In humans, caring for our teeth is a must. Not doing so can lead to infections and serious ailments as well as difficulties in old age. We need to brush, floss, and get some dental treatments from time to time to keep our pearly whites in top shape. It’s a lot of work, so it’s not something that you’d expect that your cat needs as well.
Cats require a serious deal of oral care. With seventy to ninety percent of cats suffering from a dental disease, it’s a serious problem that’s plaguing these furry creatures. Proper maintenance with the help of the best cat dental treats is critical to keep them happy and healthy.
Cat Dental Treat
Your Cat’s Oral Health Matters
Your Cat’s Teeth
As most cat lovers will know, cats are designed to survive in the wild. They’re predators, no matter how cute and fluffy they are. Their sharp teeth and claws attest to this nature, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the change in diet after being domesticated affects their health significantly.
Because cats are carnivores, their teeth are designed to be kept strong by his natural diet. It should be strengthened by gnawing at meat and bones of rodents, birds, and other kinds of prey. In fact, cats grow two sets of teeth in their lifetime, just like humans. Their first set of teeth, also known as their milk teeth, will start to come out at four weeks old.
They will then shed all of these 26 deciduous teeth by their sixth month. They will be replaced by 30 permanent teeth designed to catch, rip apart, and consume prey. As the regular cat now lives off kibble and mush, their teeth don’t get the sharpening and use they need to stay in top shape. The change in diet doesn’t help as well.
Worried that your cat may have poor oral health? We know that this can be tricky, but bear with us: take a good look at the inside of their mouth. Normally, their teeth should be white or a bit yellowish. The gums should be light pink, except in breeds with pigmented gums. Their breath shouldn’t be awful as well. If they failed in all of these, you might just have a problem at hand.
Common Feline Dental Issues
To make sure if your cat needs to see a vet for their dental health, here are a few dental issues in cats that you should be on the lookout for:
1. Periodontal disease
Characterized by plaque buildup on the tooth surface, this condition causes tooth decay and bacterial infections in cats. It affects 85% of cats aged six and over and can deteriorate so badly that tooth extraction might just be the only way to deal with it.
2. Feline gingivitis/stomatitis syndrome (FGS)
While relatively uncommon, this can be caused by a cat’s periodontal disease. This condition refers to the inflammation of the gums and the oral mucous membranes and causes severe pain, excessive drooling, depression, and aggressiveness in some cats. It’s also often associated with more serious illnesses in cats, making it even more necessary to spot this problem right away.
3. Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORL)
Affecting over 50% of cats that are five years and older, the FORL is another common dental problem among the species. This condition creates plaque-caused lesions where the tooth meets the gums. It causes an abnormal immune response in cats rendering the tissue incapable of repairing itself, worsening the lesions and causing severe damage to the tooth and its roots. It’s very painful and causes cats to drool and trigger jaw spasms when the afflicted tooth is touched.
4. Fractured teeth
Often caused by trauma, a cat having fractured teeth is an invitation for infection, which can significantly impact your fur baby’s health. It’s also very painful, so appropriate steps should be taken right away.
Like in humans, a lot of dental problems in cats can be solved by extraction. However, this is a very costly process. While your pet wouldn’t mind a missing tooth or two, you still shouldn’t let things get to this point as it can impact their well-being in so many ways.
Caring for Your Cat’s Teeth
With so many oral problems your cat can experience, it’ll be best to just observe proper oral care in your pets instead of trying to remedy a serious condition. This will let you ensure that you’re giving the best quality of life for your pet and may even save you from spending hundreds of dollars for their dental procedures and medications.
Cats are great at hiding their pain, so often, it’ll be too late to know if they’re suffering from oral problems which might have already hurt their overall health as well.
As they say, prevention is better than cure, so it will be best to get started right away in caring for your pet’s pearly whites. Taking preventive measures will help ensure that your pet’s teeth are in great shape, saving you and your kitty from the dental pain issues can bring.
How do you take care of your cat’s teeth, though? Here are some steps.
1. Schedule your cat for a regular checkup.
Not a lot of pet parents schedule regular vet checkups for their pet as this can get quite expensive. However, if you have the budget for it, it’s a beautiful thing to get a professional check your pet’s teeth at least once or twice a year. This is most important for older cats with a history of tooth decay so you can quickly address problems as soon as they arise.
2. Brush your kitty’s teeth regularly.
If you don’t think you have the money for regular vet visits, you should make sure to take care of your kitty’s teeth. This will be very useful for kittens and younger cats as you can still rescue a few damaged teeth and prevent plaques from getting worse should there be some already.
Getting started will be quite tricky, however. Older cats will surely resist getting their teeth brushed, so it will be a challenge. You can ease them in, however, with the help of some conditioning tricks like starting with just using your fingers to apply pressure to their gums.
Once they get used to the insides of their mouths getting touched, start putting some feline toothpaste on their lips to help them get used to the taste. If they’re already used to such contact, you can already try brushing their teeth.
Remember not to force them, though. You shouldn’t push brushing to your cat if they don’t want it as this will only make them shy away from the activity altogether. You should also use a toothbrush and toothpaste for cats as those are designed specifically for the needs of your pet.
If brushing scares your pet away, you can use dental wipes or a gauze dipped in water will also do. A dental rinse will also help if your cat won’t even let you get near her mouth.
3. Tweak their diet.
Some people say that dry food does the trick in cleaning your cat’s teeth, but this isn’t true. Most cats don’t chew their kibble well, so the scraping effect where this myth rests its case doesn’t always come to fruition.
In some cases, these food items even leave carbohydrate residue that can cause tooth cavity in cats. Experts have found out that a raw diet is still the best for cats. Vets also recommend Grain-free canned food.
The moisture available in these foods can help wash away plaque while the enzymes present in it can also prevent plaque.
4. Give them the best dental cat treats.
You may have already encountered some cat treated for dental health at the pet store and wondered why they’re more expensive than your regular treats. They’re more special as they are made with additional enzymes that can help prevent the development of plaque and tartar on your teeth.
What are Dental Cat Treats and Should You Get Some for Your Kitty?
Cat dental treats are pet treats that you give your cat when they’ve done well or just to spoil them. They’re also some of the best and easiest ways to provide oral care for your kitty.
With ingredients that will help keep their teeth clean and healthy, these treats are the easiest ways to introduce the enzymes your cat needs to maintain their teeth in great shape. Cats won’t hesitate to chomp and gnaw at these items as they look exactly just like their regular treats.
This applies in particular if your pet is used to receiving them from time to time. The idea of a special food item will even excite them, making the best cat dental treats very effective in cleaning your pet’s pearly whites.
However, not all dental cat treats are made equal. There are those that are just regular cat treats with additional ingredients that can mask your pet’s breath instead of having cleaning effects. You should be able to tell apart which ones are the best so you can be sure that your fur baby will enjoy the best results from these products.
To help you do just that, we’ve rounded up 6 of the best dental cat treats that you can find on the market today. Check them out below.
6 of the Best Cat Dental Treats in the Market Today
Touted as the #1 vet-recommended dental cat treat, this product from Greenies is also one of the most popular options in the market right now. Available in six different flavors including Ocean Fish, Tempting Tuna, Succulent Beef, Catnip, Oven Roasted Chicken, and Savory Salmon, your fur baby will surely enjoy variety and exciting new tastes while getting their teeth clean.
What makes this treat right for your cat’s teeth is its crunchy consistency that will help scrape off tartar and plaque buildup on your pet’s teeth. It also has additional vitamins, taurine, minerals, and chlorophyll, offering additional nutrients for your beloved pet.
- Highly recommended by vets
- Available in catnip flavor which can provide a whole new way for your cat to have fun
- Different flavors available, all of which are specially crafted for cats to love
- Effective in removing plaque and tartar buildup
- Can be a bit small for cats who don’t like to chew
Virbac is another well-known pet food and care manufacturer in the US. Their dedication to pet health is something you can rely on as they have developed various products that are designed to improve your fur baby’s wellness. The C.E.T Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Cats is an excellent example as this product is specially crafted to enhance and maintain your cat’s good oral health.
These are some of the best dental cat treats because their enzyme-loaded top layer combines abrasive action and natural antiseptic activity that gets rid of the bacteria that causes plaque and tartar development in the teeth. It’s also made with real freeze-dried fish so you can be guaranteed that it’s all natural and good for your pet’s health.
- Roughly the same size as a wine cork making it hard for a cat to try to swallow it whole without chewing it a bit
- Fights plaque-causing bacteria
- Available in fish or poultry flavors
- Cats tend to love the taste
- Relatively high calorie at 15-20 cal each but as it is only for supplemental feeding only, this shouldn’t be a problem
- A bit pricey
Another trusted name in pet food is Purina. This global brand makes food globally that you can be sure that they offer high-quality products for a wide range of pets. Their DentaLife is a special line for pet oral care and a promising one at that.
What makes the Purina DentaLife Dental Cat Treats great is its porous consistency. This is a scientific design that allows the tooth to penetrate the treat more easily, so your cat can quickly access the tooth-cleaning properties of the treat.
- Specially designed to help clean teeth better
- Crunchy and porous consistency
- Available in poultry or seafood flavors
- Calcium and Taurine also added to its list of ingredients
- Can get messy
- Have grains in it
Grain and cats in the same sentence can get a lot of cat lovers’ gears’ grinding as these two tend to stir up some drama when mentioned in one go. As cats in the olden days didn’t need grains to survive, it’s pretty easy to assume that they still don’t need it today. Some even believe that a grain-free diet can help a cat’s digestion and avoid obesity. So if you’re worried about your fluff ball, you might want some grain-free options for cat treats for dental health.
The Authority Pet Food Company offers grain-free dental cat treats that might just do the trick, however. This product doesn’t have any grains in its ingredients list and is made without any artificial flavors or colors. Packed with protein, it can also be an excellent dietary supplement for your fur baby.
- Effective cleaning
- Available in chicken or fish flavors
- Only has two calories per treat
- Not that expensive
- Different formulations for each age period
- Limited availability online
Another solid grain-free option is this Smart n’ Tasty product. Available in six different flavors, this crunchy treat is also specially designed to promote better oral health in cats. Its best feature is the fact that it uses a limited amount of ingredients, ensuring that the treat isn’t loaded with fillers and additives and preservatives.
- Made in the US
- Cat-shaped treats that are nicely sized that can encourage cats to
- Limited ingredients
- All natural formulation
- Different flavors available, including catnip
- Quite pricey
If you’re not too worried about grains getting into your pet cat’s system, then the IAMS Proactive Health Daily Cat Treats can be worth looking into. This product may have grains, but it doesn’t necessarily bad for your cat’s health. It all still depends on your cat’s digestive system and the other ingredients. As this dental cat treat has other great components and even has a unique texture that allows better scraping off of plaque and tartar on your pet’s teeth, it can still be a very good pick for your fur baby.
- Available in chicken and salmon flavors
- Specially crafted texture allows better teeth-cleaning
- Very affordable
- Also has other essential nutrients like calcium, taurine, and different vitamins
- Grains included
Our Recommended Product
While all six products offer quick and effective solutions for keeping your cat’s oral health in top shape, one still tends to stand out more than the others. For us, the Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Cats is a winner because of its special enzyme-loaded top layer.
This special addition makes it an effective in cleaning your pet’s teeth and further prevents plaque and tartar build up. Just don’t make the common mistake of removing the outer layer because it feels like paper because that will defeat the purpose of this product.
Sure, it has relatively high-calorie content, but since it’s only meant to be fed as a supplementary food item, it shouldn’t be a problem for active cats and those with normal weight.
We hope our cat dental treat reviews get to give you a few good ideas about these oral care products. We also hope we were able to help you out in picking a good one for your fur baby so you can start improving their dental health right away.