Best Dental Food for Cats to Help Prevent Tartar Buildup

Bad dental health leads to painful dental disease and potentially life-threatening problems that are otherwise easily avoidable. Switch to the best dental food for cats which will not only support good oral health but also scrub plaque and tartar deposits on cat's teeth.
Best Dental Food For Cats

Poor oral care, improper diet and bad eating habits are the most common factors that contribute to dental disease in cats. If you can’t manage to brush your cat’s teeth regularly, using dental cat food can make a difference.

To help you switch her diet, we’ve listed the best dental food for cats that will be good for her teeth and overall health as well.

Periodontal disease is a real and painful problem for so many cats. Feline dental health diets are designed to prevent oral disease and improve dental health in cats. However, they aren’t a cure-all, and you should definitely use other dental care products for cats.

Dental food for cats is specially formulated to fight plaque and tartar, and freshen cat breath. It also serves as complete and balanced diet for your cat. Meaning, it is made to meet the daily nutritional needs of adult cats.

Do Cats Need Dry Food for Their Teeth?

For many years, it was believed that dry food was better for cat’s teeth. It was considered that the chewing action helped clean the surface of the teeth. However, cats don’t really chew their food. Instead, they tear, shred and swallow it whole. Furthermore, most commercial dry cat foods feature smaller kibble that does nothing to encourage a cat to chew.

Only dry dental care food for cats can provide gentle scrubbing action to remove plaque and tartar deposits. These diets feature larger size kibble, different texture and special ingredients that remove debris and bacteria from the teeth.

Is Wet Food Bad for Cats Teeth?

Just like cat owners were led to believe that dry food cleans teeth, wet cat food was labeled as bad for oral health. However, this isn’t completely true. In fact, canned food plays a very minor role in plaque and tartar accumulation.

Furthermore, the increased water content in canned cat food does not cause tooth decay.

But lack of daily oral care does! It is probably the biggest contributor to dental disease and bad teeth. Therefore, your cat might not develop any dental issues if she eats canned food or wet food, and you brush her teeth daily.

Does Dental Cat Food Really Work?

Dental diets for cats are made to gently scrape the teeth and remove bacteria and debris. Plus, they have a crunchier texture that encourages chewing and helps clean the teeth. The best dental foods for cats are made from special ingredients.

They focus on preventing plaque, removing tartar and checking bacterial growth in the mouth. However, even though they are designed to promote and improve oral health and hygiene, these diets can’t replace regular teeth brushing.

To prevent painful dental problems and rotten teeth you should use dental care food for cats, if possible on a daily basis. Furthermore, you should start brushing your cat’s teeth with a flavored cat toothpaste. Alternatively, you can also use dental wipes and water additives.

Selecting Best Cat Food for Dental Health

There are certain traits that differentiate regular cat food from dental cat food. If your cat food doesn’t have these traits, you might as well feed your cat with a commercial dry kibble and hope for some results.

Here are some of the key things to look for while selecting cat food for dental health.

  • Zinc: An essential trace mineral that is added to dental diets for its antibacterial properties. It is commonly found in dental care food for cats as zinc ascorbate, zinc gluconate, zinc oxide or other types of zinc salts, and reduces plaque and halitosis in cats.
  • Polyphosphates: Used to coat kibbles of cat dental diets. They are effective at binding to minerals, especially calcium, which can otherwise form tartar. Kibbles coated with polyphospates have been proven to prevent the formation of tartar on all teeth.
  • Ascorbic acid: Also known as Vitamin C, it is an effective antiseptic. It is used to heal mouth sores and reduce inflammation in cats that already have dental disease. It is most commonly added to the kibbles coating in the form of ascorbyl phosphate.
  • Texture: Due to higher levels of dietary fiber, these foods have a unique texture that promotes chewing. The mechanical chewing action scrapes the surface of the teeth and helps remove plaque.
  • Kibble size: An important feature if you are looking for the best dental food for cats. The increased kibble size accounts for more chewing which in turn scrubs tartar deposits significantly.
  • VOHC seal: The Veterinary Oral Health Council validates dental health claims made by manufacturers. The VOHC seal is awarded to products that are effective at postponing plaque and tartar formation.

Best Dental Food for Cats that Facilitates Daily Oral Care

The best dental food for cats should prevent oral disease and improve dental health in cats. Foods listed below are designed to do just that. They have a VOHC seal of approval and a unique kibble texture that effectively cleans cat’s teeth.

There are just too many dental cat foods out there to list here. But we have picked the best ones from the lot, based on the reviews they have received from buyers.

Hills t/d Dental Health Cat Food

Hills Prescription Diet t/d Dental Health Cat Food features a VOHC seal of approval and is suitable for adult cats. It is designed to reduce mouth bacteria and promote overall health.

Clinically proven to reduce plaque, stains, and tartar buildup the Hills Dental Care Cat Food has large kibbles that scrub the teeth.

This is a high-calorie diet, and the main ingredient chicken by-product meal is tasty to cats.

Hill's Prescription Diet t/d Dental Care Chicken Flavor Dry Cat Food, Veterinary Diet, 8.5 lb. Bag (Packaging May Vary)

$58.99  in stock
2 new from $58.99
Free shipping
as of February 1, 2023 4:59 PM

Hills also added antioxidants to their t/d dental biscuits to support overall health and wellness. Carefully chosen ingredients prevent mouth bacteria buildup and bad breath.

Made to be complete and balanced for daily feeding this food is designed to support dental health and fight plaque and tartar.

Cat owners reported that their cats tore into this food and that it scrubs the teeth and keeps them clean. However, some owners say that the kibble isn’t as crunchy as they thought it will be.

Read All Customer Reviews >>

Royal Canine Oral Sensitive Dry Cat Food

Formulated to be a complete and balanced diet for adult cats and daily feeding, Royal Canin Oral Sensitive cat food supports good dental health. This targeted diet is designed to keep plaque and tartar deposits in check.

The unique shape and the texture of the kibble simulate teeth brushing and will help clean your cat’s teeth. It is also made to encourage chewing, which leads to more efficient scrubbing action.

Royal Canin claims that this formula reduces the formation of dental plaque after 7 days of regular use. By adding a bit of tuna water or broth over the kibble this formula can become a soft dry cat food for cats with no teeth.

Royal Canin Oral Care Dry Cat Food, 6 lb bag

 out of stock
as of February 1, 2023 4:59 PM

The main ingredient Chicken meal makes this food taste great to felines and is a good source of proteins. Royal Canin also included essential vitamins and minerals into the mix to support the overall health of your cat.

Owners state that the kibbles are large enough to encourage chewing and that it keeps their cats’ teeth clean. However, some owners say that the kibble was too large and hard for their cats to chew.

Read All Customer Reviews >>


Cats excel at keeping their fur clean, unfortunately, the same can’t be said for their teeth. When it comes to dental hygiene, your cats needs all the help they can get.

Although teeth brushing is still the gold standard when it comes to oral hygiene, other more convenient (and cheaper!) products can also help. The best dental food for cats is designed to prevent oral diseases and improve the oral health of your cat.

These foods are formulated to be complete and balanced for daily feeding and contain all the nutrients adult cat needs. Still, it is always wise to check with your vet prior to making any dietary changes to your cat’s routine.

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