Best Dental Cat Treats

Updated June 2021
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

40 Models Considered
22 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best dental cat treats

Good oral hygiene is very important for cats to keep their teeth and gums healthy throughout their life. Brushing the teeth is great if your cat will allow it, but dental cat treats give an extra boost to your feline friend's oral health. Keeping on top of this can help avoid pain and discomfort for your cat and the need for expensive teeth cleaning under anaesthetic as your cat ages.

You need to carefully consider which dental cat treats to buy, however, because not all are equally effective. Check out the active ingredients contained in any feline dental treats you're considering and what they can do to improve your cat's dental health. Also find out whether the treats have any abrasive qualities to scrape away plaque and tartar. Other important features to consider include flavor, texture, and ingredient quality.

This buying guide to dental cat treats includes all the information you need to find the best ones out there for your feline friend.

Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.
I1
Cats with serious dental problems need veterinary attention. They may need to have their teeth cleaned under anaesthetic or even have one or more teeth removed.

Key considerations

Active ingredients

In any dental treats, some ingredients are there to form the bulk of the treat and other ingredients are included to perform a dental health function. The latter are the active ingredients.

Natural: Some active ingredients are natural, such as catnip, which can help freshen breath (as well as attract cats to the treat) and green tea extract, which targets plaque-forming bacteria. Some dental cat treats also contain natural probiotics and prebiotics, which improve gut health. This might not seem relevant to dental hygiene, but some studies suggest that probiotics can prevent and/or improve the symptoms of gum disease, plus they help to freshen breath.

Synthetic: You can also find synthetic active ingredients in dental treats. While you might prefer the idea of all-natural treats, when it comes to dental health there are plenty of useful synthetic ingredients. For instance, chlorhexidine gluconate reduces plaque and aids in preventing gingivitis, while sodium hexametaphosphate binds salivary calcium to prevent the formation of tartar.

It's a good idea to check which active ingredients are contained in any dental cat treats you're considering so you can get an idea of how they'll work.

Abrasion

In addition to the active ingredients discussed above, feline dental treats usually also contain mildly abrasive ingredients to scrub the teeth and gums in a similar way to a toothbrush. These abrasive additives vary between treats and include natural food ingredients, such as oat fiber and flaxseed, as well as minerals, such as silicon dioxide.

Of course, these abrasive qualities can't clean teeth as effectively as manual brushing can, but they still have an impact. The abrasive ingredients can dislodge plaque before it hardens into tartar, which can greatly reduce the chances of gum disease.

Dental cat treats shouldn't be so abrasive that they're uncomfortable to eat or cause any damage to the teeth or gums.

Dyk1
Did You Know?
If a cat dental treat is designed to clean a cat’s teeth using abrasive properties, it shouldn't be small enough for your cat to swallow whole; otherwise, it won't do its job.
Staff
BestReviews

Features

Grain-free

As obligate carnivores, cats don't need grains in their diet. In fact, grains may even be detrimental to cats' health, since they can cause spikes in blood sugar (particularly refined grains) and add unnecessary calories that could lead to weight gain. As such, you may prefer to choose grain-free dental cat treats for your feline friend.

Flavor

You can find dental cat treats in a wide range of flavors, though the available flavors vary between brands. You'll find common offerings like chicken and salmon, as well as some more unusual flavors like catnip or blueberry. You know best what your cat enjoys, so you should be able to pick out a flavor that it loves.

VOHC approved

The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) is an organization set up to recognize products that meet specific criteria of reducing and neutralizing plaque and tartar in pets. Any products that meet or exceed these criteria are officially VOHC accepted and can bear the VOHC seal of approval. We'd recommend opting for dental cat treats that are VOHC accepted since you can be sure that they really work.

If you're worried about treats containing poor-quality meat, look for those made in the United States using US-sourced ingredients.

Staff
BestReviews

Accessories

Toothbrush and toothpaste: Sentry Petrodex Dental Kit for Cats
If you can manage to brush your cat's teeth without getting scratched and bitten to within an inch of your life, you should do this daily, using dental treats as a boost in between brushings. This dental kit contains both cat-friendly toothpaste and an appropriately sized toothbrush.

Dental care supplement: ProDen PlaqueOff Dental Care for Dogs and Cats
Certain supplements can help reduce plaque and lessen the amount of tartar that builds up on teeth. ProDen PlaqueOff Dental Care for Dogs and Cats is a simple supplement made from a special type of seaweed that you simply add to your cat's food to improve dental hygiene.

Water additive: Dechra Vetradent Water Additive for Dogs and Cats
A water additive is a good alternative to a dental care supplement. It gives you similar results but is better for fussy eaters who won't eat their food with a supplement added. Of course, if your cat is one of those that doesn't drink all that much water, a water additive obviously won't be the best solution.

Dyk2 
Did You Know?
Plaque buildup can lead to gum disease, which causes discomfort and eventual tooth loss. Dental cat treats help avoid these issues, but they are best combined with other oral health measures.
Staff
BestReviews

Dental cat treat prices

The price of dental cat treats varies based on a wide range of factors, including package size, effectiveness, and ingredient quality.

Inexpensive: These dental cat treats cost $2 to $5. They are generally small packages of 3 ounces or less. Larger packs in this price range are likely to be of lesser quality.

Mid-range: These dental cat treats are priced between $5 and $10. At this price point, you can find midsize packs of quality dental treats from some well-known manufacturers.

Expensive: These dental cat treats cost from $10 to $25. These are generally large packs of high-quality treats. Buying in bulk might cost more up front, but it often costs you less per ounce.

Tips

  • Consider the overall ingredient quality. Though your cat's dental treats will only make up a small part of its diet, your cat will be eating them regularly, so you want them to be made of quality ingredients. Some feline dental treats are nutritionally balanced, too.
  • Choose carefully if your cat's a picky eater. Everyone knows cats can be fussy about their food, but some are pickier than others. You don't want to be left with a huge bag of uneaten dental cat treats, so choose a flavor you think your cat will enjoy and don't buy too large a container at first.
  • Check for added enzymes. Some dental cat treats contain enzymes that target and neutralize plaque and plaque-causing bacteria, which is a huge bonus.
  • Avoid artificial additives. There's no need for dental treats to contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, so it's best to avoid those that do.
I2 
Luckily, dental cat treats tend to be low calorie, but if your kitty is prone to weight gain, you might need to adjust the amount of food your cat gets at meals to account for the additional calories in the treats.

FAQ

Q. Is there anything else I can do to keep my cat's teeth clean?

A. Though we understand some cats just won't comply, the best thing you can do to keep your cat's teeth clean is to brush them. Start slowly and you may be able to get your cat used to having its teeth brushed over time. Otherwise, you can try using dental health water additives or supplements, both of which help prevent plaque forming into tartar.

Q. How often should I feed my cat dental treats and how many should I feed her?

A. For the best results, you should feed dental treats to your cat every day. The number of treats per day varies from brand to brand. Some manufacturers recommend feeding just a couple of treats per day, while others recommend a maximum of more than 15 dental treats per day. Generally, the worse your cat's oral hygiene, the more treats you'll need to feed her.

Q. Do dental treats for cats really work?

A. Yes, dental treats for cats work, but you might need to rein in your expectations. Dental cat treats aren't meant to be the only form of dental care for your pet but rather an extra boost to oral hygiene between brushings. It’s a bit like us humans flossing or using mouthwash — it's good for our dental health, but it isn't all we need to do to keep our teeth and gums healthy. If you absolutely can't manage to brush your cat's teeth, your feline friend may need a professional cleaning down the line.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
See more
Our Top Picks