Alternative to Brushing Cats Teeth: 10 Most Effective Ways in 2022

Generally, cat parents often worry the least about keeping their cat’s teeth clean when looking into their health. But it’s just as essential. There are several ways to achieve clean teeth, the most common being brushing.

Today, we’ll enlighten you on the importance of caring for your cat’s dental health. We will also provide an effective alternative to brushing cats’ teeth.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Why is it Important to Keep your Cat’s Teeth Clean?

Generally, you should ensure your cat’s teeth are clean because you worry about their mouths giving off a bad scent. Besides the pungent smell, there are additional important reasons for better caring for their teeth.

A cat having bad breath

(A cat having bad breath)

When comparing house cats to wild cats, the former’s daily life and diet miss a few elements like varied food sources and bones. Thus, they are prone to having unhealthy gums and teeth. As their caretaker, it is your responsibility to do the work of tooth cleaning. 

Owner brushing cat’s teeth

(Owner brushing cat’s teeth)

Cats are most likely to experience tooth resorption, periodontitis, or gingivitis. Sadly, as your furry friend deals with the disease’s pain, it might be incapable of caring for itself or eating normally.  

Domestic cat with gingivitis

(Domestic cat with gingivitis) 

Alternatives to Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

Professional vets suggest brushing a feline’s teeth by hand, but other methods may not require brushing. The reasons for your cat being too aggressive when brushing them or your schedule is tight. 

Even though these methods don’t completely substitute teeth brushing, they reduce countless dental diseases due to tartar build-up and plaque. 

Cute cat brushing her teeth

(Cute cat brushing her teeth)

Dental gel

Cats sometimes cooperate when brushing their teeth. Therefore, a dental gel can be a great option. An ingredient in the gels destroys the germs that cause tartar build-up, gum disease, and cavities. 

Silicone toothbrush with a veterinary dental gel for cats

(Silicone toothbrush with a veterinary dental gel for cats)

You might not need a brush for the procedure, but you’ll still need to put the gel in the cat’s teeth using a finger applicator. 

Cat dental diet

Dental diets are hands-down the quickest way to keep your cat’s teeth in good shape and stop the build-up of tartar and plaque. Usually, cat owners prefer wet food for their cats, but dry food can help clean their teeth in ideal ways.

Scientists have proven that dry food diets are good for overall body health, with interest in the kibbles’ make-up and size. Hence, when searching for dry supplementary cat food, consider a product with denser/larger pellets. 

A cat eating dry food with big pellets

(A cat eating dry food with big pellets)

The pellets ensure a firm cat grip which eventually can help brush away any plaque on your cat’s teeth. Also, ensure the food stays intact around the tooth to maximize the benefits.

Dental chews

Rather than changing the diet, you can use your cat treats to clean their teeth periodically. 

Luckily, some manufacturer specifically designs some treats to cater to dental hygiene. They come in different flavors like salmon, beef, chicken, etc., and they are also tasty. Almost always, the treats have different textures to help massage gums and clean cats’ teeth. 

Dental chew toys for cats

The surfaces on chew toys for felines are rough, like that of dental treats to help get rid of teeth plaque. 

Furthermore, other dental chew toys possess a sturdy mesh that scrapes plaque and tartar off the teeth like floss. Often, manufacturers fill up chew toys with catnips to make cats want to chew them.

Bones and tendons

Sometimes, your cat chewing on frozen food like dried turkey tendons or beef bones can help naturally clean its teeth as it removes plaque.

A cat chewing bone

(A cat chewing bone)

Dental wipes

To use a dental wipe, wrap it around one finger and then rub it against the feline’s teeth (same as using a toothbrush). Unfortunately, if your cat hates having your finger in its mouth, the method won’t work.

Dental supplements

Furthermore, you can put dental supplements in your cat’s water or food daily to enhance dental hygiene. Since only some cats are receptive to drinking flavored water (e.g., with mint), you can include another bowl of water with no supplements or mix the supplement with food.  

Dental sprays

Then, you can spritz dental sprays right into the cat’s mouth to remove plaque. Consequently, as the cat licks and swallows the spray, it mixes with saliva in the mouth and stays in circulation.

Cat oral rinse

An oral cat rinse protects against periodontal disease, plaque, and tartar and gives a fresh breath. For its usage, squirt the alcohol-free formulation into the cat’s mouth. Additionally, you can pair it up with the options we’ve listed, particularly the dental diet.

Get professional cleaning

Lastly, it’s ideal to have a professional clean your cat’s teeth once or twice yearly, based on the tartar and plaque build-up. The cost of the procedure will mostly depend on your cat’s weight, age, and area of residence; hence, prior research might help.

Veterinarian brushing cat’s teeth

(Veterinarian brushing cat’s teeth)

While modern anesthesia may not be completely risk-free, it’s safer than putting off treatment, especially with an identified dental disease. Moreover, note that pathogens from a diseased mouth may get into your cat’s bloodstream and impact its internal organs.

How Can You Tell if Your Cat Has a Toothache?

Cats are adept at masking pain, making it hard to tell if it’s hurting. A few signs of distress because of toothache or dental disease in your cat could be:

  • showing less affection than usual
  • not drinking or eating
  • eating more slowly than usual
  • preferring either dry or wet food
  • chewing solely on a single side
  • acting crankier than usual
  • hiding
ecognizing dental problems in a cat

(recognizing dental problems in a cat)


All in all, a clean prevents tartar build-up on cats and subsequently keeps dental diseases at bay. With the enlisted alternatives to toothbrushing, you now have no excuse for cleaning your cat’s teeth.