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10 Best Tartar Control Products for Cats in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks

tabby maine coon teeth brushing

Every cat owner knows that their feline companion can spend hours upon hours grooming themselves, but one area they can’t clean is their teeth.

Dental hygiene is paramount to the overall health of your cat. A big clue into potential dental problems is the smell of your cat’s breath. If you find yourself pulling your shirt up over your nose, then a trip to the vet for a dental examination is needed.

To better understand the process, plaque forms from bacteria in your cat’s saliva. Ignoring plaque on the teeth will calcify and turn into tartar over time. Once this happens, the only true way to remove it is by your vet. After that, it’s up to you to keep it at bay. Below are the top 10 product reviews we’ve found that serve this purpose. Hopefully, it will help you find the right product for your kitty’s hygiene needs.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2022

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Virbac Enzymatic Cat Toothpaste Virbac Enzymatic Cat Toothpaste
  • Feature iconTop recommendation by veterinarians
  • Feature iconPets can swallow the paste
  • Feature iconFreshens breath
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Vetoquinol Enzymatic Toothbrush Kit Vetoquinol Enzymatic Toothbrush Kit
  • Feature iconComes complete with paste and brushes
  • Feature iconBreaks down plaque, keeping tartar at bay
  • Feature iconCan be safely swallowed
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Royal Canin Vet Diet Dental Cat Food Royal Canin Vet Diet Dental Cat Food
  • Feature iconAccepted by the VOHC
  • Feature iconReduces plaque while your cat chews
  • Feature iconControls hairballs and keeps bladder healthy
  • Best for Kittens
    MAXI/GUARD Oral Cleansing Wipes MAXI/GUARD Oral Cleansing Wipes
  • Feature iconNo brushing required
  • Feature iconContains 100 wipes
  • Feature iconGreat value
  • Greenies Feline Salmon Dental Cat Treats Greenies Feline Salmon Dental Cat Treats
  • Feature iconVet recommended
  • Feature iconReduces tartar and plaque buildup
  • Feature iconContains vitamins and minerals
  • The 10 Best Tartar Removal Products For Cats

    1. Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Cat Poultry Flavor Toothpaste – Best Overall

    Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Dog & Cat Poultry Flavor Toothpaste

    Features Plaque removal, breath freshener, tartar control
    Product Form Paste
    Package 5-ounce tube

    Virbac C.E.T. has over 25 years of experience producing effective dental products, and Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Dog & Cat Poultry Flavor Toothpaste is no exception. This particular product line is the number one recommended dental product by veterinarians and is specially formulated to be effective, safe, and pleasing to your pet. It’s safe for both cats and dogs, so it works great if you have a multi-pet household. Virbac uses a dual-enzyme system that prevents plaque formation, and it’s safe for pets to swallow because the formula contains no foaming agents. It freshens breath, too.

    The 2.5-ounce tube contains no seal, which is a drawback. It also does not come with a toothbrush or finger brush. You’ll also want to monitor your pet after the first use; some consumers state it made their pets sick with GI problems. It contains sorbitol, which some cats and dogs may be sensitive to.

    It comes in either a one or two-count tube and is cost-effective. With this product being the number one recommended dental product, we feel it’s the best overall tartar and plaque control product for your feline pal.

    Pros
    • Top recommendation by veterinarians for tartar
    • Pets can swallow the paste
    • Freshens breath
    • Prevents plaque from forming
    Cons
    • Comes with no seal
    • Contain sorbitol, which may cause GI issues
    • Does not come with a toothbrush or finger brush
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    2. Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored Toothbrush Kit – Best Value

    Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored Toothbrush Kit

    Features Plaque removal, tartar control
    Product Form Paste
    Package 2-ounce tube

    Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored Toothbrush Kit for Dogs & Cats comes with everything you need to fight plaque and tartar on your kitty’s teeth. It contains a duel-ended, soft bristle toothbrush, a finger brush, and a 3.2-ounce tube of poultry-flavored paste. It’s safe for both cats and dogs, no rinsing required, can be safely swallowed, and it combats bad breath. If used daily, the triple enzyme, non-foaming formula breaks down plaque for healthy teeth and gums. By breaking down plaque, it keeps tartar at bay.

    It contains sorbitol, so avoid this product if your pet has a sensitivity to this ingredient. The paste may come hardened and unusable. If this happens, contact the manufacturer for a refund or a new tube.

    This product is cost-effective, works for both cats and dogs, and comes with everything you need to provide oral hygiene for your pet, making it the best tartar control product for the money.

    Pros
    • Comes complete with paste and brushes
    • Breaks down plaque, keeping tartar at bay
    • Can be safely swallowed
    Cons
    • Paste may arrive hardened in tube
    • Contain sorbitol
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    3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental Dry Cat Food – Premium Choice

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental Dry Cat Food

    Features Reduce plague
    Product Form Dry kibble
    Package Bag

    Not all dental products need to be in paste form. Royal Canin is known for manufacturing specially formulated products that apply to suit your specific needs. This Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental Dry Cat Food formula is designed to optimize your cat’s oral health. It reduces plaque buildup and is accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC).

    The advantage of this product is that it comes with additional benefits and nutrition, such as a blend of dietary fibers for controlling the formation of hairballs and a S/O index formula that prevents crystals from forming in the bladder. The kibble shape is designed to promote chewing and acts as a toothbrush to reduce tartar buildup. It’s also pea-free for those that suffer from pea allergies.

     A drawback is you can’t get this product without authorization from your vet. It comes in only a 7.7-pound bag and is expensive.

    Pros
    • Accepted by the VOHC
    • Reduces plaque while your cat chews
    • Controls hairballs and keeps bladder healthy
    • Pea-free
    Cons
    • Requires vet approval
    • More expensive than other methods of oral hygiene
    • Comes in only a 7.7-pound bag
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    4. MAXI/GUARD Oral Cleansing Wipes – Best for Kittens

    MAXI GUARD Oral Cleansing Wipes

    Features Plaque, tartar reducer
    Product Form Wipes
    Package Container

    These wipes are best for kittens because of their ease of use. More than likely, it will take time for your kitten to become comfortable with you messing around inside its mouth, and MAXI/GUARD Oral Cleansing Wipes are a great way to slowly introduce a regimen of oral hygiene without having to brush. It contains limited, safe ingredients and can be used for both cats and dogs. It’s vet-approved to safely reduce the formation of plaque and tartar, and it freshens breath, too! This formula contains zinc, which supports the immune system if given in small doses, and it comes in a 100-count at a great value.

    The wipes are unflavored, so it may prove challenging at first to gain your kitten’s interest. Some consumers claim that brushing is more effective for their pets, so you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons for your particular kitty. If anything, it’s still a great way to introduce your kitten to a daily dental routine.

    Pros
    • No brushing required
    • Contains 100 wipes
    • Great value
    • Contains a small amount of zinc for immune health
    Cons
    • Some claim wipes are not 100% effective
    • Unflavored wipes may not entice your kitten
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    5. Greenies Feline Savory Salmon Flavor Adult Dental Cat Treats

    Greenies Feline Savory Salmon Flavor Adult Dental Cat Treats

    Features Reduces tartar buildup, freshens breath
    Product Form Treats
    Package Bag

    If you’re a cat owner, odds are you’ve heard of Greenies. Most pets love these, and with Greenies Feline Savory Salmon Flavor Adult Dental Cat Treats, you can provide your cat with good teeth cleaning in treat form. These treats are made with all-natural ingredients and contain no artificial preservatives, flavors, or fillers. They are crunchy, which aids in reducing plaque and tartar buildup. They have a salmon flavor that cats love, and they are balanced with vitamins and minerals for a healthy snack. This product comes in many different sizes and bags to choose from.

    Corn-gluten meal is among the ingredients, so avoid this treat if your cat has a corn allergy. Also, the package design may not keep the greenies fresh for long periods of time. These are also not recommended for kittens.

    These Greenies are also vet-recommended and proven to reduce tartar buildup.

    Pros
    • Vet recommended
    • Reduces tartar and plaque buildup
    • Contains vitamins and minerals
    Cons
    • Contains corn-gluten
    • For adult cats only
    • Package design may not keep treats fresh for long durations
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    6. Oratene Brushless Enzymatic Oral Care Therapy Dental Gel for Cats

    Oratene Brushless Enzymatic Oral Care Therapy Dental Gel

    Features Plaque removal
    Product Form Gel
    Package 5-ounce tube

    Oratene Brushless Enzymatic Oral Care Therapy Dental Gel for Dogs & Cats is a clear gel that comes in a 2.5-ounce tube. It contains maximum enzyme contact that dissolves plaque and minimizes odor-causing bacteria. It’s gentle on the gums and helps prevent periodontal disease. It has no harmful or harsh ingredients, and you can apply it with your finger or a toothbrush. In addition to cleaning your cat’s teeth, it also keeps the gums healthy and freshens breath with no rinsing required.  You can use this product for your canine pal, too. It also protects your cat’s mouth from dryness if it doesn’t drink much water.

    It does not have a smell, which causes some owners to have no luck using it on their feline.

    Pros
    • Can apply with your finger
    • No rinsing required
    • Can use for both cats and dogs
    • Dissolves plaque
    Cons
    • The lack of scent or flavor may discourage your pet from allowing you to use it
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    7. DentaLife Savory Salmon Flavor Dental Cat Treats

    DentaLife Savory Salmon Flavor Dental Cat Treats

    Features Reduces tartar
    Product Form Treats
    Package 8-ounce bag

    DentaLife Savory Salmon Flavor Dental Cat Treats is made by Purina, a trusted name brand within the pet industry. These treats are accepted by the VOHC and hold a savory salmon flavor to pique your cat’s interest. You can help reduce tartar buildup just by giving your kitty these crunchy treats. If you have a cat that won’t allow you to brush its teeth, these provide a great alternative to support oral hygiene. It comes with added benefits, such as taurine for healthy eyes and heart and added vitamins and minerals. The package is resealable, and most cats love the taste.

    These treats are not made for kittens and are only suitable for cats 1-7 years of age. It also contains corn, making it not suitable for kitties with corn allergies.

    You can give these treats daily to maintain oral health.

    Pros
    • Provides alternative to brushing
    • Contains vitamins and minerals
    • Resealable package
    Cons
    • Not for kittens
    • Contains corn
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    8. Sentry Petrodex Veterinary Malt Toothpaste Dental Care Kit for Cats

    Sentry Petrodex Veterinary Strength Malt Toothpaste

    Features Reduces plaque and tartar, breath freshener
    Product Form Paste
    Package 5-ounce tube

    Sentry Petrodex Veterinary Strength Malt Toothpaste Dental Care Kit for Cats is a veterinary strength paste designed to reduce plaque and tartar, as well as freshen breath. Included in the package are the paste, a finger brush, and a soft-bristle toothbrush. The non-foaming formula is malt-flavored, and no rinsing is required. The toothbrush is smaller, so it fits into your cat’s mouth easier than other pet toothbrushes.

    This product contains sorbitol so use only in small amounts to avoid causing a stomach upset in your cat.

    Some consumers state that the finger brush is too large for a cat’s mouth, and some cats don’t care for the malt flavor, but for the most part, most cats seem to love the malt flavor paste, which will make teeth cleaning easier.

    Pros
    • Reduces plaque and tartar from forming
    • Freshens breath
    • Smaller toothbrush for easier access to teeth
    Cons
    • Finger brush may be too large for a cat’s mouth
    • Some cats don’t care for the malt flavor
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    9. ProDen PlaqueOff Powder Dog & Cat Supplement

    ProDen PlaqueOff Powder Dog & Cat Supplement

    Features Reduces tartar and plaque, freshens breath
    Product Form Powder
    Package Bottle

    ProDen PlaqueOff Powder Dog & Cat Supplement is VOHC accepted and is easy to use. This product is another terrific alternative to brushing if you have a feline that’s not a fan. It’s made from 100% North Atlantic seaweed specially picked for this formula. All that’s needed is to sprinkle this powder in your pet’s food once a day, but be sure to follow the recommended amount. It’s safe for both cats and dogs and is gluten-free. The formula fights plaque and tartar, as well a foul breath. You can expect to see results in as little as 3 to 8 weeks.

    This product is not recommended for cats with hypothyroidism, and the small scope may be hard to retrieve from the bottle.

    Pros
    • Provides alternative to brushing
    • Easy to use
    • Gluten-free
    • Made from North Atlantic seaweed
    Cons
    • Scope is small, making it hard to retrieve from bottle
    • Not for cats with hypothyroidism
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    10. Petsmile Professional London Broil Flavor Pet Toothpaste

    Petsmile Professional London Broil Flavor Pet Toothpaste

    Features Plaque removal
    Product Form Paste
    Package 5-ounce tube

    Petsmile Professional London Broil Flavor Pet Toothpaste is free from parabens, gluten, BPA, and silica. This formula includes Calprox, which dissolves the protein that causes plaque to form in the first place. It’s VOHC-accepted, helps fight cavities, and can help prevent gingivitis. Your pet can safely swallow the non-foaming formula, and it’s safe for both cats and dogs. The 2.5-ounce tube should last you four months, which makes for a great value.

    The paste can be a bit messy, so beware when you put it on a toothbrush. This particular flavor is London broil, which some pets may not like. They do have other flavors if your pet doesn’t care for this particular flavor.

    Pros
    • Keeps plaque from forming
    • Contains Calprox
    • Fights gingivitis
    Cons
    • Can be messy to work with
    • May need to experiment with different flavors
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    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Tartar Control Product for Cats

    We want to point out that none of the products mentioned above should take the place of regular check-ups by your veterinarian. The true way to remove tartar is to have your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned. After the tartar is removed, these products will help keep it from forming again, which could save you money in the long run. It will also help your cat maintain good oral hygiene, which will make them happier, too!

    Oral hygiene is vital in your cat’s overall health, so we hope we were able to assist you in making the right decisions for your needs. But before you go, let’s dive a little deeper to help you even further.

    What To Look For In a Dental Product

    When looking for a dental product for your cat, make sure the ingredients contain no artificial flavors or fillers. If your cat has any food allergies, make sure the product doesn’t contain anything that may irritate their allergy. For example, some cats can’t tolerate corn or peas, so make sure that these ingredients are absent in the formula.

    cat getting teeth brushed
    Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

    Which Are Better: Paste, Wipes, Treats, Or Food Supplements?

    We all know that trying to keep up with your cat’s oral hygiene is not the easiest thing in the world to do; however, this market has many options to choose from, and some are trial and error.

    If your kitty will let you brush its teeth, go with this option because it’s the most effective. Some cats will not have any part of a toothbrush in their mouth, and if this sounds like your little bundle of feline joy, you should look into dental treats or a food supplement. Most cat owners have success with these products, and they help keep plaque from forming, which is the main culprit. When in doubt, always consult your vet to help you find the perfect choice for your cat.

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    Conclusion

    For the best overall tartar control, Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Dog & Cat Poultry Flavor Toothpaste combines expertise in the market and a specially formulated duel-enzyme system that prevents plaque, all rolled into one convenient tube. Vetoquinol Enzadent Enzymatic Poultry-Flavored Toothbrush Kit for Dogs & Cats comes with all the tools you need to fight tartar and freshen breath for the best value.

    We hope these top 10 reviews help you in your search. Remember, when in doubt, always consult with your veterinarian.

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    Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

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