Which dental care supplies for cats are best?
Just like humans, cats can develop tooth and gum issues like tartar and plaque buildup, tooth rot and gum disease. To keep your cat from developing these issues, one of the best things you can do is start caring for their teeth as soon as possible. That’s where dental care supplies for cats come into play.
Dental care supplies range from chewables that cut down on tartar and plaque to cat toothbrushes and toothpaste. For cats trained to tolerate it, the best option is the Mind Up Toothbrush with Micro Head for Cats.
What to know before you buy dental care supplies for cats
Most dental care supplies target bacteria, plaque and in some cases tartar. Tartar comes from solidified plaque. In cats, this is extremely difficult to remove without professional care. Even regular brushing with a toothbrush may not get rid of tartar or large amounts of plaque.
Left untreated, the combination of plaque, tartar and bacteria can lead to pain, infection, cavities, tooth loss or even gum disease. If you let it get to that state, your cat may require professional cleaning or the extraction of any rotted teeth.
With a cat dental care product like a toothbrush or chewable treats, you can help prevent this from becoming an issue. This also will save you hundreds or potentially thousands of dollars in vet visits.
The best way to protect your cat’s teeth is with regular brushing. Brushing a cat’s teeth has the same effect as brushing a dog’s or human’s teeth. It protects them from plaque buildup and kills harmful bacteria in the mouth. Plus, it stimulates the gums, which keeps them healthy.
The bristles on a cat’s toothbrush are also mildly abrasive, so they may be able to chip away at minor tartar buildup. For best results, use a cat-appropriate toothpaste or gel as well.
Many cats are resistant to getting their teeth brushed, so it’s best to start slowly and gently. Create a daily routine and use dental treats, or other healthy treats, as a reward after every brushing session.
Whether you choose to combine them with regular brushing, or you decide to use them on their own, dental treats are another effective dental care option for cats. Check the back of the package for specific directions on how many to give your cat and how often. Some chewable dental treats are beneficial for dogs as well as cats. For more information on dental chews for dogs, check out this article.
Some people choose to use sprays or gels to clean their cat’s teeth instead. These require direct administration in the mouth. Depending on the product, you may need to do this anywhere from once a day to once a week. Gels are a little easier to use than other options since you can place a little directly on the cat’s paw, nose or the roof of their mouth. Once they lick it off, the gel will help kill harmful bacteria.
Many cat dental supplies contain flavors that are specifically designed to appeal to their tastes. That’s why so many dental supply products, including toothpastes, treats and gels, are tuna- or chicken-flavored. Some may even be catnip-flavored.
Some dental supplies have water additives or other ingredients meant to taste good and do their job. These other ingredients can also alter the overall flavor of the product. Certain dental sprays favor function without taste and are flavorless. Since every cat has different preferences, start with a flavor you know they already like.
What to look for in quality dental care supplies for cats
Toothbrushes and toothpastes
Cat toothbrushes have a unique shape and design that lets them reach your cat’s front and back teeth. Most of these brushes are angled and have a small, slightly rounded head. Just like with toothbrushes made for humans, the bristles on a cat’s toothbrush vary in hardness.
When using toothpaste, make sure it’s specifically made for cats. Toothpastes made for humans, like Colgate or Sensodyne, can lead to health problems in a cat. Everything from the active ingredients to the flavor in a cat’s toothpaste is specifically formulated for them.
Chewables and additives
Chewables are bite-sized treats that can help reduce tartar and plaque buildup. Plus, they’re a great way to reward your cat throughout the day.
One popular option is Feline Greenies Dental Treats. Greenies and comparable brands are widely accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. They’re safe for felines and are effective at preventing gum disease and other oral health problems.
Another option to consider is water additives. These products add enzymes and other cat-safe ingredients meant to reduce plaque. They’re less intrusive than cat toothbrushes but can still help protect your cat’s teeth.
Sprays and gels
Sprays are a great, quick option that requires daily administration. They don’t need to directly touch your cat’s teeth to work. Instead, they mix with the cat’s saliva to kill off bacteria and plaque. Similarly, dental gels target plaque, bacteria and tartar. You can use a cat’s toothbrush to administer them, or you can use your finger.
How much you can expect to spend on dental care supplies for cats
Most toothbrushing kits cost between $10 and $20, while the toothbrush itself should only cost around $5 or so. Chewable dental treats vary based on the brand and the quantity. They can cost as little as $2 or as much as $20 per container. Most sprays and gels also cost between $5 and $20.
Dental care supplies for cats FAQ
How else can I care for my cat’s teeth and gums?
A. A great way to keep your cat’s gums and teeth healthy is to build a diet around dental protection. Specialty foods and chewable treats can tackle most dental issues before they become big problems. Many brands of cat food, such as Hill’s Science, offer food designed for oral care. You can also opt for dental insurance for your cat and get them in for a regular checkup at the vet.
How can I get my cat to like the toothbrush?
A. It’s easier to get younger cats or kittens used to the toothbrush, but older cats can learn, too. Start slowly with a daily routine. Use your fingers or a small toothbrush to softly rub their cheeks and around their mouth. Do this slowly and for a short period of time. Once the cat gets used to this, add a little toothpaste. Brush the back molars first before moving towards the front of the teeth. Repeat this daily at the same time for consistency. Also, reward the cat afterwards with treats and playtime to create a positive association with the brushing.
What are the best dental care supplies for cats to buy?
Top dental care supply for cats
What you need to know: This mini toothbrush is perfect for small cats and cats that are new to the concept of brushing.
What you’ll love: Made with durable, nylon bristles, this toothbrush is gentle enough for a cat’s gums and teeth. With a 15-degree head, this toothbrush makes it easier to clean your cat’s teeth. It’s also effective at massaging your cat’s gums to keep them healthy.
What you should consider: The bristles are somewhat hard, so it’s better to use the back of the head on the cat’s gums.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top dental care supply for cats for the money
What you need to know: These dental treats help remove tartar and plaque buildup, as well as improve cats’ breath.
What you’ll love: Available in different flavors, each treat contains no more than two calories. This makes them great for cats on a diet. The treats are also formulated with natural ingredients and vitamins.
What you should consider: Some cats are particular about the taste or texture and won’t eat them.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This spray helps tackle bad breath in both cats and dogs, and reduces tartar and plaque without the need for a toothbrush.
What you’ll love: To use this, simply spray it directly into your pet’s mouth and let it work. This vet-formulated spray is safe and doesn’t have any preservatives or artificial flavors or scents. It also works well on pets with allergies.
What you should consider: For best results, combine it with other cat dental supplies. Also, be sure to follow the instructions on the back for how much to use.
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money
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