We think the best flea comb for cats is the Safari Pet Product Flea Comb
If you suspect your cat has fleas then the first thing you should do is try to comb the fur to positively identify whether your cat has fleas. A normal comb just won’t do for this task – you need a flea comb.
Our Top Pick Flea Combs
- Best Overall: Safari Pet Product Flea Comb
- Budget: Honbay Plastic Flea Comb
- Hartz Groomers Flea Comb
- Best Gift: Organic Bamboo Fine Tooth Comb
- Most Innovative: Hertzko Cat Flea Comb
What Is A Flea Comb?
A flea comb is a comb that is specially created to help you get rid of fleas, flea larvae, flea eggs, and flea dirt out of your cat’s fur.
These special combs are easy to identify. They are usually a metal or plastic comb with very fine teeth that are closely spaced – sometimes as narrow as 10 teeth per 8mm.
The fine teeth and very close intervals make all the difference compared to normal combs and are how you can easily identify whether the comb will do the job.
The actual length of the comb is immaterial – it is all in the fineness of the teeth and extremely close spacing of the teeth.
How Does A Flea Comb Work?
You comb your cat’s fur with the comb and because of the close spacing of the teeth the comb is able to pull out fleas, flea larvae and flea dirt from the fur.
A flea comb is an effective mechanical means of stripping fleas from your cat.
How To Use A Flea Comb
Flea combs are very straightforward to use. There is no magical method. Success depends on the time you put into the task and how thoroughly you carry out the combing of the fur.
First, you should use a normal comb or brush to untangle fur so the flea comb can pass through fur without pulling or snagging.
A normal comb or brush will not be effective at removing fleas so don’t assume the job is done once you have brush out the fur to reduce tangles – even if the little blighters start jumping ship!
Once you have untangled fur and prepared the ground you then want to go to town with a flea comb.
You want to draw the flea comb through the fur from the head to the tail end systematically over the whole cat being careful not to miss spots.
Missed areas may harbor fleas, their eggs or larvae which will make all your other efforts redundant if you miss a spot!
Once you have covered the entire torso you want to do the best job you can with the legs and feet. Many cats have thin fur on the lower legs that may make combing hard to achieve. Don’t skimp.
Are Flea Combs Effective On Their Own?
The answer to this question is annoyingly “depends”.
Specifically, it all depends on the level of infestation your cat has, how effectively you use the comb and how effectively you dispose of the little critters after you have removed them from the fur!
There is no doubt that a good ole, traditional flea comb can effectively, mechanically remove fleas, their eggs and larvae from the fur. Your thoroughness is critical to the successful outcome.
The level of infestation is important. An early infestation, and therefore small infestation, can be effectively removed. A full, mature infestation will need regular combing on a daily basis to eliminate and you would be advised to start treating your cat with flea treatments to aid the process.
You may successfully eliminate your cat’s flea problem with a comb, then find that your home is host to eggs and larvae that hatch and jump back on board your cat.
Effective elimination of the fleas from the home is just as important as removing them off your cat – if you do one without the other you get an ongoing cycle of infestation!
How Do I Kill The Eggs, Larvae, And Fleas That Come Off?
Combing doesn’t kill fleas, eggs or larvae. It just removes them. If you remove them to the floor they will jump back on your cat or infest your home leading to re-infestation of your cat.
Often the best thing to do is crush the fleas/larvae and eggs to ensure no re-infestation. Sometimes these critters are small and nimble so crushing might not be that easy. As an alternative, you can drop the fleas into a water/soap solution so they go into stasis and can be effectively flushed away once you have finished combing.
Your job is not completed there though. You should be ultra wary of infesting your home – it only takes a few eggs and you get a re-population going on!
It is essential you vacuum the area after combing – and in fact, where ever your cat has been in the house, to pick up loose eggs and fleas. The vacuum should be emptied way out in the trash.
You should also stick your cat’s bedding in the laundry to remove any chance of reinfestation from their bed.
The most important thing is to treat your cat. You can use a very effective, vet-approved flea treatment or try some of these home remedies for fleas on cats.
You can then take precautions throughout the home by placing cedar oil and the like to keep the home free of insect life.
Plastic vs Metal Flea Combs
Should you get a plastic or metal flea comb? Honestly, it is not a groundbreaking decision but here are the benefits of going metal :
- Harder wearing – you will probably only ever need to buy one.
- It can be recycled at the end of its life.
- Just not going to break or lose teeth when it snags on tangled fur.
And the pitfalls :
- Costs more, fractionally, upfront, probably not in the long run…
What About Electric Flea Combs?
These are a fairly modern innovation. In all honesty, I have never used one. The impression I get is that they operate much like those blue insect lights you see over deli, butcher and other fresh food counters. The blue light attracts and then zaps the offending insect.
With electric flea combs, I get the impression the blue light is missing but the premise is that the comb has some sort of current running through it that is enough to zap the flea. Ouch!
The problem is that when I read about these combs and check out user reviews they just don’t score very well. There is almost a polar split between the “yeah, they are fantastic” crowd and the “utter rubbish” mob. At 50:50 these seem like poor odds that I am not going to end up wasting my money so I am not tempted to date.
Then there is the unsaid issue – pets and electricity – is that a smart match? Hmm, let’s see where a few more years of development takes the idea before we all jump on that train…scorched flea anyone?
Five Top Choices Of Flea Comb
Honbay Plastic Flea Comb
The Honbay plastic flea comb set is a multi-pack of plastic flea combs. These are great if, like me, you put stuff down and lose things easy – you always have another! They are budget price as plastic is a cheap way to make a comb but they do have a tendency to be more fragile than steel combs. However, with a multi-pack this is not so much of an issue!
These little flea combs do have an intrinsic benefit over steel flea combs. They are soft on your cat – the teeth are not as sharp, give and break under force more easily and the overall effect is that you more sensitive cat or cat with loads of flea bites might find this type of comb a little easier to put up with.
In terms of actual use – these combs do work. They have two different tooth grades, fine and ultra, so are will pick up fleas, eggs, and muck on cats with very fine fur.
- Pack of four
- Budget option
- Two different tooth fineness, fine and ultra-fine depending on the side you use
- Owners say they work for fleas and lice on cats.
- Plastic seems to be gentle enough for more sensitive cats.
- Made from plastics
- Not very sturdy – hence four in a pack. But do a good job.
Safari Pet Product Flea Comb
The Safari Pet Flea Comb is a high-quality steel flea comb that is built to last. The steel teeth are very fine and much stronger than plastic teeth and the handle of the comb has been rubberized for a comfortable grip.
Users report that cats tolerate the metal teeth well and that the comb is very effective at removing fleas and all the accompanying detritus. The teeth are a good length for most cats’ fur. The price is fair for a quality construction metal comb that is built to last.
This is one of the most popular and successful flea combs listed on amazon and for the build quality and price you can see why!
- Durable fine fetal teeth
- Rubberized handle for comfort
- Good quality construction
- Thin narrow-gauge teeth that cats tolerate well but removes flea, eggs, and muck
- Easy to hold and use
- Good length of tooth for cat fur
- Highly recommended by users and most popular on amazon
- Fair price
- No obvious negatives…
Hartz Groomers Flea Comb
In all honesty, there is barely any difference between this comb and the Safari comb. Both are steel toothed with rubberized grips, both are highly recommended by users as they do the job they are made for and are robust value for the money.
The teeth on the Hartz comb seem to be slightly more rounded and the gaps between teeth just slightly wider – but in all honesty, I am just nit-picking!
If you had to pick this or the Safari – flip a coin…
- Rubber handle for a comfortable grip
- Durable steel teeth
- Great for untangling fur and flea removal
- Very popular
- Suitable for cats and dogs
- Budget price steel flea comb
- Nothing I can think of…
Organic Bamboo Fine Tooth Comb
If each offer was the same life would be boring. So here is a comb I came across that appeals on many levels. It is a hand made, organic bamboo, finely toothed comb!
Now it isn’t specifically marketed as a flea comb for cats but the crafters who build these have created them with nitty children in mind – so I reckon they will do a job on cats with fleas!
There is a lot to like about this offer – hand made, natural material product, biodegradable, lifetime guarantee and really sanitary (can be boiled for cleaning). And clearly, from the images, a lot of effort goes into the creation of this comb.
From a practical point of view, the comb is double-sided and the teeth are very fine – so it should do a great job on cat fleas.
And the big surprise – it just doesn’t cost as much as you would think to have a natural, planet and pet-friendly product!
- Hand made
- Natural organic product
- Double-sided fine-tooth comb
- Can be boiled clean for use again and again
- Lifetime guarantee
- Made for lice/nits on children so why not on cats fur!
- Price is very fair for hand made product.
- A very fine comb that works well on cat fur
- Slightly small in dimensions – but is bigger just being greedy?
Hertzko Cat Flea Comb
What?!? Another metal flea comb? Ah, but this isn’t just any metal flea comb – this one comes with an interesting twist!
The Hertzko flea comb is different in that it features a double row of no scratch, stainless steel teeth. That’s right – take that in for a moment!
Now here is the big deal. The rounded teeth, great for a flea-bitten cat who is a little sensitive. The stainless steel – ain’t going to rust, ever. The double row – this is the innovation – cuts comb time in half, or gives you double the effect for the same combing!
However, with every silver lining! Some users report that the teeth might not be long enough for cats with long hair (although they do offer a long hair version), some mention that the teeth might be prone to bending – particularly on dogs with heavy matted fur! (so that won’t matter to us cat lovers)
In terms of price – let’s just say double comb shouldn’t go for triple comb price..
Overall a good offer, innovative, with a few teething issues, but pricey…
- Rubberized handle comfort grip.
- A double row of teeth to cut combing time in half
- No scratch rounded teeth ends for sensitive cats and bite marks
- Rust-resistant stainless steel teeth
- Great for short and medium hair cats(long hair go for special long tooth option)
- Sturdy – although some reports of tooth bend.
- Easy to use
- Very effective at removing fleas on cats and dogs
- Premium price
- Might have tooth bending issues with heavily matted fur.
In truth, all these combs will do the job. And they all have something a little different to offer from each other. Choosing will come down to personal preference. For me, the best is the safari – the blend of price and performance is hard to beat plus I am a practical guy at heart. Honorable second choice I would give to the bamboo biodegradable natural comb for novelty, effectiveness and in tune with nature….plus I think it might be a great gift – it is more than a flea comb it is an interesting object.