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9 Best Cat Toothpastes of 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

cat getting teeth brushed

Chances are, you already know how important it is to take good care of your cat’s teeth. Periodontal disease can cause all manner of complications for your cat’s well-being, from tooth decay to life-threatening disease, so it’s essential to keep their mouths clean and healthy.

This generally means brushing their teeth — and that’s a task that’s no fun for anyone involved.

However, if you choose the right toothpaste, not only will your cat enjoy a cleaner mouth, but they’ll also find the whole experience less stressful, making them less likely to tear your arms to shreds in the process.

In the reviews below, we examined the top cat toothpaste currently on the market.

Cat ball divider 1A Quick Look at Our Favorite Picks:

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic
  • Safe to swallow
  • No foaming agents
  • Cats enjoy poultry flavor
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic
  • Helps with bad breath
  • Budget-friendly option
  • Enzyme-based and poultry-flavored
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Oratene Brushless Oral Care Oratene Brushless Oral Care
  • Enzymes dissolve plaque
  • Boosts saliva production
  • Adds moisture to cat’s mouth
  • PetzLife Oral Care Gel PetzLife Oral Care Gel
  • No brushing required
  • Stress-free solution
  • Salmon oil creates flavor cats enjoy
  • Oxyfresh Soothing Cat Gel Oxyfresh Soothing Cat Gel
  • Great at neutralizing bad breath
  • Aloe helps heal cuts and abrasions
  • Ideal for sore, swollen, or painful mouths
  • The 9 Best Cat Toothpastes:

    1. Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Cat Poultry Flavor Toothpaste — Best Overall1Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Dog & Cat Poultry Flavor Toothpaste

    The hardest part about brushing your cat’s teeth is convincing them to allow you to put the brush in their mouth. Virbac C.E.T. solves this problem by giving the paste a poultry flavor that most cats seem to enjoy.

    It also uses enzymatic cleaners to attack plaque, tartar, and disease-causing bacteria in your pet’s mouth. Not only do these remove the gunk that’s already in there, but they also work to prevent new gunk from forming (this doesn’t let you off the hook in regard to brushing their teeth, though).

    The paste lacks foaming agents, so your cat won’t look rabid after you’re finished. It’s safe to be swallowed as well.

    If you have a dog, you can use this stuff on their teeth as well, making it a good choice for multi-pet households.

    The paste tends to go bad after a few months, though, so use it quickly or else you’ll likely need to throw out a large amount of unused product.

    All in all, Virbac C.E.T. is the best cat toothpaste we’ve found and the one most likely to eliminate the maximum amount of disease-causing germs.

    Pros
    • Enzymes kill disease-causing bacteria
    • Cats enjoy poultry flavor
    • No foaming agents
    • Safe to swallow
    • Can also be used on dogs
    Cons
    • Goes bad after a few months

    2. Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Toothpaste — Best Value2Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored Toothpaste for Dogs & Cats

    Vetoquinol Enzadent is a budget-friendly option that nevertheless does a good job of keeping cats’ mouths clean. In fact, it’s our pick for the best cat toothpaste for the money.

    Like the Virbac C.E.T., this paste is enzyme-based and poultry-flavored. Your cat isn’t likely to hate the flavor, and it should eradicate more than its fair share of germs.

    In fact, it’s powerful enough to kill off plaque even if you don’t do a great job of scrubbing your cat’s teeth. Some people smear it on treats and feed it to their cats, letting the enzymes do the work instead of the brush.

    It can help with bad breath as well, so you won’t have to keep avoiding cat kisses.

    The consistency leaves something to be desired, though, as it’s quite runny. This can make it difficult to keep on the brush. The color also resembles that of tartar, so you might have issues identifying which parts of your cat’s mouth you’ve already cleaned.

    It’s not quite as easy to use as the Virbac, but Vetoquinol Enzadent is still a fantastic option that will be as gentle on your pocketbook as it is on your cat’s mouth.

    Pros
    • Budget-friendly option
    • Can kill germs even without brushing
    • Enzyme-based and poultry-flavored
    • Helps with bad breath
    • Can be smeared on treats and fed to cats
    Cons
    • Runny consistency is difficult to manage
    • Brown color makes it hard to see where to brush

    3. Oratene Brushless Oral Care Dental Gel — Premium Choice3Oratene Brushless Enzymatic Oral Care Therapy Dental Gel for Dogs & Cats

    You’ll have to pay a bit more for it, but Oratene Brushless is worth every penny. It’s quite unlike most other cat toothpaste on the market, but that’s largely a good thing.

    It’s a completely transparent gel, so you’ll always have a clear view of what you’re doing. That makes it easy to tell if you’ve missed spots, as well as letting you see all the gunk that’s coming off.

    The enzymes actually dissolve plaque, so it’ll only become more effective over time. That also reduces the need to make contact with plaque and tartar while brushing.

    It also adds moisture to your cat’s mouth, making it a great choice for felines that don’t drink enough water. This boosts your cat’s saliva production as well, and their saliva is one of the best defenses against periodontal disease.

    Besides the cost, the biggest issue we found with this toothpaste is the fact that many cats don’t seem to enjoy the taste. You’ll have to work a bit harder to use it, but the results are worth it.

    Oratene Brushless is certainly a premium option, but we’re not sure that it represents enough of an upgrade over our top two options.

    Pros
    • Clear gel makes it easy to see what you’re doing
    • Enzymes dissolve plaque
    • Adds moisture to cat’s mouth
    • Boosts saliva production
    Cons
    • On the expensive side
    • Many cats don’t care for flavor

    4. PetzLife Oral Care Gel4PetzLife Oral Care Gel with Wild Salmon Oil

    PetzLife Gel doesn’t actually require any brushing at all, so it’s one of the most stress-free choices out there.

    It uses natural ingredients like grapefruit seed extract, thyme oil, and neem oil to kill germs and prevent them from sticking to your cat’s teeth and gums. This makes it a good choice for owners who are wary about shoving a bunch of chemicals in their cat’s mouth.

    They also added salmon oil to the recipe, so your cat will likely lap it right up. That makes your job even easier.

    Of course, chemicals have at least one thing going for them: They tend to be incredibly effective. This is a milder formula than many others on the market, and it’s probably better used as a preventive measure than as a solution to advanced dental disease.

    Also, the smell that your cat loves so much will probably make you gag, and it tends to linger on their breath well after the application.

    PetzLife Gel is a good enough option for owners who don’t want to deal with the hassle of trying to brush their cat’s teeth, but unless you start your cat off early enough and use it religiously, it might not be strong enough to make a real difference.

    Pros
    • No brushing required
    • Uses natural ingredients instead of chemicals
    • Salmon oil creates flavor cats enjoy
    • Stress-free solution
    Cons
    • Not as powerful as other options
    • Salmon odor is powerful and off-putting
    • Not suitable for advanced cases of disease

    5. Oxyfresh Soothing Cat Gel5Oxyfresh Soothing Dog & Cat Gel

    If your cat is already experiencing issues that make their mouth tender, then Oxyfresh Soothing Gel might be your best bet.

    It’s made with a combination of Oxygene and aloe, so it actually soothes irritated gums while it cleans them. It’s ideal for healing minor cuts and abrasions and reducing swelling.

    This is one of the best formulas for neutralizing bad breath. It actually eliminates it too, rather than simply covering it up, as it doesn’t have any added fragrance.

    It doesn’t have any added flavor either, so your cat isn’t likely to want it shoved into their mouth. It’s also one of the pricier options out there, but the expense is well worth it for cats with aching gums. You may not want to shoulder the extra cost if your cat is fine, though.

    The gel is extremely thick, so you need to be careful about how much you use, or it could cause your cat to gag.

    Oxyfresh Soothing Gel is the best option that we’ve found for cats with painful mouths, but it’s not as versatile as some other pastes.

    Pros
    • Ideal for sore, swollen, or painful mouths
    • Aloe helps heal cuts and abrasions
    • Great at neutralizing bad breath
    Cons
    • Lack of flavor makes it difficult to administer
    • On the pricey side
    • Thick gel can cause gagging

    6. Sentry Petrodex Toothpaste Dental Care Kit6Sentry Petrodex Veterinary Strength Malt Toothpaste Dental Care Kit for Cats

    Sentry Petrodex comes with both a finger brush and a toothbrush, so you get everything you’ll need to take care of your cat’s teeth in one handy package. That’s impressive because this is one of the cheaper options on the market.

    However, the paste is malt flavored — expect a rodeo on your hands every time you try to use it.

    It also has a sticky consistency, almost like glue. That’s not a huge deal so long as you don’t get any on your cat’s fur, but if you do, it will take incredible effort to get it out.

    The included brushes have hard bristles, and they may be too stiff for your cat’s liking. You’re probably better off spending a few extra bucks to get something less abrasive.

    On the sunny side, it does seem to do a good job of preventing tartar from building up, and that’s no small feat. Unfortunately, it’s also not enough to help Sentry Petrodex break into the top half of this list.

    Pros
    • Includes two brushes
    • Inexpensive
    • Good for preventing tartar buildup
    Cons
    • Off-putting malt flavor
    • Brushes have extremely hard bristles
    • Gets stuck in cat’s fur
    • Glue-like consistency

    7. Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Cat Dental Kit7Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Cat Dental Kit

    The Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Kit includes a toothbrush and finger brush, of fairly high quality.

    They have rubber massagers that can stimulate blood flow to the gums, which speeds up healing. Your cat may also appreciate the massage.

    The brushes are certainly softer and better-made, but there’s one big problem: They’re huge. You’re going to have a hard time stuffing them in your cat’s mouth, never mind getting into nooks and crannies.

    The formula isn’t non-foaming, so expect things to get messy. Most cats don’t care for the flavor either, so expect things to get really messy.

    It seems like the flavor lingers for quite some time, which isn’t a good thing. Don’t be surprised if your cat develops a deep aversion to this stuff.

    The Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Kit is full of good ideas, but they’re not as well-executed as we’d like.

    Pros
    • Includes two high-quality brushes
    • Brushes have massagers that stimulate blood flow
    Cons
    • Causes foaming
    • Brushes are too big to fit easily inside cat’s mouth
    • Flavor lingers for a long time
    • Can be extremely messy

    8. TropiClean No Brushing Oral Care Gel8Fresh Breath by TropiClean No Brushing Clean Teeth Dental & Oral Care Gel for Cats

    TropiClean No Brushing is another easy solution, as all you have to do is add a drop to each side of your cat’s mouth every day.

    While that’s certainly a stress-free way to handle dental care, it’s not as effective as brushing. That’s especially true because this formula relies on natural ingredients like green tea to help fight plaque rather than using any sort of chemicals.

    That’s not to say it doesn’t work, but it takes a long time to see results, and what results you do see will be less noticeable than the ones you’d get from a thorough brushing.

    Many cats seem to start foaming at the mouth after being given this gel as well. That’s not because it’s toxic, but it just seems to be their reaction to the taste — and needless to say, if the taste makes them foam at the mouth, it’s not going to be easy to convince them to accept it.

    It also seems to merely mask bad breath, rather than eliminate it. You should see a brief improvement, but after a few hours, the feline halitosis will likely be back with a vengeance.

    TropiClean No Brushing is one of the easiest ways to clean a cat’s mouth, and while it does offer benefits, it’s simply not as effective as some of the more labor-intensive methods.

    Pros
    • Easy to apply
    • All-natural ingredients
    Cons
    • Not as effective as other options
    • Takes a long time to see results
    • Only masks bad breath
    • May cause cat to foam at mouth
    • Most cats hate taste

    9. Arm & Hammer Pets Dental Care Kit9Arm & Hammer Cat Dental Care Dental Kit for Cats Eliminates Bad Breath

    The Arm & Hammer Dental Care Kit is the cheapest option on this list by a fair bit — and we definitely mean “cheap” in both senses of the word.

    Both the regular toothbrush and the finger brush are made of hard, stiff plastic, so it’s difficult to work them into your cat’s mouth. They also seem like they’d be abrasive to sensitive teeth and gums.

    The paste supposedly has both a tuna flavor and a fresh mint scent. We’ll have to take their word for the tuna part, because all we can smell is a strong mint odor — and mint just happens to be an off-putting flavor for most cats.

    The active ingredient inside this paste is baking soda, which may help clean teeth, but it also makes a mess. Your cat will foam at the mouth regardless of how they feel about the flavor.

    Still, the Arm & Hammer Dental Care Kit may be a good option for anyone who’s looking for an inexpensive way to start taking care of their cat’s teeth. You should quickly graduate to a better option in our opinion, though.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    Cons
    • Brushes are hard and stiff
    • May be too harsh on sensitive teeth and gums
    • Most cats hate mint flavor
    • Baking soda causes frothing at mouth
    • Brushes are hard to work inside cat’s mouth

    Buyer’s Guide

    If you’re like most pet owners, you haven’t given much thought as to what to look for in a cat toothpaste. In this guide, we’ll walk you through what to look for so you stand a better chance of bringing home something that your cat will actually tolerate (and maybe even enjoy).

    What Should I Look For in a Cat Toothpaste?

    The first thing to consider is what type of toothpaste you want to use.

    There are two basic types: enzymatic and natural. Enzymatic cleaners tend to be more powerful, and they can eradicate bacteria in your cat’s mouth on contact.

    Some owners are suspicious about using ingredients like these, however, so they prefer the natural options. These pastes use mint, baking soda, or similar ingredients to clean your cat’s teeth. They’re less powerful, but that makes them gentler on the cat’s mouth.

    Beyond that, it’s mostly a question of what you think that your cat would like. Toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors (including flavor-free options), so you may need to experiment with a few before you find one that your cat will accept.

    Some toothpaste causes your cat to foam at the mouth. This is generally harmless, but it can be alarming all the same. If it bothers you, be sure to find an option that’s foam-free.

    Can’t I Just Use My Toothpaste on My Cat?

    No. Although some human toothpaste may be safe for use on cats, many include potentially deadly (to cats) ingredients, like fluoride.

    Also, most human toothpaste comes in flavors that cats don’t enjoy (unless you’re brushing your teeth with tuna-flavored toothpaste). It will make your life much easier if you buy a toothpaste designed for cats.

    How Do I Even Go About Brushing My Cat’s Teeth?

    Very carefully. It’s not something that you can jump right into; rather, you’ll have to acclimate your cat to the process over several days or weeks.

    cat getting teeth brushed
    Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

    Start by simply introducing them to the brush and toothpaste. You can set them on the ground in front of them so they can see and sniff them. Hopefully, your cat will show interest in the toothpaste — if they lick it, that’s a good sign.

    Once they’re comfortable with the tools that you’ll use, sit with them in your lap. You may want to choose a room with a closed door so they can’t escape.

    Apply the toothpaste to the brush, and then tilt your cat’s head upward at about a 45° angle. Pull back their lips, and gently rub the brush along their teeth and gums (they can keep their mouth closed for this).

    Don’t worry too much about the tips or insides of the teeth at first, but as your cat becomes used to the procedure, you may want to try to brush them as well. The most important thing is to remove plaque and tartar along the gumline, so focus your efforts there.

    How Often Should I Brush My Cat’s Teeth?

    Try to do it every day, for about 30 seconds per side. If you can’t manage that, do as much as you can — but more is always better.

    cat paw dividerConclusion

    Virbac C.E.T. was our favorite toothpaste of all the brands we tested, as its enzymes do a great job of breaking down plaque and tartar. Plus, it has a poultry flavor that most cats seem to enjoy.

    If you’re looking for a less-expensive option that’s almost as good, consider Vetoquinol Enzadent. It’s powerful enough to kill germs without brushing, and it’s great for eliminating bad breath.

    Taking care of your cat’s teeth and gums is extremely important, and finding the right toothpaste will help make the job as painless as possible. We hope that these reviews have made it easier for you to make a decision because your cat’s health depends on it (no pressure).