    Check Chewy

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Cat Grooming Tools That Actually Work

#1 Overall Best: KONG Cat Zoom Groom Brush

Give your sensitive cats a soothing, relaxing brush with KONG Cat’s Zoom Groom Brush. The soft rubber brush fits nicely in the palm of your hand, and gently removes excessive hair from your furball’s coat while also gently massaging it to stimulate its natural oils. You won’t struggle to have your furball stay still — they’ll just melt under the supple bristles of this brush.

The rubber teeth are well-spaced and less irritative than other wire or plastic brushes. The rubbery material also helps give you a better grip while you’re brushing your cat, which is especially helpful if your cat is wiggly. The pliable rubber tips easily catch and hold strands of cat hair, collecting them all in one easy-to-clean spot. You can even use this brush to massage your cat’s skin and fur while you are bathing them!

However, while this brush does a great job preventing mats from forming, it cannot remove mats that already are present in your cat’s hair. It certainly reduces how much shedding hair you will find around your house, but it doesn’t do a perfect job of trapping and collecting dead hair. That means you may have to put in extra effort to properly remove dead hair and clean up the fur mess after you’re done grooming your cat.

Pros and Cons of the KONG Cat Zoom Groom Brush

ProsCons
This brush is great for sensitive cats as it does not scratch or irritate their skin.The brush doesn’t always collect all the dead hair nicely in one place, so there may be hair on the floor to clean up when you’re done.
It fits nicely in the palm of your hand and is easy to grip.It doesn’t remove mats from your cat’s hair.
The design of the brush allows it to gently massage your cat’s hair and skin to stimulate natural oils.
The rubber teeth help to grab and hold extra strands of cat hair.
You can also use this brush to bathe your cat.
It does a great job preventing mats and reduces dead hair from your cat’s coat.
Best Overall
KONG Cat Zoom Groom Brush
  • Brushes are very supple
  • Gently removes excessive hair
  • Stimulate your cat's natural oils
  • The rubber teeth are well-spaced
Check Chewy

2. Best for Long Hair: Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush

Cats with longer hair require more tedious and frequent grooming, but the Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush can make that much easier. This brush helps you reach down into thick layers of fur to remove dead hairs without a fuss. It also makes it easy to untangle and loosen hairs and also remove dirt.

The brush has fine-angled bristles, an ergonomic grip handle, and push-button retraction that make it easy to groom your cat. Plus, cleaning is a breeze: just retract the bristles and wipe away all of the fur collected in the brush. The brush is wide so you can tackle large areas of your cat’s coat with ease. However, due to its large size, the brush can be more difficult to use in smaller areas.

The bristles are soft-tipped to make them more comfortable on your cat’s skin. However, while the brush’s fine bristles can evacuate dead hair in a breeze, you’ll need to be especially careful on short-haired cats to make sure that the teeth do not scratch their skin.

Pros and Cons of the Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush

ProsCons
You can use this brush to reach down into thick layers of fur to remove dead hairs easily.If you use the brush on short-haired cats you’ll need to be careful so the fine bristles do not scratch or irritate their skin.
The brush helps to untangle and loosen the hair.
It helps to remove dirt from your cat’s hair.
The has fine-angled and soft-tipped bristles that are effective and gentle.
The ergonomic handle is easy to grip.
The brush collects loose hairs from your cat’s coat and holds them neatly in the bristles.
It is easy to clean with an automatic self-cleaning button that helps to push the hair past the bristles and off the brush.
Best for Long Hair
Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog & Cat Slicker Brush
  • Easy to untangle and loosen hairs
  • Features a self-cleaning mode
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Gently penetrates thick hair
Check Chewy

3. Best for Short Hair: Mars Coat King Bristle Cat Hair Brush

The Mars Coat King Bristle Cat Hair Brush is your best bet for keeping the peace with your short-haired cat. Just like long-haired cats, short-haired cats also have unique grooming needs. Long bristles and wire brushes can scratch their skin and cause irritation and injury. Fortunately, the Mars Boar Bristle Cat Hair Brush has supple bristles that go easy on your cat’s delicate skin.

It is easy to keep your cat’s coat looking neat and tangle-free with this cat brush. It’s lightweight and features a wide wooden handle for better grip. Its ergonomic design enables you to gently remove dead hair while giving your furry friend a soothing, effortless massage that doesn’t pull at your cat’s hair. The soft bristles also help to stimulate and spread natural oils throughout your cat’s coat, making them soft and shiny.

However, this brush is not an effective tool for removing knots and mats. It is not a great choice for thick, long hair, and doesn’t remove shedding hair as well as other options.

Pros and Cons of the Mars Coat King Bristle Cat Hair Brush

ProsCons
This brush is a great option for short-haired cats.This brush is not designed to remove mats or knots in your cat’s hair.
It is soft and gentle so it will not scratch or irritate your cat’s sensitive skin.It is not effective for cat’s with long and thick fur coats.
The brush is lightweight.
Its wide wooden handle is ergonomic and easy to grip.
The soft bristles of the brush help to spread natural oils throughout your cat’s coat.
The brush helps to give your cat a shiny and healthy-looking coat.
The bristles are soft and will not pull at or snag on your cat’s fur.
Best for Short Hair
Mars Coat King Bristle Cat Hair Brush
  • Short-teeth brush for short hair
  • Supple bristles
  • Lightweight ergonomic design
  • Perfect for deshedding
Check Amazon

4. Best for Removing Fleas: Safari Flea Comb for Cats

Removing fleas and eggs is a different ball game than removing dirt and the top layers of the fur coat, so you’ll need a brush like the Safari Flea Comb for Cats. With its specially-designed teeth, this comb does a great job of removing fleas without irritating your cat’s sensitive skin.

The Safari Flea Comb is especially great to use after using flea powders or shampoos on your cat and can help remove any remaining parasites without further irritating your poor cat’s already flea-bitten skin. In addition, the comb’s contoured design fits comfortably in your hand and the longer handle makes it easier to use.

This awesome flea comb has closely packed teeth that allow you to accurately inspect your cat’s coat and skin. It can help you identify skin and coat problems your cat may be experiencing so that you can treat them ASAP. For example, the flea comb can help you to detect dry skin after a bath, as well as dried blood that may indicate a rash or other affliction. The fine teeth of this comb, however, are delicate and can bend easily, so be sure to use the comb appropriately for the best results.

However, it is important to note that flea combs are designed differently than traditional cat brushes. Before using a flea comb on your cat, be sure to brush out their hair and remove any mats or tangles (these will snag on the flea comb and not only damage the teeth, but could also hurt your cat in the process). Work slowly and be sure to check areas around your cat’s neck, ears, and base of the tail. For best results, dip the cat flea comb in diluted flea shampoo to kill any leftover fleas on the comb.

Pros and Cons of the Safari Flea Comb for Cats

ProsCons
This flea comb has closely packed teeth that are specially designed to remove fleas without irritating your cat’s skin.The fine teeth of this flea comb are delicate and can bend easily.
It is especially effective after using flea powders or shampoos on your cat.It is not designed to remove tangles or mats.
The comb has a long handle and contoured design so that it fits comfortably in your hand and is easier to control.Using a flea comb does take more time, but it also can yield excellent results.
It is also a great tool for inspecting your cat’s coat and skin to identify any problems they may be experiencing.
Best for Removing Fleas
Safari Flea Comb for Cats
  • Features compact bristles
  • Specially-designed teeth remove fleas effectively
  • Designed for all breeds of cats
  • Great value for money
Check Chewy

Choosing the Best Grooming Brush for Cats: What to Look For

If cat grooming is unfamiliar territory, you just need to keep a few factors in mind when shopping to choose the most suitable product. First off, you need to know your cat’s unique needs — are they a short-haired cat? A long-haired cat? Do they have sensitive skin? etc. It’s also advisable to try out two or more products to find which one best suits your pet’s needs.

Some general factors you’ll need to consider when choosing the best grooming brush for your cat include bristle type, brush size and shape, brush material, ergonomics, and cleaning requirements.

Bristle Type

There are many different types of bristles for different purposes. Some brush bristles are all-purpose, but the specially-designed ones do a better job in their area of specialty. Denser, longer bristles are better suited for long-haired cats and for shedding short-haired cats. Shorter bristles typically work better on short-haired cats, but you’ll want to be careful that they are not sharp and scratch your cat’s skin. However, it all boils down to what your cat enjoys and what works best for you and your pet.

Brush Size and Shape

This factor affects not only your cat’s reaction to being brushed but your comfort as well. You might need to try out a couple of options to find the most befitting shape. Some cats love a broad brush while others like smaller brushes. However, the brush shouldn’t be too large or too small for your grip either, or your pet won’t like it when you’re pulling too much on their hair.

Brush Material

Stainless steel and rubber-coated nylon are the most popular types of cat grooming brush materials. They represent extremes — a soft, supple brush for a relaxing massage vs. a sturdy build for rooting out dirt buried deep in multiple layers of fur. There are also other intermediate options that are neither too sturdy nor too soft.

Ergonomics

To really take charge of the grooming process, you need to have a firm grip on your brush. The most ideal ergonomic features are a finger rest, handheld straps, adjustable handles, rubberized grips, etc. These features will help you put in the delicate strokes your cat needs effortlessly.

Cleaning requirements

After spending all that time cleaning up your cat’s coat, you shouldn’t have to spend as much time untangling dead hairs from the brush. Some brushes come with a self-cleaning mechanism, while others are designed for easy cleaning with extra large teeth or a retractable brush that parries the hair away when pulled in.

The Different Types of Grooming Brushes for Cats: Pros and Cons Compared

Bristle Brush

This is a staple for your cat grooming kit. It has many uses and is suitable for all kinds of cats. Bristle brushes are great for polishing up your short-haired furball before your hiking trip, and for applying a fine finish to long-haired cats after deep fur removal.

Pin Brush

Pin brushes are sturdier compared to bristles brushes and are better for cats with longer hair and denser coats. The pin-sized bristles can easily slide through tangled and matted hair.

Slicker Brush

Slicker brushes have short and sleek steel bristles on a flat, rectangular base. They’re great for applying finishing touches and bringing out a quick sheen in short-haired cats. They’re also ideal for any fur type, helping stimulate the natural oil evenly across the cat’s body.

Molting Comb

Molting combs are specially designed for shedding and removing tangles. They’re particularly ideal for long-haired cats but can also be used for removing fleas from short-haired cats.

Grooming Gloves

A grooming globe can give your furball an elevated experience. It gives you even better control and allows you to apply those soothing, delicate strokes without any bumps or tangling.

Keep Your Furry Friend in Tip Top Shape

With the best cat grooming tools, cat grooming can go from a tedious chore that everybody wants to avoid to an exciting activity for everyone, including your furball. We’ve lined up the tools that can give you the best experience regardless of your pet’s preferences and unique needs.

Happy grooming!

About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.

The Top Cat Grooming Tools That Actually Work FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What tools do you need to groom a cat?

The tools you will need to keep your cat’s fur coat healthy depend on the individual needs of your cat. In general, however, there are a few staples that are great to have on hand for cat owners:

  • For short-haired cats, you probably just need a brush, flea comb, and nail clippers.
  • Long-haired cats may require a specialty brush or even a cat hair trimmer/scissors.

It is best to consult with your veterinarian and/or grooming professional about your cat’s particular grooming needs so that you can get the best tools to help keep them happy and healthy.

How do you get rid of mats in your cat's hair?

You can try to very carefully untangle knots and mats in your cat’s hair, but be sure to do it gently and patiently so you don’t hurt your kitty. Sometimes cutting through the mat can help to detangle it as well, but always make sure to do this carefully and not to cut too close to your cat’s skin.

If the mats are only affecting your cat’s fur, a professional groomer can remove them either by combing or by shaving them off with electric clippers. If the mats are affecting the skin, however, veterinary care may be needed to remove them and care for any inflammation and irritation.

What is the easiest way to groom a cat?

Start by running the brush in the direction that their fur grows. Brush all areas of your cat’s body, including their chest and belly. Focus on one section at a time to remove old hair and untangle knots. To get rid of dead hair on cats with short fur, a rubber brush typically yields the best results.

Why do you need to groom your cat's fur?

Although cats typically are excellent self-groomers, brushing your cat’s fur is a great way to keep their coat looking and feeling healthy. In addition, it allows you to check up on the health of their skin and catch any issues before they get too bad.

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