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A fully grown cat has a total of 30 teeth which is two less than us humans. But just like ours, your cat’s teeth require regular dental care. For us, brushing and flossing is simple enough but taking care of your cat’s teeth can be a little more challenging.
Luckily, the veterinary community recognizes the importance of dental health for pets and there are a number of products out there to help you maximize your cat’s dental health.
At A Glance: Top Best Toothbrushes For Cats To Buy
One of the easiest ways to ensure your favorite pet has a healthy smile is through routine dental maintenance. Yes, we mean brushing your cat’s teeth on the daily. To help you do it properly, we went out and researched the entire market for the very best cat toothbrushes.
Vetoquinol Enzadent Dual-Ended Toothbrush for Cats
Virbac C.E.T. Dual Ended Cat Toothbrush
Petosan Double Headed Cat Toothbrush
H&H Pets Finger Toothbrush
Petosan Silent Power Sonic Cat Toothbrush
Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored Toothbrush Kit
Oxyfresh Pet Dental Kit
Why Is Cat Dental Care Important?
By the time they reach 3 years of age, eight out of ten cats already exhibit signs of dental disease. As common as dental disease is, it often goes unnoticed because cats aren’t able to open their mouths and tell you when something is wrong.
In the wild, your cat would keep his teeth clean by chewing on raw bones, but domestic cats often have to rely on kibble, dental treats, or chew toys.
Though many pet food manufacturers will tell you dry cat food helps keep your cat’s teeth clean, the truth is it doesn’t do nearly enough to remove the plaque and tartar that forms on the surface of your cat’s teeth and contributes to gingivitis.
A little plaque may not seem like a big deal, but if dental disease goes untreated it could lead to severe pain and inflammation. It could make it hard for your cat to eat and drink comfortably and it could even result in bacteria being leeched into the bloodstream, causing a systemic infection.
In severe cases, tartar buildup can make it necessary to have some of your cat’s teeth removed.
How To Check Your Cat’s Teeth For Signs Of Gingivitis?
Your cat probably doesn’t like having your fingers in his mouth, but it’s important to check his teeth from time to time for signs of gingivitis.
Healthy teeth should be clean and white and free from chipping or other damage. Your cat’s gums should be healthy and pink, not red, and there shouldn’t be signs of swelling, sores, or lesions. You may also want to check the back of your cat’s mouth for ulcers or lesions.
While you’re checking your cat’s teeth, give his breath a sniff as well. Foul breath can be a sign of oral infection and chronic issues with bad breath may indicate severe periodontal disease.
How To Protect Your Cat’s Dental Health?
Protecting your cat’s dental health is about more than just checking his teeth once in a while. You want to check the health of his gums as well and pay attention to changes in the odor of his breath.
Here are some simple steps to help you keep an eye on your cat’s dental health:
- Annual checkup – Even if your cat seems perfectly healthy, you shouldn’t skip your annual checkup. A physical exam includes a basic oral exam, and it could be the difference between catching the early signs of gingivitis and letting your cat suffer from severe periodontal disease unnecessarily.
- Healthy diet – Your cat’s diet is his primary source of nutrients and certain nutrient are essential for optimal dental health. Choose a healthy, high-quality cat food – the best you can consistently afford – and follow the feeding recommendations according to your cat’s weight and age.
- Raw bones –Never feed your cat cooked bones (especially chicken bones) because they could splinter and harm your cat or create an obstruction in his digestive system. Raw bones, on the other hand, are soft enough for your cat to chew and can help keep his teeth clean.
- Dental treats – Cat dental treats come in several forms, but they are not all created equal. The treats that supposedly clean your cat’s teeth through abrasion don’t really work because most cats don’t spend a lot of time chewing their food. Look for dental treats made with enzymes that consume bad bacteria and help freshen your cat’s breath.
- Pay attention – You can prevent a lot of cat diseases simply by paying attention to your cat and noticing the early signs of a developing issue. Any time your cat has a dental problem, it will show some level of discomfort which can easily be noticed if you stay vigilant. Look for signs like difficulty chewing, pawing at the face, or drooling.
- Check for tartar – Tartar is the hard sticky substance that forms at the gum and on the teeth of cats. Every once in a while, you can check your cat’s teeth to see if there is any tartar buildup and then have it removed accordingly.
The absolute best thing you can do to protect your cat’s dental health and hygiene is to brush his teeth regularly. It may sound silly but brushing your cat’s teeth is the best way to remove plaque and bacteria that contribute to tartar buildup and periodontal disease.
If you’re not quite ready to brush your cat’s teeth, there are antiseptic gels and rinses you can use in the meantime to protect his oral hygiene. These products won’t be as effective as toothbrushing, but they’re better than doing nothing. You may also be able to get a dental spray from your veterinarian to help control plaque and tartar buildup in your cat’s mouth.
Types Of Cat Toothbrushes
In order to brush your cat’s teeth, you’re going to need a toothbrush. A toothbrush intended for human use will almost certainly be too large, so it’s a good idea to purchase a toothbrush specifically for cats.
Pet toothbrushes come in several different styles and sizes to accommodate your cat’s teeth cleaning needs.
The two primary types of cat toothbrushes are:
- Finger Brushes – This type of toothbrush slips over your finger (like a thimble), so you can insert your finger directly into your cat’s mouth to do the brushing. Finger brushes have soft, silicone nubs that gently clean your cat’s teeth, but they may not work as well against serious tartar buildup. You may need to start with a finger brush then upgrade to a handle brush later.
- Handle Brushes – These toothbrushes are similar to the human toothbrush you use on your teeth – they consist of a handle with soft bristles on one end. Handle brushes can be useful for reaching your cat’s back teeth and some have angled heads to make brushing less awkward. They can be a little more difficult to use but do a better job removing plaque and tartar.
If you’re not sure which brush to choose, buy one of each (they aren’t expensive) and give them a try to see which your cat will tolerate. Once you’ve settled on a toothbrush, be sure to clean it thoroughly after each use and replace the brush entirely every three months or so.
If you have more than one cat, be sure to get each cat its own toothbrush.
Our Top Picks For The Best Cat Toothbrushes
Now that you understand the importance of brushing your cat’s teeth, let’s take a look at our top picks for the best cat toothbrushes. You’ll also find reviews for some of our other favorite dental hygiene products for cats like oral care gels and antiseptic rinses.
Here are our top picks for the best cat toothbrushes you should consider:
#1 Overall Best: Vetoquinol Enzadent Dual-Ended Toothbrush for Cats
If you’re looking for a simple and affordable cat toothbrush to help protect your cat’s oral health, look no further. This dual-ended toothbrush from Vetoquinol is affordably priced under $5 and it has both a large head and a small head to accommodate cats of different sizes.
This dual-ended cat toothbrush features soft bristles that gently remove plaque buildup and the brush heads are set at ergonomically correct angles to make brushing easy. Simply apply a small amount of your preferred cat toothpaste and get to brushing.
- Dual-headed design for cats of all sizes
- Soft bristles gently remove plaque
- Brush heads are ergonomically angled
- Some cat dislike the feel of bristles
- Some customers found the handle too long
#2 Runner Up: Virbac C.E.T. Dual Ended Cat Toothbrush
Another excellent option for cat toothbrushes is this dual-ended toothbrush from Virbac. The dual-ended design enables you to choose the perfect size brush head for your cat and each is set at an ergonomically correct angle for easy and comfortable use.
This cat toothbrush features soft bristles that gently remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your cat’s teeth to protect his oral hygiene and overall health. Plus, it’s affordably priced around $6.
- Affordably priced around $6
- Dual-ended with two brush sizes
- Brush heads are ergonomically angled
- Larger brush head may be too big for cats
#3 Best Double-Headed: Petosan Double Headed Cat Toothbrush
With a double-headed toothbrush you have two different brush sizes to choose from. The larger brush head can be used in the front of your cat’s mouth while the smaller head is perfect for reaching the back. This kit comes with three or six dual-headed cat toothbrushes.
These cat toothbrushes feature an 8 ½ inch angled handle for comfort and medium textured bristles that remove plaque and tartar without irritating your cat’s gums. Each pack comes with brushes in two different colors which is perfect for multi-pet households.
- Medium textured bristles remove plaque and tartar
- Two different sizes of brush head
- Great for multi-cat homes, two different colors
- Some customers found the handle flimsy
#4 Best Finger Brush: H&H Cat Finger Toothbrush
For cats who don’t like traditional toothbrushes, and for those just getting used to toothbrushing, a finger brush might be the way to go. H&H Cat Finger Toothbrushes come in packs of 4 or 8 and are made with soft, flexible materials that won’t irritate your cat’s sensitive gums.
These finger brushes slip right over your finger and feature a rounded profile to help you access the hard-to-reach places in your cat’s mouth. Not only does H&H design high-quality products, but they donate 15% of their profits to the Hope for Paws nonprofit animal rescue.
- Sold in 4-count and 8-count
- Slips right onto your finger for easy use
- Gentle materials for sensitive gums
- Only available in one size, may not fit all
- Doesn’t remove tartar as well as a bristle brush
#5 Best Electric Toothbrush: Petosan Silent Power Sonic Cat Toothbrush
When it comes to oral health, let your cat’s toothbrush do the work for you. The Petosan Silent Power Sonic Cat Toothbrush delivers 20,000 bristle movements per minute and features a dual brush head to clean the front and back of your cat’s teeth all at one time.
This electric toothbrush is highly effective at removing plaque buildup and is very easy to use. Plus, the brush heads are set at a 45-degree angle to help remove plaque below the gum line.
- Delivers 20,000 bristle movements per minute
- Affordably priced under $25
- Dual brush heads set at a 45-degree angle
- Some cats disliked the vibration
- Some found it too big for their cat’s mouth
#6 Best Toothbrush Kit: Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored Toothbrush Kit
Get everything you need to take care of your cat’s teeth with this pet toothpaste and toothbrush kit. This kit includes a dual-ended toothbrush, a finger brush, and a tube of poultry flavor enzymatic toothpaste, all affordably priced under $15.
The dual-ended toothbrush is ergonomically designed for comfortable use and the dual brush heads make it easy to find the right size for your cat. Plus, soft bristles help remove food debris and plaque from the surface of your cat’s teeth without irritating his gums.
You’ll also love Vetoquinol’s enzymatic toothpaste which cleans and polishes the teeth with a delicious poultry flavor your cat will enjoy.
- Includes handle brush, finger brush, and pet toothpaste
- Dual-ended brush is ergonomically designed for easy use
- Enzymatic toothpaste removes plaque and polishes teeth
- Some cats dislike the poultry flavor
#7 Best Finger Brush Kit: Oxyfresh Pet Dental Kit
For cats who prefer finger brushes, this Oxyfresh Pet Dental Kit comes with everything you need to keep your cat’s teeth healthy. It includes three finger brushes as well as odorless and flavorless dental gel and water additive to help clean your cat’s teeth.
The finger brushes slip easily over your fingertip and feature soft bristles that won’t irritate your cat’s gums. The dental gel and water additive are 100% non-toxic and formulated with Oxyfresh’s exclusive odor eliminator, Oxygene, to help combat bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Comes with three finger brushes, dental gel, and water additive
- Finger brushes gently remove plaque and food debris
- Dental gel and water additive are odorless and flavorless
- Finger brushes only come in one size
How To Brush Your Cat’s Teeth?
Choosing the best cat toothbrush is only half the equation – you also have to know how to use it.
Unfortunately, many cats don’t take well to having their teeth brushed, so you may need to get your cat used to it over the course of a week or two. You can start by putting a little cat toothpaste on your finger and letting your cat lick it off, so he gets used to the taste. Never use human toothpaste for cats.
Once your cat gets used to the toothpaste, try offering it on a toothbrush. When your cat starts to lick it off, see if you can insert the toothbrush into his mouth a little bit and move it in brushing motions along his teeth and gum line.
Eventually, your cat will get used to having the toothbrush in his mouth and you can actually start brushing his teeth. You may only be able to do one side of his mouth or a few teeth at a time but do what you can and try to brush all of his teeth several times a week.
- Best Dental Toothpaste for Cats
- Best Dental Cat Treats
- Feline Gingivitis: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I brush my cat’s teeth?
Ideally, you should brush your cat’s teeth as often as you brush your own – twice daily. Because it can be a challenge to get your cat to cooperate, however, once daily brushing is acceptable.
How do I know if my cat’s teeth hurt?
Monitoring your cat’s dental health is essential but it’s easy to miss the signs of dental disease. If your cat’s teeth are bothering him, he may exhibit decreased appetite, swollen or bleeding gums, bad breath, or pawing at his mouth.
How much does it cost to have a cat’s teeth cleaned?
If you don’t take the initiative to care for your cat’s teeth at home, you may end up having to shell out for a professional dental cleaning. Professional cleanings can cost several hundred dollars and may require putting your cat under general anesthesia.