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Over the last few months, since we started having hotter weather, I've noticed that my cat Snoopy seems to be excessively hairy. Yes, he's a cat, he should be hairy - but not to the point of the whole flat (and me) being constantly coated in a layer of black hair. Every time I went near him I was coming away covered in hair - when he sat on my lap and I scratched his neck, I got enough excess hair from him to knit another cat. When he jumped onto or from any furniture, a shower of hair came off him.
It was clear that this summer, the heat was causing poor Snoopy to shed more than usual. He has a very thick black coat, and so I decided it was time to invest in a grooming brush - something I haven't done before, as whenever I've tried to brush him in the past he has attacked the brush.
I wanted to get a Furminator which I've read very good reviews for, but they were a bit pricey, especially when I wasn't sure Snoopy would tolerate it. Looking around Amazon I came across the Soft Protection Salon Rubber Brush at the very reasonable price of £2,75, plus £1.70 postage.
The brush is entirely made from rubber, with a handle across the back which you put your hand through, and then use the brush as if you were stroking the cat (or dog - it is suitable for both). It is designed to remove shedding hair and massage your pet, and the rubber bristles apparently stimulate the natural oils of your pets coat.
It was with some trepidation that I approached Snoopy. Perhaps it was rather wimpy of me to try the brush for the first time while he was distracted by his dinner. He seemed intrigued by the brush, but continued eating. Once he had finished he sat on my lap for some more brushing, until he decided after five minutes or so that the brush was a threat and tried to eat it.
I've been using this brush on Snoopy for over a month now, and he has yet to tolerate it for more than ten minutes. I don't blame the brush for that though - that's just Snoopy. I brush him two or three times a week, and after just the first couple of times I noticed a difference in his coat - it was sleeker to the touch, and wasn't shedding quite so much.
As soon as you use the brush you can see how much hair it is removing. After regular use I have found that it removes less hair now, but at first I was ending up with a massive pile of hair. It doesn't however stay on the brush very well - I usually end up covered with hair too, and there is usually a lot of loose hair on the surface of Snoopy's coat which has been removed by the brush but hasn't been picked up. This is a rather frustrating side effect, as it happens despite me pulling hair out of the brush after every few strokes.
Being rubber, the brush is easy to clean. I pull the hair out and it can then be rinsed if necessary. However I find it very difficult to pull all the hair from the brush - there is almost always a thin layer stuck in among the bristles which I can't get out.
I have also tried this brush on our other two cats, who don't shed quite as excessively as Snoopy - one of them thinks it is the best thing ever, and the other is highly suspicious and rarely lets me get near her with it.
For the price I am happy with the Soft Protection Salon Rubber Brush, and it has done the job of calming Snoopy's shedding. However, the fact that I still end up covered in hair while using it isn't ideal, so I think I will try other options at some point.