Introduction: Simple $2 Pet Grooming & Massage Glove
Having 4 cats means that I spend a fair amount of time brushing them. This glove is my attempt to create a substitute for their brush that is easier for me to use (sometimes after I brush for a while my hand begins to cramp). I also wanted it to be something that they enjoy being groomed with. Currently only 2 of my cats enjoy being brushed, the other 2 do their best to avoid it. This means more hairballs to clean up.
My cats seem to like texture of the hook & loop and they all enjoy being pet with this glove. Hopefully this will translate into more grooming and less hairballs, which should make all of our lives better.
The picture above is my big guy. It was hard to take a good photo because he kept headbutting the glove, but you can see the drool beginning to pool on the corner of his mouth - a sure sign of a happy cat!
Step 1: Materials
To make this glove you will need:
about 2 feet of the "hook"* side of hook & loop fastener (aka velcro)
scissors (or another way to cut the hook & loop)
(optional) needle & thread
I made this glove with materials I found at my local dollar store. It ended up costing $2 + tax. You could probably scavenge a bit and make it for free. I haven't had any issues yet, but I imagine over time the adhesive that bonds the hook & loop to the glove could let go. If you wanted to increase the longevity sewing the corners of the hook & loop fastener to the glove would probably help quite a bit.
* Refer to picture 3. The hook side is the piece on the left. It feels rougher to the touch and had a bunch of tiny plastic "teeth" that grip the other side.
Step 2: Assembly
The glove from the dollar store was constructed strangely which made laying out the hook & loop fastener difficult. I stuffed it full of grocery store bags to mimic how it would lay with a hand inside. Once it was stuffed it was much easier to cut the pieces and put everything together
Before you measure and cut your hook & loop straps look at and feel the hook portion that you will be using on your glove. You want to see what direction the hooks lie. The third picture is a close up of the material. The arrow along the top shows the direction the hooks are facing. To make the glove as efficient as possible you want the hooks to be facing the direction you are brushing. The fourth picture (sorry for how terrible it is) demonstrates this. We want to catch the fur in the open "mouth" the hooks form.
Once you know which way you will brush your pet and the direction the hook opens you can make sure to measure, cut and mount the hook & loop appropriately to make sure the glove is as efficient as possible.
Then I simply laid the piece of hook material over the fingers of the glove and cut to length. The pinky finger was at an odd angle so I cut 2 separate pieces so the finger could move as needed.
To mount the fastener I just peeled the paper off the back to expose the adhesive backing and pressed it onto the glove. The bond was good enough for my purposes, but as mentioned before you could stitch down the corners if you wanted.
Step 3: Results and Thoughts
The pictures above show:
- The finished glove on my hands
- Petting my most difficult cat with the glove on
- The end result after a few minutes of petting him
The glove did work as intended and I consider it a success. There were 2 things that didn't work out as well as I had hoped.
First, it clogs up much faster than a regular brush will, because the depth of the hooks is so much shallower.
Second it is not as easy to clean the hair out of the glove as it is with a regular brush (it sticks to the hook & loop).
These are minor issues, but I think they could be improved upon. I believe the "industrial strength" Velcro and similar generic products have much larger hooks built into the fastener. By upgrading the hook part of the fastener it would allow the glove to hold more hair. I also have noticed the more hair that is on a brush the more matted together it becomes and the easier it is to get it all off. The better Velcro might alleviate both problems at once. The main drawback would be that the "industrial strength" product costs more and the biggest benefit to this glove was its low price point (and ease of assembly).