The Best Dental Cat Treats of 2020
- Our Top 6 List
- 1. Feline Greenies Dental Care Cat Treats
- 2. Purina DentaLife Adult Dental Cat Treats
- 3. Meow Mix Brushing Bites Cat Dental Treats
- 4. Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Cats
- 5. Feline Greenies Dental Care Cat Treats Variety Pack
- 6. Hartz Dentist’s Best Chicken Flavored Dental Cat Treats
- Verdict & Review
- Feline Greenies Dental Care Cat Treats
- Why your cat needs dental treats
Most pet parents know that dental care is vital to the overall health of their feline. Dental treats can help maintain gum health and reduce tartar buildup. Combining all that goodness into a snack your cat loves—what a bonus!
What makes a good dental treat? Does it need to be crunchy to get to those hard-to-reach areas? Should it be low-calorie? Do they need to be fortified with additional vitamins and minerals?
There are many types of treats out there for your cat, each with their own unique formulas and functions. Let’s look our top choices on the market this year!
Our Top 6 List
Price / Value
Feline Greenies Dental Care Cat Treats
Purina DentaLife Adult Dental Cat Treats
Meow Mix Brushing Bites Cat Dental Treats
Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Cats
Feline Greenies Dental Care Cat Treats Variety Pack
Only Natural Flea & Tick Control Collar Tag
These crunchy dental treats satisfy your cat’s desire for a crunchy snack while helping maintain dental health. Each treat features small grooves and bumps to help reach up to your cat’s gum line for a deep clean and tartar reduction.
The 21-ounce size is great for households with multiple cats who like to snack. They come in four flavor varieties—catnip, salmon, tuna, and chicken. Vitamins and minerals, including taurine, are added to help support an adult cat’s nutritional needs.
Feeline Greenies are sourced from around the world and made in the U.S. with natural flavors and no artificial preservatives. They are the #1 recommended treats by veterinarians for supporting at-home dental care.
- Fortified with vitamins and minerals
- Help fight bad breath and tartar
- Low-calorie natural formula
These large dental treats are designed to reach high up on the gumline for extra cleaning and tartar removal. As your cat crunches, the porous texture breaks apart to aid in cleaning even the hard-to-reach tooth surfaces. The large, round shape encourages cats to slow down while they snack and helps prevent your cat from simply swallowing the treat whole.
Treats come in Savory Salmon and Tasty Chicken flavors, so you can mix it up at snack time. They are great for most adult cats and support the nutritional needs in combination with a balanced diet.
Cats over five pounds can eat up to 17 treats per day, but treats should be balanced with meals to avoid overly high caloric intake. Overfeeding can cause undesired weight gain and all the problems that go with it.
- Balanced nutrients to support a healthy adult diet
- Large, porous texture aids in tartar removal
Like all dental treats, these flower-shaped snacks are specially formulated to help clean up around the gum line and clean plaque and tartar. As your cat snacks, the abrasive pieces help scrape off unwanted plaque and tartar buildup.
They’re fortified with calcium and vitamin D to help support teeth and bone health. They are nutritionally balanced to promote healthy snacking. Because they are fortified with additional nutrients, they can be used to balance out a healthy diet when fed the recommended amount. Package sizes range from 4.5 to 9 ounces and come in a resealable pouch. They are available in chicken, tuna, and salmon flavors.
Our cats go crazy for them, and they make great training rewards. Cats who aren’t that interested may just be picky eaters.
- Help scrape off plaque and tartar buildup
- Fortified with added vitamins and nutrients
These unique dental chews are made from freeze-dried fish or poultry. They are formulated with an exclusive dual enzyme system to eliminate the bacteria that form plaque before it has a chance to become a problem.
They come in a 30- or 96-count resealable pack and are available in poultry and fish flavors. The feeding recommendations are much lower for this treat—just one or two per day, depending on the weight of your feline. This may be just what you need for a cat who doesn’t need all the extra calories.
Each chew is wrapped in enzymatic paper, reducing that plaque-causing bacteria. Don’t remove that paper before you serve or the enzymes can’t do their job. Some users report that their cats don’t want to eat the paper—typical felines. One user suggested cutting the treats into smaller pieces and slowly increasing to the recommended dose.
- Specially formulated enzymatic cleaning
- Made with freeze-dried meats
- Less treat, more cleaning power
Greenies are back with a delicious variety pack! They feature all the benefits of the classic dental care treats we looked at before, like added taurine, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, your cat the flavor varieties he wants.
The multi-pack features three flavors, chicken, salmon, and tuna. You get two of each flavor. The smaller resealable pouches help keep treats fresh and crunchy. Who wants a stale snack?
These may also be great for someone who is giving treats to multiple picky cats. Some like the salmon, others want chicken. Now you get all the different flavors in one convenient purchase.
- Multiple flavor variety
- Smaller packages keep treats fresh
- Same #1 vet-recommended formula
These crunchy treats are designed to work with your cat’s saliva to create a dental treat that really works. Hartz’s patented DentaSheild technology bonds with components that exist naturally in saliva to reduce new tartar formation. The rawhide formula is proven to reduce tartar on your cat’s teeth.
Like any crunchy snack, these treats also work to eliminate tartar and plaque buildup by abrading the tooth’s surface while your cat chews the treat. They only come in chicken flavor, which may not be what your cat wants. Maybe she’ll be won over by the lovely heart shape!
For large cats, this treat may be too small. If it isn’t chewed, it can’t do the job. Something to be on the lookout for.
- Rawhide DentaSheild helps eliminate tartar buildup
- Works with your cat’s saliva to reduce the formation of tartar
This wide variety of dental treats covers all the essential things your cat needs. Some even have bonus enzyme-cleaning formulas. From the simple to the scientific, all treats should satisfy the fundamental component—do they help clean your cat’s teeth?
Our pick are the Feline Greenies. They support the all-around basic needs for a crunchy snack that is low in calories and high in function. The varied shape of each treat helps get into those hard-to-reach crevices around the gum line, and they’re fortified with the vitamins and minerals your cat needs in a healthy snack. Whether you choose the single-flavor large size or the multi-flavor pack, Feline Greenies’ #1-vet recommended dental snack should satisfy your fickle felines!
Why your cat needs dental treats
Dental treats can help with the significant issues of tartar and plaque that every cat faces. Luckily for cats, they can get these benefits in treat form!
Many veterinarians suggest dental treats as a supplement to regular tooth brushing for complete oral care. Proper removal of tartar and plaque can help prevent tooth decay and gum diseases down the road. Eliminating as much of the buildup as possible can also help alleviate any pain your cat may be experiencing from these issues.
The benefits of healthy teeth and gums
Domesticated cats need help taking care of their mouths. A cat’s carnivorous mouth is designed to eat the prey animal, which means crunching on cartilage and bone. The abrasive particulates of the crushed bone and gristle act as a kind of toothbrush, scraping away tartar and plaque buildup.
Cats, especially those who primarily eat wet food, aren’t getting the abrasive qualities of dry food or treats. They often experience so much buildup that overwhelming amounts of bacteria can grow inside the mouth. This can lead not only to bad breath but to the development of periodontal disease, which can, in turn, negatively affect other parts of the cat’s body.
Having a crunchy dry food available can help satisfy your cat’s need for an abrasive tooth-cleaning agent. Still, adding treats to your cat’s diet on top of the dry food may have additional benefits, depending on the treat.
How can I tell if my cat’s mouth is healthy?
There are a few simple methods you can use to tell if your cat has a healthy mouth. Checking the teeth and gums is a good place to start. How do the teeth look? They should be basically white or maybe a little yellow close to the gum line.
How do the gums look? Most cat’s gums should be a healthy light pink. Some cats do have a different color on their gums, like a darker gray. This is normal for some cats, but if you are concerned, ask your vet.
The easiest check is to smell your cat’s breath. It may not be the best smell you’ve experienced, but it shouldn’t be horrible. If it is overwhelmingly bad, schedule a visit with your vet right away. Bad breath isn’t just a sign of unclean teeth. It could be coming from a different or more serious issue.
In general, your best bet is to talk with your veterinarian about your cat’s dental health. He or she can go over the best choices for your individual cat’s needs.
What makes a good dental treat?
It is important to find a treat that is large enough to be effective. Most of the benefits of a dental treat come from the crushed particulates of treat scraping along your cat’s gum line. If the treat is small enough to swallow whole, it’s not really doing anything but adding empty calories to your cat’s diet.
Treats that have added benefits, like enzymatic cleaners, may help even if the treat is only swallowed. However, if your cat is forced to chew on and break apart the treat, they will actually get the benefits of the physical abrasion. Plus, swallowing treats makes the stomach work harder when it doesn’t need to.
Make sure the treats don’t build up in your cat’s mouth after snack time. This residue will actually do more harm than good if it gets stuck right up next to your cat’s gums.
Don’t rely on mint as a breath freshener for your cat. Mint may attract some cats (since it’s a member of the same plant family as catnip). However, it is not necessarily an effective means of cleaning up your cat’s mouth. You may just be covering up an underlying issue. As we humans know, popping a mint into your mouth can help in the moment, but in the long run, it’s not really doing you or your cat any good if there is something else that’s causing bad breath.
Treats that include artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives should be avoided. These are unnecessary to the function of a treat. Try to avoid grain-heavy ones too. Adding empty calories to your cat’s diet in the name of health makes no sense.
Whatever type of treat you decide on, remember to check in with your veterinarian about your individual cat’s health. Ask your vet what he or she recommends to ensure your kitty is as healthy and happy as possible. Dental treats may work like a charm, but depending on your cat, they may do more harm than good.
We are the Pet Cat Friends, a dedicated group of pet loving bloggers and product testers for all your meowy needs. We research, test, and review cat related products with the help of our collective 21 cats. Feel free to leave us feedback and treats!