Looking for the perfect brush for your Maine Coon? Here are three recommendations, along with tips on how to brush your Maine Coon and the features of a brush to look out for.
Picking the right brush for a Maine Coon requires a bit of research and sometimes even trial and error. A Maine Coon requires a brush that is designed for its plus-sized body and shaggy coat.
The three brushes we recommend for Maine Coons are FURminator’s Long Hair deShedding Tool, DakPets’ Deshedding Brush, and GoPets’ Dematting Comb.
These brushes have features that are well-suited for Maine Coons hence they are likely to be the answer to your search.
That said, no Maine Coon is the same and it’s best to understand your Maine Coon’s brushing preferences, on top of what goes behind the ideal brush, before you make your purchase.
But first, let us show you the best brushes in detail and what makes them so great.
The three best brushes for a Maine Coon
Given a Maine Coon’s large size and thick fur, a generic brush for cats might not be the best option. Instead, here are three brushes that are recommended especially for Maine Coons.
Long Hair deShedding Tool for Cats by FURminator
FURminator’s deShedding Tool for Cats features a 2.65-inch-long stainless steel edge that can grasp through the topcoat into the undercoat and pull away loose hair gently without hurting the cat’s skin.
The ergonomic black handle is easy to hold on to, while a push of the FURejector button will release the caught hair.
The FURminator deShedding Tool claims to decrease shedding by up to 90% when used weekly for 10- to 20-minute sessions.
Daily grooming at home is also encouraged for detangling fur and distributing natural oils across the coat. As this is a tool that is used by veterinarians and pet professionals, you can be sure that it is a trusted product for top-notch grooming.
The deShedding Tool comes in two sizes (small or large) and two hair lengths (short or long).
Maine Coon owners should pick the large and long-hair option, which is suitable for cats over 10 lbs and with hair longer than 2 inches. You can get the right FURminator here!
Below, we’ve summed up the deShedding Tool for Cats by FURminator into pros and cons:
- specially built for long-haired and large cats
- stainless steel edge
- ergonomic handle
- FURejector button for self-cleaning
- does not hold much hair at a time
- may nick fur if not careful
- more expensive than alternatives in the market
Deshedding Brush by DakPets
DakPets' de-shedding tool is a one-size-fits-all item for cats and dogs of various shapes and sizes. It comes with a four-inch, rust-resistant blade that removes loose hair from the undercoat.
This blade is detachable with the press of the quick-release button, and the detached comb can be used on its own to reach otherwise inaccessible places.
The tool also has a non-slip, hypoallergenic handle and an eyelet for easy storage. It comes in three colors: blue, yellow, and hot pink.
The de-shedding tool is advertised to work on all types of coats – short or long, thick or thin. Its large size and sturdy design, however, makes it ideal for Maine Coons.
It claims to remove up to 95% of dead hair and tangles in just ten minutes.
Indeed, a single swipe with a long blade can remove a generous bundle of hair. Cats that run away at the sight of a brush can also be tricked into grooming by using the detached comb.
Below, we’ve summed up the Deshedding Brush by DakPets into pros and cons:
- Can be used with other cats and dogs
- detachable comb
- soft-grip handle
- plastic blade cover for safety
- May need cleaning after every few strokes
- The sharp blade may inadvertently trim the fur
Dematting Comb by GoPets
Resembling a rake, GoPets’ Dematting Comb works for both dogs and cats, including Maine Coons with their multi-layered coat and long hair.
It serves a double function with its double-sided comb: the first side with 12 teeth eases away the stubborn tangles and is great for de-matting, while its other side with 23 teeth is for de-shedding or thinning the coat by removing loose hairs.
The rake design with a 2.25-inch comb allows you to reach not just the topcoat but the undercoat as well.
Each tooth is sharpened to cut tangles with short strokes, reducing the need to pull and tug. For safety, the stainless steel teeth have rounded ends that do not scratch the skin.
The handle is made up of a non-toxic silicone gel that fits well with the contours of a hand.
Below, we’ve summed up the Dematting Comb by GoPets into pros and cons:
- Multiple uses
- eases away tangles and mats
- reduce shedding
- blunted teeth for safety
- ergonomic handle
- can be used with various coat types and lengths
- Fur might stick to the gel handle
- May pull the cat’s skin or accidentally trim the cat’s fur if not careful
- More expensive than alternatives in the market
While we are confident that you will land the ideal brush with one of the three recommendations above, it’s worth mentioning that when a cat’s personality is thrown into the mix, you’ll never know until you try.
While a tool may be perfect for one Maine Coon, it might be less useful with another.
Some cats might even be scared by the mere sight of your new tool!
To avoid wasting your money, check the refund policies of the item before buying.
Why is there a need to brush my Maine Coon?
All cats, even short-haired ones, benefit from the occasional brushing. Even if your cat already grooms itself regularly by licking, lending a helping paw to the long-haired Maine Coons by grooming it might be considered necessary.
Here are seven reasons to throw in a good brushing session into your Maine Coon’s routine.
1. Reduce hairballs
Most hair swallowed by a cat when it’s grooming itself will pass through the digestive tract. However, some will collect in the cat’s tummy, forming a clump of hair over time.
Hairballs tend to be vomited out as a gooey mess – an unpleasant experience for every human and feline involved. Such hairball problems are especially pertinent to long-haired cat breeds like Maine Coons for obvious reasons.
2. Prevent matting
Long-haired cat breeds are also prone to matting, which is when the cat’s fur becomes tangled or knotted.
Such matted fur is not only uncomfortable for your cat, but they can also lead to an infection.
Combing your cat’s fur will soothe out these tangles and prevent hair from becoming matted. Prevention is certainly better than cure since matted clumps are tricky to remove.
3. Minimize shedding
By brushing your Maine Coon in a routine manner, you’ll bring excess fur straight into the trash bin. This way, there will be less hair lying (or flying) around the house, coating your furniture, clogging your vacuum, and sticking to your clothes.
4. Promote health
As you groom your cat, you’ll stimulate its blood circulation and natural oil production, contributing to a silky coat and healthy skin.
5. Detect problems
Grooming also offers you the window to spot fleas, ticks, wounds, bumps, or skin problems. With this regular “check-up”, any problems identified can be given prompt attention.
6. Assist in grooming
Some cats are unable to groom themselves thoroughly because they are overweight or suffering from health-related issues such as dental problems and arthritis.
7. Nurture bonding
Perhaps you’ve noticed that some cats love to groom each other.
This affectionate gesture promotes bonding between two felines that consider each other as friends or family. Grooming your cat is a social activity that builds trust.
If your cat is one that enjoys its brushing session, it will likely grow closer and more affectionate to you over time.
What makes up my Maine Coon’s coat?
The Maine Coon’s luxurious coat feels good to touch, but what exactly lies beneath it?
In essence, there are three types of body fur on your cat.
Closest to the skin would be the undercoat, made up of fine “down” hairs that are designed to keep the feline warm. The underfur is soft, fluffy, and slightly curly.
It gets thicker in winter to keep the cat warmer. While the undercoat of Maine Coons is typically silky, this layer can get matted if not groomed regularly.
The middle coat, which comprises stiffer, bristle-like hairs, also has insulating properties.
They lie underneath the topcoat, which is a protective layer made up of even coarser guard hairs. The topcoat constitutes the longest and thickest of the cat’s hairs.
It forms as the Maine Coon transitions from a kitten to a fully-fledged adult. Once fully formed, it envelops the Maine Coon’s back, sides, and tail, and serves to protect the feline from the elements.
What are the features of a good brush?
Now, let us go into detail about the features of a good brush for a Maine Coon.
Most importantly, we kept in mind that your Maine Coon is large; even at its smallest size, a Maine Coon is typically larger than the average house cat.
The Maine Coon is also a long-haired cat breed with a thick coat and extra ruffs under the neck.
The three Cs – comfort, control, and cleanup – are the main considerations to take.
A priority for you when picking a brush is your cat’s comfort. Most cats enjoy their brushing time as they would when getting a massage.
However, some do not, while others have a limited tolerance for getting their hair brushed, so you’ll need an efficient brush – one that is built for a large-sized cat with long hair.
Give extra thought if your cat has sensitive skin. For example, if you’re using a slicker brush on a cat with sensitive skin, make sure that the nylon pins are rubber-coated.
Brushing time should be comfortable for not only the cat but the cat owner too. In this aspect, having control of the brush makes for an easy job. Look for a brush with a sturdy ergonomic handle that is easy to grip.
The shape of the brush should allow for a natural sweeping motion that can be repeated without causing discomfort or losing control.
You don’t want loose hair to be wafting around the house while you’re brushing your Maine Coon.
Some brushes require hair to be pulled or combed out of the brush, while others have a feature that allows for the hair to be ejected easily.
As your Maine Coon has an abundance of hair, you’ll require a brush head that can either collect large amounts of hair before they need to be cleaned or one that can easily release hair with the push of a button.
What types of brushes are there in the market?
There’s a variety of brushes out there to help with de-shedding, detangling, and de-matting. Some double up as gloves while others have a pin-studded head or a comb-shaped head.
In this section, we’ll share the right and wrong types of brushes for a Maine Coon.
Cat brush gloves and mittens
The cat brush gloves and mittens fit the hand and remove hairs with a collection of rubber or silicone teeth present on the side that cover the palm and fingers.
They allow you to give the cat a brush while it is being petted.
The glove-style ones confer more control with the free movement of fingers, while the mitten-style ones have a larger surface area.
While such cat brush gloves and mittens may be advertised for cats with all hair lengths, they are most suited for short-haired cats and are typically not well-designed for detangling.
Rubber cat brushes
There are also rubber cat brushes that can be cupped in the palm of the hands. Some come with a handhold strap for added control. Its bottom features rubber teeth that grip dead hair and remove dust.
However, similar to cat brush gloves and mittens, rubber cat brushes are best for cats with short to medium hair lengths.
They are unable to easily reach the depths of a long-haired Maine Coon’s undercoat where most dead hairs fester, nor are they able to reach the cat’s skin for a soft, stimulating massage.
Now, what would actually be suitable for Maine Coons would be slicker brushes, which have thin wires attached to a rubber base. Some slicker brushes have retractable pins, allowing hairs to be swiped away easily.
The ones with fixed pins need to be cleaned manually after a sizeable amount of hair is collected.
These slicker brushes can be used in conjunction with shedding brushes, particularly those that have a comb-shaped blade attached to the handle.
Some of these brushes are specially designed for long-haired breeds and come in sizes suitable for large cats.
There are also shedding rakes that serve the same function as a shedding brush but do the work with thin metal teeth instead of a comb.
Don’t be intimidated by the array of choices that you have (we haven’t even gotten into bristle brushes, pin brushes, and wide-toothed combs).
Cat owners should know that they do not need twenty tools to help with a cat's grooming practices. Instead, find one or two that work best, and stick to it.
How often should I brush my Maine Coon?
There is no fixed answer to the question of how often you should brush your cat’s fur. It really depends on your Maine Coon’s hair density, the rate of shedding, and the condition of its coat.
As a rule of thumb, it’s good to brush your cat’s hair for around ten minutes, twice or thrice a week. Stop the grooming session when the combing yields minimal loose hair.
Don’t overdo it – excessive brushing can lead to skin irritation or bald patches.
How do I brush my Maine Coon?
It's best to groom your cat when it's relaxed or sleepy to minimize the chances of it scrambling away.
Ensure that your cat's coat is dry before you start grooming. Pet your cat. If you spot any large knots and tangles, remove them before brushing your cat properly (more on this in the next section).
Many cat owners wonder if they should brush against the direction of the fur, or along with it. Some people, groomers even, recommend the former, but most cats do not enjoy getting their hair messed up.
Even if brushing against the direction of the hair growth is more effective in removing dead hair, you should certainly take into account what your cat prefers – or risk having a grumpy cat.
Start brushing your cat’s abdomen and legs, getting the feline into the rhythm, before moving on to the head. Use long and gentle strokes away from the cat’s body.
The ruffs of hair on a Maine Coon’s neck should be combed upwards towards its chin. For the tail, make a part in the middle and comb both sides.
Save the last for your cat’s belly – a sensitive area that requires a bit of a trick.
What you want to do is to place your hand under the Maine Coon’s front legs and lift it upwards, keeping the paws of its hind legs on the ground.
With its belly exposed, you can gently (and quickly) comb through the fur. While this sounds simple in theory, you’ll need to get your Maine Coon comfortable by talking to it. If your first attempt does not work, give it a rest and try again later.
While what’s mentioned above works well with most brushes, do read up on the instructions specific to your brush as the most effective techniques may differ depending on the brush.
Should your Maine Coon not enjoy its brushing session, or if you have difficulty in combing its belly, you will want to offer it a treat at the end.
This would encourage your feline friend to behave well the next time it has a rendezvous with the brush. Also, if you notice that your Maine Coon’s coat feels greasy, it’s time for a bath.
(Thankfully, most Maine Coons love water, so giving it a shower shouldn’t be so difficult.)
How do I get rid of tangles and matted hair?
If you have been brushing your Maine Coon’s hair regularly, chances are, it will not have tangles or mats. But if you are at the stage where your Maine Coon already has matted hair, you need to be patient.
Tangles should not be tugged at aggressively.
Just like you, your cat will not enjoy having its hair pulled out.
Applying cornstarch to your cat’s fur will loosen the mats. Use a wide-toothed comb to pick at the mat gently.
If possible, hold the base of the hair to reduce the pressure on the cat’s skin. The constant picking movement will slowly loosen and detangle the mat.
Do not force your cat into an uncomfortable position while attempting this; if your cat is struggling, stop the session and resume it when your cat is more relaxed.
If your Maine Coon has mats that are deeply entrenched, do not attempt to rip it off or cut it with scissors.
An electric clipper can be used to shave off small mats that are close to the skin, but first, check that it is not emanating too much heat because a cat’s skin is thin and sensitive to heat.
If all else fails, it’s better to bring your Maine Coon to a professional groomer than to risk it getting hurt.
Enjoy grooming your Maine Coon!
To end it off, we’d like to remind cat owners that grooming sessions should be viewed positively. Many cats enjoy it, and you should too! Consider it the prime opportunity to bond with your gentle giant.