How to Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Clean Without Brushing

Dr. Joe Alcorn, M.S., D.V.M.

Dr. Joe Alcorn is founder of Care Animal Hospital in Temecula, California. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and his advice has been featured in large publications like Bustle and Martha Stewart.

Home » Blog » How to Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Clean Without Brushing

Keeping your cat’s teeth clean might sound like the least of your worries when it comes to the overall health of your pet. However, it is equally important to take it seriously. It is vital for you as a pet owner to make sure your cat’s teeth are not filled with tartar and to learn how to clean your cat’s teeth.

It’s also important for your cat to not have bad breath or other symptoms. You want to keep unexpected oral problems at bay. 

How to Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Clean Without Brushing

Professional veterinarians recommend physically brushing your cat’s teeth, though there are alternative ways to do some cat teeth cleaning at home that do not involve brushing them. Often times, pet owners can be too preoccupied with other things to set aside time for brushing. Their cat may also be too aggressive for them to do it.  

grey and white cat

If that’s the case for you, take note. There are various ways you can do some cat teeth cleaning at home naturally and without the effort of brushing. These include changing their diet or food intake, using tools of natural dental care for cats such as gels, water additives, and dental chews or toys, or simply giving them a bone to chew on. 

Another important thing to remember is to bring your cat to the veterinarian at least once a year to have an oral checkup.

Tips on Keeping Your Cat’s Teeth Clean

Chewing on bones and grass is said to be a cat’s natural way of keeping their teeth clean. Since they are not out in the wild to do so, you as the pet owner are responsible for the natural dental care for cats and their health in general. You can do so by following some of the things listed below.

Change Your Cat’s Diet

To keep your cat’s teeth clean for their dental health, the best possible way you can do is provide them with nutritious good quality diet. This might be composed of whole meats and foods that do not have empty carbs, unnecessary preservatives, and colorings.

Feed Your Cat with Dental Food

Along with changing your cat’s diet, you can also try giving them brushless oral care products they might like. Always take note of the ingredients in the product. The more natural and non-toxic they are, the better.

For example, a few of these products that involve natural dental care for cats have herbs that stimulate the enzymes in their mouths. These change their chemistry to better activate their saliva. This allows the tartar to become softer and gradually come off.

You may also choose products that involve natural dental care for cats that have essential oils or seed extracts that break down the tartar. These generally help them avoid getting oral and gum disease.

Use Gels and Water Additives

If your cat does not let you brush their teeth, you can apply a dental gel directly on your cat’s teeth. This may still sound like you have to make an effort to get your cat to show their teeth. However, this is a simpler option than physically brushing their teeth.

Use these dental gels daily to make sure your cat’s teeth are clean and won’t get tooth decay.

Additionally, using water additives may be a lot less work as well. You simply pour this into your cat’s drinking bowl with water. It is not as efficient and long-term as dental gels and changing your cat’s diet. It still keeps your cat’s teeth clean.

Use Dental Chews or Toys

The best dental treats for cats must be abrasive enough to effectively scrub off plaque when your cat is chewing or playing with them. They also help in massaging and stimulating your cat’s gums. This is good as it can prevent your cat from getting gum infections or diseases as well.

yawning cat showing teeth

Let Them Chew on Bones

Similar to dental chews, bones also break down plaque and tartar when your cat chews on them. That said, you can give them some raw, uncooked bones.

Make sure they do not have any splinters. Some bones like those of pork, chicken, and fish usually have splinters. Examine the bone first before giving it to your cat.

Be Wary About Oral Problems

It may be an unpopular opinion but oral health is still a big vital part of your cat’s overall health. You must take note that tooth decay and gum diseases may in the long-term affect your cat’s heart, kidney, and other vital organs and may cause serious chronic illnesses. Do not wait for it to reach this severity before cleaning cat’s teeth.

An example of an oral problem symptom usually overlooked by pet owners is bad breath. Cats may naturally have bad breath, which can be caused by eating fish or other food. If you can sense that their breath has gone to a severe foul smell, it may be better to have your vet check it out to ensure everything is okay with the health of your pet.

Visit The Vet for A Checkup

Speaking of which, you must go to your cat’s veterinarian at least once a year to have their medical and dental check-up. It’s important to have your feline examined and checked (both orally and their whole body), so you can avoid any infections or pains rotting teeth may cause to your cat.

Do You Need to Clean Your Cat’s Teeth?

It is recommended by veterinarians to ensure your cat’s teeth are clean and their gums are healthy by taking the time to clean their teeth. It may be a difficult task at first. This is exactly why pet owners start brushing their cat’s teeth cleaning when the cat is still young.

Adult cats can be more aggressive. However, if you cannot be bothered to do so, the alternative ways you can get your cat teeth cleaning at home and naturally without brushing are listed above.


It is always better to prevent than to cure. The same thing goes with keeping your cat’s teeth healthy as well. Make sure you are taking the time to keep them clean. Be a responsible pet owner to avoid getting serious chronic illnesses that may be brought about by poor oral health.