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Now why do cats need a toothpaste when felines have survived hundreds of years without it? Well, if you ever tried to give your kitty a kiss, you should know why! Cats suffer from an array of dental problems as they grow older. Using the best cat toothpaste will not only help get rid of cat bad breath but will also prevent these problems.
Unlike us, our cats can’t really brush and floss their teeth and maintain proper oral hygiene. Imagine how you would feel spending your life without brushing your teeth. Pretty uncomfortable, right?
A good cat toothpaste, like any of the one listed below, has all the right ingredients to keep your cat’s teeth pearly white and her gums healthy and strong. However, with so many products on the market, finding the right toothpaste for your cat can be tough.
But don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! Continue reading to get all the information about cat toothpastes and select one or more the ones we have suggested, for your fluffy feline.
Why Do Cats Need a Toothpaste?
Why do present day cats need dental care products, when their ancestors lived without them? One of the main reasons is the drastic change in diet that puts our cats at risk of dental problems.
Wildcats use their teeth to catch, kill and tear into their pray. Tearing is a mechanical action similar to brushing, which scrubs the surface of the teeth removing bacteria and plaque.
On the other hand, our feline companions depend on us for food and are rarely hunt for themselves. Many modern-day cat foods offer little resistance against chewing and are ineffective at cleaning our cat’s teeth.
Can My Cat Do Without a Toothpaste?
However, there are some exceptions and your kitty might not need a cat toothpaste at all! If your cat is healthy, has a really good diet, goes to the vet regularly and you are certain that her teeth are healthy, then she probably doesn’t need a cat toothpaste.
But let’s be real here. Most cats don’t lead perfectly healthy lifestyles. It is fine to give your cat treats and let her eat regular food if she really likes it. She should enjoy her life too right?
This also means you need to start paying attention to your cat’s dental health. While there are many different dental products available for cats, every cat should have her teeth brushed with a toothpaste at least once a week.
Is Human Toothpaste Bad for Cats?
If you are new to the world of cat oral care, you certainly have a lot of questions. Most new owners want to know if human toothpaste bad for cats or whether it’s fine to use it.
Well, the answer is no. You should never use human toothpaste on cats.
Our toothpaste isn’t meant to be swallowed and your cat doesn’t know how to spit it out. Foaming detergents and abrasive ingredients present in human toothpaste can harm a cat if digested.
Furthermore, human toothpaste contains fluoride, which is poisonous to cats. If ingested, even the smallest amount, it could be fatal.
The same thing is true for natural toothpastes and toothpaste for kids. Even though they are made of gentler ingredients they could still harm your cat’s health and should not be used.
Cat Toothpaste Ingredients
The ingredients in cat toothpaste are entirely from different from the ones in human toothpaste, and rightly so. They usually contain biological substances, like enzymatic ingredients which break down tartar and plaque, without harming a cat in any way.
Some of the most common ingredients found in a cat toothpaste are:
- Dicalcium phosphate: It’s a calcium and phosphorus supplement to strengthen cats’ teeth.
- Ethanol: Also known as alcohol, this ingredient is added as an antibacterial agent. If consumed in larger quantities it can cause your cat to become drunk. However, in small doses it is safe for your cat.
- Glycerin: Derived from different plant and animal sources, it acts as a binding and texturizing agent and is considered safe for cats.
- Glucose Oxidase: This enzyme is naturally produced by some species of fungi and insects who use it to produce hydrogen peroxide. Hence, glucose oxidase effectively destroys oral bacteria.
- Lactoperoxidase: It is also an enzyme and an effective bactericide that cleans your cat’s mouth.
- Hydrated Silica: A form of silicon dioxide used in toothpaste as a mild abrasive which is safe for cats even if swallowed.
- Xanthan Gum: This is a thickener made from fermented corn sugar and commonly used ingredient in wet cat food. In large quantities, it can cause diarrhea.
- Titanium Dioxide: A mineral-based whitening agent that colors the toothpaste.
- Sodium Benzoate: This is a preservative that naturally occurs in some fruit, vegetables and dairy products. It can be harmful to cats in higher concentration (over 1%).
- Sorbitol: It is by far the most controversial ingredient used in pet toothpastes, making it hard for owners to find a sorbitol free cat toothpaste. Sorbitol is a sweetener that is added to toothpaste to make it taste better. Smaller amounts of sorbitol in cat toothpaste are safe. However, in large amounts, it’s a laxative and can upset your cat’s stomach.
- Dextrose: It is a sugar, chemically identical to glucose. Therefore it might not be safe for cats with diabetes.
Types of Cat Toothpastes
You are probably aware that brushing a cat’s teeth isn’t a simple walk in the park. Most cats hate having their mouths touched and will do anything to avoid having their teeth brushed. Due to this, some products have special ingredients that remove plaque and tartar without the need for much brushing.
Ultimately the state of your cat’s teeth and her willingness to have her teeth brushed will decide what is the best cat toothpaste for you. There are two main categories of cat toothpastes.
Enzymatic Cat Toothpaste
It is abrasive enough to remove plaque and tartar on its own. Meaning that, you don’t have to be very thorough when brushing your cat’s teeth.
However, if your cat has significant tartar and plaque buildup you will have to brush her teeth properly for the best results.
Natural Cat Toothpaste
These are made from natural and gentler ingredients that are great for cats with sensitive gums and teeth. Since they don’t have enzymes, you will have to use a proper cat toothbrush to scrub the bacteria and plaque off your cat’s teeth. To find a suitable toothbrush, read our article on the best cat toothbrush.
A natural cat toothpaste can be a great option if your cat has healthy teeth. However, if she has a significant plaque or tartar buildup you should opt for cat tartar removal products and enzymatic toothpaste.
Best Cat Toothpaste for Better Teeth Brushing Experience
The main purpose of a cat toothpaste is to ensure proper oral hygiene and health. Having a good toothpaste also enhances the teeth cleaning experience for your cat. Ultimately, a cat toothpaste that works best for your cat depends on the state of your cat’s mouth.
Suggested below are tried and tested cat toothpastes that effectively remove plaque and tartar. Our list isn’t comprehensive, but you’ll get an idea about the brands who offer the best cat toothpaste.
Vetoquinol Enzadent Cat Toothpaste
The Vetaquinol Enzadent cat toothpaste is designed to improve the overall dental health including bad breath. Due to its enzymatic properties, it is effective at reducing plaque and tartar deposits.
This poultry flavored toothpaste is gentle enough to soothe inflamed and receding gums and is at the same time tasty. Due to its mild formulation, it is a suitable choice as toothpaste for cats with gingivitis.
Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Toothpaste for Cats & Dogs – 3.2 oz, Poultry Flavor – Triple Enzyme Formula for Healthy Teeth & Gums – Oral Dental Care: Removes Plaque, Polishes Teeth & Freshens Breath
The triple enzyme formula removes food debris and polishes the teeth to be white and shiny again. However, this product contains sorbitol which doesn’t have any cleaning properties.
This is a vet recommended toothpaste that is effective at removing plaque and tartar and ensures proper oral care. The non-foaming formula is safe to swallow and no rinsing is required.
Owners state that this toothpaste really removes plaque and tartar and that their cat’s love the poultry flavor. A few buyers state that they found the toothpaste’s brownish color odd.
Virbac CET Cat Toothpaste
When it comes to cat toothpaste on amazon the Virbac C.E.T cat toothpaste is by far the highest rated product. It is formulated to provide natural antibacterial action and to prevent plaque buildup.
The Virbac C.E.T cat toothpaste has a dual enzymatic action which scrubs the surface of the teeth and strengthens the gums. The vanilla mint flavor does wonders for bad breath and cats seem to love it.
Virbac CET Enzymatic Toothpaste, Eliminates Bad Breath by Removing Plaque and Tartar Buildup, Best Pet Dental Care Toothpaste, Vanilla Mint Flavor, 2.5 Oz Tube
Since it doesn’t contain any foaming agents, this toothpaste is safe to swallow and won’t cause any harm to your cat.
This product offers complete oral care and is the best cat toothpaste for gingivitis. Even if your cat doesn’t have any dental problems Virbac C.E.T cat toothpaste can serve as a great preventive against plaque and tartar.
According to reviews cats like this toothpaste so much, that they are excited to have their teeth brushed every time. On the other hand, despite various flavors, some owners state that their cats’ didn’t like the taste of this toothpaste.
Sentry Petrodex Dental Kit
The Sentry Petrodex Cat Toothpaste comes with two toothbrushes that complete this cat oral health care kit. This is an enzymatic toothpaste, meaning it is effective at removing plaque and tartar.
The hydrogen-peroxide producing enzyme scrubs the surface of the teeth reducing and preventing plaque deposits. At the same time, the toothpaste strengthens the gums and prevents dental issues.
This product comes in a palatable malt flavor, so your cat won’t have any problem with the taste. Furthermore, the two included toothbrushes will save you some trouble of buying a separate one.
The Sentry Petrodex Cat Toothpaste doesn’t foam and requires no rinsing. It also has fewer ingredients that support clean teeth, strong gums, and neutralize bad breath.
Owners state that their cats’ love the malt flavor and that this product saved them money on dental cleanings. Some cats didn’t like the smell of the toothpaste and refused to go near it.
Can You Use Dog Toothpaste on Cats?
If you own cats and dogs, you have probably wondered if you can use dog toothpaste on cats. While letting your pets share products is a great way to save some money, it isn’t always doable.
A toothpaste specially formulated for dogs may not have been tested on cats. It might have some harmful ingredients for cats as well. Therefore, you shouldn’t use a dog toothpaste on your cat without doing a bit of research about it.
However, you can brush your cat’s teeth with a toothpaste that is formulated for cats and dogs. Our list above contains one or two such products which are perfectly safe to be used on both cats and dogs.
When it comes to finding the best cat toothpaste, your opinion is not the only thing that matters, it’s your cat’s too. Felines don’t like having their teeth brushed and a tasty flavored toothpaste can make your job so much easier.
Cat toothpaste is an essential tool against dental problems. It will keep your cat’s teeth pearly white and strong, get rid of bad breath and remove plaque and tartar. Furthermore, with regular teeth brushing, you can postpone dental cleanings and keep your cat from going under anesthesia.