best cat treats

Did you know that 1 in 3 cats have dental disease by the time they are 3 years old? It’s easy to let a cat’s oral hygiene slip through the cracks because it’s difficult to imagine brushing a kitty’s teeth. While a quality kibble diet helps perpetuate good oral health, your cat also needs a regular teeth cleaning routine.

Dental cat treats are an exceptional way to supplement routine teeth brushing. While they are not a complete replacement for brushing your cat’s teeth, they will help keep those pearly whites from becoming overrun with plaque and tartar.

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you choose the very best dental treat for your cat. We break down why dental cat treats are beneficial, and features you’ll want to consider when picking out treats. And don’t worry if you’re still not sure which dental treats to choose for your cat – we have 7 fantastic recommendations for you!

5 Benefits of Feeding Your Cat Dental Treats

Dental cat treats do more than just clean your kitty’s pearly whites. We highlight some of the notable benefits below:

  1. Reduce plaque and tartar: The biggest benefit of giving your cat dental treats is the ability to reduce plaque and tartar on your kitty’s teeth. Treats are only considered to be dental specific when they are effective in cleaning teeth.
  2. Freshen breath: While all dental cat treats will remove both plaque and tartar not all treats freshen breath. If your kitty has stinky breath, you’ll want to choose a cat treat which has the ability to freshen it up.
  3. Promote good oral hygiene: Dental cat treats will control plaque and tartar build up, possibly freshen breath and massage the gums. Overall, dental treats for cats are meant to promote healthy oral hygiene and a positive dental care routine.
  4. Delicious daily reward: Cats deserve a special treat for all of the love they show you. Dental cat treats make a nutritious and delicious daily reward for your kitty.
  5. Prevent future high vet bills: If you take preventative measures when it comes to your cat’s dental health, it’s less likely that you will face massive veterinary bills in the future. Brushing your cat’s teeth and establishing a dental routine is much cheaper and less painful than paying for dental work bills down the road. Plus, you don’t want to have your cat living out their golden years with limited teeth!

How do cat dental treats work?

Cat dental treats are generally formulated with enzymes that kill germs which would otherwise cause tartar and plaque buildup on the teeth. Treats specifically made for a cat’s dental health typically have a unique shape that will help massage the gums and reach between your kitty’s teeth to clean them. While brushing your cat’s teeth is the best way to maintain exceptional oral health, dental cat treats are a great way to supplement that routine.

Most dental cat treats can be administered daily as part of your cat’s routine. If you have an overweight kitty, make sure you aren’t overly treating them. While all of the cat dental treats on our list have less than 2 calories per snack, too many treats can be fattening. If you aren’t sure how often to give your cat a dental treat based on their weight or current body condition, consult your veterinarian.

6 Components to Look for in Dental Cat Treats

While all of the dental cat treats on our list encourage good dental health, each cat treat is made a little differently. To pick out the best treat for your cat’s oral hygiene, consider the components below:

  1. Your cat’s current oral health condition: If your cat is missing several teeth or they have severe dental disease, crunchy treats may be painful or difficult to chew. Also, if your cat is overweight, you will want to purchase a low calorie treat without too much salt or sodium.
  2. Flavor: Cats have flavor preferences, just as humans do! Luckily most dental cat treats come in a variety of yummy flavors. Some popular cat treat flavors are chicken, salmon, catnip and tuna.
  3. Shape: The shape of a cat dental treat can make a difference in how effective it is at cleaning teeth. If a treat has abrasive edges or a large shape, chances are it will be better at reaching in between teeth. Larger treats are also great for massaging the gums.
  4. Ingredients: For kitties with sensitive stomachs or food allergies, you will want to consider an organic or limited ingredient dental cat treat. You may also want to avoid ingredients such as wheat, soy, gluten or grain if your cat has delicate digestion.
  5. VOHC acceptance: VOHC is the acronym for Veterinary Oral Health Council. Some dental cat treats have been accepted by VOHC, which means it has met a rigorous set of criteria for effectiveness in controlling plaque.
  6. Age appropriation: Dental cat treats are not suitable for cats of all ages. A majority of them are formulated for adult cats or cats over a certain weight. If you have a young kitten, consult your veterinarian for a proper dental care regime.

*In this article, AAFCO refers to The Association of American Feed Control Officials. VOHC refers to Veterinary Oral Health Council.*

Overall Best Dental Cat Treats in 2019

Greenies Feline Catnip Flavor Dental Cat Treats

Key Benefits:

  • Irresistible catnip flavor
  • Uniquely shaped morsels clean teeth and reduce tartar
  • Available in 4 package sizes
  • Less than 1.5 calories per treat

Overall Best Dental Cat Treats – Greenies are known for their veterinary recommended pet treats. These catnip flavored Greenies dental cat treats are a part of the family of products which have been accepted by the VOHC. They contain a formula of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to offer a complete and balanced nutritious snack. Plus your kitty will love the catnip flavor and crunchy texture.

These Greenies dental cat treats have a unique shape which helps clean your cat’s teeth and gums. The treats are designed to remove tartar from your kitty’s teeth. They also help freshen your cat’s breath so you can cuddle up with them – if they’ll let you! Greenies Feline Catnip Flavor Dental Cat Treats are less than 1.5 calories per treat, making them a great snack for everyday use.

Pros:

  • Complete and balanced for adult cats
  • Available in a variety of package sizes and flavors
  • Only 1.39 calories per treat
  • Freshen breath and promote oral health
  • Designed to remove tartar build up from teeth

Cons:

  • Greenies are one of the pricer dental cat treats on the market

DentaLife Tasty Chicken Flavor Dental Cat Treats

Key Benefits:

  • Accepted by the VOHC
  • Porous texture helps clean teeth and reduce tartar buildup
  • Added calcium and taurine to promote oral health
  • Available in a value-size canister or bag

Runner-Up Best Dental Cat Treats – DentaLife dental cat treats are unique because they come in a round shape with a porous texture. When your cat’s teeth penetrate the treat, it surrounds all sides of the tooth to reduce tartar buildup. The delicious chicken flavor will fulfill your kitty’s cravings, and added calcium and taurine provide even further nutritional value.

These daily dental cat treats have been accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council, as they have been scientifically tested to reduce tartar and clean teeth. DentaLife cat treats are made in US facilities. You can purchase them in two different flavors and package sizes. We love that these cat dental treats are proven effective but also extremely affordable.

Pros:

  • Round, porous texture that effectively cleans teeth and removes tartar
  • Calcium and taurine promote overall health
  • Available in two sizes and flavors
  • Suitable for daily use
  • Cost-effective

Cons:

  • These treats are not designed to freshen breath.

Meow Mix Brushing Bites Salmon Dental Cat Treats

Key Benefits:

  • Fortified with calcium and vitamin D
  • Designed to reduce plaque and tartar
  • Made with real salmon
  • Meets AAFCO requirements

Best Budget-Friendly Dental Cat Treats – Meow Mix Brushing Bites dental cat treats are a crunchy snack designed to remove plaque and tartar from your cat’s pearly whites. Made with real salmon, these delicious treats have a fun shape that will clean the teeth as your kitty munches. Added vitamin D and calcium help support your feline friend’s strong teeth and bones.

Kitties will love the crunchy texture and delectable flavor of these cat treats. You can purchase them in chicken or salmon flavor. These Meow Mix dental cat treats are very affordable, and they’re suitable for cats who weigh over 6lbs, regardless of age.

Pros:

  • Crunchy shape and texture designed to reduce plaque and tartar buildup
  • Available in salmon and chicken flavors
  • Affordable
  • Suitable for all aged cats over 6lbs
  • Formulated with vitamin D and calcium to promote strong teeth and bones

Cons:

  • These dental cat treats have not been accepted by the VOHC

4 More Top Dental Cat Treats

Ark Naturals Brushless Toothpaste Mini Dental Cat Chews

These cat dental treats offer a unique teeth cleaning experience for your cat, as they have a patented toothpaste center. The abrasive outside ridges of the treats scrub your kitty’s teeth and reduce plaque and tarter. Each treat contains a blend of clove, cinnamon, vanilla and alfalfa to freshen your cat’s breath. These Ark Naturals dental cat treats are made in the USA and they’re completely grain and gluten-free. Both your feline and canine pals can enjoy these treats if they are over 12 weeks old.

Virbac C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Poultry Flavor Cat Chews

Virbac dental treats are clinically proven to improve a cat’s oral hygiene. They are formulated with a dual-enzyme system that provides a natural antiseptic to help reduce and eliminate oral bacteria. It also freshens your cat’s breath. These freeze-dried chicken dental treats have a texture which scrubs tartar and plaque off the teeth. Virbac dental cat treats can be fed as a part of your kitty’s nutritional routine. They are veterinarian recommended, and have been proven to effectively keep your cat’s teeth clean between brushings.

Emerald Pet Feline Dental Treats

Feline dental treats from Emerald Pet are packed with irresistible flavor without grain, gluten, soy or dairy. The crunchy fish design encourage your kitty to chew the treats in order to properly remove plaque and tartar. These cat dental treats are excellent for kitties with sensitive tummies, and they are less than 2 calories per treat. Emerald Pet dental treats are made and sourced in the USA, and they don’t contain any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

Prime Taste Treats Dental Choice Chicken Flavor Cat Treats

Prime Taste Treats dental cat snacks feature a blend of safe, natural ingredients and chicken flavor to bring your cat a flavorful treat experience. Normal chewing action on these crunchy treats will remove tartar from your cat’s teeth while freshening breath and promoting oral hygiene. These dental cat treats are made in the USA, and they are available in chicken or tuna flavor.

FAQ

  • How can I improve my cat’s dental health? There are several ways you can go about improving your cat’s dental health. Brushing your cat’s teeth is going to ultimately be the most effective way to improve their oral hygiene. Dental cat treats are an excellent addition to routine teeth brushings. There are also dental toys which are infused with enzymes to help clean your cat’s teeth. Dental rinses and water additives can also be helpful.
  • Do Greenies help with tartar? Greenies dental cat treats are formulated with a complete oral care solution which is scientifically proven to be effective in reducing plaque and tartar. Greenies also help maintain healthier gums and fresh breath.
  • How often should I give my cats dental treats? Adult cats can generally have a daily dental treat. It’s best to keep treats to under 10% of your cat’s daily caloric intake. If your cat is overweight or struggling with a health issue, consult your veterinarian to determine the best treat schedule for them.

Conclusion

Your cat’s dental health is just as important as your own. Regular teeth brushing and supplementing the routine with other dental products, like treats, will ensure that your kitty is always looking and feeling their best. Avoid major veterinary bills and a cat in pain by taking preventative measures. And remember to always consult your veterinarian with specific questions on your feline friend’s health.

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