Brushing your cat’s teeth is not really easy, especially if you have a kitty that has never been accustomed to the feel of bristles across its teeth and gums. But to brush your kitty’s teeth is a must to help prevent tartar and plaque buildup which can lead to tooth decay. While brushing a cat’s teeth is not easy, there are ways in which you can simplify the process. One of these is by using a cat toothbrush. Ensuring optimum cat dental care is made easy with the best cat toothbrush in the market. To help you avoid making the wrong choice, we’ve prepared this list of the best cat teeth cleaning brushes you can use on your kitty.
Best Cat Toothbrush Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Look for in a Cat Toothbrush
In choosing the right cat or kitten toothbrush, there are a number of things that you have to keep in mind. These are as follows.
- Size and shape of the toothbrush head
A good cat toothbrush should be of the correct size and shape. While it is possible to use a dental brush that’s intended for puppies, a much better option is to choose one that is designed specifically for cats.
This is especially true if you have kitties that belong to smaller breeds. If you happen to have one of the large cat breeds like a Maine Coon, then a bigger toothbrush might also work. The shape of the toothbrush head can also play a major factor in your decision-making. While round heads provide good cleaning on a per-tooth basis, having the classic oblong or oval shaped head can help clean two to 3 adjacent teeth at the same time. Again, everything depends on your cat.
- The angle of the brush head
Having a straight brush head may require you to dig deeper into your pet’s oral cavity just to make sure that you’ll be able to remove all of the debris from these parts. It may be quite difficult to maneuver a toothbrush with a handle owing to the smaller oral cavity of cats. It is also for this reason that a cat finger toothbrush is preferred since you can easily hook your finger at an angle to reach difficult-to-reach places. If you don’t like the idea of using your fingers on your pet’s teeth, then perhaps getting a cat toothbrush with at least 15-degree angle at its neck should do the trick.
- Level of softness of the toothbrush bristles
It is easy to see why most pet parents would go for really soft bristles for fear that they might injure their pet’s gums. The problem with extra-soft and super-flexible bristles is that they tend to be incapable of removing stubborn plaque for the simple reason that they cannot exert just enough pressure to dislodge these debris and particles off of the surface of the tooth. If it is too rigid, there’s also the tendency to irritate the gums. That’s why it should be stiff enough to remove dental debris yet soft enough not to injure your pet.
- Length of the toothbrush handle
If you’re using a cat finger toothbrush, then you don’t have to think about any handle length anymore. However, if you’re using standard handled toothbrushes, then the length of the handle can be an important factor to consider. As much as possible, go for just the right length of handle. Too long and it will be quite difficult to control the movements of the brush. Too short and you’ll end up with your hands right in your cat’s mouth which effectively defeats the purpose of having a handle.
Benefits of Using Cat Toothbrush
Most pet parents don’t see the need to brush their cat’s teeth. Kitties are very fastidious groomers, after all. But then again, there will always be instances when even the most meticulous, self-important kitty will need our assistance especially when cleaning its teeth. Here are some of the more common benefits of using a cat toothbrush.
- Removes food debris and particles
Even if you do manage to give your cat kibbles or even dental treats, there will always be certain areas of its teeth that these food-based dental cleaners can reach. As such, a toothbrush will remove food particles and other debris that may have stuck on the surface of teeth or even in areas that are quite difficult to reach.
- Prevents formation of plaque and tartar
Removing food particles and dried up saliva can help prevent the formation of plaque which is technically a very thin film of hardened substance produced and secreted by microorganisms living in the cat’s oral cavity. When these germs proliferate, they use the food particles as their fuel and create a very thin film which is plaque. Over time, mineral deposits are embedded into the plaque to form tartar.
- Prevents development of tooth decay
When plaque and tartar have not been effectively removed, these serve a very tough protective barrier for the germs underneath. Slowly they eat away at the enamel of the teeth until they form cavities. The peculiar thing about feline cavities is that they have the same color as the teeth so you might not actually notice them. They’re mostly found just below the cat’s gum line and vets refer to them as feline odontoblastic resorption lesions or simply cat cavities.
- Improves teeth and gum health
Regular brushing of your cat’s teeth help improve the overall health not only of its teeth but its gums as well. This helps prevent gum diseases which can help protect your cat against possible systemic diseases that have been closely related to such dental problems.
Types of Cat Toothbrushes
One of the considerations you’ll have to include in your choice of the best cat toothbrush is the type of cat dental care implement you want to use. Here are the 3 most common types of feline toothbrushes.
- Finger toothbrush
This is the preferred toothbrush for kitties for the simple fact that they are smaller and can be easily fitted over one’s finger. This also allows for easier control and maneuverability in and around your cat’s oral cavity. The problem is that not all pet parents like the idea of shoving their finger in their cat’s mouth.
- Dual brush head
This type of feline dental brush comes with two brush heads, one on each end of the handle. One brush head is typically larger than the other and is often indicated for larger pets. This is ideal for multi-pet households. It’s also ideal for multi-cat households where there are giant breeds in the family.
- Standard brush
These are your typical, single brush head toothbrushes that we’re all familiar with. Usually, they have smaller brush heads that are just right for your pet’s teeth. Some pet parents actually use the toothbrushes of their babies since the bristles are soft and the brush head is also small. However, we don’t really recommend this as these brushes are not meant for cats.
Check Out Our List of the Best Dog Toothbrushes
Q: Can you use a human toothbrush on your cat?
A: Some pet parents and a few vets actually recommend using baby toothbrushes with very soft bristles and relatively small brush heads as alternative to an expensive cat toothbrush. Others would simply wrap a piece of gauze around their fingers and rub this against their cat’s teeth.
Q: Can cats get cavities?
A: The short answer is, yes; cats can get cavities. Veterinarians call this condition feline odontoclastic resorption lesions or FORLs. For cats, the principal reason is more related to resorption secondary to periodontal disease, periodontal ligament deterioration, poor diet, viral infections, genetics, and indoor sedentary lifestyle.
Q: What else will I need for brushing my cat’s teeth?
A: You’ll need toothpaste that is formulated specifically for cats. You should never ever use your own toothpaste to clean your pet’s teeth as this contains chemicals that may be safe for us, but are dangerous for your kitty. This is because they have not been trained to spit anything that is inside their mouth. Their natural tendency is to swallow it. This can irritate their tummies.
Q: When and how often should I brush my cat’s teeth?
A: The ideal frequency of brushing your cat’s teeth is daily, although current literature recommends brushing feline teeth at least 3x per week. The recommendation is based on the premise that your cat’s teeth are generally healthy. If there are problems, then a much more frequent brushing is in the offing.
Q: Can I use an electric toothbrush for my cat?
A: Yes, you can use an electric toothbrush on your cat. However, make sure that the bristles are of the correct size. Also, make sure to get an electric toothbrush that is as quiet as possible as the noise can make your cat really anxious. It is also important that you train your pet in the use of this particular kind of toothbrush.
Our Top Pick
We picked H&H Pets’ Professional Cat Toothbrush as our best cat toothbrush for a number of reasons. It comes in a variety of sizes that can easily fit ring sizes 4 to 7. The curved profile of the brush also allows for more efficient cleaning of the cat’s teeth. The materials used in its construction are also guaranteed to be safe and durable. It also comes with a very friendly price that fits right into the budget of pet parents. Lastly, it is trusted by more pet parents than any other feline toothbrush in the market today.
Cats need toothbrushes to help clean their teeth. They also need us to choose the best cat toothbrush for them. This guide on feline dental brushes should help you choose the right dental implement to ensure optimum dental care for your feline friend.
- How Often Should You Brush Your Cat’s Teeth, and Is Infrequent Brushing Worse than Not Brushing at All?, PET-Happy
- What’s the Best Cat Toothbrush? Protect Your Pet’s Teeth, The Cat Resource
- Can Cats Get Cavities?, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association