How to Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Clean Without Brushing? Innovative Methods

Keeping your cat’s teeth clean and healthy is essential for their overall well-being.

While regular brushing is great for dental care, not all cats enjoy having their teeth brushed, but there are plenty of creative ways to maintain your kitty friend’s dental hygiene without the traditional brushing routine.

How to Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Clean Without Brushing?

Let’s explore some fun and effective alternatives to keep those pearly whites sparkling!

1. Dental Treats and Chews

You can give your cat dental treats or chews that are designed to promote oral health.

These treats have ridges and textures that help remove plaque and tartar as your cat chews on them.

They also come in different flavors that your cat will enjoy. This way, you can give your cat a treat while also helping to keep their teeth clean.

2. Dental Toys

You can play with your cat using dental toys that are designed to massage the gums and clean teeth as your cat bites and chews on them.

These toys have textures and can even be stuffed with dental-specific treats. This way, your cat can have fun while keeping their teeth clean.

cat dental care

3. Water Additives

You can add dental water additives to your cat’s drinking water. These additives contain enzymes or antiseptic properties that can help control plaque and freshen your cat’s breath.

Simply add the recommended amount to your cat’s water bowl, and let them drink their way to healthier teeth.

4. Wipes and Pads

You can use dental wipes or pads to clean your cat’s teeth if they don’t like having their teeth brushed directly.

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These products are designed to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums.

You can use them by gently rubbing your cat’s teeth and gums to keep their mouth clean and fresh.

5. Mouthwash

There are mouthwashes designed for cats that can be added to their water or applied directly to their gums.

These mouthwashes help fight bacteria and freshen their breath. Although it won’t replace brushing entirely, it can be a useful addition to your cat’s dental care routine.

cat brushing teeth

Do You Need to Clean Your Cat’s Teeth?

As per the experts at VCA, “Some 50-80% of all cats over the age of four have periodontal disease. Periodontal disease starts as gingivitis, caused by plaque coming into contact with the gums, If not removed through regular brushing.”

So yes, it is important to clean your cat’s teeth.

Not only does your cat need you to brush their teeth, but they also need you to take them to the dentist for annual cleanings.

What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?

Commercial toothbrushes are available that are specifically designed for use in cats. These include:

  • brushes with angled handles,
  • small brushes that fit comfortably in your hand, and
  • finger toothbrushes

Check with your vet if you are unsure of which brush to use. Finally, it is preferable to use a brush where the bristles can reach just below the gum line at the tooth/gum interface.[1]

healthy teeth of cat

How Should You Brush Your Cat’s Teeth: A Step-By-Step Guide

Good dental hygiene will result in a healthy, happy cat. Cats often hate having their mouths messed with, so it is important to be fast”, says Dr. Coger at beChewy

The very first thing you’ll want to do is to prepare yourself, and here are the steps to brush your cat’s teeth[2]:

  1. Practice lifting your cat’s lips
  2. Introduce your cat to a toothbrushing supply
  3. Get brushing
  4. Work up to a full cleaning
  5. Reward your cat
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Can I Brush My Cat’s Teeth Without Using Toothpaste?

Wrap a piece of gauze around your fingertip and rub your covered finger against the upper teeth. Some cats will tolerate this better than actual teeth brushing. Even doing this step without toothpaste or a toothbrush helps remove disease-causing plaque.

What Food Cleans a Cat’s Teeth?

Hill’s Science Plan Adult Oral Care Dry Cat Food with Chicken is clinically proven to reduce plaque and tartar. With antioxidants and advanced oral care technology. It’s even suitable for the everyday feeding of your furry friend.

What Can I Use Instead of a Cat Toothpaste?

Topical gels and oral rinses are viable options for reducing oral malodor and provide antiseptic action in the oral cavity and are typically used daily. Clenz-a-dent and Maxi/Guard are commonly recommended brands. A topical gel, such as HealthyMouth gel can also be used as a dentifrice in place of toothpaste.

Is It Too Late to Brush My Cat’s Teeth?

It’s ideal to begin home care when your pet is young however, it is never too late to start. There are many different methods to prevent dental disease and to assist with dental hygiene at home, some of which include: Regular brushing. Treats and chews.

cat oral hygiene


Maintaining your cat’s dental health is crucial for its overall well-being. While brushing is the ideal method, it’s not always feasible for every cat.

By including creative alternatives such as dental treats, toys, water additives, wipes, and mouthwash into your cat’s routine, you can still keep their teeth clean and healthy without the need for traditional brushing.

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Remember to consult with your veterinarian for specific recommendations and to ensure your cat’s dental needs are met. With these creative approaches, your cat will have a flashy smile and excellent oral health for years to come!


  1. Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth | VCA Animal Hospital | VCA Animal Hospitals. (n.d.)- Vca
  2. Wilson, W. B. (2023, February 13). How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth (It’s Easier Than You Think)BeChewy

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