Added nutrients such as calcium and taurine. Aids in digestive health with live probiotics. Scientifically tested for efficacy.
If your little buddies don't like the flavor, it's a lot of treats that go to waste.
Contains the brand's Dentashield rawhide that's highly effective at removing tartar. Crunchy consistency improves dental and gum health. Many cat owners rave about how their pets love them.
Treats are small. Some enthusiastic felines swallow them without chewing. Ingredients aren't natural.
Uses sodium hexametaphosphate to scrape away plaque and reduce tartar buildup and catnip to freshen breath, among other ingredients. Free of wheat, corn, and soy.
May be too hard for some cats to chew effectively.
Formulated with baking soda to freshen breath. A mixture of textures for cats to enjoy. Helps with hairball control.
Strong flavor may not be a hit with all cats.
Crunchy texture removes tartar as cats indulge in these flavorful treats. Made with real salmon, ocean fish, and tuna for a taste that entices most cats. Resealable pouch keeps treats fresh.
Treats contain some additives and unnatural ingredients, including artificial colors.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
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 anesthetic 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 upfront, but it often costs you less per ounce.
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 from forming into tartar.
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.
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.