The Best Cat Toothpaste in 2021
Our furry and feline friends deserve only the best when you get down to it, and that includes making sure that you take care of their oral health. If you’ve ever had a toothache before you can imagine the pain and preventing dental disease should be at the top of every cat owner’s list.
Finding the best cat toothpaste, on the other hand, requires a little bit more work. After all, how much thought do you put into even your own brand? Fortunately, we did the groundwork for you so let’s hop right to it with our favorite and then we’ll help you find the right toothpaste to keep your cat’s dentition gleaming white.
|Best Overall Cat Toothpaste||Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste||4.9|
|Upgrade Pick||Oxyfresh Pet Toothpaste For Dogs & Cats||4.8|
|Best Brushless Cat Toothpaste||ZYMOX Oral Care Therapy Dental Gel||4.6|
|Easiest Dental Health Starter Kit for Cats||Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Dental Kit||4.5|
|Budget Pick||Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste||4.1|
Our Top Pick
Table of Contents
Top 5 Cat Toothpastes
Best Overall Cat Toothpaste
Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste
Our favorite of the various cat toothpaste on the market is this excellent option from Virbac. It’s an excellent choice as soon as the cat is old enough for a good brushing and has powerful enzymatic action that breaks up plaque, kills bacteria, and helps to prevent future formation of both.
While the beef flavor seems to be the best received, we’d like to note that with a little bit of digging this one can be found in virtually any flavor that a cat may enjoy short of catnip.
That said, this one is a little bit more expensive than most, and you’ll have to get yourself a cat toothbrush separately since the company doesn’t offer a kit. It’s also rather abrasive, which puts it right out for cats already suffering from dental disease.
Still, it meets all of our requirements and those who’ve used it have found it to be one of the best on the market. We’re happy to recommend it after seeing the results and general reception.
Oxyfresh Pet Toothpaste For Dogs & Cats
Usable either with a brush or without, Oxyfresh’s cat toothpaste is an excellent option for those who are willing to spend a couple of dollars more. It’s safe, effective, and requires less work than the majority of options on the market.
The instructions for this one just have you apply it to your animal’s gumline. From there, they’ll work the solution through their mouth, and the enzymes contained in the gel will rapidly begin to eliminate both plaque and bacteria.
Oddly enough, the whole thing is tasteless, which make s it perfect for picky eaters. It’s also a good option for those animals with sensitive gums or existing dental conditions due to the lack of brushing required.
That said, it’s a little bit more expensive than our favorite and lacks the abrasive action that really does a number on plaque.
Best Brushless Cat Toothpaste
ZYMOX Oral Care Therapy Dental Gel
For those cats which absolutely refuse a brush, and they’re definitely out there, ZYMOX offers this dental gel that’s easy to apply and requires no brushing at all.
It has no flavor, and all you have to do is rub it on and leave it. It’s completely safe for daily use as well, making it one of the lowest maintenance ways to ensure your kitty’s canines remain sharp and bright through the duration of their lifespan.
When we checked it out, we weren’t at all surprised to find that most people were using it with a vet’s recommendation. This is good stuff, especially for those who have a fussy animal.
Unfortunately, it’s also the most expensive option on our list by a good margin, and for heavy plaque build-up, it may not be the right way to go initially.
Easiest Dental Health Starter Kit for Cats
Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Dental Kit
For those who are just getting themselves started with kitty dental hygiene, Nylabone offers this kit. It comes with everything you need to get started in one package and actually ends up being cheaper than many toothpaste options which are on the market.
Unfortunately, this is a “normal” toothpaste, so you’ll need a compliant animal to get the most out of their brushing sessions. At least nothing we saw backed up the idea that it was enzymatic.
Thankfully, most animals seem to readily accept the toothpaste, and for those with an easy animal, this is just the right way to get started.
For the price, however, it’s hard to argue. Just avoid this one if you have a particularly fussy cat and pick up a toothbrush elsewhere.
Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
For those who just need a great toothpaste at a low price… well, Vet’s Best delivers with this enzymatic toothpaste. Don’t be fooled by the dog label, a decent pet toothpaste will work just fine on both, and this one definitely falls into that category.
As an enzymatic toothpaste, it continues cleaning after you’ve removed the brush, you’ll also find that most animals don’t mind the flavor at all. It’s even suitable for animals with sensitive gums since it contains healing ingredients.
It cuts through plaque, eliminates bad breath, and generally acts like any other toothpaste. Our research indicated it didn’t do quite as well as our top pick, but the difference is pretty negligible in animals that don’t already have dental problems.
It’s good stuff, and it’s cheap. That said, the tube is kind of a pain to use which is a bit of a bummer, and some animals just can’t stand the stuff so it may be hit or miss depending on your cat’s preferences.
Who Needs Cat Toothpaste?
Your cat, obviously.
In all honesty… most cats should have their teeth brushed at least once a day. Cats have evolved over millions of years and haven’t had the option available, which causes some people to doubt it’s necessary.
Of course, a cat in the wild is likely to be in prime shape or die young. Nature’s cruel like that.
Essentially: pet cats live longer than their wild counterparts, don’t eat nearly as clean of a diet, and are generally unhealthy compared to their apex predator ancestors.
This isn’t all our fault, of course, if cats didn’t love being primped and pampered they wouldn’t be in these shoes. The shoes of getting old and fat with no risk isn’t a bad place to be considering the alternative.
Tooth disease can cause a cat to starve themselves as eating simply becomes too painful for them to bear. Periodontal infections can kill a formerly healthy cat as well. Keeping up on your furry friend’s dental hygiene is a direct investment into their quality of life.
If your cat has a close-to-natural diet, meaning primarily meat as our little buddies are actually some of the few super-carnivores around, and you’re at the vet regularly you may be able to safely skip giving your cat’s chompers some shine but for the most part it’s highly recommended to take care of the task at least once every couple of days.
So, What Am I Looking for in a Cat Toothpaste?
Cat toothpaste comes in a few different varieties. Only two should really concern the majority of feline-owned personnel, however:
- Enzymatic Toothpastes-Enzymatic toothpaste is aggressive and handles plaque build-up readily. They’re strongly recommended and reduce the amount of cat-wrangling that will need to happen during brushing time as they’re quite effective at continuing to remove bacteria and plaque after the brushing process is over with.
- “Natural” Toothpastes-There are a lot of alternative options out there. As a general rule, they’re less effective than enzymatic toothpaste and require more brushing on your end. They’re really only worth bothering with if you have a cat who can be cool while you’re brushing their teeth, we’ll discuss alternatives farther down.
You should also take into account the following.
This usually isn’t a prime consideration for humans. We’ve got mint, cinnamon, and low-end brands that just taste like baking soda for the most part.
It is a big deal for your cat. The best place to start is with something similar to the food or treats you feed them already. If they come to associate brushing with a great flavor, then you’ll suffer far fewer kitty-induced lacerations while brushing their teeth for them.
The flavors range from seafood to poultry, and even mint options are available. Different cats will respond differently to flavors, but keeping them happy is the first concern.
Any cat toothpaste should be able to be swallowed safely by your furred companion. It’s not a good idea to risk their health while cleaning their teeth.
While all of the toothpaste we recommend are extremely safe for cats, be careful if you go off-brand. Some of the shadier knock-offs have harmed felines in the past, and you don’t want to fall victim to a vet bill and an unusable toothpaste.
Cat toothpaste comes in a variety of different sizes, so the actual cost of the tube or bottle itself comes second to the price per ounce.
A rough calculation will get you in the right ballpark when you’re comparing prices across brand, and we’ve done our best to give some guidelines based on our research but be aware that prices change on a constant basis.
How Do I Brush My Cat’s Teeth?
Very, very carefully.
Alright, but seriously it’s not as big of a deal as you’re likely making it out to be in your head. The first few times will be the roughest, but if you establish a routine, it’s just like any other part of taking care of your pet.
First, you’ll need a good cat toothbrush. They come in regular varieties with an angled head like those available in kits and finger models that allow you to get in nice and tight on your cat’s dental features. Modified standard brushes are the way to go for those who choose to use a non-enzymatic toothpaste, but finger models are preferred in many cases.
You’ll want some treats on hand, especially as you’re training your cat to accept it. Start just by petting their head, scratching under their chin, and the usual head manipulation routine. Afterward try gently feeling around their mouth, if they refuse, then pack up the treats you were using and try again the next day.
Once they’ve come to accept that it’s time to try brushing, add some toothpaste to your chosen toothbrush and go over their teeth as much as you can get away within a circular motion. If you’re using an enzymatic paste, then you’ll quickly find out that you don’t need long at all, with other pastes you’ll have to brush them quite thoroughly.
Remember to reward your kitty for not turning into a flying ball of razor blades afterward and give them some pets for going through the whole process.
Picking a set time of day for their brushing will help your cat to accept that it’s going to happen one way or another. It’s for their own good after all and if you experiment with toothpaste until you find a flavor your cat loves you’ll soon have them reminding you that it’s time.
What If My Cat Won’t Take a Toothbrush?
A minority of cats just aren’t going to be having any of it. Try as you might, they will not get along with the brush.
While it’s a less than ideal situation, it does occur. Most people will tell you just to keep trying, but for those who’ve suffered through repeated lacerations and general feline unpleasantness, it can feel like a hard road.
We’ll admit this isn’t the ideal solution since they’re not as effective, but the truth is that there is a workaround when you have a cat who refuses to sit for dental hygiene.
Alternative Option-Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Cats
While there are many dental treats on the market, this was the only one we came across from a trusted brand that included enzymatic action. Remember that enzymatic pastes will keep cleaning after you’re done brushing and so will these treats.
More than that, we didn’t encounter any cats who didn’t want some of these. They may be out there, cats are notoriously picky eaters after all, but it didn’t happen in our presence.
While most dental treats are simply abrasive, these are a step above simply by virtue of their chemical engineering.
Bottom line: if your cat refuses to accept a brush despite your best efforts, these are top-of-the-line dental treats that have some impressive cleaning action.
Cat Toothpaste FAQ
It’s that time. Questions and answers. If we haven’t answered your question, then drop it in the comments, and we’ll get back to you. Ask the right question, and you’ll even make our FAQ.
How necessary is dental hygiene in cats?
Much like humans, it largely depends on the animal in question. Since your cat can’t tell you that they’ve noticed things are going awry in their mouth, it’s definitely a better safe than sorry situation. Toothaches can cripple your kitty, and they’re caused primarily by genetics and the over-use of treats, the latter of which is usually the sign of a well-loved cat. Ask your vet if you’re not quite sure.
Can I use human toothpaste on my cat?
No. Many of the ingredients which are contained in human toothpaste are toxic for cats. Heck, humans aren’t even supposed to swallow the stuff which should give you a good indication; it’s not the best thing for your cat.
How do enzymatic toothpaste work for so long?
Enzymes are complex compounds which catalyze biological reactions. In this case, the trace amounts will continue to work throughout the day. These toothpastes are designed to speed up reactions which break down plaque and kill bacteria, all of which is important for dental health.
Can I use dog toothpaste on a cat?
Absolutely. The main difference is that both need to be safe to swallow, otherwise they’re pretty much interchangeable in their use.
Can dental disease kill my cat?
Unfortunately… it can. While rare, an abscessed tooth or serious gum infection can spread and hit the bloodstream. This can happen in dogs and humans as well. Dental hygiene is a small price to pay to avoid the risk in the future.
How often should I brush my cat’s teeth?
Once a day is the recommended amount, but even once every two days is far, far better than nothing.
Does brushing my cat’s teeth mean I don’t need a vet to clean their teeth?
Unfortunately, you’re not going to be saving money on an annual cleaning with just a brush. Vets are trained to notice signs of worsening dental disease in animals, and they’ll be able to do a much better job on your cat’s teeth. Stick with their advice for the best results.