Your cat’s health is your priority, but while caring for our feline friends, dental care is often overlooked. Brushing your cat’s
teeth is a simple way to help their teeth stay clean and healthy. You can’t use just any toothpaste, however. You especially cannot use toothpaste made for humans. Since humans shouldn’t swallow toothpaste, your cat shouldn’t either.
Toothpastes are available that are specifically for cats and are safe for them if swallowed. They come in appealing flavors for cats and can help make the brushing experience more pleasant. Brushing your cat’s teeth will lower their risk for periodontal disease. This is also a convenient time to examine your cat’s teeth for any signs of infection or damage.
To help you find the best cat toothpaste, we rounded up nine of the best with reviews, so you can compare them and make the best decision.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Vetoquinol Enzymatic Pet Toothpaste||
|Best Value||Sentry Petrodex Malt Toothpaste||
|Premium Choice||Petsmile Pro Say Cheese Toothpaste||
|Nylabone Advanced Oral Care||
|Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste||
The 9 Best Cat Toothpastes:
1. Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Toothpaste – Best Overall
|Features:||Tartar and plaque removal|
Made with poultry extract for enticing flavor, the Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored Toothpaste is our choice for overall best cat toothpaste and is safe for cats and dogs. The formula is non-foaming and doesn’t need to be rinsed out of your cat’s mouth. It’s not harmful if swallowed.
The toothpaste has a triple enzyme system that is effective at removing plaque. It also polishes and cleans teeth. There are reports of this toothpaste having an unpleasant smell. While it doesn’t seem to give cats bad breath (quite the opposite, actually), it can leave their owners’ hands smelling foul.
Fortunately, this toothpaste can be used on its own without brushing. Because it’s enzymatic, it is reported to clean teeth just by the cat licking it and having it in their mouths.
2. Sentry Petrodex Toothpaste Dental Care Kit – Best Value
|Features:||Breath freshening; plaque removal|
The Sentry Petrodex Malt Toothpaste Dental Care Kit is our choice for the best cat toothpaste for the money. This kit includes a toothbrush and a finger toothbrush so you can choose which is easiest to use on your cat.
The malt flavor in the toothpaste is enticing for some cats, but others don’t care for it at all. It can make it harder to brush their teeth if they are put off by the taste. Offer them a bit to lick off your finger first to see if they like it.
The bristles on the toothbrush are soft, but the finger toothbrush may be easier to use. The toothpaste itself is effective at reducing the amount of plaque buildup on teeth. The hydrogen peroxide-producing enzymatic formula is safe for cats and kittens.
The toothpaste is also reported as sticky. This is good for sticking to your cat’s teeth, but not so much if they get it on their fur.
3. Petsmile Professional Toothpaste — Premium Choice
The Petsmile Professional Say Cheese Toothpaste is accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) and is our premium choice for cat toothpaste. It comes with an applicator, but you might find it easier to use your finger or another toothbrush of your choice. There is a Petsmile toothbrush sold separately.
This paste can be applied directly to the teeth, with no brushing required. By licking, your cat’s tongue can spread the paste around in their mouth while it works to combat plaque and bacteria. There’s no waiting period before your cat can eat or drink after application. The paste is safe enough to be swallowed along with food and water.
Made without the use of silica, sulfates, gluten, or sorbitol, this paste may also be gentle for cats with sensitive stomachs. This paste is cheese-flavored, and the smell has been compared to snack food cheese in a jar.
4. Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Dental Kit – Best for Kittens
|Features:||Plaque and tartar removal|
The Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Cat Dental Kit includes toothpaste, a finger toothbrush, and an angled toothbrush. This is our choice for kittens because the small, angled brush is made to fit into tiny mouths. The nylon bristles clean between teeth, removing debris while massaging the gums. This can be safely used on kittens over 3 months old.
This tartar control toothpaste has a molasses flavor that some cats enjoy. It also eliminates bacteria that cause bad breath. The scientifically formulated ingredient blend reduces plaque.
Even with the finger toothbrush having been designed for kittens, it can still be too big for some.
5. Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Vanilla-Mint Toothpaste
|Features:||Breath freshening; plaque and tartar removal|
The formula in the Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Vanilla-Mint Toothpaste is designed for cats that develop plaque quickly. The C.E.T. dual enzyme system slows and reduces the formation of plaque while combating the existing amount.
This toothpaste doesn’t foam and is fine for your cat to swallow. No rinsing is required. The fragrance of this paste seems to be favored by owners because instead of smelling like meat or cheese, it smells minty fresh. Your cat’s breath is freshened as their teeth are cleaned.
This toothpaste loses its ability to work after a few months, so you’ll want to use it frequently or buy several tubes so you always have it on hand.
6. Bluestem Oral Care Toothpaste & Toothbrush
This Bluestem Oral Care Chicken Flavor Toothpaste & Toothbrush package helps keep your cat’s teeth and gums healthy and strong. Made using the company’s Coactiv+ technology, this formula breaks down bacteria-filled biofilm on teeth. Working on the insides and outsides of each tooth, it fights against plaque buildup while also freshening your cat’s breath.
This toothpaste is made from food-safe ingredients that are safe for your cat to swallow. The dual-head toothbrush in this kit enables you to reach the far corners of your cat’s mouth for easy brushing.
The chicken flavor of this toothpaste seems to be a hit with most cats. This product is also safe for dogs, so this is ideal for multi-pet households. The larger end of the toothbrush could be for a dog while the smaller end could be used for a cat.
7. Oxyfresh Soothing Cat Gel
No brushing is required with the Oxyfresh Soothing Cat Gel, which is also suitable for use on dogs. This easy-to-use gel can be applied directly to the gum line with your finger. This product cleans teeth while freshening breath and protecting against gum disease. A toothbrush can be used if you prefer. In addition to its cleaning power, this gel has healing properties. With aloe and chamomile, the gel will soothe irritated gums and heal small cuts or wounds. Cats fighting against the gel application should be limited because this product has no taste or odor. Just a small amount of this gel will work each time, so the tube should last a while. This has also been reported to be used on teething cats to soothe their red, sore gums.
Breath freshening; plaque and tartar removal
No brushing is required with the Oxyfresh Soothing Cat Gel, which is also suitable for use on dogs. This easy-to-use gel can be applied directly to the gum line with your finger. This product cleans teeth while freshening breath and protecting against gum disease. A toothbrush can be used if you prefer.
In addition to its cleaning power, this gel has healing properties. With aloe and chamomile, the gel will soothe irritated gums and heal small cuts or wounds. Cats fighting against the gel application should be limited because this product has no taste or odor.
Just a small amount of this gel will work each time, so the tube should last a while. This has also been reported to be used on teething cats to soothe their red, sore gums.
8. Maxi/Guard Oral Cleansing Gel
|Features:||Breath freshening; plaque and tartar removal|
The Maxi/Guard Oral Cleansing Gel is safe to use on cats, dogs, horses, and small animals. It requires no brushing. Containing zinc and vitamin C, this product fights dental disease just by spraying it into your cat’s mouth at the gumline.
The product must be activated before use. A packet of ascorbic acid must be mixed into the gel bottle and shaken to mix. It will turn from blue to green over time and is kept freshest in the fridge. When the product turns yellow or brown, it has expired.
This gel is safe for long-term use and can be used after oral surgery. It can promote healing in abscesses, inflammation, and other dental injuries.
While it’s marketed as a gel, it has more of a liquid consistency. Once it’s squeezed out of the bottle, it’s thin and runny, making it difficult to apply. It’s best to aim carefully and be prepared for any spillage.
9. TropiClean Fresh Breath Clean Teeth Gel
The easy-to-apply TropiClean Fresh Breath Clean Teeth Gel requires no brushing. This product is applied using a pump and comes out as foam into your cat’s mouth. It’s made with green tea leaf extract to freshen breath and fight tartar. Just pump this foam into your cat’s mouth once a day to take care of their oral health.
This gel is said to leave teeth cleaner in 30 days or less when used properly. This is longer than the results that you’d see from regularly brushing your cat’s teeth. While this product does work, it works much slower than standard brushing methods with toothpaste. It’s a simple way to clean your cat’s mouth if they refuse to let you near them with a toothbrush, though.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Cat Toothpaste
When choosing the best cat toothpaste for your feline, it can be difficult to know which one to pick. Don’t be discouraged if you try one and your cat doesn’t like it. They may like another one with a different flavor.
While this may take trial and error, cat toothpaste is important. Brushing with a toothbrush alone may remove debris and bacteria from your cat’s teeth, but toothpaste is made with ingredients that fight these things more quickly and prevent them from recurring.
How to Choose a Cat Toothpaste
First and most importantly, the toothpaste that you choose must be safe for cats. Toothpaste that is safe for dogs only should not be used. Toothpaste that is labeled for cats and dogs can be used, but it has to specifically be safe for cats so you know that they can ingest it and it won’t harm them. Also, most cat toothpastes are flavored in ways that they might enjoy, which can make the whole process easier.
Look for toothpastes that prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. The goal of the toothpaste should be to improve your cat’s dental health.
Types of Toothpaste
There are two types of cat toothpaste: enzymatic and natural. Enzymatic toothpastes are efficient and work quickly with abrasive properties to remove plaque and tartar. Natural toothpastes are mild and may require more frequent brushing to thoroughly clean your cat’s teeth. They are gentler on your cat’s mouth, though.
Signs of Dental Pain in Cats
It can be difficult to tell if your cat’s teeth are bothering them. Use brushing time to inspect your cat’s mouth for signs of swelling, redness, irritation, or blood. Notice any damaged or chipped teeth.
Professional Cat Teeth Cleaning
Brushing your cat’s teeth will help slow the building of plaque and tartar, but professional cleanings are still recommended. Your vet will be able to determine if a professional cleaning is necessary, but typically, these procedures are performed on cats yearly starting when they reach 1–2 years old.
The cat will be anesthetized for this cleaning. The vet will use tools to scrape and remove plaque above and below the gum line while checking each tooth for signs of decay or injury. If necessary, X-rays will be taken at this time for further examination. If any teeth look decayed or rotten beyond repair, they will be extracted.
Professional teeth cleaning is part of a cat’s dental care, and teeth brushing can make this procedure less traumatizing for them. If the cat’s teeth are in good condition already, it will reduce the amount of work that has to be done during the cleaning.
How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth
Introducing your cat to teeth brushing when they’re kittens is the easiest way to get them to accept this practice when they get older. However, this isn’t always possible. If you’re starting to brush an adult cat’s teeth, introductions may take a little time.
Start slowly by touching your cat’s mouth every day. Gently lift their lips to expose their teeth, and get them used to this feeling. Reward them for allowing this with a treat. They will start to associate your hands near their mouths as a positive thing.
Slowly start letting them smell the toothpaste and lick it off your finger or their toothbrush. After a few days, attempt to put the brush with toothpaste onto your cat’s exposed teeth, and gently brush along the teeth and gumline. If they’ll allow it, move the brush farther along to reach the back teeth.
These brushing sessions should last around 10–20 seconds at first. Slowly increase the time until you can cover all or at least, most of the teeth with toothpaste.
How Often You Should Brush Your Cat’s Teeth
Daily brushing is best. If this isn’t possible, either due to your schedule or your cat’s resistance, a minimum of three times a week will still go a long way toward keeping your cat’s teeth cleaner and healthier.
Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored Toothpaste is our favorite choice for the best cat toothpaste. It can be used without a toothbrush and has triple enzyme power to fight germs.
Our value pick is the Sentry Petrodex Malt Toothpaste Dental Care Kit. It comes with a finger toothbrush for easier brushing. It has a malt flavor and is effective at plaque removal, making it our choice for best cat toothpaste for the money.
Tending to your cat’s dental health will improve their overall health. Finding the right toothpaste will make this process easier for you both. We hope that our reviews have given you a starting point for choosing the best one for your cat.
Featured Image Credit: Cynoclub, Shutterstock