- Cats require regular dental care, including tooth brushing. Without it, they can suffer from dental disease or even more serious issues.
- Cat toothpastes are specifically designed for cats. They do not bubble or foam and safe for cats to swallow.
- The best toothpaste available is the Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste for cats.
- You can try other options but brushing is the most effective. Brush your cat’s teeth every day, or at least 3-4 times a week.
A healthy set of teeth is essential for a cat’s overall well-being which can only be achieved with regular dental care. And the gold standard of dental hygiene is frequent tooth brushing.
Brushing your cat’s teeth the right way will require you to find the appropriate toothbrush and the correct toothpaste.
Since the market is saturated with all kinds of brands claiming to be the best, it can be a daunting task to choose the right one that advantageously suits your cat’s needs. Not to mention that there are ingredients that can be harmful to your cat. So, how do you choose?
This post will provide you important information generally about cat toothpaste and its dangerous and not dangerous ingredients as well as reviews and recommendations which can help you find the best toothpaste for your cat.
What is the best cat toothpaste in 2017? – Recommendations
Brushing your cat’s teeth with appropriate tools plays a big role in her overall health. However, finding the right cat toothpaste can be challenging as there are a lot of options to consider.
As I went through the various products, I found that there are only a few that stand out from the rest. Personally, I have to say that the Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste proved itself to be the best, however, one type does not fit all.
As cats are different from one another, their needs and preferences are different as well. So, for your reference, I have compiled a list of the best toothpaste options that all can be perfect tools for brushing your cat’s teeth.
Why does your cat need toothpaste? – Reasons to brush
Many people tend to think that they do not need to brush their cats’ teeth because they are independent animals and by nature keep themselves clean. Moreover, cats in the wild have never required us to take care of their teeth so why would our cats need any form of dental care?
While in the wild, cats’ eating habits naturally keep their teeth in a good shape by catching prey, tearing skin and flesh, and chewing on bones, our domestic cats are fed with good quality commercial cat food which (unlike prey) has no polishing effect on their teeth. Therefore, it is up to us to help them keep their teeth clean, strong and healthy with regular tooth brushing with the right toothbrush and toothpaste.
In addition, cats’ teeth are not so different from ours and can be just as problematic. Just like us, cats’ teeth can also accumulate bacteria, plaque, and tartar. So, they can definitely experience dental problems and develop dental and periodontal disease and can also have bad breath. These conditions are not only painful but the bacteria and infection present in their mouth can also spread to other vital organs leading to life-threatening situations.
In other words, without tooth brushing, cats can develop dental problems which can affect their health, overall well-being, and even their lifespan. To lower the risk of such problems, we need to brush our cats’ teeth with the best tools – toothbrush and toothpaste – possible.
Is there any benefit of using toothpaste for brushing my cats’ teeth?
While there are several reasons, there are also a great number of benefits of having your cat’s teeth and gums cleaned on a regular basis.
- Brushing your cat’s teeth will keep her mouth clean and healthy as well as it will freshen her breath.
- Toothpaste helps to remove plaque and prevents the buildup of tartar because of which there will be a lower risk of developing dental and periodontal diseases.
- Thereupon, it will eliminate potential sources of infection which in turn can protect your cat from other organ failures.
- Regular tooth brushing also improves overall health by reducing bacteria growth in the mouth and its spread to various organs.
- If you maintain optimum oral health, you can protect your cat from pain which in turn will provide her the ability to have good nutrition throughout her life.
- Therefore, taking care of your cat’s teeth will not only add to your cat’s oral hygiene, overall health, and quality of life but also to her lifespan.
As it turns out, preventative dental care, like tooth brushing will benefit your cat’s life altogether. Not to mention that it will also significantly reduce the frequency of professional cleanings and vet visits, therefore save you time and money spent at your veterinarian’s office.
However, please note that all of this can only be achieved with the right method and the proper feline equipment. Make sure you know how to brush your cat’s teeth and keep the right toothbrush and toothpaste handy.
What kind of toothpaste to use? – Can I use human toothpaste for brushing my cat’s teeth?
While toothpaste is definitely essential for cat dental care, be aware that the type also does matter and you cannot just use anything that is handy within your reach.
When it comes to cats and toothpaste, regular human toothpaste should be out of the question. Please be cautious and do not try – under any circumstances – to brush your cat’s teeth with toothpaste that is intended for human use.
These toothpastes are designed to foam and not meant to be swallowed. However, cats cannot spit, so they end up swallowing the toothpaste which contains ingredients, chemicals, and additives that are not fit for consumption and could pose danger to cats.
For instance, the fluoride content will not only irritate their stomach inducing vomiting, but can also cause severe damage to their organism and can even be fatal. In addition, Xylitol – an artificial sweetener present in human toothpaste – includes insulin and can cause liver failure and even death.
Consequently, please be aware and never use human toothpaste on your cat! And, in case your cat ingests human toothpaste, take her to the nearest veterinarian immediately.
Please also note that many homemade cat toothpaste recipes contain ingredients that are not safe for cats – such as baking soda. Since it is high in salt, it can upset your cat’s stomach and can even cause kidney or heart failure.
To prevent illness, forget about human toothpaste and stick to a toothpaste that is specifically made for cats. It is definitely a much safer and healthier option.
What is cat toothpaste exactly?
Although many people tend to think that cat toothpaste is just a marketing trick to make people buy different products for their pets and themselves, the truth is: toothpastes are specific to species, and cat toothpastes are not the same as toothpastes for humans.
Why and how does cat toothpaste differ from human toothpaste?
Cat toothpaste is designed specifically for cats and differs from human toothpaste for several reasons:
- Cats do not spit, they swallow the toothpaste, and human toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed – especially for cats.
- Cats should not have toothpastes that include fluoride as it can make them seriously ill.
- Human toothpaste foams which cats cannot tolerate.
- Cat toothpaste tastes much better for cats which makes tooth brushing easier for owners and more enjoyable for cats.
The difference between human and cat toothpastes:
- While human toothpastes foam and should be spat out, cat toothpastes do not bubble or foam and safe for cats to swallow.
- Unlike our toothpastes, cat toothpastes are usually not made with a minty fresh taste. Instead, they come in flavors that are designed to be more appealing to cats to increase their acceptance of tooth brushing. Flavor options include poultry, beef, malt, fish and even peanut or vanilla (and very rarely mint).
- Cat toothpastes are made only of those ingredients that are safe for cats to swallow. They do not contain fluoride, foaming agents and other dangerous materials that can be harmful to cats. However, they do contain enzymes or antiseptics that help break down plaque and fight bacteria but these are not harmful even if swallowed.
Toothpastes that are formulated for cats can be found at veterinary clinics, pet supply stores, or even in supermarkets, but they can also be purchased via online shopping.
How to choose a quality toothpaste for your cat?
Since cats are not accustomed to brushing their teeth, it is important to choose a product that they can tolerate. Using the right kind of toothpaste will make the procedure easier, more effective and more enjoyable. However, finding a quality cat toothpaste can be difficult as there are a lot of toothpastes available on the market.
Which cat toothpaste is best to use?
When it comes to selecting the best product, consider the following factors before you choose:
First of all, never choose human toothpaste for brushing your cat’s teeth to prevent needless digestive problems. Instead, select the one that is strictly made for cats that you can use with ease without having to worry about your cat swallowing it.
Flavor should be a major factor when choosing toothpaste for your cat. Even the best products on Earth won’t help you much in keeping your cat’s mouth clean if she does not even tolerate it. However, getting a flavor of toothpaste that your cat enjoys should make tooth brushing go more smoothly.
Pick a toothpaste that is appropriately flavored for cats. Here, keep in mind that cats aren’t fans of mint and they do not really like cinnamon or citrus (lemon and orange) flavors either. Instead, preferably choose a flavor your cat will like such as poultry, beef or fish. With these flavors in her toothpaste, she will not only accept but also enjoy the procedure.
When choosing a cat toothpaste, think about the purpose it should serve.
- Some products that are made for older cats, may harm a little kitten.
- Enzymatic toothpastes can help break down plaque before it turns into hard tartar.
- Antibacterial products can reduce the oral bacteria that would cause periodontal disease.
- Toothpaste that contains those ingredients which fight the germs and kill bacteria will help to combat bad breath.
Check the label, and choose cat toothpaste according to your purpose.
Since the toothpaste’s ingredients can be the difference between your cat’s clean teeth or a trip to your veterinarian, it is important to know what is inside the selected product.
Ingredients that are safe in cat toothpastes:
- Dicalcium phosphate
- Magnesium aluminum silicate
- Potassium sorbate
- Sodium benzoate
- Sodium phosphates
- Titanium dioxide
- Xanthan gum
Ingredients to avoid in cat toothpastes:
- Artificial coloring agents and preservatives
- Corn, gluten, soy
- Gelatin and stearic acid
- Propyl gallate
- Saturated or trans fat
- Sodium laureth sulphate
- Sugar, sweeteners, and Xylitol
*Important note: Sorbitol is a sugar substitute which is found in most cat toothpastes and usually added to retain moisture and improve texture and taste. Although in larger amounts it can have a laxative effect causing gas and diarrhea (sometimes even diabetes), in small amounts, it appears to be harmless for cats. Since most of the plaque removal can be achieved by the physical rubbing action, you don’t need much toothpaste. Just use it in tiny amounts and you will be safe.
It does not matter what type of toothpaste you choose, as long as it does not contain ingredients that are harmful to cats. Just select the one that is made with safe ingredients so that you can ensure your cat’s safety and well-being.
All in all, selecting a safe cat toothpaste is not easy. You may even need to try different types and flavors to find out which one works best for both you and your cat. However, always keep the following things in mind:
The best cat toothpaste:
- is appropriately flavored,
- serves its purpose,
- does contain safe materials and enzymes,
- does not contain dangerous ingredients like alcohols, fluoride, sugar or xylitol.
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What is the best cat toothpaste?
As you start searching for a quality toothpaste for your cat, you will realize there are a lot of pet toothpastes you can choose from. Remember to pick the one that will taste good for your cat and is free of dangerous ingredients. However, if you find it hard and time-consuming to go through the choices, just read on.
To save you time and make your decision easier, I have compiled the following list of the very best cat toothpastes available on the market today.
Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste
Made by Virbac, a leading company in pet health care, this C.E.T. Enzymatic toothpaste may just be the best among others currently on the market.
It is specifically formulated for both cats and dogs. Therefore, it contains no foaming agents or other ingredients that could be harmful to pets, thus it is safe for them to swallow.
On the other hand, it does contain enzymes making this toothpaste especially effective at removing plaque and bacteria and inhibiting further plaque formation. Because of its natural antibacterial qualities, it can also strengthen the teeth while eliminating mouth odor and freshening cat’s breath.
Best of all, it is available in five different cat-friendly flavors – beef, malt, poultry, seafood and vanilla-mint – making it easier to everyone to find something for even the most finicky cat.
Not only does it have almost unanimously positive reviews, but it is also highly recommended by veterinarians. Apart from the great features, it has a budget friendly price tag so this cat toothpaste is definitely well worth the buy.
Enzadent Pet Toothpaste
Another excellent option among cat toothpastes is the Enzadent Pet Toothpaste that can be used on both cats and dogs. Its great features and positive product reviews speak for themselves.
Being a good, quality toothpaste, it does not contain foaming agents and other harmful ingredients making it safe for pets to swallow. However, thanks to its triple enzyme system, it is proven to be good at cleaning cats’ teeth and removing plaque. It can even reduce inflammation and promote oral soft tissue development.
While this product doesn’t really have any specific smell, it does have a poultry flavor which is highly palatable for cats to assure a hassle-free, enjoyable tooth brushing.
Considering all the great features, the amazing effects and the absolutely reasonable price, choosing this cat toothpaste is guaranteed to be a great purchase.
Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste
The Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste also stands out from the rest. This product is the only dental care toothpaste for pets with an official VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) approval seal. Based on its ingredients list, it is also the safest option having no sorbitol in it.
This cat toothpaste is proven to eliminate plaque, promote healthy teeth and gums, and improve bad breath. While it only comes in beef flavor, it is not a drawback as this is the flavor that most cats enjoy.
Although this toothpaste is pretty expensive compared to other options, it comes in a bigger size and has a great shelf life.
While this product seems to be quite pricey, it is reasonable as regular use of it is a gentle, safe way to clean a cat’s teeth, provide better oral health as well as fresher breath.
What else will you need for brushing your cat’s teeth? – Cat toothbrush
Toothpaste is not the only thing you will require for cleaning your cat’s teeth. You will also need a toothbrush.
When it comes to cat toothbrush, there are numerous of choices available. Choose the one that is specifically made for cats (smaller, softer, usually angled) and never attempt to brush your cat’s teeth with a toothbrush intended for humans. They can irritate or even damage the gums causing harm, pain, and injury. Also, consider the type, the size and the quality of the bristles.
Your choice of toothbrush should reach all the places and clean each tooth fast and efficiently while it should be easy and comfortable to use.
One excellent example is the C.E.T toothbrush for cats. It not only encompasses everything a good toothbrush must have but also features additional great qualities. The product’s small head, soft bristles, and the right angle allows easy usage and gentle application that provides clean and healthy teeth and gums for a very competitive price.
Cat dental toothbrush and toothpaste set
While you are searching for the right equipment to brush your cat’s teeth, you will find tooth brushing kits that contain not only the toothpaste but the toothbrush as well.
These sets can be efficient in cleaning teeth, massaging the gums, and eliminating bad breath. However, make sure that set contains a toothpaste that is flavored appropriately and a toothbrush that is designed for effective and easy usage.
While the SENTRY Petrodex Dental Kit for Cats can be your best choice, there are two other excellent options that can help you keep your cat’s teeth clean and healthy.
How to brush your cat’s teeth?
After getting the right tools, you are ready to clean your cat’s teeth – you may think. However, you cannot just jump inside her mouth with a toothbrush. This would frighten her. Instead, you need to train her to be used to the idea of having her teeth brushed.
- First, earn your cat’s trust by helping her get used to having her mouth touched and handled. Stroke her face, massage her lips and gently rub her teeth in small circular motions.
- After a few sessions, let her sniff and taste the toothpaste from your fingertip then progress to massaging some toothpaste onto her teeth and gums.
- Finally, introduce the toothbrush. Let her explore it, try to put it in her mouth and attempt to gently touch her teeth with it.
After your cat is comfortable with this procedure, you can establish the cleaning routine.
- Prepare the things: wash your hand and gather all the essential things (toothbrush, toothpaste, and some treat) to a distraction-free, comfortable well-lit spot.
- Get your cat when she is relaxed and place her on your lap or put her on a stable surface.
- Hold her steady and slip the toothbrush (with the toothpaste on it) in her mouth.
- Start to brush the front teeth using a circular motion and slowly make your way to the back while concentrating on the outer surface of the teeth.
- Keep brushing until you have done the entire mouth which should take around 30 seconds per side.
- Give your cat her favorite treat, provide her with plenty of fresh water, and don’t forget to wash the toothbrush and your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Although cleaning your cat’s teeth won’t seem to be easy at first, with a gentle hand, simple steps, a little practice and a lot of patience it is much easier than you think. You can even make it enjoyable with a lot of praise and petting. Just start at an early age, be positive throughout the process and use this time as a chance to give your cat a little extra affection.
Other options to keep your cat’s teeth healthy
While regular tooth brushing is the best way to promote dental health, there are other techniques to combat plaque and tartar buildup, avoid bad breath, prevent dental problems and keep your cat’s teeth in good condition.
Here are some ways you may consider:
- Provide the right kind of food.
Give your cat a variation of high quality wet food with some dry food, provide raw bones and avoid foods that contain lots of bacteria and sugar, and limit the amount of table scraps. Consider a dietary supplement, feed your cat with enzymes and probiotics and provide fresh water at all times.
- Use alternative options to the toothbrush.
A special finger brush is similar to a toothbrush but sometimes it is just easier to use. Dental wipes should be wrapped around your finger and it will act like a toothbrush. However, it is softer, more pliable and disposable. The dental gel needs to be applied directly on the teeth, but no brushing necessary.
- Feed your cat with special dental food.
A dental diet is basically dry cat food that is specifically formulated to provide balanced nutrition not only for dental but also for overall health. On the other hand, food supplement comes in a powder form and can be sprinkled directly onto both wet and dry food.
- Use liquid products.
While oral rinse should be applied by squirting a small amount inside the cheek, mouth spray can just simply be sprayed in the cat’s mouth. Additionally, water additive is a dental supplement that should be added to the cat’s drinking water.
- Provide treats to make it fun.
Dental treat is dry kibble that is made with special ingredients and more porous texture to scrub cats’ teeth clean. Dental chew is similar to dental treat but larger in size. And, the dental toy aims to satisfy the cat’s natural desire to chew while making her teeth and gums strong and healthy.
- Examine the mouth regularly.
Routinely examine your cat’s mouth, be aware how it should look and know the signs of dental problems. Dental checks should be done regularly, at least once a week to keep your cat pain-free, keep a range of everyday problems at bay, and avoid any serious dental issues from going unnoticed.
- Schedule vet visits.
Next to regular home dental care, professional dental checkups – at least once a year – are essential to prevent dental and other health issues and maintain overall health and happiness.
All in all, prevention is always better than cure so combine these methods with regular tooth brushing to save your cat from pain and discomfort and contribute to her overall well-being, comfort, and happiness.
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Final thoughts on cat toothpaste
Brushing your cat’s teeth should be an important part of her regular grooming routine to maintain her overall health. And, having the right tool for it is just as essential as knowing the right method.
There are a lot of cat toothpastes available in the market so picking the right one can be challenging. Check out the list and choose one of the best cat toothpaste options described in this article, and you will surely be able to safely and effectively clean your cat’s teeth.
Brush them regularly and use other home care methods to achieve the best results and save your cat from suffering from different dental problems.