Contents of Article
- What is the Best Cat Toothbrush?
- Choosing the Best Cat Toothbrush
- Types of Cat Toothbrushes
- Best Cat Toothbrush: Our Top 5 Recommendations
- The most important part of brushing your cat’s teeth is not technique or even a great toothbrush. It’s consistency.
Brushing your cat’s teeth daily is the single best thing you can do to minimize tartar buildup, banish bad breath, and reduce his or her chances of developing periodontal disease.
While brushing with anything—a cotton swab, a piece of a paper towel, a strip of gauze wrapped around your finger—is better than nothing, a real toothbrush is ideal. None of these alternatives can match the level of efficiency that a bristled toothbrush provides.
The best cat toothbrush is slim, lightweight, and is designed for maximum cleaning efficiency. Before exploring our top 5 picks, let’s go into more detail on the qualities of the best toothbrushes for cats.
What is the Best Cat Toothbrush?
Choosing the Best Cat Toothbrush
You could brush your cat’s teeth with your own toothbrush—provided that it was thoroughly-rinsed or unused—but it might be difficult to maneuver and uncomfortable for your cat. Toothbrushes made for cats tend to be lighter, slimmer, and easier to use. Here’s how to choose a good one.
Look for a toothbrush with a slim handle.
A slender handle reduces your cat’s discomfort by allowing you to get the brush into his or her mouth without excessive prying. The handle should have a comfortable grip, but shouldn’t be wide and bulky near the bristles.
Some cat toothbrushes have curved or angled handles that allow them to efficiently access the surfaces of your cat’s teeth. A straight handle requires some serious maneuvering if you want to access the backs of your cat’s teeth, so look for brushes with angled handles that make it easy.
Think about the brush design.
The best cat toothbrushes have small heads with a cat-appropriate bristle pattern. Some of them access multiple surfaces at once. These help you to clean your cat’s teeth fully with less maneuvering and can trim down the amount of time your cat spends with a toothbrush in his mouth.
Consider the firmness of the bristles.
Remember that the primary goal of brushing your cat’s teeth is removing plaque, so you need a brush with abrasive power, but not so much that it hurts your cat’s gums. Most cat toothbrushes labeled “soft” are both gentle and effective.
Types of Cat Toothbrushes
These toothbrushes look and act a bit like thimbles—they’re soft, typically silicone tubes with bristles on the tip. Finger brushes are best for cats who are new to tooth brushing. Instead of poking a plastic stick into your cat’s mouth, these brushes allow you to use something your cat’s familiar with—your finger. What finger brushes offer in comfort, however, they tend to lack in maneuverability. To achieve a thorough cleaning without the risk of being bitten, opt for a brush with a handle.
The standard cat toothbrush looks just like a small human toothbrush. These brushes are a great choice for most cats and come in a variety of styles to suit unique needs. You might find one with a curved handle, another with a brushing head on both ends, and another made from biodegradable materials.
The three-sided toothbrush is more common for dogs than for cats and is therefore usually too bulky for delicate kitty mouths. That said, they can be a very effective style for those who want to access all tooth surfaces without a lot of manipulation and movement. They have three brushing surfaces that surround the tooth and clean the back, top, and sides at once.
Cylindrical Head Toothbrush
The cylindrical head toothbrush resembles a bottle brush. It has bristles set at 360 degrees around the cylindrical head, meaning that you can turn the brush in any direction and maintain tooth-to-brush contact. This style provides maximum efficiency and ease in accessing multiple tooth surfaces in a short period of time.
Can I use a human toothbrush on my cat?
Absolutely! Toothbrushes made for babies and children are sometimes ideal because they’re small, slim, and designed for delicate mouths. Baby finger toothbrushes are almost exactly the same as those sold for pets and sometimes more affordable.
Best Cat Toothbrush: Our Top 5 Recommendations
|Our 2020 Picks: The Best Cat Toothbrushes|
This pet toothbrush has a long, slim handle with one head on each end. One head is smaller than the other, allowing you to experiment with different sizes or use one brush for multiple pets.
The company claims that the heads are set at ergonomically correct angles, helping you to easily access the significant surfaces of your cat’s mouth. The bristles are soft and “specifically fashioned to help remove food debris and plaque”.
Though most reviewers appreciate the toothbrush’s slim shape and design, some say that the bristles fell apart quickly.
- Long, slim handle goes into your cat’s mouth easily
- Two brush head sizes for maximum flexibility
- Soft, comfortable bristles
- Brushing heads are set at optimal angles for efficient cleaning
- Not the most durable cat toothbrush
If you’re looking for a biodegradable toothbrush, this bamboo brush from Woobamboo might be a good choice. Its handle is made from organic, biodegradable bamboo and coated in natural non-toxic wax. It’s packaged in recycled material printed with soy-based ink.
In addition to being eco-friendly, the brush is cat-friendly. The smaller size is perfect for small cat mouths. Its handle is curved and wide at the end for comfortable handling with a thinner brush end, making it slim and easy to use.
Customer reviews indicate that cats seem to accept the toothbrush and humans like the way it feels in their hands. The most negative reviews are about the fragility of the bamboo handle, but most come from owners of large dogs who bit the toothbrush while it was in use.
- Environmentally-friendly manufacturing and packaging
- Biodegradable materials
- Thin neck for easy maneuverability
- Comfortable grip
- Very low price
- Doesn’t have any efficiency-enhancing features
- Not the most durable toothbrush
The toothbrush has a tiny brush head that’s easy to move in your cat’s mouth, allowing you to access all surfaces without frustration. The micro head is about the size of a pencil eraser and features four clusters of ultra-fine, soft bristles.
The handle is also thoughtfully designed. It’s thin and lightweight, allowing it to fit into your cat’s mouth easily. Near the brushing head, it features a 15-degree angle bend that, at least in theory, makes it a perfect fit for a cat’s mouth.
The end of the handle features a small hole so that you can hang it on a hook, making storage clean and simple.
- Has a slight bend in the handle for maximum ease
- Cylindrical head brushes multiple surfaces at once
- Tiny brushing head for maneuverability and comfort
- Comfortable thin handle
- Some say that the toothbrush is too large
For those who feel more comfortable with a finger toothbrush, this brush set from Pet Republique may be a good option. You can buy the finger brushes in a set of three or six. The brushes are made from flexible FDA-approved food-grade materials.
The brushing surface is covered in medium-textured bristles that scrub off plaque and particles without irritating gums.
The brushes come in two sizes—regular and small. The small size measures ¾ inch in diameter, while the small size measures ½ in diameter. Because so many finger brushes come in only one size and are too large for small fingers, this kind of variety is a welcome change.
While the brushes may be small enough for petite hands, many reviewers say that they’re too big for their cat’s petite mouth. Another problem is that the bristles are very short, making it difficult to remove any grime. Longer bristles would be easier to rinse.
- A good option for those who prefer finger brushing
- Available in two sizes for varied finger diameters
- Comes in affordable packs of 3 or 6 brushes
- Short bristles are hard to clean
- Not particularly efficient
- May be too large for some cats’ mouths
This toothbrush looks more like a bottle brush than a traditional toothbrush, and that’s where its strength lies. Because the brushing head is cylindrical, it allows you to easily access your cat’s tooth surfaces from any angle. The bristles are densely-packed for better cleaning.
Some reviewers say that at 0.57”, the brushing head is too big for cats, but most appreciate the 360-degree design.
The handle is tapered for feline comfort and features a comfortable—and decorative—spiral grip.
- 360-degree brushing head allows you to brush from any angle
- Thin handle with comfortable grip
- Sturdy construction
- Soft bristles for maximum comfort
- Expensive at just over $11
The most important part of brushing your cat’s teeth is not technique or even a great toothbrush. It’s consistency.
While dental cleaning requirements vary from cat to cat, most should have their teeth brushed every day.
Remember that plaque will cover all of your cat’s dental surfaces within 24 hours of a professional dental cleaning. If that plaque isn’t removed within two weeks, minerals will begin depositing and hardening on the plaque, creating a film of calculus or tartar. Even the best cat toothbrush can’t remove these calcified deposits. Calculus’ rough texture promotes plaque buildup and speeds up the process of dental decay and bacterial proliferation.
Any bacteria remaining in your cat’s mouth may contribute to gingivitis. If the inflammation continues, it will lead to periodontal disease, severe and irreversible gum inflammation that may lead to tooth loss, kidney disease, liver disease, and lung disease.
Once you’ve selected a toothbrush that works for your cat, establish a regular brushing routine. Paired with annual professional cleanings, frequent brushing is one of the best investments you can make in your cat’s health.