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You’re here to find the best cat toothpaste, right? Which means you probably already know that dental health is extremely important for your cat.
And that’s it about a lot more than just bad breath!
A heavy buildup of bacteria in your cat’s mouth can obviously lead to dental problems but it can also put strain on your cat’s liver and sensitive kidneys as your cat’s body tries to deal with all that yucky stuff building up in her mouth!
What’s even more frustrating is that despite most cat owners understanding that dental health is important AND the fact that veterinarians have spent years recommending that we brush our cat’s teeth most people simply don’t do it.
That’s why we’re happy you’re here!
You’re taking the first step to a healthier and happier cat. Not to mention saving a ton on vet bills!
So let’s get into it!
What Is The Best Cat Toothpaste?
You’ll find detailed reviews of each our each cat toothpaste below but if you’d prefer to just see the list you can see our top 7 selections for best cat toothpaste here:
- Best Overall: Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored
- Runner Up: Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Dog & Cat Poultry Flavor Toothpaste
- Best Dental Gel: Oratene Brushless Enzymatic Dental Gel
- Dental Gel Runner Up: Oxyfresh Pet Dental Gel
- The Complete Package: Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored With Toothbrush
- The Best On A Budget: Petrodex Dental Kit
- The Premium Option: Bluestem Dental Cleaning Kit
Understanding Enzymatic Toothpaste
You’re going to see the word “enzymatic” pretty frequently when it comes to cat toothpaste and we think it’s worth explaining exactly what this word means.
Enzymes are molecules that help speed up chemical reactions. In this case, those chemical reactions help to remove bacteria in your cat’s mouth. This bacteria is what eventually forms plaque (or tartar) and causes bad breath, gingivitis, and tooth decay.
This is different from some human toothpaste which relies heavily on fluoride. Fluoride is actually toxic to animals in large amounts. This isn’t a problem for humans since we spit out our toothpaste and end up ingesting only a very small amount.
This is certainly not what happens with cats and dogs. Instead, you’ll find that your furry friend is going to end up ingesting quite a bit of toothpaste during the bushing process.
But that’s okay!
Every one of our selections is safe for your cat to ingest!
Is Brushing Required?
You’ll also see a few options on this list that are described as dental gels. Cousins to toothpaste, these gels are designed to help your cat enjoy cleaner teeth without brushing.
Instead, you simply apply the dental to your cat’s gum line and the let the gel work it’s magic (AKA chemistry).
Your best option is always going to be brushing since the bristles will help loosen up and remove stuck on bacteria and plague. But if that’s simply not an option, dental gels can be a great option.
Best Overall: Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored (With Finger Brush)Buy On Amazon
- Great product at an awesome price
- Vetoquinol has 30 years of experience in the veterinary industry
- High-powered triple-enzyme formula
- Toothpaste comes in a small tube so if you’re brushing daily you’ll run out quickly
When it comes to the best cat toothpaste on the market, Vetoquinol Enzadent is very tough to beat! They’ve got an impeccable track record spanning almost 30 years and have established a great reputation for quality products in that time.
This cat toothpaste is free of foaming agents that would only make the process harder and the chicken flavor is something that cats (and dogs) go crazy for. We’re not kidding, there’s a long line of happy cat owners talking about how much their cat loves the flavor.
Now, we can’t guarantee you’ll be so lucky and for most us brushing cat teeth will take time to master. But we highly recommend Vetoquinol Enzadent to get started and it’s my toothpaste of choice for my own cat.
Even better, this toothpaste is one of the lowest cost options on the list. We think it’s the perfect balance of quality and value.
Our number pick has a flavor that cats actually like, a brand you can trust, and a mountain of positive reviews behind it.
Runner Up: Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Dog & Cat Poultry Flavor ToothpasteBuy On Amazon
- Decades-long experience in the veterinary dental industry
- Excellent value for your money
- Some questionable flavors for cats- I recommend you stick with the poultry flavor
Virbac C.E.T is another great product from a company with an equally long history in the at home pet dental space. In fact, Virbac is considered by some to be pioneers in the market!
Their product also has a long list of happy customers and the poultry flavor is comparable to our number one pick.
So why is it the runner up? Two reasons:
- At the time of writing, we saw more positive reviews across the internet for our number one pick as compared to Virbac.
- Finally, I’ve personally used both but my cat Debbie prefers the Vetoquinol product. So at the end of the day, Debbie gets the final vote!
All that being said, this is still a great product and your cat may actually prefer it!
Our second best toothpaste for cats is a widely known brand that can be a great alternative for cats that don’t like the flavor of Vetoquinol
Best Dental Gel: Oratene Brushless Enzymatic Dental GelBuy On Amazon
- Works without actually brushing
- Great for fuzzy kitties
Our best dental gel is the Oratene Brushless Enzymatic Dental Gel. As previously mentioned, dental gels don’t require you to actually brush your cat’s teeth, instead you place ½ inch strip along the upper and lower teeth.
Then the enzymes do the rest of the work!
This dental gel is also our number one selection for fussy felines because not only does it not require brushing, it also has no flavor. So if you’ve got a sensitive kitty, a picky eater or both this may be your best option.
It can also be a great entry point into actual brushing as your cat gets used to having you interact with her mouth.
Our number one pick for best dental gel requires NO brushing and is great for fuzzy kitties.
Dental Gel Runner Up: Oxyfresh Pet Dental GelBuy On Amazon
- Designed to also soothe irritated gums
- Doesn’t require brushing with makes it a great choice for a first-time dental cleaning
- No flavor additives could be great for sensitive kitties
- Some cat owners may have better success with flavored gels and toothpaste
This flavorless dental gel from Oxyfresh is another great option for the fussy cat. Like all dental gels, no brushing is required which may make it the best option for your cat.
What’s unique about the Oxyfresh product is that it also acts to soothe your cat’s sensitive gums and mouth with ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile. While you can’t beat a good brushing for your cat, starting off with a dental gel may be a great option and this soothing dental gel from Oxyfresh may be a great place to start.
Our runner up is a great flavorless dental gel option which some cats may prefer.
The Complete Package: Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored With ToothbrushBuy On Chewy
- Same great product as our best overall selection but with pet-friendly toothbrush AND finger brush
- Great reviews and a long history in the industry
- Perfect way to get started brushing your cat’s teeth
- Experienced brushers may not need all the accessories
We love this option for cat parents who are just getting with brushing their cat’s teeth. Not only does it include our number selection for the best cat toothpaste but it also includes a cat-friendly toothbrush and finger brush.
Cat toothbrushes are smaller and a bit longer than a normal human toothbrush. This not only makes sure that it safely fit in your cat’s much smaller mouth but also keeps your fingers safe from an unexpected chomp!
Additionally, this package comes with a very cool finger brush. This great when you’re just getting started and showing up with a long green stick might just freak your cat out!
You also can’t beat the price on this package. So even if you’ve already got a brush at home this is a great way to snag a backup!
Our number one toothbrush with cat-friendly toothbrush AND finger brush is a deal you can’t beat!
The Best On A Budget: Petrodex Dental Kit for CatsBuy On Amazon
- Includes brush AND finger brush options
- The brush bristles may be too stiff for some cats
If you’re looking for a quality product at a budget-friendly price, this is the pick for you. This dental kit from Petrodex includes a cat-friendly toothbrush, finger brush, and cat-friendly toothpaste.
All that for half the price of just cat toothpaste in some cases! Even though the price is right, you can still rest assured that this product is safe for your cat and effective against tartar.
Some cat owners report that the brush is a bit stiff and overall you shouldn’t expect the same quality from Vetoquinal selection for example. But it still works so if you’re looking to get started brushing your cat’s teeth without spending more $10 then this is the product for you.
Complete feline toothbrushing kit at a budget-friendly price.
The Premium Option: Bluestem Dental Cleaning KitBuy On Amazon
- Includes brush AND finger brush options
- The brush bristles may be too stiff for some cats
Bluestem is a premium product but you get what you pay for and you really can’t go wrong with this dental kit.
Bluestrem’s claim to fame are several studies that back up the formula’s effectiveness against common oral bacteria. They use completely food-grade ingredients and overall there’s no penny pinching going here as is sadly so common in the pet industry.
They’ve also got a slightly different take on the cat-friendly toothbrush. Unlike some of the brushes on the market, this kit includes a dual-headed brush that makes it much easier to reach some of the tougher spots in your cat’s mouth.
Overall, this product from Bluestem is an excellent option.
Our premium selection is backed by several studies proving it’s efficacy against common oral bacteria AND features a uniquely designed dual-headed brush.
What You Need To Know About Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth
Brushing your cat’s teeth can make a massive impact on the overall health of your furry friend. While improved breath is nice, what’s even better is that your cat won’t be harboring harmful bacteria in her mouth!
Over time, that bacteria can tax your cat’s liver and kidneys not to mention cause a lot of pain! So much pain that some cats eventually stop eating altogether! But you can stop it from ever getting that bad by committing yourself to regularly brushing your cat’s teeth.
In this short guide, we’re going to break down everything you need to know about brushing your cat’s teeth!
Wait, Do I Really Need To Brush My Cat’s Teeth?
Yes! Even though you may have older cats now that haven’t seen a toothbrush a day in their life, it’s important to remember one thing: cats can’t tell us how they feel.
While cats can communicate a lot with us (especially when they’re hungry) they can’t tell us when they have a tooth that hurts. But we know enough about human dentistry to know that an infected tooth is painful and not something our cats should have to deal with.
Simply brushing once a week can greatly reduce the prevalence of dental disease in your cat and that alone can make a world of difference!
Cat Toothpaste Ingredients
We already talked about how most cat toothpaste leverages the power of enzymes to help eliminate bacteria in your cat’s mouth.
But what about the rest of the ingredients in feline toothpaste?
We’ve put together a quick breakdown of the most common ingredients you can expect to find in cat tooth and what the heck it actually does!
- Silica is a naturally occurring compound that actually makes up over a quarter of the planet’s crust! But when it comes to your cat’s toothpaste it’s an abrasive that helps remove food and other debris from teeth.
- Calcium Carbonate is another naturally occurring compound that also acts as tartar removing abrasive.
- Sorbitol is a sweetening agent but since cats can’t actually taste sweetness it more importantly helps hold toothpaste together.
- Glycerin prevents your cat’s toothpaste from drying out before it ever gets to your cat’s mouth!
- Sodium Benzoate stops bacteria from growing in the toothpaste. This ingredient can be found in thousands of products for both pets and humans.
- Xanthan gum has two purposes: first, it helps maintain the overall consistency of the toothpaste and it also helps maintain moisture
While this isn’t every ingredient you can expect to find in your cat’s toothpaste…we didn’t want to put you to sleep. But you can be sure that these are some of the most common ingredients you’ll see.
For the most part, these ingredients are playing a supporting role in the creation of your toothpaste.
Okay, How Do I Actually Brush My Cat’s Teeth?
While it’s best to start brushing your cat’s teeth while they’re still a kitten you really can start at any age!
Here are some tips to get started brushing your cat’s teeth!
Lay The Groundwork
Before you ever get a brush in hand, you can give yourself a head start by getting your cat used to having her mouth handled. In your day to day life, you might not have handled your cat’s mouth at all so to suddenly show up with a brush could be overwhelming! Chicken flavor or not!
So pick a favorite treat for your cat and start by gently touching your cat’s mouth, lips, and if possible place a finger under the lip. Anytime your kitty tolerates this without any evasive behaviors you give a treat.
It’s important to take it slow! But when done over time, your cat will become more and more comfortable with the idea of having your handle her mouth.
You can also use this process to introduce toothpaste. Simply put a little toothpaste on your finger and place it under your cat’s lip. As usual, share a reward if she handles this without a fuss!
Find A Quiet Space
The first thing you want to do is make sure you’re in a quiet and comfortable place where your cat feels safe. You should do everything you can to minimize noise around the house and place your other pets in another room. The last thing your cat wants is to have her dog brother come start sniffing her while she’s at the dentist.
Take Baby Steps
Don’t expect to get a full scrub on every tooth the first time you brush your cat’s teeth. ‘
Instead, take baby steps. If all you do is brush one tooth then that’s a win! It’s important to slowly introduce your cat to the process and not make it more stressful than it needs to be. Remember, bruising YOUR teeth is normal but it’s a completely new experience for your cat! Keep that in mind throughout the process.
Slow progress over time will ensure that your cat doesn’t get too stressed and that you aren’t too frustrated as you both learn the process.
Use A Toothbrush That’s Specially Made For Cats
Your toothbrush is too big and bulky for your cat’s mouth so make sure you use a brush that’s made specifically for cats. These special brushes are also a bit longer so you don’t accidentally get your finger nibbles while reaching for the back molars.
It’s also worth trying a finger toothbrush when you get started. This simple device slips over your finger and is equipped with a small brush. It also protects your fingers as you clean your cat’s mouth. That last thing you want is an accidental bite!
We find that most cats are less intimidated by a finger brush since it’s much smaller than a normal brush.
Start With A Flavored Cat Toothpaste
While we do have flavorless options on our list, we highly recommend that you start with a flavored cat toothpaste for your first go. Most cat toothpaste is poultry flavored and extremely popular. Just check out some of the reviews on our top picks to see how many cats actually want to have their teeth brushed just for the taste!
But unfortunately, not every cat will go crazy for toothpaste. Still, it’s worth giving a shot and a great starting point.
If the flavor isn’t your cat’s thing, the flavorless dental gels may work better for you and your kitty.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cat Toothpaste
You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers! We’ve put together some of the most common questions we get about cat toothpaste and feline dental health in general. Take a look and feel free to let us know if we’ve missed any!
Q: What is cat toothpaste?
Cat toothpaste is specially formulated to remove plaque and tartar from your cat’s mouth while being safe to ingest for your cat. It’s also typically flavored using poultry tastes that most cats love!
One of the big differences between cat toothpaste and human toothpaste is that toothpaste for felines doesn’t contain any fluoride. That’s because fluoride can actually be toxic at large enough doses for most mammals. But when you consider that your cat isn’t going to be spitting out their toothpaste and that they weigh a fracture of what you do, you can quickly see how fluoride would be a very bad thing to have in cat toothpaste.
Q: What toothpaste is safe for cats?
Specially designed cat toothpaste is your safest option. Even better, these specially formulated toothpaste are often flavored with tastes that your cat will love!
It’s never safe to use human toothpaste, baking soda or anything similar. Simply put, human toothpaste is not safe for cats to consume so stick any of the toothpaste we recommend.
Q: Are you supposed to brush a cat’s teeth?
In a perfect world, you’d brush your cat’s teeth every day and have a professional dental cleaning with your veterinarian annually. But even brushing your cat’s teeth weekly would make a huge positive impact.
However, if your cat already has severe dental disease, you should absolutely start with a visit to your veterinarian. They can evaluate your cat’s teeth and extract any teeth that are too far gone. Remember trying to brush teeth that are infected, abscessed, or diseased can be painful for your kitty.
Not only could that hurt your cat, but it could also develop a deep lifelong avoidance of their teeth brushed. Neither of which are good!
Q: Can I clean my cat’s teeth myself?
Yes, you can absolutely clean your cat’s teeth yourself! However, you need to make sure you’re using specially formulated cat toothpaste and toothbrushes. If it’s your first time, you also need to set reasonable expectations and take it slow!
All you need to do is brush gently along your cat’s gum line, just like you would do for your own teeth.
However, brushing your cat’s teeth doesn’t replace regular veterinary exams or annual cleaning. Just a like a human, brushing your teeth is just a piece of the dental health puzzle.
Q: What happens if my cat swallows cat toothpaste?
Nothing! Cat toothpaste is specially designed to be safe for cats to ingest. Afterall, it’s expected that most cats will end up ingesting a lot of toothpaste during any brushing session!
Q: What happens if you don’t brush your cat’s teeth?
If the plaque and tartar in your cat’s mouth are not removed with regular brushing, your cat will develop gingivitis and severe dental disease that will eventually require extraction. Not only does this result in a costly vet bill, but it’s also unpleasant for your cat.
Q: Does dry food really clean cat’s teeth?
While dry food may produce less tartar over time when compared to wet food it’s not something you should depend on. Dry food will never replace regular brushing or visits to the veterinarian.
But if you’re interested in learning more, Hills does produce specially designed to help clean your cat’s teeth. You can find it on Amazon by clicking here.
Q: How can I keep my cat’s teeth clean without brushing?
Your best alternative to full out brushing is dental gel. These flavorless gels contain an enzyme that will help break plaque and tartar which are the causes of dental disease in your cat’s mouth. No brushing is required and you simply place a small strip of the gel in your cat’s mouth.
Q: How can I remove tartar from my cat’s teeth?
Your best option is to use cat toothpaste and specially designed pet toothbrushes! Alternatively you can use a dental gel to slow strip away tartar and plaque without having to actually brush your cat’s teeth.
Q: How much is it to clean a cat’s teeth?
The cost of professional teeth cleaning with your veterinarian will vary but you can expect anywhere from $250 to $1200 for a cat dental cleaning. Keep in mind, the cost of the procedure will also depend on the severity of the dental disease. Regularly brushing your cat’s teeth will help prevent disease and bring this price down!
Q: Can I brush my cat’s teeth with coconut oil?
While coconut oil is technically safe for cats, it’s probably not the best option when it comes to brushing their teeth. Instead, use a specially formulated cat toothpaste that’s safe to ingest, won’t cause an upset stomach, and probably tastes a lot better to your cat.
Q: What food is best for cat’s teeth?
Overall, dry food is slightly better than wet food for dental health. That being said, wet food has a long list of other benefits that balance it out. Dry food should never be seen as a substitute for a sound dental health plan that includes brushing and regular dental cleaning with your veterinarian.
Q: Is it too late to start brushing cat’s teeth?
It’s never too late to start brushing your cat’s teeth! However, you should set reasonable expectations and make sure to take it slowly. Remember, it’s normal to brush your teeth but it’s a completely new experience for your cat!
Q: Why does my cat have stinky breath?
Most often, it’s a result of odor-producing bacteria. In other words, your cat has a dirty mouth! Regular brushing can help remove this odor causing bacteria and improve the health of your cat.
Q: How does a vet clean a cat’s teeth?
There’s a lot that goes into a professional cat tooth cleaning from your veterinarian. After your pet is anesthetized and intubated, your veterinarian will use an ultrasonic scaler to remove stuck on plaque and tartar. After that, they use a motorized polishing tool to smooth out the surface of the tooth and further remove any remaining plaque.
An extremely important part of this process are dental radiographs. Much of your cat’s tooth is actually under the gum and this can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria. Dental radiographs allow your veterinarian to truly understand the dental health of your cat and make better decisions.
Q: How do you know if your cat’s teeth hurt?
Unfortunately, cat’s don’t often show outward signs of pain. You can be sure that if your cat has dental disease in the form of gingivitis and plaque buildup that it’s uncomfortable or downright painful. In more severe cases your cat may show food avoidance due to the pain caused by eating with a badly infected mouth.
Q: How can I make toothpaste for my cat?
While you could make your own cat toothpaste, you won’t be able to match the effectiveness of a scientifically backed and specially formulated toothpaste made especially for cats.
Not only that, but these products are also regulated and tested to ensure safety. We’ve already done the legwork for you and selected several of the best cat toothpastes on the market today!
Q: Do cats get toothaches?
Absolutely! Your cat’s mouth isn’t so different from your own. This means your cat can get toothaches for a variety of reasons but the most common is of course dental disease in the form plaque tartar and gingivitis.
If your cat has a toothache, she may show reluctance to eat or paw at her mouth.
Q: Does wet cat food cause bad breath?
While wet food is more likely to stick to your cat’s teeth than dry food, the bigger culprit is always going to be dental disease. Brushing your cat’s teeth with pet toothpaste will not only help keep your cat’s breath smelling fresh it also helps your cat live a longer, happier, and healthier life.
Q: How often should I have my cat’s teeth professionally cleaned?
While brushing your cat’s teeth regularly will make a HUGE difference in the health and happiness of your kitty it can’t replace professional cleaning from your veterinarian. In most cases, you’ll want to have your cat’s teeth cleaned once a year by your veterinarian but it’s best to make a plan with your veterinarian.