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Best Flea Combs for Cats and Dogs

Flea infestation is every animal owner’s worst nightmare. And tackling fleas as soon as you find them is the only way to get on top of and, ultimately, eliminate the problem. Fortunately, fleas are big business in the world of pet care, and there are endless shampoos, lotions, spot treatments and collars to choose from. However, one tool in the war on fleas is often overlooked - the humble flea comb. Despite its invaluable use as a monitoring and flea removal tool, it’s rarely the first thing people reach for. So, in this article find out what are the benefits of using a flea comb and, more importantly, how to choose the best flea comb for your dog or cat.

Flea infestation is every animal owner’s worst nightmare. And tackling fleas as soon as you find them is the only way to get on top of and, ultimately, eliminate the problem. Fortunately, fleas are big business in the world of pet care, and there are endless shampoos, lotions, spot treatments and collars to choose from. However, one tool in the war on fleas is often overlooked - the humble flea comb. Despite its invaluable use as a monitoring and flea removal tool, it’s rarely the first thing people reach for. So, in this article find out what are the benefits of using a flea comb and, more importantly, how to choose the best flea comb for your dog or cat.

Best for long-haired dogs

Safari Dog Flea Comb

What makes this comb stand out is its double row of teeth that scoops up fleas with ease, allowing you to quickly reduce an infestation.

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Best for Short-haired cats

Oster Animal Care Flea Comb

Designed for comfortable use on cats. Handle is curved and easy to grip, the teeth are closely spaced to effectively capture fleas, larvae and eggs.

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Best for large infestations

Epilady Flea Zapper

The instant-kill technology of this electric comb helps to streamline the process, so you can de-flea your pets with minimal fuss and effort.

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1

Safari Dog Flea Comb

BEST FOR LONG-HAIRED DOGS
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What we like:

What we don't like:

  • Can be tricky to remove fleas from between the comb’s two rows of teeth
  • May be unsuitable for dogs with very thick fur

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Safari combs are expertly designed to offer a superior grooming experience that can significantly reduce a flea infestation. The ergonomically-designed handle guarantees a comfortable grip, while the double row of closely-spaced teeth effectively traps fleas. This is an ideal solution for both long and short-haired dog breeds and can be used to remove large numbers of live fleas from their coats.

Have a bucket of soapy water standing by to wash the bugs out of the comb after you’ve passed it through your dog’s fur, though – those closely-spaces teeth, while effectively for capturing fleas, cantas make it difficult to remove them from the comb. They can also make it tricky to pass the comb through very thick fur, and you must carefully remove all tangles and knots before treatment.

2

Oster Animal Care Flea Comb

BEST FOR SHORT-HAIRED CATS
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What we like:

What we don't like:

  • Not suitable for cats with long or very thick fur

REVIEW

The closely-spaced teeth of the Oster flea comb not only effectively trap fleas, but they are also positioned for maximum comfort. They are turned at a 90-degree angle to the skin during use, so the teeth remain parallel to the skin. This effectively preventing that ‘raking’ feeling cats hate so much, allowing you to groom your kitty with minimal distress. What’s more, the handle is designed for a comfortable grip, making the process even easier.

Though this comb is highly effective for removing fleas and eggs from the fur of short-haired cats, it may not be as suitable for cats with long or very thick fur. The closely-spaced teeth are a mere 5/8” in length and won’t be able to penetrate all the way to the skin in cats with bushy coats. The teeth are also easily bent when they encounter matts or tangles; again, not ideal if your cat has long fur.

3

Epilady Flea Zapper

BEST FOR LARGE INFESTATIONS
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What we like:

What we don't like:

  • Stops working and needs to be cleaned each time it kills a flea
  • Pets may not appreciate the noise the comb makes

REVIEW

The Epilady flea zapper comb is unique in that it not only traps fleas, but zaps and kills them, too. Simply switch the battery-operated comb on and pass it through the (de-tangled) fur of your dog or cat. The comb emits a high-pitched buzzing sound when switched on that will cease to signal whenever a flea has been captured and killed. The flea must then be removed from the teeth of the comb before you can resume the treatment.

This design eliminates the need for the usual bucket of soapy water, as the fleas are killed instantly by the electric shock. However, it does mean that you have no option but to stop and remove the flea before the comb will work again. Given the tiny size of the flea and the close spacing of the comb’s teeth, this can be tricky, and some users find that it makes the process more time-consuming overall. Although most animals were unperturbed by the high-pitched buzzing noise of the comb, some cats are likely to be put off by it. Regardless, the Epilady is the best electronic flea comb on the market, so it could be the product for you if you want an instant kill.

Other products to consider

Safari Pet Products Flea Comb for Cats

The Safari Flea Comb for cats is very similar to the product for dogs by the same company and is highly effective for removing fleas from short-haired cats. Unfortunately, the fine teeth are not cut out for felines with long hair.

Hartz Groomer’s Best Flea Comb

The Hartz Flea Comb is easy to use, effectively removes fleas and is suitable for both dogs and cats. However, the small size of this particular design means it is less suitable for cats and dogs with long fur.

Hertzko Flea Comb for Dogs and Cats

The Hertzko Flea Comb is suitable for both dogs and cats and has a double-row of teeth to capture and remove even more fleas. Unfortunately, the teeth of this comb bend easily compared to other, similar products.

SENTRY Flea Comb for Cats

If your cat has long fur, the SENTRY Flea Comb could be exactly what you’ve been looking for. The teeth pass effortlessly through even thick fur without causing your kitty discomfort. However, the teeth are spaced a little further apart to allow for this, meaning more fleas can slip through and escape.

Pet Republique Flea Comb for Cats and Dogs

This one-size-fits-all Pet Republique Flea Comb can be used not only on dogs and cats, but also rabbits. Unfortunately, the construction of this comb is simply too flimsy for use on most pets, and the teeth bend easily when they hit a tangle.

Honbay Flea Comb

Honbay’s Double-Sided Flea Comb is suitable for both cats and dogs and has different spacing between the teeth on either side to cope with all types of fur. The cheap and cheerful plastic flea comb is fairly effective, but lacks a handle, making it trickier to hold and use than other combs.

Flea Killer Comb for Cats and Dogs

Flea Killer Comb for Cats and Dogs zaps and kills fleas on contact when you pass it through the coat of your dog or cat. Unfortunately, it’s simply not as effective as the Epilady model. The teeth are more widely-spaced than other combs, allowing lots of fleas to escape unharmed.

About flea combs

What is a flea comb and how do they work?

A flea comb is a fine-toothed comb that can be used to physically remove fleas, along with their eggs and larvae, from the fur of your pet. When passed through your dog’s or cat’s fur, the closely-spaced teeth of the comb work like a trap to quickly and effectively capture fleas. These can then be pulled out of your pet’s fur and killed/disposed of. Some combs are even equipped with a mild electric charge to zap and kill fleas instantly.

Who uses flea combs?

Flea combs are intended for pet owners tackling flea infestations. They can be used to remove large numbers of fleas from your pet’s fur, helping to relieve the itching and reduce the population. They are also an effective monitoring tool that can help to prevent re-infestation.

Unfortunately, a flea comb is unlikely to remove every single insect and egg. For the best results, use flea combs as part of an integrated pest management strategy to eliminate the infestation once and for all.

Buyer’s guide

What type of animal is your pet?

Flea combs intended for cats and dogs are usually very similar in design. However, a flea brush for dogs may not be as effective on the finer fur of your cat. Cats are generally more sensitive than dogs and more likely to feel discomfort during treatment and, for that reason, combs for cats are usually designed to alleviate this.

How long is your pet’s fur?

The length and thickness of your animal’s fur is an important factor to consider when buying a flea comb. Closely-spaced teeth are great for capturing large numbers of fleas but aren’t as good at coping with tangles and knots. Likewise, smaller combs may be unable to fully penetrate long or thick fur. Read the product spec carefully before making your purchase to ensure you pick the best product for your pet’s needs.

Top tips: how to use a flea comb effectively

De-tangle your pet before using a flea comb. Knots and tangles can damage the teeth of your flea comb and make the process more uncomfortable for your cat or dog. Make sure to brush their coat first (especially if they have long or thick fur) to help prevent this.

Have a bucket of warm, soapy water to hand. If you are using a basic (i.e. non-electric) comb, keep a bucket of soapy water nearby while you groom your pet. Dip the comb into this between strokes to remove and kill any fleas that get caught in the teeth.

Use a flea comb in combination with other pest control methods. Flea combs are a great way to reduce a flea infestation and make your pet more comfortable. However, they should be used in combination with other treatments (such as flea shampoo, sprays, flea collars, and other preventative control methods) to fully eliminate the fleas.

Conclusion

A flea infestation is every pet-owner’s worst nightmare. Fortunately, flea combs are an inexpensive and effective way to reduce their numbers, helping to quickly get the problem under control. Combs with sturdy, closely-spaced teeth, such as those sold by Oster and Safari, are a reliable way to trap and remove fleas from your fur baby. Electrified models, such as those sold by Epilady, provide an instant kill for even quicker flea removal.

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