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Home > Cats > How to Clean a Cat Brush in 5 Simple Steps

How to Clean a Cat Brush in 5 Simple Steps

Tabby cat lying in her owner's lap and enjoying while being brushed and combed

If Fluffy’s brush is starting to look a little, well, fluffy, then it might be time to clean the brush. Grooming your cat with a dirty brush spreads the trapped dust and dander back through your cat’s coat, leading to mats over time. Here’s how to effectively clean any type of brush so that you’ll be ready for the next brushing session with your favorite feline.

Before You Begin

Prep your cleaning station by filling a clean jar or deep bowl that’s at least the width of your brush with equal parts warm water and vinegar, or warm water with a few drops of your cat’s shampoo. Stir. Lay a towel out on a flat surface for your brush to dry.

Ginger cat getting brushed
Image Credit: Konstantin Aksenov, Shutterstock


The 5 Steps to a Squeaky-Clean Brush

1. Remove the trapped fur

Using a fine-toothed comb, rake the old fur out of your cat’s brush and pluck out the loose tufts with your fingers. Throw away the loose fur.

brushing cat with gloves
Image Credit: Mariia Boiko, Shutterstock

2. Soak your brush

Plunge the bristled part of your brush into the vinegar-water or soap-water mixture and let sit for 5-30 minutes. Watch as the water gets cloudy as the particles start to break up and float.

3. Rinse

Run your brush under hot water to rinse out the vinegar or soap, making sure all of the dander and fur is out.

4. Dry your brush

Lay your brush bristle-side down on the towel to dry. Let dry completely before using it on your pet.


5. Optional: Disinfect your brush

Some cat parents prefer to disinfect their brush before using it again, especially if they use the same tool to groom multiple cats. You can use a commercial disinfectant, or an isopropyl alcohol spray, just be sure that the brush is completely dry before you use it on your cat. These chemicals are typically toxic to felines.


How Often Should I Clean My Brush?

Treat your cat’s brush as your own. Clean it every couple of weeks or as needed if you use it for a single cat. You might prefer to clean it after every brushing session if you use it on multiple cats.


How Often Should I Brush My Cat?

Long-haired cats typically need to be brushed daily, as opposed to short-haired cats who require weekly brushings. This is because the lengthy fur that’s shed from a long-haired cat can get tangled up in their coat if it’s not brushed away. Although all cats with fur shed year-round, spring and fall tend to be the heaviest shedding seasons as cats prepare for the major changes in temperature.


Final Thoughts

Keeping your cat’s brush clean is a vital part of your feline’s overall hygiene. You should clean the brush as it gets dirty, or every time if your cat is sick. You also might want to clean your brush after every grooming session if it’s shared with other cats.

Featured Image Credit: Impact Photography, Shutterstock

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