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Best Dental Cat Treats

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comments-icon Medically reviewed by  Dr. Bartley Harrison, DVM
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When you want to freshen your breath, you grab a mint. But what do you do when your cat has bad breath? That’s where dental cat treats come in.

The best dental treats for cats are more than crunchy mint-flavored snacks. They contain active ingredients that help to keep your cat’s teeth clean and his gums healthy. That’s why we recommend Purina DentaLife Dental Cat Treats as the best dental treats for cats on the market.

These crunchy cat treats feature a porous texture that allows the tooth to penetrate the treat, delivering a quick and effective clean to remove plaque and reduce tartar buildup.

At a Glance: 6 Best Dental Cat Treats To Buy

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In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Overall Best
Picked by 31 people today!

Purina DentaLife Tasty Chicken Flavor Dental Cat Treats

  • Crunchy, porous texture helps reduce tartar
  • Tasty chicken flavor cats love
  • Fortified with added taurine
Best Budget
Picked by 31 people today!

Feline Greenies Oven Roasted Chicken Flavor Adult Cat Dental Treats

  • Intensely flavorful and enticing to cats
  • One of the best-known dental treats on the market
  • Available in a wide range of sizes and flavors
Best Chewy Dental Treat
Picked by 25 people today!

VetriScience Perio Plus Feline Bites Dental Cat Treats

  • Low in added carbohydrates
  • No corn, soy, or wheat ingredients
  • Made with pumice to lightly abrade plaque
Best Cat Dental Care Powder
Picked by 21 people today!

ProDen PlaqueOff Powder Dog & Cat Supplement

  • Easy to administer by mixing with food
  • More effective than many dental treats
  • Made with a single ingredient (kelp)
Best Chew Sticks
Picked by 18 people today!

WoLover Silvervine Sticks for Cats

  • Natural and unprocessed, 100% silvervine
  • Helps eliminate plaque and tartar
  • Highly attractive to cats, easy to feed
Best Natural
Picked by 18 people today!

WholeHearted Smart Smiles Cat Dental Treats

  • Crunchy treats full of chicken or fish flavor
  • Made in the USA with natural ingredients
  • No grains or artificial additives

While Purina Dentalife Dental Cat Treats appear to do a better job than any other dental cat treat on the market, they aren’t the only option. In addition to our top recommendation, we’ve chosen several other treats that go the extra mile to improve your cat’s oral health.

Before we jump into the details about this treat and the rest of our top recommendations, let’s talk about the benefits of dental treats for cats and what to look for.

Here’s Why Cat Dental Treats Are a Good Idea

An estimated 85% of cats over age 6 have some form of periodontal disease—a condition occurring when tartar builds up on your cat’s teeth, causing gum inflammation and a string of other conditions.

If your cat’s mouth isn’t healthy, that sickness will eventually impact other parts of the body, meaning that dental health affects more than just your cat’s teeth and gums. As periodontal disease progresses, bacteria and toxins spread from the mouth into the bloodstream and then into the organs, contributing to organ failure and other serious health issues.

That’s why it’s important to take care of your cat’s dental health before it’s too late.

There are numerous ways to keep your cat’s mouth healthy but brushing his teeth every day is the most effective method. Annual dental cleanings at the vet will remove any buildup you weren’t able to catch with the toothbrush and dental treats can help to fill in any gaps.

Dental treats are one of the most popular forms of preventative dental health care available for pets.

In contrast to the challenge of daily brushing, cat dental treats promise a fun, painless way to keep your cat’s mouth healthy. Despite this, they’re not a complete solution and, sometimes, they’re not a solution at all.

Not All Cat Dental Treats Actually Work

The majority of cat dental treats on the market are inspired by an old-school veterinary myth about dry kibble. During the 20th century, we were told that dry kibble was good for a cat’s teeth because it leaves less residue than canned food.

Plus, the crunchy texture was thought to lightly abrade away plaque. This myth has been largely debunked, revealing that dry food has little to no ability to clean cat teeth.

In keeping with this abrasion theory, most dental treats are nothing more than glorified kibble.

According to the marketing, these treats lightly abrade your cat’s teeth, scrubbing off plaque and surface bacteria. But there’s a problem with this theory. Cats don’t thoroughly chew their food. Their teeth seldom spend enough time touching the rough food to benefit from any abrasive effects. If your cat has ever vomited after eating dry food, you’ve probably seen graphic evidence of this fact.

Instead of getting that mild abrasive effect, cats essentially swallow their treats whole. Besides failing to scrub much of anything off of your cat’s teeth, the average dental treat coats your cat’s teeth in starch.

While dry cat food is often touted as a low-residue alternative to wet cat food, the inherent carbohydrate content of these foods makes that claim questionable. The high calcium and phosphorus content of dry foods can also contribute to increased buildup of tartar on your cat’s teeth.

So, what are the qualities of the best dental treats for cats?

While mint-scented kibble won’t do anything to help your cat’s teeth, some specially formulated treats help to encourage good dental health.

The best cat dental treats are low in residue-building ingredients and contain enzymes that can consume the bacteria remaining in your cat’s mouth, reducing the likelihood of plaque and eventual tartar buildup.

Top 6 Dental Treats for Cats Reviewed

To help you to understand and make an educated decision about the dental cat treats currently on the market, we’ve reviewed 6 popular dental treats for cats, rating each of them on their effectiveness, ingredient quality, and nutritional appropriateness for your carnivorous cat.

#1 Overall Best: Purina DentaLife Tasty Chicken Flavor Dental Cat Treats Review

Feed your cat’s cravings for natural chicken flavor while cleaning his teeth at the same time. These crunchy cat treats feature a porous texture that allows the tooth to penetrate more easily, surrounding it on all sides for a safe and effective clean.

Purina DentaLife dental cat treats are scientifically proven to reduce tartar buildup and they come with the added benefit of supplemental calcium and taurine.

These cat treats are full of chicken flavor but also come in a salmon variety. Choose from a 1.8-ounce bag or 19-ounce canister to ensure you never run out of your cat’s favorite treats. Plus, you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging your cat’s cravings because they contain less than 1.5 calories apiece.


Ground Yellow Corn, Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Digest, Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Powdered Cellulose, Fish Meal, Glycerin, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Salt, Brewers Dried Yeast, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Tricalcium Phosphate.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 32%
Crude Fat: 10%
Crude Fiber: 7%
Moisture: 11%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 35.96%
Fat: 11.24%
Fiber: 7.87%
Carbs: 44.94%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 33.23%
Fat: 25.22%
Carbs: 41.54%

What We Liked:

  • Crunchy, porous texture helps reduce tartar buildup
  • Tasty chicken flavor cats love
  • Fortified with added taurine

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains corn-based ingredients
  • Made with unspecified ingredients (animal digest)

#2 Best Budget: Feline Greenies Oven Roasted Chicken Flavor Adult Cat Dental Treats Review

Greenies dental cat treats are probably the first treats you think of when you hear the words “dental treats for cats”.

The packaging claims that these are the #1 vet-recommended dental cat treat, that the Veterinary Oral Health Council has confirmed that they can help control tartar, and that they’re “powerfully good”.

These treats lean almost entirely on the “crunchy texture equals clean teeth” premise. They’re small kibble treats that your cat might crunch and might swallow whole—it’s impossible to know if any abrasive effect will take place in your cat’s mouth.

The chicken formula contains chicken meal, wheat, brown rice, corn gluten meal, and poultry fat as the first five ingredients.

Although these treats boast a slightly more feline-appropriate ingredient lineup than some of the others on this list, they’re carbohydrate-heavy, potentially worsening the bacteria population in your cat’s mouth.


Chicken Meal, Ground Wheat, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Oat Fiber, Natural Poultry Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Citric Acid (a Preservative), Fruit Juice Color, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Mixed Tocopherols (a Preservative), DL-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), Ferrous Sulfate, Turmeric Color, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Manganous Oxide, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 27%
Crude Fat: 12%
Crude Fiber: 10%
Moisture: 10%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 30%
Fat: 13.33%
Fiber: 11.11%
Carbs: 45.56%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 27.79%
Fat: 30%
Carbs: 42.21%

What We Liked:

  • Intensely flavorful and enticing
  • Many customers say that these treats are great for their cat’s dental health
  • One of the best-known and best-trusted cat dental treats on the market
  • Free from artificial colors and chemical preservatives

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Heavy carbohydrate content
  • A crunchy kibble treat that your cat probably won’t chew

#3 Best Chewy Dental Treat: VetriScience Perio Plus Feline Bites Dental Cat Treats Review

VetriScience Perio Plus Everyday Health Feline Bites Dental Cat Treats

These cat chews contain a combination of probiotics, herbs, and other ingredients that can help to improve your cat’s dental health. These ingredients include chlorophyll, zinc, and coenzyme Q-10, all of which are antibacterial or anti-inflammatory. Natural zeolite is added as a deodorizer and pumice.

This combination of active ingredients makes these treats more promising than other dental treats for cats, but there’s a big problem. Most cats don’t like eating them.

The treats are large and hard, which theoretically encourages cats to bite in and enjoy the benefits of each treat. However, numerous customer reviews indicate that the large, hard treats are too challenging to consume, causing their cats to give up on eating them. One Amazon reviewer said that their cat “just got frustrated and walked away crying.”


Anise Oil, Apple Pectin, Brewers Yeast, Canola Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Citric Acid, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Fermentum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Fenugreek Seed Extract, Glucose Monohydrate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Mixed Tocopherols, Oat Flour, Propionic Acid, Proprietary Blend (Maltodextrin, Sodium Alginate and Calcium Sulfate), Pumice, Rosemary Extract, Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Sulfate, Sorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Vegetable Fat, Vegetable Oil, Water, Whey, Yeast Fermentation Solubles.

Guaranteed Analysis

Not Listed

What We Liked:

  • Low in carbohydrates and made without corn, soy, wheat, and other unnecessary ingredients
  • Made with pumice to lightly abrade plaque
  • Each treat contains ingredients that can help to improve dental health
  • Rich in probiotics for overall health
  • Large and hard to encourage chewing

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Doesn’t get consistently positive customer reviews – many cats dislike or refuse these treats
  • Some reviewers say that their cats threw up after eating these treats

#4 Best Cat Dental Care Powder: ProDen PlaqueOff Powder Dog & Cat Supplement Review

While this product doesn’t fall into the traditional definition of a treat—it’s not much fun to eat and you’ll probably sprinkle it into your cat’s food rather than feed it on its own—it earns its place on this list as a dietary supplement with benefits for your cat’s dental health.

The product is made from a single species of North Atlantic seaweed that’s been dried and ground into a powder. That’s it. Ascophyllum Nodosum seaweed, also known as Norwegian kelp, has clinically-demonstrated benefits for improving overall oral health in dogs and cats.

It’s unclear exactly how this seaweed helps. It’s speculated that a combination of compounds in the seaweed contribute to its plaque-inhibiting effects, including phenols, iodine, phosphates, sulfur, and other tartar-inhibiting elements.

This appears to be a safe food additive that shows a lot of promise for reducing plaque buildup and preventing tartar.


Ascophyllum Nodosum seaweed

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 16.5%
Crude Fat: 5%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 16.5%
Fat: 5%
Carbs: 78.5%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 15.4%
Fat: 11.33%
Carbs: 73.27%

What We Liked:

  • This product is easy to administer by mixing into or sprinkling on your cat’s food
  • Appears to be more effective than many other cat dental treats

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive

#5 Best Chew Sticks: WoLover Silvervine Sticks for Cats Review

If you’re looking for a cat dental treat that lasts for more than just a bite or two, try these 100% natural silvervine sticks. Made with a single ingredient, these chew sticks help remove dental plaque and tartar while also freshening your cat’s breath.

Because they are made with silvervine, these cat chews are naturally highly attractive to cats. Silvervine is a cat attractant like catnip, but it is actually more potent and appeals to a greater number of cats.

In addition to being highly potent and attractive to cats, these chew sticks are completely free from harmful ingredients and artificial additives. Chewing on the sticks can help stimulate your cat’s brain and relieve stress while serving as a source of entertainment for hours on end.


100% Natural Silvervine Wood

Guaranteed Analysis

Not Listed

What We Liked:

  • Natural and unprocessed, 100% silvervine
  • Helps eliminate plaque and tartar
  • Highly attractive to cats, easy to feed

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some cats aren’t attracted to silvervine

#6 Best Natural: WholeHearted Smart Smiles Cat Dental Treats Review

These tasty cat treats make it easy to care for your cat’s dental health. With their delicious poultry flavor and crunchy texture, they gently abrade plaque from your cat’s teeth and help reduce tartar buildup.

WholeHearted Smart Smiles cat dental treats area available in several flavors including chicken and salmon. They feature real animal protein like chicken meal as the first ingredient with supplemental protein from chicken liver. Your cat will also enjoy the flavor of nutrient-rich chicken fat as well as the digestive benefits of added probiotics.

With less than 2 calories per treat, you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging your cat’s cravings. These treats are also made with peppermint to help freshen your cat’s breath and they’re completely free from artificial additives and grains of any kind.


Chicken Meal, Tapioca Starch, Ground Peas, Chicken Liver, Coconut Glycerin, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Sunflower Lecithin, Dried Chicory Root, Calcium Carbonate, Mixed Tocopherols, Turmeric (Color), Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Peppermint Oil.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 25%
Crude Fat: 11%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 11%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 28.09%
Fat: 12.36%
Fiber: 5.62%
Carbs: 53.93%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 25.07%
Fat: 26.79%
Carbs: 48.14%

What We Liked:

  • Crunchy treats full of chicken or salmon flavor
  • Made in the USA with natural ingredients
  • No grains or artificial additives or preservatives

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains some added starch

What About Homemade Cat Dental Treats?

In addition to regular brushing, professional cleanings, and commercial dental treats, homemade dental treats can help keep your cat’s teeth healthy. Some people will occasionally feed raw bones to help break up tartar, though there are some risks with this.

Unlike any commercial cat food, raw meaty bones force your cat to use his jaws to gnaw and tear, digging his teeth into muscle tissue and breaking through raw bone. This gnawing action strengthens the jaws and cleans the teeth.

Because fresh raw meat doesn’t have any carbohydrate content, it’s also low-residue and will fit in with a low-carb diet to help keep your cat fit and trim. Bone ingestion can cause constipation in cats, and chewing on bones can result in tooth fractures in some cats.

Bones can also pose a choking risk to cats who try to swallow large pieces. Uncooked meat can be a source for pathogenic bacteria, so do not use this in homes with immunocompromised people or pets.

Remember that cooked bones are dangerous for your cat.

While raw bones are more flexible, cooked bones become brittle and are prone to splintering and shattering, making them extremely dangerous for your cat to eat. Choose small bones that tone your cat’s jaws without overwhelming them. Cat-appropriate options include raw chicken necks and chicken wings.

Good dental health results from a systematic approach from the inside out.

Genetics, diet, and oral hygiene all work in concert to support your cat’s dental health. Before treats, your first priority should be choosing the right diet and brushing your cat’s teeth with a good toothbrush and toothpaste. After you’ve established an oral care regimen, dental treats can help to fight against tartar and plaque buildup and dental disease in between brushing.

Relevant Content:

*Veterinary review of this article includes only the medical information in this article. The veterinarian reviewing this article does not personally endorse, recommend, or vouch for the efficacy or claims of any product mentioned in this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do dental treats for cats work?

It depends on the ingredients and the mechanism they use to remove plaque. Crunchy dental treats offer limited benefits in terms of scraping away plaque but some dental cat treats contain enzymes that help counter oral bacteria or contain breath-freshening ingredients.

How can I improve my cat’s dental health?

The best way to improve your cat’s dental health is to implement a similar oral hygiene regimen similar to your own. Ideally, you should be brushing your cat’s teeth daily and having his teeth checked by a veterinarian at least once a year.

How can I clean my cat’s teeth naturally?

Dental cat treats made with natural ingredients may help with surface plaque and bacteria, but the best thing you can do is brush your cat’s teeth. Giving your cat raw bones to chew on may help as well.

Note: The values in our nutrient charts are automatically calculated based on the guaranteed analysis and may not represent typical nutrient values. This may lead to discrepancies between the charts and the values mentioned in the body of the review.
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About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at Cats.com and an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on Cats.com is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

16 thoughts on “Best Dental Cat Treats”

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  1. Lynx

    Hartz Dental treats have excellent ingredients in them and I was shocked to see they’re loaded with vitamins. Why they had to even mention Vegetable oil preserved with BHT&BHA is laughable unless it was a pure vegetable oil treat!

      1. Taylor

        I buy these Intellident chews on Amazon. They aren’t a super high value treat for her, but she likes them, and you only have to give cats three of these per day so you aren’t increasing their caloric/carbohydrate intake by too much. I don’t brush her teeth and I just came back from the vet who told me that her teeth are in perfect shape. She said to keep up whatever I’m doing, so I guess these chews work.

  2. Fran Norton

    I ordered some of the Intellident cat treats from Entirely Pets on Nov. 17. Called customer service twice and left my number for a callback which never came. Finally got a hold of them before Christmas. I was told they were back ordered and wait for 2-3 weeks. On Jan. 15 I still have not received. Absolutely terrible customer service! Do not order from this website.

  3. CG

    Unless you want to find out how much cancer treatment costs for a cat, stay clear of all of these. Especially the greenies.
    Simple fact; wild cats are hyper-carnivores, meaning that the majority of their caloric intake is other animals. What makes your house cat any different? Bobcats don’t dig up roots and tubers. Leopards don’t climb trees looking for fruits. Tigers don’t eat leaves and grasses. Jaguars don’t hunt corn and rice.
    Give. Your. Cats and Dogs. MEAT! You can get all kinds of treats that are dehydrated pieces of a single ingredient. And it’s meat, or liver. Not by-product. Not meal.

    1. Taylor

      Not sure that plain dehydrated meat has been shown to improve dental health. I’ve heard good things about raw chicken necks. I tried them and my cat LOVED them, but I had to stop giving them to her because she would play with them and drag them all over the floor while eating and get bacteria all over the place. If anyone does try chicken necks, be sure NOT to cook them as the bones will become dried out and brittle and could kill your cat.

  4. Sharon

    Thanks for the article on cat dental treats. However, everyone of these treats (even the fish flavored one) contain chicken or chicken by products. Many cats are allergic to chicken. I have looked high and low for a dental cat treat without chicken. PLEASE HELP!

  5. Lorena Merighi

    I would love to use the ProDen Powder but, on their website, it says it’s not suggested for cats with Hyperthyroidism; since our cat is in the “grey zone” I decided to not get them. I always use the Purina Dentalife; would you suggest that Vetriscience has a better result?

    1. kateKate Barrington

      Hi Lorena! While some cat owners report good results with Vetriscience dental treats, Dentalife has been scientifically tested and is approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council to help control tartar.