10 Best Cat Toothbrushes – 2023 Reviews and Top Picks
Brushing a cat’s teeth can prove a challenge. Many will resist having a plastic toothbrush pushed to the back of the mouth to get to the back teeth, while cats with gingivitis have gums that bleed easily. Whether your cat makes life difficult, or you simply want a brush that will easily reach all teeth, choosing the right cat toothbrush will make cleaning easier.
With a choice of handled or dual-headed toothbrushes, as well as finger brushes and toothpaste applicator swabs, the choice of which toothbrush to buy can be a difficult one.
Below, we have included reviews of ten of the best cat toothbrushes available, as well as a guide on how to choose the one that best fits yours and your cat’s requirements.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||H&H Pets Cat Toothbrush||
|Best Value||H&H Pets Cat Finger Toothbrush||
|Premium Choice||Petsmile Professional Cat Toothbrush||
|Vetoquinol Enzadent Dual Ended Toothbrush||
|Woobamboo Cat Toothbrush||
The 10 Best Cat Toothbrushes
1. H&H Pets Small Dog & Cat Toothbrush – Best Overall
The H&H Pets Small Dog & Cat Toothbrush is ideally sized for use on cats. It has reasonably soft bristles and a small enough head to tackle the teeth at the back as well as the front of the mouth.
The soft bristles mean that the toothbrush is also suitable for kittens. Although many people wait until they’re told to clean their cat’s mouths by dentists, it is best to start when they are young. Not only does this help prevent decay and other dental problems, but it also gets the cat used to having a toothbrush in its mouth. Trying to brush an adult cat’s teeth for the first time can prove impossible.
A single brush should last for several weeks, and this pack includes 4, making it good value. Its reasonable grip and soft bristles make it the best overall cat toothbrush on our list. The handle of the toothbrush is very basic, which means that it isn’t that easy to keep hold of if you have a struggling feline, and it would benefit from a curved grip to grant easier access to the back teeth.
- Good price
- Soft bristles are suitable for kittens
- Small head good for cats of all sizes
- Somewhat slippery handle
- Could do with a curved handle
2. H&H Pets Standard Cat Finger Toothbrush – Best Value
For cats that are new to having their teeth brushed, it can be difficult to convince them to let you stick a long piece of plastic in their mouths. One alternative is that of the finger brush. Fitting over your fingertip, the brush is designed to be more sympathetic to intolerant cats. They replace standard toothbrush bristles with plastic bristles, which do a reasonable job of removing plaque and tartar but not as good a job as the nylon bristles most owners are used to.
The H&H Pets Standard Dog & Cat Finger Toothbrush is actually a set of four brushes. They can be used multiple times, and the four pack is cheaper than other brushes, making it our choice as the best cat toothbrush for the money.
However, the finger brush is quite large, which means that it can be a struggle for more petite fingers and may require padding out with tissue inside the brush. Also, the rubber bristles are not as effective at cleaning as standard nylon ones.
- Suitable for resistant cats
- Rubber bristles are not as good as nylon
- Too big for some fingers
3. Petsmile Professional Pet Toothbrush – Premium Choice
The Petsmile Professional Pet Toothbrush is an expensive choice of toothbrush but is designed for groomers and professional feline hygienists. It is also suitable for home use and has some strong features that make it stand out.
It has dual heads, with a smaller head on one end and a larger one on the other. This means that you can use the large head for the front teeth and the smaller one to reach the back without causing too much anguish. There is a textured rubber grip in the middle of the brush, so it is easy to hold even when it gets wet with toothpaste and cat phlegm. The brush head is angled at 45° which makes it possible to brush fronts, tops, and backs of teeth with ease. The bristles are BPA-free, which is important considering you will be putting the brush in your cat’s mouth several times a week.
The toothbrush is a good choice for very large cats, but it is hugely expensive, and the large head will be too large for a lot of cats.
- Textured grip makes it easy to hold
- BPA-free nylon bristles
- Angled head makes access easier
- Very expensive
- Large head too large for most cats
4. Vetoquinol Enzadent Dual Ended Toothbrush
The Vetoquinol Enzadent Dual Ended Toothbrush is a double-headed toothbrush with one small and one larger head. For very small cats, the larger head may prove too much of an obstruction and you will struggle to get it between the teeth and the mouth. The small head should be suitable for most cats, however. The heads are angled to ensure that they can more effectively brush all tooth surfaces.
The Vetoquinol Enzadent is expensive compared to most other brushes and the nylon bristles can wear down quickly, but the angled heads are more convenient for brushing the tops and backs of teeth. Because of the large size of the second head, this brush would serve owners that have a cat and small dog that both require regular brushing.
- Two heads of different sizes
- Angled heads improve access
- The large head is too large for most cats
5. Woobamboo Dog & Cat Toothbrush
As the name suggests, the Woobamboo Dog & Cat Toothbrush is made from bamboo, which is not only more natural for your cat but means that you don’t have to use disposable plastics. The bristles of the brush are made from nylon, and they do a good job of removing food debris and cleaning the teeth while being gentle enough that they shouldn’t cause huge problems for cats with sensitive gums or bad teeth.
The handle is well shaped but can be a little slippery when wet and would benefit from having an angled head to make it easier to clean inside all of the mouth.
The use of bamboo means that this toothbrush is more expensive than most of the plastic models, but as well as being made from bamboo, the company uses recycled packaging materials that can be further recycled after use, and they even use a soy-based ink that is more environmentally friendly than traditional inks.
- Environmentally friendly product and packaging
- Nylon bristles are effective
- The handle can get slippery
- Would benefit from an angled head
6. Virbac C.E.T. Dual Ended Dog & Cat Toothbrush
The Virbac C.E.T. Dual Ended Dog & Cat Toothbrush is a premium-priced toothbrush with two heads: one large and one small. The small head is suitable for cats, although the large one will likely prove to be too large and obtrusive for use in your cat’s mouth but is suitable if you have a dog that also needs its teeth brushing.
The heads face opposite directions which makes the brush easier to hold, and the neck is contoured according to the size of the head you’re using. The head is slightly angled, and while the angle isn’t huge, it does make it easier to get in and brush awkward spots in the mouth.
The Virbac brush is expensive compared to most others and the large head is useful for all but the very largest of cats and multi-pet owners.
- Contoured handle
- Angled head
- Large head too large for cats
7. Pet Republique Dog & Cat Dual-Head Toothbrush
The Pet Republique Dog & Cat Dual-Head Toothbrush is a pack of three dual-headed toothbrushes. The small head is suitable for use on cats, and the large head can be used if you have a giant cat breed, or it can be used on your small breed dog.
An angled head makes it easy to brush tops and backs of teeth, as well as reach to those back molars that are really difficult to get to. The bristles are soft, meaning that they are suitable for cats with sensitive mouths and the brushes are reasonably priced.
The straight handle could do with texturing or some sort of grip, though, because the brushes do become slippery, and the Pet Republique brushes suffer a similar problem to virtually all dual-headed brushes, which is that the large brush is probably too large for your cat. For cats, the strength of the handle should be fine, but some dogs will chew or snap the handle easily.
- Angled heads are convenient
- Soft bristles are suitable for sensitive mouths
- No grip on the handle
- The large head is too large for cats
8. Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste Applicator Swabs
|Brush Type:||Applicator swabs|
No matter how soft the bristles and sensitive your touch, some cats suffer from very sensitive gums and bad teeth. Brushing with anything can cause bleeding gums and make your cat resistant to having their teeth cleaned in the future. Although Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste Applicator Swabs are expensive, they offer a really convenient way to brush sensitive and sore teeth.
Put toothpaste on the swab and then rub it onto the teeth. The lack of bristles means that the swabs shouldn’t cause additional pain, and if you use flavored toothpaste, the swabs shouldn’t cause anguish for your pet. The long wand handle also makes it possible to get to the back teeth, but the straight design makes it very difficult to reach all surfaces of all your cat’s teeth.
For cats with healthy teeth, these swabs are expensive, and simply rubbing toothpaste onto teeth will not do as good a job as proper brushing.
- Very gentle for sensitive gums
- Long handles are convenient for back teeth
- Very expensive
- Don’t clean as well as standard brushing
9. H&H Pets Dual Headed Dog & Cat Toothbrush Set
The H&H Pets Dual Headed Dog & Cat Toothbrush Set is a set of 4 long toothbrushes with dual heads: one small and one larger. The small head is suitable for use in your cat’s mouth, especially getting to the back and surface of the teeth, while the large head can be used for dogs, or it can be used to give your cat’s more accessible front teeth a more vigorous brushing.
The toothbrush set is well priced, and the heads have a slight angle, which further helps reach the back teeth. The soft bristles are useful for cats with sensitive gums.
However, the long handle is smooth and difficult to grip while the very soft bristles start to wear quickly, which means that the brushes will need to be replaced regularly.
- Soft bristles suitable for sensitive gums
- Angled head makes brushing easier
- Straight handle has no grip
- Soft bristles wear quickly
10. Pet Republique Dog & Cat Finger Brush
The Pet Republique Dog & Cat Finger Brush is a BPA-free plastic finger brush designed to fit snugly over an adult finger and easily into your pet’s mouth.
Because the plastic is quite firm and does not have a contoured design, it is difficult to secure it over the finger so that it stays, although its tougher material does mean that this brush not only saves your cat’s teeth but can help save your finger from bites.
It is reasonably priced but as well as being difficult to fit on your finger, and the head itself is large: likely too large for modest-sized and smaller cats.
- Reasonable price
- Protects your finger from bites
- Difficult to fit on the finger
- Head too large for most cats
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Cat Toothbrushes
Cats can suffer many of the same dental problems as humans. Plaque and tartar buildup are alarmingly common, while gingivitis can cause your cat pain every time they eat and whenever you brush their teeth. Like people, cats need regular brushing to prevent dental disease and to ensure comfort while eating. But cats can’t brush their own teeth and you need to be brushing more often than during an annual visit to the vets.
Common Feline Dental Problems
- Plaque – Plaque is a bacteria that causes a film over the surface of the cat’s teeth. Left unchecked, saliva causes a plaque buildup to turn into tartar. Regular brushing helps wash the plaque away, ensuring that it doesn’t have the opportunity to develop into tartar.
- Tartar – If plaque is allowed to sit and fester, it will mix with your cat’s saliva to create tartar. This fixes itself firmly to the teeth and can cause rotting and sensitivity.
- Gingivitis – Once tartar starts to develop, it will grow, and new tartar builds up on top of the existing layer. This eventually leads to tartar forming in the gum tissue. This leads to sensitivity around the gums, called gingivitis, and this bacterial infection can become painful to eat and will be painful during brushing.
- Abscesses – Once bacteria is allowed to enter the gums, they will start to erode the roots of the teeth. This prevents teeth from getting the blood supply that they need. The body responds by producing white blood cells. These manifest as pus and a pus build-up causes abscesses, which are painful and extremely uncomfortable. Watch for a swelling appearing under your cat’s eye as the main symptom of an abscess.
- Tooth Loss – When the roots have died and teeth have decayed, it can lead to tooth loss. Physical injuries and other illnesses may also lead to this dental problem, which will leave your cat struggling to eat properly and potentially in pain.
Most periodontal problems start as plaque, and if this is allowed to build up, it will become progressively more aggressive and damaging to your cat’s dental health. Regular brushing will help brush plaque away, therefore preventing tartar from forming and stopping bacteria from entering the roots of the teeth.
Why You Need a Cat Toothbrush
A cat toothbrush is specifically designed for use on cats. It is smaller than a human toothbrush which makes it easier to get into the mouth and to brush the tops and backs of teeth. It should also have soft bristles because the cat’s teeth are sensitive. However, those bristles are important because it is they that will help get rid of plaque and tartar buildup.
To ensure all plaque is effectively removed, you will need an effective toothpaste, as well as a good quality cat toothbrush. What should you look for when buying a toothbrush?
- Finger Brushes – Finger brushes are finger-shaped sleeves designed to fit the index finger. Some cats that are resistant to handled toothbrushes may be more willing to accept a finger in their mouth. The bristles of these brushes are usually made of rubber or plastic, and they are not usually as effective as nylon bristles. What’s more, the universal design of the finger brush means that unless you have the perfect sized index finger, these brushes are likely to be too small or, as is more often the case, too large for your hands. If your cat simply won’t let you near with a normal brush, a finger brush is likely going to be your best option.
- Handled Toothbrushes – The handled toothbrush is what most people think of when buying a toothbrush. They have a single head, usually consisting of an arrangement of nylon bristles. The head might be angled to allow greater access to difficult areas, and handles might or might not be textured for improved grip. The simple design of the handled toothbrush means that these are among the cheapest options available.
- Two-Headed Cat Toothbrushes – The two-headed toothbrush is similar to a handled toothbrush, except that it has a brush head at either end of the handle. Typically, one of the heads will be small and the other a larger brush. The large brush is designed for brushing the large and easy-to-reach surfaces at the front of the mouth, as well as the tops of teeth, while the smaller brush is used for awkward areas and more precise brushing. Dual-headed brushes can be difficult to hold while a thin handle means that they can also be quite flimsy.
- Toothpaste Applicator Swabs – Toothpaste applicator swabs are an alternative to standard brushes and finger brushes and are suitable for a cat with severe gingivitis or a very sensitive mouth. The swab is made from a cotton substance, and you dab toothpaste onto the tooth before smearing it around. A swab is not a good substitute for a normal brush, except in those cases where the cat needs something a lot more sympathetic.
Do I Really Need to Brush My Cat’s Teeth?
Brushing prevents plaque and tartar, which are responsible for virtually all cases of periodontal disease in cats. Vets and professional groomers can brush your cat’s teeth, but it is unlikely that they will be able to do so often enough to help prevent dental decay. Therefore, brushing your cat’s teeth is a vital part of cat ownership, but one that is frequently overlooked.
How Often Should I Brush My Cat’s Teeth?
Owners are usually recommended to brush a cat’s teeth three times a week, but the best regime includes daily brushing. This will get rid of the debris and plaque that has built up over the day. Also, the more often you brush a cat’s teeth, the easier it should become and the more willing your cat will be to succumb to the routine.
How To Brush A Cat’s Teeth
Brushing a cat’s teeth is similar to brushing those of a human. Follow these steps to help ensure good dental health:
Get your cat used to the toothpaste first. There are lots of different flavors available, including those that taste of chicken. Put a bit of the paste on your finger and place it in your cat’s mouth. Do this once a day for a few days so that your feline gets used to the toothpaste and the sensation of you putting something in its mouth.
Hold the cat with its back to you and facing away from you. If it tries to get away, it is most likely to go backward, and your body will make escape more difficult. Open its mouth using your fingers and use a cotton swab to push its lips back and get to the gums. Do this using a cotton swab initially because it will cause less stress for your cat.
After a few days of using a cotton swab, swap this out for a toothbrush.
Brush in circular motions for about 45 seconds on each side. Initially, you may have to brush for shorter periods before spending longer and longer each day.
There are a lot of cat toothbrush options available. First, decide on the type of brush you want to use, whether it’s a handled brush or a finger brush, and then decide whether you want the greater reach of an angled head and the improved grip of a textured handle. Also, choose a brush that is a suitable size for your cat – if it is too large, it will be uncomfortable when stuffing it in your cat’s mouth.
While compiling the reviews above, we found the H&H Pets Small Dog & Cat Toothbrush was reasonably priced and had soft bristles, but if you want to spend even less or you need a finger brush rather than a handled one, the H&H Pets Finger Toothbrush offers great value for money.
Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock