- Cats do require regular tooth brushing. Without it, they can suffer from tooth decay, gum disease or even more serious issues.
- Cat toothbrushes are specifically designed for cats with smaller heads and finer bristles. There are two main types: bristle and finger brush.
- The best toothbrush available is the C.E.T toothbrush for cats.
- You can use other alternatives but brushing is the most effective. Try to brush your cat’s teeth every day, or at least 3-4 times a week.
When it comes to keeping a cat’s overall health in good condition, it is important to understand that cats require regular dental care. And, the best way to maintain a cat’s dental health is frequent tooth brushing.
While definitely there is a proper technique, the only way to get this job done is using the right tools. Trying to clean your cat’s teeth with an inappropriate toothbrush is not only nearly impossible but also can hurt your cat.
For the best results, you will need the best cat toothbrush that will make brushing easier, safer and more effective. But which one is the best and how to choose?
This article is an ultimate guide with recommendations, reviews, and important information about cat toothbrush to help you choose the best one for your precious cat.
What is the best cat toothbrush in 2017? – Recommendations
To maintain our cats’ overall well-being, we certainly have to make sure that their oral health is in good condition. And, the best way to achieve this is to use the best products – the best cat toothbrush – that will cause minimum discomfort, no harm, and maximum benefit.
However, finding the right one that will work best for you and your cat is definitely not easy as there are numerous types, sizes, textures, and features.
Personally, based on my experience and after doing a lot of research, the C.E.T. toothbrush for cats proved itself to be the best one among the various other choices.
Nevertheless, one type/style does not fit all when it comes to cat toothbrush. Every cat’s needs are different, so I have also listed the 5 best ones available in the market.
Why do you need a cat toothbrush in the first place?
While many people believe that they do not need to care for their cats’ teeth, cat dental hygiene is one of the most important aspects of cat ownership for several reasons.
Cats use their teeth for a great number of things from catching prey and eating to grooming and defending themselves, because of which they definitely need clean, strong, and sharp teeth. Since they do not have a special ability to clean their mouths properly, we, cat owners, have the responsibility to take care of their teeth, gums, and mouths with the best products.
In addition, did you know that just like humans, cats can also have bad breath and experience different dental problems over time? In fact, without regular tooth brushing, their teeth will decay and they can easily develop dental or periodontal disease or even more serious dental issues.
No to mention that these problems aren’t limited to the cats’ mouth. As the infection present in their mouth gets into the bloodstream, it can cause damage to vital organs – like lungs, intestines, liver, kidney, and heart – and can also weaken the immune system lowering the resistance to other health issues.
To lower the risk of such problems, we need to brush our cats’ teeth with an appropriate cat toothbrush. In fact, the toothbrush (and the toothpaste) is the secret key to keeping a healthy, happy cat. Moreover, it even has benefits.
What are the benefits of using a cat toothbrush?
While people tend to think that they do not need to brush their cats’ teeth, it actually has great benefits, including:
- Cleans cat’s teeth and promotes healthy gums
- Freshens cat’s breath
- Removes plaque and avoids the buildup of tartar
- Prevents dental and periodontal diseases
- Decreases the risk of oral infections
- Protects the cat from other organ failures that could arise from plaque and tartar buildup
- Helps to maintain good overall health and increases lifespan
- Decreases the frequency of dental cleanings and vet visits
- Reduces the veterinarian cost
As you see, preventative dental care, like tooth brushing will benefit your cat’s oral health as well as her overall well-being. Not to mention that it will not only add to her quality of life but also to her lifespan.
However, keep in mind that you can only achieve this if you use the right method and the right tools. Learn how to brush your cat’s teeth properly and do it with the best toothbrush and a top-quality cat toothpaste.
Can I use a human toothbrush on my cat?
After realizing the benefits of brushing and the necessity for a toothbrush, you might be wondering what type to choose to brush your cat’s teeth. Do you need one that is designed only for cats or you can use anything that is handy within your reach?
The straightforward answer is no, you should never use human toothbrush on your cat.
These toothbrushes are specifically designed to clean human teeth. They may get the job (somewhat) done, but they aren’t really meant for cats. These brushes won’t be long enough and angled properly to reach all the necessary places. Also, the firm and sharp bristles of the human toothbrushes can be tough on your cat’s delicate gums and may irritate or even damage them causing harm, pain, and injury.
While some people may suggest using children’s toothbrushes (as they are small and gentle enough to use), personally, I do not recommend them because it is quite difficult to manage and clean the cat’s teeth effectively with them.
Now, if you wonder if you can use dog toothbrush, keep in mind that their mouths and teeth are generally larger, therefore these toothbrushes will most probably be too big for your cat’s mouth.
Overall, although baby or even dog toothbrush seems to be a good alternative, please stick to a specialized cat toothbrush which is much safer and healthier option for cats.
What is a cat toothbrush?
While brushing your cat’s teeth can prevent dental problems and can help maintain overall health, it is only efficient if you use an appropriate cat toothbrush.
What exactly is a cat toothbrush?
Believe it or not, there are toothbrushes readily available in the market (at veterinary clinics, pet stores or even online) that are specifically designed for cats.
Although these are similar to our brushes, cat toothbrushes have significantly smaller heads that fit in the cats’ mouth properly as well as finer bristles that are more appropriate for their delicate teeth and gums.
These small toothbrushes generally come in two main types (bristle and finger brush) next to the not so popular multiple-head and powered cat toothbrushes.
- The most commonly used type is the bristle toothbrush which typically looks like a human toothbrush having bristles on the handle that can be short or long and straight or angled.
- Another type of cat toothbrush is the soft, rubber finger brush which looks like a glove tip with a brush on it without any handle, and can be worn on a finger.
- Double-ended cat toothbrushes are also available with a long handle having two different sizes of heads and bristles on each end.
- While powered toothbrushes can also be used to brush cats’ teeth, they are not so widespread among cat owners.
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How to choose the best cat toothbrush?
Now, that it’s clear that cat toothbrush is essential for cleaning cats’ teeth, we should focus on finding the best one for our cats.
Since there are numerous of choices available, it is certainly hard and time-consuming to pick out the best one not just for your cat but for you too. But, don’t just give up yet!
Here are some factors you can consider while choosing the best toothbrush for your cat:
First and foremost, you need to choose the correct category: pick a toothbrush that is specifically made for cats (smaller, softer, usually angled). Never attempt to brush your cat’s teeth with a toothbrush intended for humans. They can cause more harm than good.
Cat toothbrushes are available in four different types. Choosing the best one will depend on your cat’s needs and your own comfort and preference.
- The bristle toothbrush seems to be the best type among the others. The fine bristles are efficient in removing plaque and the handle provides easy usage even on a cat that is resistant to open her mouth wide.
- While finger brushes can give you better control of your movements and are quite efficient in reaching all places (even in between the teeth), they present a risk of being bitten as your finger has to be right inside your cat’s mouth in order to clean her teeth. They may be good for introducing the tooth brushing experience, however, they do not clean as efficiently as bristle brushes.
- Multiple-head and powered brushes may seem to be great options as well, but one is hard to handle while the other is too noisy and vibrating which cats cannot tolerate well.
The most effective brush is simple and properly sized. There should be enough space to hold the handle at a comfortable angle to appropriately clean every spot in an easy way. Consider the bristles as well. A good cat toothbrush has firmly rooted soft bristles rather than hard ones.
The best cat toothbrush is easy and comfortable to use, reaches all the places and cleans each tooth fast and efficiently. It works well for each specific cat and stands up to some wear and tear.
While these factors can provide a useful guideline, the choice of what you use will actually depend on the health of your cat’s teeth and gums, and most importantly the cooperation of your cat. For instance, some cats prefer finger brush over the bristle one while others can’t even stand it. It all depends on your specific cat.
Choose the toothbrush you think your cat will allow you to use and do not worry if she doesn’t accept your choice at once. Anyway, you will need to change your cat’s toothbrush frequently – recommended every three months – (just like your own brush) so you will have enough chance to experiment from the numerous of varieties. You may have to try a few options to discover what works best for you and your cat.
Please note that different cats need different toothbrushes. If you own multiple cats make sure that each of them will have their own toothbrush in order to avoid spreading any bacteria and cross infection – which is especially important as cats get older.
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What is the best cat toothbrush?
When it comes to toothbrushes for cats, there are a great number of choices. However, they are not all created equal. Selecting the best one for you and your cat will definitely depend on your personal preference as well as your cat’s special needs. For your guidance, I have compiled this list that contains toothbrushes that can be perfect help for brushing your cat’s teeth.
C.E.T toothbrush for cats
One of the best cat toothbrushes is made by a very popular brand: C.E.T toothbrush for cats.
The size of the toothbrush fits nicely in cats’ mouth and allows easy usage while the angled shape is perfect for reaching even the upper back teeth.
This product is also equipped with soft but strong bristles that assure gentle application without over-irritating even the sensitive teeth and gums.
Many of the negative reviews were simply written because the toothpaste was in a small plastic pouch. While this sounds like a disadvantage, it is actually an extra product coming with the toothbrush.
When purchasing this product, keep in mind that the package comes with a sample of toothpaste (and not a regular one) that does not have a lid. However, for easy usage, the toothpaste can be moved to a small lidded container.
Overall, this toothbrush with a small head, soft bristles, and right angle gets the cats’ teeth clean and healthy for a very competitive price.
WooBamboo toothbrush for pets
This toothbrush from WooBamboo also deserves to be on this list for a great number of reasons. Not only is this product excellent for brushing cats’ teeth, it is also veterinarian approved and eco-friendly.
It has a 100% biodegradable natural bamboo handle that is coated in nontoxic wax and free of chemicals. The bristles are recyclable too. The product itself is very sturdy and has a great size for a cat’s mouth.
Although the toothbrush is not angled, it has a small hump on the back of the handle that assures you get a good brushing grip. It also provides easy navigation and usage as the bristles are quite close to the edges of the toothbrush head.
In addition, the bristles are soft enough not to cause any gum irritation, yet provide enough resistance to clean the teeth effectively for a very reasonable price.
Kittyteeth cat toothbrush
You cannot go wrong with the Kittyteeth cat toothbrush either which is specifically designed for cats (and other small pets).
The small brush head and the short bristles make this toothbrush the perfect size which could fit even the smallest cat mouths. It can also easily reach all the teeth including the back molars under the cheeks.
The moderately soft and polished bristles are proven to be effective in cleaning and removing plaque without harming the cats’ delicate gums.
The package includes one cat toothbrush along with useful brushing instructions.
All in all, this cat toothbrush is an excellent, quality product at a great price that gets the job done.
Note: Even though the bristle brush is the best type among others, some people choose to use finger brush or dual headed toothbrush for cleaning their cats’ teeth. So, I have listed the best one of each for your reference.
Pet Republique finger toothbrush set
If you are looking for cat finger toothbrush, this Pet Republique finger toothbrush set is an excellent choice.
It is high-quality, FDA approved product that is tested to lower the risk of harming your cat, while optimizing the effect of cleaning off the materials from the teeth and gums.
The design provides you easy usage and full control to reach even those hard to reach areas.
The product has a great value for a very good price. The package comes in a pack of 3 or 6 toothbrushes so you can have plenty of replacements when they become worn out.
And, if you are not satisfied, the item can be replaced with a full refund. Not to mention that part of your purchase will go to the American Animal Rescue Society.
Pet Republique dual headed toothbrush set
This dual headed, high-quality Pet Republique toothbrush gives you a small and a large brush on the two ends of one long toothbrush.
The angular, long, narrow handle can reach even the back of the mouth with ease, while the flexible bristles are great for getting in between the teeth.
The product comes in a set of 6 dual headed toothbrushes in two different colors making this deal amazing and very affordable.
In addition, while you can save other animals by purchasing this item (15% of the profits go to the American Animal Rescue Society), there is also a 30 days money back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with the product.
What else will you need for brushing your cat’s teeth? – Cat toothpaste
Brushing your cat’s teeth the right way will require you to find the appropriate tools which does not only include toothbrush but toothpaste as well.
Since cats are not accustomed to cleaning their mouth, it is important to choose a toothpaste that they can tolerate. Never use your own toothpaste (as it can make your cat severely ill), but use a product that is flavored appropriately, serves its purpose, contains only safe materials and enzymes, and free of dangerous ingredients and chemicals.
One of the best examples is the Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste that is available in five different flavors and proven to be very effective at removing plaque and bacteria, preventing further plaque formation and eliminating mouth odor for a very affordable price.
Cat dental toothbrush and toothpaste set
When you are buying the products for the first time, you may consider getting a complete tooth brushing kit instead of purchasing them separately as they might provide a better value.
These kits usually include a cat finger brush, an angled bristle brush, and an enzymatic no-foam cat toothpaste.
If you decide to go for a dental kit, I recommend you choose one of the following products which all are efficient in:
- cleaning the teeth – by removing food debris and plaque,
- keeping the gums healthy – by massaging the gums gently,
- and eliminating mouth odor – by freshening the cat’s breath.
How to brush your cat’s teeth?
Now, that you have a toothbrush and a toothpaste, you are ready to brush your cat’s teeth. But how to do it?
Cleaning your cat’s teeth won’t be easy if you don’t know how to start. However, with a gentle hand, some simple steps, a little practice and a lot of patience it is much easier than you first think.
You can brush your cat’s teeth at home successfully by following these steps:
- Get your cat used to having her mouth handled. Stroke her face, massage her lips and slowly and gently rub her teeth in small circular motions, concentrating on the area of the gum line.
- After a few sessions, acclimate your cat to the toothpaste. Let her sniff and taste it then try to offer it from your fingertip. Next time, touch her front teeth and gradually progress to rubbing and massaging some toothpaste onto her teeth and gums in a circular motion.
- Introduce the cat toothbrush and help your cat to get used to the brushing sensation. Let your cat explore the texture and consistency of it then add the toothpaste and offer it to your cat. Try to put the toothbrush with the paste in her mouth and gently try to touch and massage her teeth.
- Once your cat is comfortable with this procedure, you can establish the cleaning routine. It is recommended to brush your cat’s teeth once a day, or at least 3-4 times a week. Hold your cat’s head steady, slip the toothbrush (with the toothpaste on it) in her mouth, start to brush the front teeth and slowly make your way to the back while concentrating on the outer surface of the tooth and the gum line (but not directly the gum) using a circular motion.
- Give your cat fresh water, reward her for good behavior, and don’t forget to wash the toothbrush and your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Since most cats will not like the idea of having their teeth brushed, it is advised to start doing it at an early age. It is also wise to start slowly, taking one step at a time, increase it gradually over time and keep it brief (30 to 40 seconds on each side of your cat’s mouth), while making the whole experience fun and positive – praise, pet and reward your cat with a special treat at the end of each step.
Some alternative options for keeping your cat’s teeth healthy
While tooth brushing is a gold standard method to keep a cat’s mouth healthy, there are other home-care options available to reduce plaque and tartar buildup, avoid bad breath and keep your cat’s dental hygiene in a good condition. (However, keep in mind that nothing works as efficiently as a toothbrush and a toothpaste.)
- For cats who are highly resistant to having their teeth rubbed and brushed with a proper cat toothbrush, you can consider trying alternative but effective options like a special finger brush, a dental wipe or a dental gel.
- However, there can be cats who are quite stubborn when it comes to accepting something near their mouth. In this case, there are dental diets and food supplements that can help to promote dental health.
- If the thought of cleaning your cat’s teeth makes you cringe and using special food products doesn’t seem to be ideal for you, try liquid products (such as oral rinse, mouth spray or water additive) to keep your cat’s mouth healthy.
- If you are absolutely unable to carry out any of the above-mentioned ways or just want to add some more preventative methods to your cat’s oral care, try to add some fun but healthy dental products. Use dental treats, chews, and toys to keep your cat’s mouth healthy without any hassle.
There is no single product or technique that is 100% effective by itself, so the best approach is to combine these methods with regular tooth brushing.
Other useful tips to promote dental health
Brushing cats’ teeth and using dental products are still not the only ways to keep our cats’ mouth healthy. Providing appropriate diet, examining the mouth regularly and having veterinary checkups can all be just as beneficial.
Just like tooth brushing, diet has a big influence on a cat’s dental health. Did you know you could prevent dental disease by providing your cat with a healthy diet?
Even though every cat is different and some may be more prone to oral problems, feeding the right kind of food will decrease the risk of developing dental and other health issues. Here are some dietary tips for a healthy mouth:
- Provide high-quality low-carb wet food and include some dry food or kibble. Make sure to give a variation of meat (fish, chicken, beef, and rabbit).
- Avoid foods that contain lots of sugar and limit the amount of table scraps to prevent tooth decay, plaque accumulation, obesity, and diabetes.
- Give your cat raw bones (preferably raw chicken wings, ribs or necks) as treats to remove plaque, exercise the cat’s jaws, bones and teeth and keep them in a good condition.
- Make sure that the food you offer does not contain a lot of bacteria as that is the main cause of dental problems.
- Feed your cat with enzymes and probiotics, add green veggies to your cat’s diet, and provide her with fresh cat grass to chew on to protect your cat against allergies and bad breath.
- Consider a dietary supplement that is made to control plaque and tartar buildup and do not forget to provide fresh water at all times.
If you are giving your cat foods and supplies that also have some dental health benefits, you will definitely end up with a healthier cat.
Apart from feeding the right diet, regular mouth examination is another important part of a preventative dental care program. Inspect your cat’s mouth frequently (at least once a week) by:
- smelling her breath,
- checking her face for any unusual swelling,
- and physically looking inside her mouth.
Be aware how your cat’s teeth and gums should look normally and watch out for signs of dental disease. If you notice:
- discolor, loose or missing teeth,
- red, swollen or inflamed gums,
- pus discharge or abscess,
- strong, unpleasant breath,
- swelling or inflammation anywhere in the mouth,
- bloody saliva or drooling
- or even eating habit and behavior changes,
please do not hesitate and act immediately. If you observe any of these symptoms or you are in doubt by any chance, contact your veterinarian immediately to make sure that your cat does not experience any suffering and gets the appropriate care and treatment she needs.
Frequent dental check, awareness, and cautiousness will help to keep your cat pain-free, keep a range of everyday problems at bay, catch dental disease in the early stages, and help to make sure everything is in good condition.
Since dental disease can often be overlooked (because it only has a few readily apparent signs), regardless of how much home dental care you provide you should still schedule regular oral exams with your veterinarian at least once a year.
This is the only way to ensure early detection which aids in the prevention of tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease, bone loss or any other health issues.
OTHER USEFUL GUIDES
When it comes to home dental care, tooth brushing is the gold standard preventative method, and the only way to get it done is by using the right tools.
Since toothbrushes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and designs, picking the right one for your cat can be time-consuming and challenging. However, with the above list of best toothbrushes, it will be easy and quick to choose a quality tool for brushing your cat’s teeth.
For the best results, try any of these products, and you will definitely have a safe and effective cleaning session that will promote healthier teeth and gums.