“ Brand: Ancol / Type: Cat Equipment - Slicker „
I've got a few slicker style brushes for my lad (cat) but a while ago I made an order with www.vetuk.co.uk and needed a few more pounds on the order to reach free delivery so I had a browse for something else I could buy my boy and came across this Mini Supersoft Slicker made by Animal Care Limited for £3.92 and popped one in my basket.
This slicker claims to be supersoft and very suitable for dogs and cats who are very young, sensitive or elderly and as my boy is now 17 I thought it might be something he would like. I have the normal slicker brushes and they can be quite harsh on knots and the metal prongs on them do feel quite sharp and do get right down to the skin so this one sounded ideal to add to our collection. The brush is green, the head is almost square but curved so it runs along body contours nicely and has metal prongs like the other slickers I have but the prongs are angled about half a centimetre from the end, this I assume is how it's softer than others as the bent prongs won't go as far through the fur as straight ones do so it's less scratchy. The brush head is about 3 inches wide so don't be put off by the word "mini" in the name as it's not too small to use. The handle is plastic and the prongs sit on a cushion of rubber so it can be washed if need be.
When the brush arrived it came on a piece of card and was totally encased in fairly solid plastic. It says on the packaging it's for small animals and cats so you could use it on rabbits too and it "removes loose hair and maintains and conditions the animal's coat". The instructions are to pull the slicker gently through the coat until no more loose hair fills the brush then clean the brush and repeat. I'm no stranger to slicker brushes and quickly unwrapped it and found my lad to see what he thought.
At 17 there are a few areas I like to help my lad out with, round his head and neck is one, down the centre of his back where it's hard to reach himself is another and he seems to gather enough loose hair in his tail to make extra tail covers on a regular basis so all those areas are where I aim most of the brushing. At least once a week I brush him and then wipe off any loose hair and skin with a warm damp cloth followed by a buffing with a warm towel. This keeps his fur in tip top condition and leaves him with only a few areas to wash himself which is better for him in my opinion, it saves him having to spend hours washing and struggling to reach areas. Plus he loves these sessions too!
The first time I used this brush I wasn't sure how much softer it would feel, it certainly felt as scratchy on my arm when I tried it out but as I have no fur it isn't a fair trial! We started with around the neck area, my lad has lovely thick fur and he adores being brushed around his head and neck with any brush so I wondered if this would be as nice for him with the bent prongs that keep it off the skin. I needn't have worried though as he got himself into position for a long brushing and purred and kneaded throughout so it definitely worked on that area. Then I tried it down the centre of his back, this is an area lots of senior cats end up with knotted fur on as they struggle to reach it so if you have a mature cat always keep an eye on this strip. My lad gets a few knots in this area and the brush will pull on them if it gets caught in them so it's no more gentle on knotty areas than any other slicker. I get around this by doing short strokes on any knotted bits and brushing the fur in all directions to get them out painlessly. As always his tail had loads of loose hair in it and I literally swipe the brush all the way from base of tail to tip with my hand on the opposite side to do the tail area. We got lots of loose fur off and I carefully emptied the brush a few times (watch your fingers with the prongs on any slicker, the metal prongs hurt like the devil if they get under your fingernails!) before standing back to admire my handiwork. My lad's coat was gleaming, he was perfectly relaxed after his grooming session but there was less bits of skin than I find with other slickers. I still do the wipe down and dry though as it's known as a "brush, rub and buff" in our house and my lad would have felt cheated if he hadn't got the other 2 steps to his routine! So the only difference I can see is the lack of bits of skin this brings up to the surface so it seems the angled prongs do indeed keep this from touching the skin as much as normal slickers do.
I found the brush was very easy to fit into areas the larger slickers struggle with and it worked fine to do smaller areas at a time. The angled prongs don't make it any more difficult to use and they don't get stuck or tangled up in the fur. The handle is slim but shaped to fit the hand and it does so perfectly. The brush can be emptied with a flea comb or another brush or just by picking bits out with your fingers (remember the warning above, it hurts if you don't!). I've washed the brush a couple of times too and it's easy to wash with some diluted baby shampoo followed by a good rinse and dry. I've left it on the radiator overnight and it hasn't damaged it and I've dropped it a few times with no harm coming to it. You do have to be careful with this though, my lad likes to cheek it and that of course means I need to keep it away from his eyes and lips, he also likes it on the top of his head which involves very light strokes with it and very gentle brushing on his tummy and legs too but it's common sense really, where the fur is less thick use less pressure and obviously tummies are sensitive areas as we all know so pay attention to how much pressure is used.
Overall I really like this brush and find the smaller head makes it more accurate. My lad loves it and gets himself all flattened into the floor in his "brush me position"at the mere sight of this so he's very taken with it too. I actually use it more often than the other slickers now as my boy loves it so much and I can get into all the favourite areas with the smaller head size. Despite it not going quite as deep as straight pronged versions it still gets all the loose hair off and does touch the skin a bit but doesn't bring lots of skin to the surface. Every so often I use my other slickers for a deeper brushing and some circulation boosting skin massage but this is great as a regular brush for all areas of the body. It isn't suitable for long haired cats or very short haired dogs but otherwise it's a good all rounder that both me and my boy love. A full 5 stars from me and my lad.