It’s probable that learning how to brush cat teeth was not at the top of your to-do list, but as a cat lover, creating a routine for dental care can improve the overall health of your cat.
When we think of keeping teeth clean, we tend to think of toothbrushes. Have you tried using a cat toothbrush? Probably not, and your cat thanks you for that.
The good news is that when it comes to cat dental care, using a cat toothbrush is not the only way to help them keep their teeth clean. Kudos to all cat parents who started their kittens out with a cat toothbrush and got them used to it. That’s fantastic.
For the rest of us who are thinking, “Yes, please tell me how to brush my cat’s teeth WITHOUT a toothbrush.” We got you covered.
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A Toothbrush For Your Cat Is Not the Only Way
Periodontal disease is a common occurrence in cats. It’s a health concern that cannot be reversed but can be prevented. Prevention is key to your cat’s dental health and is why at-home dental care for your cat is important.
The younger you start the better, but late is better than never.
The simplest ways to help keep tartar from building up, or continuing to build up, is with dental cat treats or dental cat chews. Each of these can be worked into your daily routine with your cat and promote better teeth and gums.
Don’t forget to consider the additional calories the treats or chews provide for your cat. You want to avoid improving your cat’s dental health and adding pounds to your cat’s weight at the same time.
Two other more recent options are dental cat wipes and dental water additives. Using dental cat wipes takes a little more training because it involves you putting your fingers in your cat’s mouth, but your finger might be a more welcome intrusion than a cat toothbrush. The water additive can be a great choice if you keep the water fresh and your cats are good at drinking water daily.
Keep in mind that if you try something like cat dental wipes, you want to start by just getting your cat used to having their mouth touched by you. Slow steps will pay off in the long run.
Best Dental Cat Treats
When it comes to choosing the best dental cat treat for your cat, you want to consider what flavors they already enjoy. The goal is to have these be special and productive at the same time.
The best treats out there will help prevent additional tartar buildup, help remove plaque, and combat any bad breath your cat may have. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) lists a couple of recommended cat dental treats.
The main advantage of using treats to help manage your cat’s dental care at home is that they are easy to give to your cat and most cats enjoy them. For better at-home dental care, consider adding cat dental wipes and/or cat dental water additives.
Greenies Feline Dental Treats:
Not only are Greenies Dental Treats approved by the VOHC, but they were also the first cat dental treat to be awarded the VOHC Accepted Seal in 2015. Their cat dental treats come in 4 flavors so you can pick the flavor your cat will love. Choose from chicken, salmon, tuna, or catnip flavors, or buy the Greenies 4-pack and get a variety.
Greenies are also a great option for multi-cat households because you can buy the treats in a variety of sizes. Options range from a 2.5 oz pack to a 21-ounce container, and with a price point ranging from $2.34 – $17.95, you won’t break the bank either.
Purina Dentalife Daily Oral Care Cat Treats:
Purina’s dental cat treats were the next treat to be awarded the seal in 2016. These treats come in two flavors, chicken and salmon, which you can purchase separately or in a combo pack.
Purina’s Dentalife cat dental chews also come in a range of sizes to fit your needs. They range from 1.8 oz packs with an average retail price of $2.09 to a 19 oz bag with an average retail price of $12.49.
Best Dental Cat Wipes
In order to work using cat dental wipes into your routine, you’ll need to get your cat used to you feeling and touching their mouth. This is something we discuss in our Pet Health 5 monthly checks, which we invite you to join at the bottom of this page.
Once your cat accepts you handling their face and mouth, cat dental wipes are another great at-home tool to help with your cat’s dental care. Learning how to brush cat teeth, whether it’s with a toothbrush or cat wipes, will take time. But it’s worth the effort!
bluestemTM Cat Dental Wipes
Bluestem uses their clinically proven coatvi+ ™ technology in their dental wipes. It’s a “safe and effective approach to affecting plaque and tartar by softening and breaking down the biofilm structure without any harsh chemicals or antimicrobials.”
These dental wipes come in a container with 60 wipes that runs an average of $16.99. If you break that down into daily usage, it will run you about $0.28 per day to improve your cat’s at-home dental care.
pet::ESSENTIALTM healthymouth™ Cat Topical Gel
While healthymouth’s cat topical dental gel is not exactly a wipe, it still involves you putting your fingers in your cat’s mouth, and it is VOHC approved. The gel is intended to be used daily and applied to teeth and gums after the last meal of the evening. It’s important that the gel remains on your cat’s teeth overnight.
This gel comes in a 2 oz jar that will run you $68.22. It does have an omega 3 salmon oil flavor that cats love and it comes with disposable cotton-tipped applicators. On average, the gel should last over 3-months for one cat. That makes your daily investment for your cat’s dental health about $0.75 per day.
Best Dental Cat Water Additives
Using a dental cat water additive is probably the simplest way to start an at-home dental care regime for your cat. Unlike some other options on this list, there is no need to get your hands into your cat’s mouth to use a dental water additive. This is a good alternative for those that are worried about how to brush cat teeth without upsetting your cat or causing anxiety.
A great tip for those worried about whether the additive will be effective if you are refreshing your cat’s water regularly is to add the water to your cat’s meal. It doesn’t matter what you feed your cat, you can always top it off with some water that has a dental additive in it.
pet::Essential™ healthymouth® NutriNeeds™ Water Additive
Not only does healthymouth’s water additive have the VOHC seal, but it also comes in bulk and is easy to store. As long as you keep it out of the sun, it does not need to be refrigerated, which is a plus.
Their site has all the instructions and information you need to start making this a part of your at-home dental care routine. With no risk of your cat drinking too much, it’s a great entry point for busy cat parents.
Healthymouth water additive comes in an 8 oz jug of concentrated additive. One jug costs $67.47 and will last you 3-4 months. That’s an investment of around $0.27 per day.
Oxyfresh Dental Water Additive
If you are a multi-pet household, Oxyfresh’s pet dental water additive is a great option that is safe for both dogs and cats. Oxyfresh’s additive is also free of flavors – no mint or anything that might keep a picky eater away from the water.
You can purchase Oxyfresh pet dental water additive in a few different forms. If you are looking to just give it a try, the 3 oz pack is a great option. You can also get 8 oz, 16 oz, or a 1-gallon pump. These options will cost anywhere from $8 to $75 with the most popular choice being the 16 oz bottle for $15.40.
Whether you are a new cat parent, a long-time cat parent, or a multi-cat parent, it’s never too late to start thinking about their dental care. The earlier you get started, the less likely you will be heading back to Google to learn how to brush cat teeth and the more likely your cat will get used to you taking steps to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
When in doubt, always ask your vet for cat dental care recommendations that best fit your lifestyle and your cats.
What are your favorite products for cleaning your cat’s teeth?
If you are ready to make monitoring your cat’s health a monthly habit, join us in the Pet Health 5 movement. You commit to monitoring 5 main health stats on your cat each month and logging them to share with your vet, and we send you an email reminder on the 5th of the month with a checklist and a log. Will you join us?