Trying to get your cat to agree to anything is a challenge, so can you imagine trying to brush your cat’s teeth? This is an especially difficult task if your cat is not used to the feel of bristles against their gums. But to give up on brushing their teeth means to neglect their oral hygiene, which is essential to their overall health and well-being.
The best thing is to introduce an oral hygiene routine to your cat as early as possible in their life. This will prevent problems such as plaque and tartar build-up, gum disease, and bad breath. It’s never too late to start brushing your cat’s teeth.
In this guide, we explore the different options available to you, what you should consider, and review the best cat toothbrushes on the market.
Best Cat Toothbrush
We have picked out our favourite rounded head and finger toothbrushes for cats.
Best Finger Toothbrush For Cats
This set of 6 finger toothbrushes make it easy to apply cat toothpaste, and give you ease of control when brushing your cats teeth. The small ring attachment give added grip, and make them easy to use with small mouths. We liked the added feel and control that the finger toothbrush gave us, which made it our top pick.
Read our full review here.
Best Rounded Head Cat Toothbrush
We think this dental kit provides excellent value for money with the inclusion of three different sized brush heads and a 50g tube of high quality toothpaste. The rounded heads made it easy to get to the back of our cats mouth, and the different head sizes and bristle firmness made it easy to brush even with an uncooperative cat!
Read our full review here.
Criteria used in our cat toothbrush reviews
As cat owners we regularly clean our cats teeth and have used many different toothbrushes over time! To help provide the most useful information in each of our reviews, we have focused our reviews on the following criteria.
Cat Toothbrush Reviews
There are tonnes of cat toothbrushes out there, and for the most part, they are all high quality. However, there are a few toothbrushes that stand out from the rest in terms of their affordability, durability, and ease of use. We can’t promise that your cat will find them paw-sitively fantastic, but we can guarantee that the toothbrushes on this list will make every effort worth it, especially if they let you brush their teeth.
1. Harzara Professional Pet Finger Toothbrushes
If you’ve been hesitant in the past about using finger toothbrushes on your pet for safety reasons, the Harzara finger toothbrush will eliminate that concern. The soft, non-toxic silicone toothbrush conforms nicely to your finger and includes a safety ring for extra stability. We found them easy to clean, and they gave a good gentle clean that our cats were very receptive to.
Our favourite cat toothpaste is the Virbac Enzymatic Toothpaste for Cats, which protects against plaque and tartar whilst freshening your cat's breath. You can find out more here.
2. PetSol Dental Care Kit for Cats
Made with high-quality ingredients, the included toothpaste is guaranteed to reduce plaque and tartar, freshen breath, and improve the overall health of your cat’s gums. Coming with three different brush heads, this kit is flexible for all teeth, and with a slightly firmer bristle, this kit is perfect for slightly older teeth in need of a clean. At the price, we think this kit is excellent value for money.
3. H&H Cat Finger Toothbrush
Simple but effective. Made from FDA-grade materials, this finger toothbrush features curved bristles, as opposed to flat, making it easier to clean those harder to reach areas in your cat’s mouth. With 8 reusable finger toothbrushes included in a pack, these toothbrushes should last you a few months of effective cleaning before needing replacing.
4. VTurboWay 360-Degree Pet Toothbrush
This ergonomically-designed brush is a great alternative to a traditional toothbrush or a finger toothbrush. The VTurboWay is specifically designed for small mouths, so you’ll have no problem fitting it inside your cat’s mouth and removing food particles from those harder to reach places. With a short handle, this is a perfect brush for cat owners who may prefer not to have their fingers in their cats mouth!
What to look for when buying a toothbrush for your cat
Buying a cat toothbrush may not be the hardest decision you’ll ever make in your life, but you want to make sure that you get your cat the purr-fect tool to keep its teeth sparkling. Before choosing which cat toothbrush to purchase, consider the following features — and be sure to read the customer reviews.
The type of toothbrush
You will not know the type of toothbrush your cat will like until you have tried one. Toothbrushes with dual heads will give you the option of two different bristle head sizes. Finger brushes tend to give you more control over where the brush goes and holding onto your cat. If you’ve tried these two brush types and there’s just no winning with them, then opt for a chew toy that promotes good oral hygiene.
Generally toothbrushes either have a bristle head, or a softer and more flexible silicone.
Most round headed toothbrushes come with bristles, which are firmer and clean the teeth better than their silicone counterparts, but can be too firm for cats with sensitive gums.
Silicone tends to be soft and flexible, which most finger toothbrushes are made of. If your cat has sensitive gums or dental disease, you may want to opt for silicone.
Size and length of the toothbrush
The size and length of the toothbrush is another thing to consider. If your cat eats a high carbohydrate diet, there is a likelihood that more food particles will stick to your cat’s teeth and gums. A longer toothbrush will help you give a more thorough brush.
If the opposite is true, you might consider a shorter brush or finger brushes. Also, take into consideration how big your cat’s mouth is. No, not if your cat is a loudmouth, but rather think about how comfortable your kitty will be with an oversized brush head in its mouth. That’s a sure way to get your cat to never cooperate with you again!
What is the best cat toothpaste?
The best type of toothpaste for cats is an enzymatic toothpaste. Enzymatic toothpaste contains enzymes that help to reduce bacteria in your cats mouth, which helps to reduce the build up of tartar. Enzymatic toothpaste also significantly improve your cats breath (even if they come in meaty flavours!).
Our favourite cat toothpaste is the Virbac Enzymatic toothpaste for cats that comes in a fishy flavour that our cats love (don't worry, it doesn't leave your cats breath smelling fishy!). You can find out more here.
How often should I brush my cats teeth?
Ideally, you should brush your cats teeth daily. As cat owners, we often forget, and probably brush our cats teeth a couple of times per week for 10-20 seconds each time.
Ideally you should start cleaning regularly when your cat is a kitten to get them used to the sensation, and to prevent any oral care issues as they get older.
Can I use a human toothbrush and toothpaste on my cat?
Do not use a toothbrush or toothpaste intended for humans. Cats have much smaller mouths than humans meaning one slip with a human toothbrush could lead to hurting your cat and putting them off the process for life. Human toothpaste also contains both fluoride and artificial sweeteners that are toxic to pets and can make your cat very sick. You can purchase toothpaste for your cats in different flavours, including beef and mint. Though we humans may not think tuna fish-flavoured paste is an ideal toothpaste flavour, your cat may say otherwise.
Alternatives to brushing a cats teeth
Some cats simply won’t entertain having their teeth brushed. We’ve had a number of cats in the past that won’t come near us, let alone let us brush their teeth. We have found the following ideas a good way of helping to improve their oral care.
Our top tips for cleaning your cats teeth
Cleaning a cats teeth can seem quite daunting at first, but we’ve listed some of our top tips below to help make the process as painless for both you and your cat.
- Keep it quick – don’t make the process traumatic, we tend to only clean our cats teeth for 10-20 seconds each time
- Start when your cat is as young as possible – the younger your cat, the easier they tend to adapt to cleaning
- Don’t fight your cat – be firm, but don’t wrestle your cat
- Start with a gentle clean – getting your cat used to the process is far better than a one off deep clean
- Leave a new toothbrush next to your cats toys and possessions to let it get used to the item
- Hold your cat with its back to you when brushing, with a firm hold on its tummy – the cat is less likely to run away and will feel far less confrontational
- If your cat is used to a cat harness – put this on during brushing to improve your hold on your cat without ever harming it
- Reward your cat with a dental treat and a long stroke after cleaning
- If your cat is happy having their claws cut with cat nail clippers – try to combine the tasks and introduce the toothbrush at the same time – they will see it as an extension of this
- If your cat doesn’t like it, stop – and look at using some of the alternatives to brushing that we have listed above