Most cat owners know how important dental health is for their feline companion. However, when it comes to brushing their cat’s teeth, many owners suddenly feel like their gentle house cat has the size and attitude of a lion. They fear reaching into their cat’s mouth to brush their teeth even though they know just how important good oral health is to the general health of their cat. Enter the cat dental treat, which can accomplish the same things as brushing without ever needing to put your hand inside your cat’s mouth.
We reviewed dozens of cat dental treats to identify the best of the best. We considered a lot of different things in our review. Good cat treats need to have the right texture to adequately clean a cat’s teeth. They need to have the flavor and taste that would attract and entice a cat to eat it. We also considered the addition of vitamins, the type and size of the treat, and the reviews the treats had received on Amazon as part of our research.
The Temptations brand is America’s #1 cat treat, and their Classic Crunchy and Soft Cat Treats are tops on our list too. This product stood out as a clear winner because of its design (crunchy outside, soft inside), its variety of flavors, and its nutritionally balanced formula.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Cat Dental Treats
|Best Cat Dental Treats Overall||Temptations Classic Crunchy and Soft Cat Treats||4.9|
|Best Cat Dental Treats for Fresh Breath||Feline Greenies Natural Treats||4.8|
|Best Budget Cat Dental Treats||Emerald Pet Feline Dental Tuna Treats||4.4|
|Best Kitten Dental Treats||Wellness Kittles Crunchy Grain Free Treats||4.4|
|Best Tartar Control Cat Dental Treats||Purina DentaLife Adult Cat Treats||4.7|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Cat Dental Treats Overall: Temptations Classic Crunchy and Soft Cat Treats
It was easy to select Temptations Classic Crunchy and Soft Cat Treats as our number one choice. This product has so many things about it that make it a great dental treat for your cat. The first thing we loved was the combination of the crunchy exterior and the soft interior. The crunch on the outside of a treat helps to clean the teeth as the cat chews. The abrasiveness of the crunch acts as something like a toothbrush for the cat’s teeth. Then the soft interior gets to work. With its smooth texture, it sweeps away the bacteria that, if left behind, can cause issues for a cat’s teeth and gums.
We also loved that it’s a healthier option for your cat. Not only is it cleaning your cat’s teeth and keeping your cat’s tartar under control, but it’s also less than two calories per treat. While that doesn’t mean that you can give your cat handfuls of these treats every day, it does mean that you can give several of them – perhaps one after every meal – without harming your cat or worrying that the treats are going to lead to obesity.
The classic chicken flavor of these treats was a huge draw. Any cat treat – even one that’s designed to help clean their teeth – has to be one that a cat will eat. Otherwise, what good is it? These treats have a delicious chicken flavor that cats crave. Finally, we love how economical this treat is. If you consider the size of the container (a hearty 30 ounces) and do some quick math to discover the price per ounce of other treats that come in smaller packaging, you’ll realize that you’re getting a huge bang for a small number of bucks. And because they’re in a container that tightly seals, you know that these treats are going to stay fresh for a long time.
Temptations Classic Crunch and Soft Cat Treats Key Features:
- Combination of crunchy and soft textures to clean teeth
- Low in calories
- Container that keeps them fresh
Best Cat Dental Treats for Fresh Breath: Feline Greenies Natural Cat Treats
Along with keeping their cat’s teeth fresh, the top concern of a lot of cat owners is freshening their cat’s breath. There’s really no smell quite like the smell of a cat’s bad breath. Feline Greenies Natural Cat Treats are a great solution to that problem.
These natural treats help to freshen your cat’s breath as he eats them. While he’s eating one and it’s freshening his breath, it’s also working to clean his teeth. The unique shape of the treat works to get rid of harmful plaque and tartar buildup. Feline Greenies wants you to have a good experience cuddling your cat, not a bad one where you end up smelling awful cat breath. Their treats go a long way in accomplishing that goal.
They’re not just concerned about for your cat’s breath though, but for your whole cat. Each cat treat is made with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help boost your cat’s overall health as well as her oral health. There are less than two calories in each of these dental treats so you can use these after meals and for training, and know that your cat’s health and weight won’t be compromised. This treat is the number one cat dental treat recommended by vets, and we know your cat will love the Feline Greenies Natural Cat Treats too.
Feline Greenies Natural Cat Treats Key Features:
- Freshens breath
- Combination of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to promote your cat’s overall health
- Recommended by vets
Best Budget Cat Dental Treats: Emerald Pet Feline Dental Tuna Treats
It’s rare to find a product that has all the things you want but won’t break your budget, even in the world of cat dental treats. Meet Emerald Pet Dental Tuna Treats. Coming in at around $3 for a three-ounce pack, these made-in-the-USA treats will quickly become a staple in your cat’s world.
We love the unique fish shape of these healthy treats. They’re specially designed to promote maximum chewing for your cat. What does that mean for his dental health? The more he chews this crunchy treat, the cleaner his teeth will get. The treat will break down as your cat chews it, and the particles from the treat will work to clean his teeth. The ingredients will also help to prevent future buildup of plaque and tartar.
A lot of times when a treat is not very expensive, you’ll find that it has a lot of fillers. Not these cat dental treats. These tuna-flavored treats are healthy. They were made to be allergen-friendly for your cat, which means they don’t have any grain, gluten, dairy, or soy. If your cat has an allergy to any of those things or just a sensitive stomach in general, this is the treat for you. Emerald Pet Dental Tuna Treats are a great bargain for a healthy product that also keeps your cat’s teeth clean.
Emerald Pet Feline Dental Tuna Treats Key Features:
- Free of grain, gluten, dairy, and soy
- Unique shape to help clean teeth
- Affordable and made in the USA
Best Kitten Dental Treats: Wellness Kittles Crunchy Grain Free Treats
When you adopt a kitten into your family, keeping that little one on a healthy diet and taking care of those growing adult teeth are your top priorities. Wellness Kittles Crunchy Grain Free Treats are the treats you’ve been looking for to help your baby cat get a good start in life.
It’s the crunch that makes the most difference when it comes to keeping a kitten’s teeth clean. These treats are crunchy so that the kitten’s teeth have to work hard to break them down. The harder they chew, the cleaner their teeth will get. Establishing good habits for clean teeth early on that you can keep while your cat grows will help to ensure that your cat’s adult teeth come in healthy and strong.
In addition to taking care of your kitten’s teeth, Wellness Kittles treats take care of the rest of her body too. These vegetarian treats have salmon as the number one ingredient. The other ingredients include vegetables and fruits and other all-natural ingredients. Nothing artificial in these treats. They’re free of grains and glutens too, so if your kitten’s stomach is already showing signs of sensitivity, these treats may work out well for her. These treats are made entirely in the USA and backed by a Wellness company guarantee.
Wellness Kittles Crunchy Grain Free Treats Key Features:
- Crunchy to clean a kitten’s teeth
- Made in the USA
- Natural ingredients to promote overall kitten health
Best Tartar Control Cat Dental Treats: Purina DentaLife Adult Cat Treats
When you first hear the name Purina, you may think of dog treats. Think again. These Purina Dentalife Adult Cat Treats are here to change your mind and make you realize just how much Purina cares about your cat too. DentaLife was designed to keep your adult cat’s teeth clean, and one key feature makes it the best tartar control dental treat for your cat.
That feature that helps to clean your cat’s teeth is the porous structure of the treats. If something is porous it means that it has small holes in it. In this case, those small holes are the places where your cat’s teeth will penetrate the treat. When the cat’s tooth goes through the holes, they scrape against the treat and that scraping motion helps to clean tartar off the surface of the teeth. Simple design, great results. It makes for a better tartar control treat overall.
We love other things about this treat too. It’s natural, meaning no artificial ingredients or colors. That’s better for the health of your cat. These treats come in two different flavors (chicken and salmon) and are made with calcium and amino acids. Those last two ingredients will help to make your cat’s teeth stronger and healthier for the long term, not just cleaner for the short term. Purina DentaLife Adult Cat Treats are made in the United States and come with the backing of more than 90 years of Purina excellence so you know you’re getting a good cat treat.
Purina DentaLife Adult Cat Treats Key Features:
- Porous structure
- Contains amino acids and calcium
- Comes in two different flavors
Who Should Buy Cat Dental Treats
If you love your cat and care about your cat’s oral health, you should buy your cat dental treats. It’s really that simple. Most owners find that getting a cat to eat a treat is usually easier than brushing a cat’s teeth. Dental treats can help to keep your cat’s teeth clean in between dental cleanings at your vet. They can also help to keep plaque and tartar from building up and causing major issues. And when they taste good to your cat and provide the clean mouth she needs to thrive, you’ll find that she’s eager to eat the treats. It’s a win for both you and your cat.
While cat dental treats generally are fine for most cats, we also recommend that you check with your vet first to make sure that it’s okay for your particular cat to have them. Your vet may have a specific treat that he/she recommends based on the minerals inside of it, how hard it is to chew, the age and weight of your cat, etc. It’s best to make sure your vet feels that your cat would benefit from a certain treat before giving a treat to your feline friend.
Important Features to Consider
Cat dental treats should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting dental treats for your cat:
- Clean teeth. First and foremost, a good dental treat should clean your cat’s teeth. Often this is achieved when the treat has a crunchy texture. The abrasiveness of the cat’s chewing on the treat helps to clean her teeth while she eats it.
- Prevent the buildup of tartar and plaque. It can’t stop at just cleaning teeth. Cat dental treats should also prevent the return tartar and plaque that can destroy teeth. Sometimes treats are formulated to include supplements that will keep the plaque and tartar away.
- Freshen breath. Most cat owners know that smell of bad cat breath. A good dental treat should help to keep your cat’s mouth healthy as well as freshen his breath. If you are giving your cat treats that are designed to freshen their breath and it’s still bad, check with your vet as this might be a sign of a digestive or stomach issue.
- Provide vitamins. Good cat dental treats should also provide vitamins that promote general oral health, strong teeth, and good gums.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are cat dental treats and how do they work?
Cat dental treats are small morsels that are specially designed to clean your cat’s teeth as he chews them. Many cat treats have two different textures. The outer layer is harder and crunchy. As your cat chomps on the treat, the abrasive nature of the crunchy part, and the particles that break free while your cat chews serve to clean your cat’s teeth. The second texture is a soft inner layer that helps to sweep away those food particles and keep harmful plaque-causing bacteria at bay.
How can I clean my cat’s teeth naturally?
There are several things you can do to clean your cat’s teeth naturally if you do not want to give her a treat.
1. You can clean your cat’s teeth using a toothbrush with natural toothpaste. If your cat will tolerate you brushing her teeth, get a toothpaste made specifically for cats. Here’s our list of the best cat toothpaste. (Note: Do NOT use toothpaste on your cat that was made for humans. Human toothpaste is harmful to cats.) Put a small amount of the toothpaste on the end of the brush and gently brush your cat’s teeth and gums.
2. Give your cat a raw bone to chew on. As she gnaws on it, it will help to clean her teeth. It will also give her a little bit of calcium too, an added benefit.
3. There are supplements you can give your cat to help keep his teeth and mouth clean. Supplements can come in many different forms: gels, powders, liquids, and treats. Here is a list of dental supplements for cats that will help to clean his teeth naturally.
4. You can also give your cat a chew toy to gnaw on. These are cat chew toys designed specifically for dental health. Check them out and buy the one you think your cat would like the most.
Do dental treats for cats work?
Yes, they do, and they’re cited by vets as a way to keep your cat’s teeth clean in between professional treatments at your vet’s office. Because of the way that most cat dental treats are made (see the question above on how dental treats work), they are able to help not only with the cleaning of your cat’s teeth, but also with getting rid of the harmful bacteria that lurks after they eat. That bacteria, if not controlled, can lead to dental problems.
How often should I give my cat dental treats?
That depends on the treat. We recommend you read the labels on your cat’s dental treats for feeding recommendations prior to giving her one. You can give some treats multiple times a day, but other treats are only made to be given once a day.
Other Cat Dental Treats We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other cat dental treats. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best cat dental treats list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your cat. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Cat Dental Sticks
This organic dental stick exfoliates your cat’s teeth, getting rid of plaque and build-up. Because it tastes like catnip, your cat will love chewing on it!
- Gets rid of plaque
- Has other health benefits
These dental cleaning sticks are all-natural so your cat won’t be exposed to any harmful additives when chewing on it. It’s a product meant for cats of all ages and all breeds.
- 100% natural
- Any cat can use them
- Comes in a resealable bag to retain freshness
These natural dental chew sticks serve as a toothbrush for your cat. While he enjoys the taste of matatabi (an alternative to catnip), you’ll love how clean his teeth are getting.
- Made with matatabi
- Durable packaging
- Totally organic
Your cat will love chewing on these dental sticks that taste delicious and help soothe his digestion. You will love that they’re completely natural and that they not only remove tartar while your cat gnaws away at them, but also keep his gums healthy.
- Care for gums
- Clean teeth
- Great taste for cats
Oral care is one of the main features of this chewing stick. When your cat chews it, the dental stick helps to clean her teeth of tartar and plaque through exfoliation. You cat will love chewing on this stick.
- 100% natural
- Cleans plaque and tartar from teeth
- Stimulates sense of smell
SunGrow is a dental stick that checks all the boxes: it cleans your cat’s teeth, freshens their breath, and has a taste they love. That’s really all you need in a dental chew stick! Only intended for certain breeds so make sure your cat is on the list.
- Made for specific breeds
- Cleans teeth
- Matatabi ingredient gives the effect of catnip
The natural mint flavor of this stick will keep your cat coming back for more. While she enjoys the taste of the wood, her teeth will be getting the cleaning they need.
- Natural mint flavor
- Has vitamins in it
- Helps soothe mild stomach issues
These WoLover chews are 100% natural and organic. Along with getting rid of plaque and tartar, they can also help to soothe your cat’s stomach if she has some discomfort.
- 100% natural
- Satisfaction guarantee
- Cleans both plaque and tartar
Breath Freshening Dental Treats
A biochemist is behind these cat treats, having worked with natural ingredients to create a treat that cats love that also cleans their teeth. It also freshens breath and then works to prevent the tartar and plaque that is has removed from coming back.
- Clean teeth and helps keep more tartar and plaque from returning
- freshens breath
Looking for a cat treat that freshens breath, cleans teeth, and is made in the USA? Minties is all of those things and more. It’s high in protein with a crunchy texture that cleans your cat’s teeth while he eats.
- Freshens breath
- Made in the United States
- High in protein
This product has been around for more than 40 years so you know it’s doing something right for your cat’s teeth! DentaTreat helps to clean teeth and discourage the growth of future bacteria.
- All natural
- Remineralizes teeth
- Discourages future bacteria growth
Tartar Control Cat Dental Treats
The added vitamins, minerals, and taurine that go into these Feline Greenies treats are designed to help your cat receive dental care for her teeth while she’s enjoying these catnip-flavored treats.
- Reduce tartar and freshens breath
- Low in calories
- Made in the USA
These treats have Dentashield rawhide in them that is proven to reduce tartar while your cat eats them. The crunchy texture helps take care of your cat’s gums while the treats also freshen her breath.
- Reduce tartar
- Freshen breath
- Massages gums
Because these tasty treats are made with real salmon, your cat will love eating them. You’ll love that while she’s happily devouring them, they’re cleaning her teeth and giving her extra vitamin D to fortify her teeth and other bones.
- Contains vitamin D
- Made with real salmon
- Special design helps for better teeth cleaning
When you order these treats, they come in a variety of flavors to keep your cat happily coming back for more. They help to keep her teeth clean while she chews and control the tartar that tends to build up.
- Keep teeth clean
- Tartar control
- Variety of flavors
This variety pack of Temptations Mixups treats comes with three different flavors in six packages: two catnip, two backyard campout, and two surfers’ delight. No matter which flavor your cat loves the most, they’ll all help control her tartar with their crunchy outsides and their soft insides.
- Two different textures
- Three different flavors
- Six total packages with purchase
Each of these jumbo treats packs in the flavor keeps the calories low at just two in each treat. While your cat spends a minute or two devouring this tasty salmon-flavored treat, the crunchy outside of the morsel and the soft inside will work together to help control his tartar.
- Tartar control
- Low calorie
- Larger size
The crunch of this treat will be satisfying to both your cat and you. She’ll enjoy the texture and flavor while you enjoy how the treat will help to clean her teeth while she slowly chews it up into tiny pieces. The soft inner layer will freshen her breath and give that final brush on the teeth before she finishes the treat.
- Cleans teeth
- Freshens breath
- Clinically tested
There’s a lot of helpful things going on in this one little cat chew. They are formulated to remove tartar and plaque, and the dual enzyme system helps eliminate harmful plaque-causing bacteria. And because they’re made with freeze-dried fish, your cat will love to eat them.
- Dual enzyme to get rid of bacteria
- Made with freeze-dried fish
- Give just one per day
The special texture of these treats is was created to support dental health, while the inside of them was made to reduce tartar and plaque. In addition, they have a prebiotic in them to help maintain a healthy digestive system.
- Contains a prebiotic for healthy digestion
- Texture cleans teeth
- Less than two calories in each treat