Best Dental Cat Treats

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When you want to freshen your breath, you grab a mint. But what do you do when your cat has bad breath? That’s where dental cat treats come in.

The best dental treats for cats are more than crunchy mint-flavored snacks. They contain active ingredients that help to keep your cat’s teeth clean and his gums healthy. That’s why we recommend Purina DentaLife Dental Cat Treats as the best dental treats for cats on the market.

These crunchy cat treats feature a porous texture that allows the tooth to penetrate the treat, delivering a quick and effective clean to remove plaque and reduce tartar buildup.

At A Glance: 7 Best Dental Cat Treats To Buy

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In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Overall Best
10.0
Picked by 31 people today!

Purina DentaLife Tasty Chicken Flavor Dental Cat Treats

  • Crunchy, porous texture helps reduce tartar
  • Tasty chicken flavor cats love
  • Fortified with added calcium and taurine
Most Popular
9.8
Picked by 31 people today!

Feline Greenies Oven Roasted Chicken Flavor Adult Cat Dental Treats

  • Intensely flavorful and enticing to cats
  • One of the best-known dental treats on the market
  • Available in a wide range of sizes and flavors
Best Chewy Dental Treat
9.5
Picked by 25 people today!

VetriScience Perio Plus Feline Bites Dental Cat Treats

  • Low in added carbohydrates
  • No corn, soy, or wheat ingredients
  • Made with pumice to lightly abrade plaque
Best Cat Dental Care Powder
9.4
Picked by 21 people today!

ProDen PlaqueOff Powder Dog & Cat Supplement

  • Easy to administer by mixing with food
  • More effective than many dental treats
  • Made with a single ingredient (kelp)
Best Chew Sticks
9.3
Picked by 18 people today!

WoLover Silvervine Sticks for Cats

  • Natural and unprocessed, 100% silvervine
  • Helps eliminate plaque and tartar
  • Highly attractive to cats, easy to feed
Best Budget
9.1
Picked by 18 people today!

HARTZ Dentist's Best Chicken Flavored Dental Cat Treats

  • Highly affordable, under $5
  • Made with parsley to freshen breath
  • DentaShield can reduce tartar by up to 83%
Best Natural
9.0
Picked by 18 people today!

WholeHearted Smart Smiles Cat Dental Treats

  • Crunchy treats full of chicken or fish flavor
  • Made in the USA with natural ingredients
  • No grains or artificial additives

While Purina Dentalife Dental Cat Treats appear to do a better job than any other dental cat treat on the market, they aren’t the only option. In addition to our top recommendation, we’ve chosen several other treats that go the extra mile to improve your cat’s oral health.

But before we jump into the details about this treat and the rest of our top recommendations, let’s talk about the benefits of dental treats for cats and what to look for.

Here’s Why Cat Dental Treats Are A Good Idea

An estimated 85% of cats over age 6 have some form of periodontal disease—a condition occurring when tartar builds up on your cat’s teeth, causing gum inflammation and a string of other conditions.

If your cat’s mouth isn’t healthy, that sickness will eventually spread to other parts of the body, meaning that dental health affects more than just your cat’s teeth and gums. As periodontal disease progresses, toxins spread from the mouth into the bloodstream and then into the organs, causing organ failure and other serious health issues.

That’s why it’s important to take care of your cat’s dental health before it’s too late.

There are numerous ways to keep your cat’s mouth healthy but brushing his teeth every day is the most effective method. Annual dental cleanings at the vet will remove any buildup you weren’t able to catch with the toothbrush and dental treats can fill in any gaps.

Dental treats are one of the most popular forms of preventative dental health care available for pets.

In contrast to the challenge of daily brushing, cat dental treats promise a fun, painless way to keep your cat’s mouth healthy. But they’re not a complete solution and, sometimes, they’re not a solution at all.

Not All Cat Dental Treats Actually Work

The majority of cat dental treats on the market are inspired by an old-school veterinary myth about dry kibble. During the 20th century, we were told that dry kibble was good for a cat’s teeth because it leaves less residue than canned food. Plus, the crunchy texture has the benefit of lightly abrading plaque. This myth has been largely debunked, revealing that dry food has little to no ability to clean cat teeth.

In keeping with this abrasion theory, most dental treats are nothing more than glorified kibble.

According to the marketing, these treats lightly abrade your cat’s teeth, scrubbing off plaque and surface bacteria. But there’s a problem with this theory. Cats don’t really chew their food. Their teeth seldom spend enough time touching the rough food to benefit from any abrasive effects. If your cat has ever vomited after eating dry food, you’ve probably seen graphic evidence of this fact.

Instead of getting that mild abrasive effect, cats essentially swallow their treats whole. Besides failing to scrub much of anything off of your cat’s teeth, the average dental treat coats your cat’s teeth in starch.

While dry cat food is often touted as a low-residue alternative to wet cat food, the inherent carbohydrate content of these foods makes that claim questionable. Dry food and treats leave a carbohydrate residue on your cat’s teeth, leading to bacterial buildup and, eventually, plaque and tartar.

So, What Are The Qualities Of The Best Dental Treats For Cats?

While mint-scented kibble won’t do anything to help your cat’s teeth, some specially formulated treats help to encourage good dental health.

The best cat dental treats are low in residue-building carbohydrates and contain enzymes that can consume the bacteria remaining in your cat’s mouth, reducing the likelihood of plaque and eventual tartar buildup.

Top 7 Dental Treats For Cats Reviewed

To help you to understand and make an educated decision about the dental cat treats currently on the market, we’ve reviewed 7 popular dental treats for cats, rating each of them on their effectiveness, ingredient quality, and nutritional appropriateness for your carnivorous cat.

#1 Overall Best: Purina DentaLife Tasty Chicken Flavor Dental Cat Treats Review

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Feed your cat’s cravings for natural chicken flavor while cleaning his teeth at the same time. These crunchy cat treats feature a porous texture that allows the tooth to penetrate more easily, surrounding it on all sides for a safe and effective clean.

Purina DentaLife dental cat treats are scientifically proven to reduce tartar buildup and they come with the added benefit of supplemental calcium and taurine.

These cat treats are full of chicken flavor but also come in a salmon variety. Choose from a 1.8-ounce bag or 19-ounce cannister to ensure you never run out of your cat’s favorite treats. Plus, you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging your cat’s cravings because they contain less than 1.5 calories apiece.

Ingredients:

Ground Yellow Corn, Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Digest, Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Powdered Cellulose, Fish Meal, Glycerin, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Salt, Brewers Dried Yeast, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Tricalcium Phosphate.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 32.00%
Crude Fat: 10.00%
Crude Fiber: 7.00%
Moisture: 11.00%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 35.96%
Fat: 11.24%
Fiber: 7.87%
Carbs: 44.94%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 33.23%
Fat: 25.22%
Carbs: 41.54%

What We Liked:

  • Crunchy, porous texture helps reduce tartar buildup
  • Tasty chicken flavor cats love
  • Fortified with added calcium and taurine

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains corn-based ingredients
  • Made with unspecified ingredients (animal digest)

#2 Most Popular: Feline Greenies Oven Roasted Chicken Flavor Adult Cat Dental Treats Review

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Greenies dental cat treats are probably the first treats you think of when you hear the words “dental treats for cats”.

The packaging claims that these are the #1 vet-recommended dental cat treat, that the Veterinary Oral Health Council has confirmed that they can help control tartar, and that they’re “powerfully good”.

These treats lean almost entirely on the “crunchy texture equals clean teeth” premise. They’re small kibble treats that your cat might crunch and might inhale—it’s impossible to know if any abrasive effect will take place in your cat’s mouth.

The chicken formula contains chicken meal, wheat, brown rice, corn gluten meal, and poultry fat as the first five ingredients.

Although these treats boast a slightly more feline-appropriate ingredient lineup than some of the others on this list, they’re carbohydrate-heavy, potentially worsening the bacteria population in your cat’s mouth.

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Ground Wheat, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Oat Fiber, Natural Poultry Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Citric Acid (a Preservative), Fruit Juice Color, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Mixed Tocopherols (a Preservative), DL-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), Ferrous Sulfate, Turmeric Color, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Manganous Oxide, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 27.00%
Crude Fat: 12.00%
Crude Fiber: 10.00%
Moisture: 10.00%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 30.00%
Fat: 13.33%
Fiber: 11.11%
Carbs: 45.56%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 27.79%
Fat: 30.00%
Carbs: 42.21%

What We Liked:

  • Intensely flavorful and enticing
  • Many customers say that these treats are great for their cat’s dental health
  • One of the best-known and best-trusted cat dental treats on the market
  • Free from artificial colors and chemical preservatives

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Heavy carbohydrate content
  • A crunchy kibble treat that your cat probably won’t chew

#3 Best Chewy Dental Treat: VetriScience Perio Plus Feline Bites Dental Cat Treats Review

VetriScience Perio Plus Everyday Health Feline Bites Dental Cat Treats

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These cat chews contain a combination of probiotics, herbs, and other ingredients that can help to improve your cat’s dental health. These ingredients include chlorophyll, zinc, and coenzyme Q -10, all of which are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Natural zeolite is added as a deodorizer and pumice.

This combination of active ingredients makes these treats more promising than other dental treats for cats, but there’s a big problem. Most cats don’t like eating them.

The treats are large and hard, which theoretically encourages cats to bite in and enjoy the benefits of each treat. However, numerous customer reviews indicate that the large, hard treats are too challenging to consume, causing their cats to give up on eating them. One Amazon reviewer said that their cat “just got frustrated and walked away crying.”

Ingredients:

Anise Oil, Apple Pectin, Brewers Yeast, Canola Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Citric Acid, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Fermentum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Fenugreek Seed Extract, Glucose Monohydrate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Mixed Tocopherols, Oat Flour, Propionic Acid, Proprietary Blend (Maltodextrin, Sodium Alginate and Calcium Sulfate), Pumice, Rosemary Extract, Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Sulfate, Sorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Vegetable Fat, Vegetable Oil, Water, Whey, Yeast Fermentation Solubles.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 27.00%
Crude Fat: 12.00%
Crude Fiber: 10.00%
Moisture: 10.00%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 30.00%
Fat: 13.33%
Fiber: 11.11%
Carbs: 45.56%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 27.79%
Fat: 30.00%
Carbs: 42.21%

What We Liked:

  • Low in carbohydrates and made without corn, soy, wheat, and other unnecessary ingredients
  • Made with pumice to lightly abrade plaque
  • Each treat contains ingredients that can help to improve dental health
  • Rich in probiotics for overall health
  • Large and hard to encourage chewing

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Doesn’t get consistently positive customer reviews – many cats dislike or refuse these treats
  • Some reviewers say that their cats threw up after eating these treats

#4 Best Cat Dental Care Powder: ProDen PlaqueOff Powder Dog & Cat Supplement Review

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While this product doesn’t fall into the traditional definition of a treat—it’s not much fun to eat and you’ll probably sprinkle it into your cat’s food rather than feed it on its own—it earns its place on this list as a dietary supplement with benefits for your cat’s dental health.

The product is made from a single species of North Atlantic seaweed that’s been dried and ground into a powder. That’s it. Ascophyllum Nodosum seaweed, also known as Norwegian kelp, has clinically-demonstrated benefits for improving overall oral health in dogs and cats.

It’s unclear exactly how this seaweed helps. It’s speculated that a combination of compounds in the seaweed contribute to its plaque-inhibiting effects, including phenols, iodine, phosphates, sulphur, and tartar-inhibiting elements.

This appears to be a safe food additive that shows a lot of promise for reducing plaque buildup and preventing tartar.

Ingredients:

Ascophyllum Nodosum seaweed

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 16.50%
Crude Fat: 5.00%
Crude Fiber: 11.60%
Moisture: 9.90%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 18.31%
Fat: 5.55%
Fiber: 12.87%
Carbs: 63.26%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 19.27%
Fat: 14.18%
Carbs: 66.56%

What We Liked:

  • This product is easy to administer by mixing into or sprinkling on your cat’s food
  • Appears to be more effective than many other cat dental treats

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive

#5 Best Chew Sticks: WoLover Silvervine Sticks for Cats Review

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If you’re looking for a cat dental treat that lasts for more than just a bite or two, try these 100% natural silvervine sticks. Made with a single ingredient, these chew sticks help remove dental plaque and tartar while also freshening your cat’s breath.

Because they are made with silvervine, these cat chews are naturally highly attractive to cats. Silvervine is a cat attractant like catnip but it is actually more potent and appeals to a greater number of cats.

In addition to being highly potent and attractive to cats, these chew sticks are completely free from harmful ingredients and artificial additives. Chewing on the sticks can help stimulate your cat’s brain and relieve stress while serving as a source of entertainment for hours on end.

Ingredients:

100% Natural Silvervine Wood

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 32.00%
Crude Fat: 10.00%
Crude Fiber: 7.00%
Moisture: 11.00%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 35.96%
Fat: 11.24%
Fiber: 7.87%
Carbs: 44.94%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 33.23%
Fat: 25.22%
Carbs: 41.54%

What We Liked:

  • Natural and unprocessed, 100% silvervine
  • Helps eliminate plaque and tartar
  • Highly attractive to cats, easy to feed

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some cats aren’t attracted to silvervine

#6 Best Budget: HARTZ Dentist’s Best Chicken Flavored Dental Cat Treats Review

HARTZ Dentist's Best Chicken Flavored Dental Cat Treats

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These treats are formulated with DentaShield technology, which, according to the company, reduces new tartar formation by up to 83%. It does this by “bonding with components in your cat’s saliva.”

It’s hard to ignore the fact that these treats are made with ingredients that aren’t species-appropriate and do more harm than good for your cat’s teeth. Each treat is made from corn flour, chicken meal, wheat flour, and corn gluten meal as primary ingredients. These high-carbohydrate inclusions are less than optimal for your cat’s oral ecosystem and overall health.

Think of these as an ever-so-slightly superior alternative to Temptations or any other low-value treat. The Hartz treats contain a few additives that might have some benefits for your cat’s dental health, but their other ingredients make them a poor choice for daily feeding.

Ingredients:

Corn Flour, Chicken Meal, Wheat Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dehulled Soybean Meal, Turkey Meal, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Poultry Digest, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salmon Meal, Parsley Flakes, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Tuna Flavor, Color Added (Titanium Dioxide, Blue #1), Choline Chloride, Maltodextrin, Lecithin, Rice Hulls, DL-Methionine, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Silicon Dioxide, Vegetable Oil (preserved with BHA & BHT), Copper Sulfate, Mineral Oil, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenate, Ground Corn Cob, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Phosphoric Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K activity), Cobalt Carbonate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Citric Acid (a Preservative), Folic Acid.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 25.00%
Crude Fat: 8.00%
Crude Fiber: 4.00%
Moisture: 10.00%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 27.78%
Fat: 8.89%
Fiber: 4.44%
Carbs: 58.89%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 25.66%
Fat: 19.94%
Carbs: 54.40%

What We Liked:

  • Cats love the flavor of these treats
  • According to the company, the DentaShield can reduce tartar by up to 83%
  • Made with parsley to freshen breath
  • Affordable

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Heavy carbohydrate concentration
  • A crunchy kibble treat
  • Made with artificial colors
  • Contains the potentially-harmful preservatives BHA and BHT

#7 Best Natural: WholeHearted Smart Smiles Cat Dental Treats Review

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These tasty cat treats make it easy to care for your cat’s dental health. With their delicious poultry flavor and crunchy texture, they gently abrade plaque from your cat’s teeth and help reduce tartar buildup.

WholeHearted Smart Smiles cat dental treats area available in several flavors including chicken and salmon. They feature real animal protein like chicken meal as the first ingredient with supplemental protein from chicken liver. Your cat will also enjoy the flavor of nutrient-rich chicken fat as well as the digestive benefits of added probiotics.

With less than 2 calories per treat, you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging your cat’s cravings. These treats are also made with peppermint to help freshen your cat’s breath and they’re completely free from artificial additives and grains of any kind.

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Tapioca Starch, Ground Peas, Chicken Liver, Coconut Glycerin, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Sunflower Lecithin, Dried Chicory Root, Calcium Carbonate, Mixed Tocopherols, Turmeric (Color), Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Peppermint Oil.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 25.00%
Crude Fat: 11.00%
Crude Fiber: 5.00%
Moisture: 11.00%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 28.09%
Fat: 12.36%
Fiber: 5.62%
Carbs: 53.93%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 25.07%
Fat: 26.79%
Carbs: 48.14%

What We Liked:

  • Crunchy treats full of chicken or salmon flavor
  • Made in the USA with natural ingredients
  • No grains or artificial additives or preservatives

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains some added starch

What About Homemade Cat Dental Treats?

In addition to regular brushing, professional cleanings, and commercial dental treats, homemade dental treats can help keep your cat’s teeth healthy. Raw meat and bones are among the best solutions.

Unlike any commercial cat food, raw meaty bones force your cat to use his jaws to gnaw and tear, digging his teeth into muscle tissue and breaking through raw bone. This gnawing action strengthens the jaws and cleans the teeth.

Because fresh raw meat doesn’t have any carbohydrate content, it’s also low-residue and will contribute minimally to the population of bad bacteria in your cat’s mouth.

Remember that only raw bones are safe for your cat.

While raw bones are flexible, cooked bones become brittle and are prone to splintering and shattering, making them extremely dangerous for your cat to eat. Choose small bones that tone your cat’s jaws without overwhelming them. Cat-appropriate options include raw chicken necks and chicken wings.

Good dental health results from a systematic approach from the inside out.

Genetics, diet, and oral hygiene all work in concert to support your cat’s dental health. Before treats, your first priority should be choosing the right diet and brushing your cat’s teeth with a good toothbrush and toothpaste. After you’ve established an oral care regimen, dental treats can help to fight against tartar and plaque buildup and dental disease in between brushing.

Relevant Content:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do dental treats for cats work?

It depends on the ingredients and the mechanism they use to remove plaque. Crunchy dental treats offer limited benefits in terms of scraping away plaque but some dental cat treats contain enzymes that help counter oral bacteria or contain breath-freshening ingredients.

How can I improve my cat’s dental health?

The best way to improve your cat’s dental health is to implement a similar oral hygiene regimen similar to your own. Ideally, you should be brushing your cat’s teeth daily and having his teeth checked by a veterinarian at least once a year.

How can I clean my cat’s teeth naturally?

Dental cat treats made with natural ingredients may help with surface plaque and bacteria, but the best thing you can do is brush your cat’s teeth. Giving your cat raw bones to chew on may help as well.

4 thoughts on “Best Dental Cat Treats

  1. Lynx

    Hartz Dental treats have excellent ingredients in them and I was shocked to see they’re loaded with vitamins. Why they had to even mention Vegetable oil preserved with BHT&BHA is laughable unless it was a pure vegetable oil treat!

    Reply
  2. Susan Stein

    Virbac has reformulated and renamed it’s cat dental treats. They are now called Intellidents but I can’t find its anywhere.

    Reply
  3. Fran Norton

    I ordered some of the Intellident cat treats from Entirely Pets on Nov. 17. Called customer service twice and left my number for a callback which never came. Finally got a hold of them before Christmas. I was told they were back ordered and wait for 2-3 weeks. On Jan. 15 I still have not received. Absolutely terrible customer service! Do not order from this website.

    Reply

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