Best Dry Cat Food for Dental Health

Best Dry Cat Food for Dental Health

For your dry cat food to be healthy overall, you must take care of their oral health. Inadequate oral hygiene practices may result in cavities, periodontal disease, and even systemic diseases affecting other organs. Selecting dry cat food that is specifically made for dental care is one efficient strategy to keep your cat’s teeth healthy. This post will go over some of the top dry cat diets for dental health in detail, along with important ingredients to consider and advice on keeping your cat’s mouth clean.

Why Dental Health is Important for Dry Cat food

For cats, dental health is crucial since it can forestall major health problems in addition to preventing discomfort and foul breath. The accumulation of plaque and tartar can result in periodontal disease, which can cause discomfort, tooth loss, and infections that have the potential to spread to the kidneys and heart.

How Dry Cat Food Can Help

Because of its crunchy texture, dry cat food can help remove tartar and plaque from teeth. This is especially advantageous for dental health. Certain substances that promote oral health are frequently included in specially designed dental diets. These ingredients include:

  • Mechanical Action: Chewing promotes tooth cleaning, hence larger kibble sizes and textures are used.
  • Chemical Agents: Substances like polyphosphates that attach to salivary calcium to prevent the production of tartar.

Which is Better for the Dental Health of Your Cat: Wet or Dry Food?

It can be difficult to decide which kind of food is best for your cat’s oral health because both wet and dry meals have benefits and drawbacks. This comprehensive comparison will assist you in determining which could be best for the oral health of your cat.

Dry Food


  • Mechanical Cleaning: As a cat eats, the crunchy texture of dry food can help scrape away tartar and plaque from the teeth. Certain dry feeds are made especially to have bigger kibbles and a texture that promotes chewing and aids in teeth cleaning.
  • Convenience: Dry food is convenient for cat owners since it is simple to measure, store, and can be kept out for extended periods of time without going bad.
  • Dental Formulations: Certain dry cat diets, like Hill’s Science Diet Oral Care and Royal Canin Dental Care, are specifically made to target dental health. These diets frequently include components that lessen the accumulation of tartar and plaque.


  • Less Moisture: Cats with certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease or urinary tract disorders, may not benefit from wet food, which has more moisture than dry food.
  • Possibility of Overeating: Since dry food can be kept out all day, some cats may eat too much, which can result in obesity and other health problems.

Wet Food


  • Hydration: The high moisture level of wet food can promote urinary system health and help your cat stay hydrated. This is especially crucial for cats that don’t get enough water in their diet.
  • Taste: Wet food tends to be simpler to consume and more tasty for many cats, which is good news for senior cats or cats with dental problems.
  • Nutritional Benefits: Compared to dry food, wet food frequently has more protein and lower carb counts, which can be more in line with a cat’s natural diet.


  • Absence of Mechanical Cleaning: The mechanical activity required to help clean teeth is not present in wet meals. In the absence of the crunchiness found in dry food, plaque and tartar can accumulate more quickly.
  • Wet food should not be kept out for extended periods of time due to its rapid spoilage. Careful portion control and more frequent feeding regimens are necessary for this.
  • Cost and Storage: Compared to dry food, wet food is frequently more expensive and takes up more storage space.

Balancing Both for Optimal Dental Health

You might think about giving your cat a mix of wet and dry food to provide them the finest dental care possible:

  • Feeding a mix of wet and dry food can provide advantages to both types of feeding. While dry food might aid in mechanical tooth cleaning, wet food can offer nutritional advantages and hydration.
  • Dental Treats and Chews: Add dental treats and chews that are made to help clean teeth to your cat’s diet. You can give these in addition to your usual meals.
  • Frequent Brushing: Brushing your cat’s teeth on a frequent basis using toothpaste and a toothbrush made specifically for cats is vital, no matter what kind of food they eat. The best method for minimizing plaque and tartar accumulation is this one.
  • Frequent Veterinary Check-ups: Keeping your cat’s oral health in check requires routine veterinary check-ups, which include dental cleanings. Based on your cat’s individual requirements, your veterinarian can also suggest the ideal diet.

Top Dry Cat Foods for Dental Health

1. Hill’s Science Diet Oral Care

Key Features:

  • kibbles with a specific shape and size to clean teeth.
  • includes nutrients that are vital for general health as well as antioxidants.
  • clinically demonstrated to lessen tartar accumulation and plaque.


  • encourages breath that is fresh.
  • additional vitamins and minerals that promote general dental health.

2. Royal Canin Dental Care Dry Cat Food

Key Features:

  • distinctive kibble texture and shape that gives teeth a brushing sensation.
  • has calcium chelators in it to lessen the development of tartar.
  • a well-balanced diet that promotes general health.


  • demonstrated by science to lessen the development of plaque.
  • breath freshening and gum health support.

3. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dental Health Formula

Key Features:

  • designed with cats’ particular dental health needs in mind.
  • kibble texture that is crunchy to assist prevent tartar buildup.
  • Adult cats need a diet that is both complete and balanced.


  • by use of mechanical cleaning, aids in maintaining oral hygiene.
  • Fit for continuous feeding.

4. Iams ProActive Health Adult Dental Care

Key Features:

  • includes cutting-edge dental care technology.
  • crisp texture to lessen tartar and plaque.
  • high-quality protein to support general health and muscle maintenance.


  • encourages healthy gums and teeth.
  • supports general vitality and a robust immune system.

5 Best Cat Foods for Dental Disease

1- Overall Best: Open Farm Harvest Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

  • Produced in: USA
  • Protein Promised: 47% Minimum
  • Age Range: Every Stage of Life
  • 149 calories per ounce
  • Average Daily Cost: $3.75 per day
Dry Cat Food

My #1 choice for freeze-dried raw food is Open Farm, which uses foods that are sourced sustainably and compassionately. Its low carbohydrate content and single-protein composition are enhanced by the addition of ground bone, organs, and muscle meat, which appeals to carnivores.

These tiny, light pellets of chicken-based freeze-dried formula are available. Despite having a very low moisture content, the product is meant to be rehydrated before to feeding. To expedite the process, I prefer to crush the pellets before soaking them.

This food is easy to chew and has a feel similar to shredded beef once it has been rehydrated. The flavor was much loved by my cats, and I valued the resealable pouch’s ease.


Ground-boned chicken, chicken neck, chicken liver, organic dandelion greens, montmorillonite clay, potassium chloride, and choline chloride Taurine, organic cranberries, vitamins (specifically, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin A, thiamine mononitrate, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, and biotin), Minerals (salmon oil, mixed tocopherols, magnesium sulfate, rosemary extract, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, and sodium selenite).

Ingredients We Enjoyed: Salmon Oil, Liver, Neck, and Ground Bone of Chicken

Ingredients Not to Our Taste: N/A

2- Budget Pick: Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Chicken Recipe Wet Cat Food

Produced in: USA

Protein Promise: 11% Minimum

Age Range: Every Stage of Life

Ounces of Calories: 35

The average cost per day is $1.71. 

Similar to freeze-dried food, canned cat food has a longer shelf life and is typically less expensive. My cats really enjoy this Nulo Freestyle mixture, which is also very affordable. It has 50% protein by dry matter content and is loaded with moisturizing hydration.

The main ingredients of this recipe are tuna, turkey, and chicken. Essential nutrients derived from animals are found in turkey liver, while omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in menhaden fish oil. The dish is low in carbs and has a silky texture similar to pate.

This recipe does not use difficult-to-digest beans or legumes, in contrast to many other grain-free dishes. However, guar gum is added to thicken it, which has been linked to loose stools in certain cats. It’s advisable to gradually move your cat from this food.


Turkey, Chicken, Turkey Liver, Turkey Broth, Tuna, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Agar Agar, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Menhaden Fish Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Salt, Iron Proteinate, Sodium Carbonate, Zinc Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Magnesium Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Items We Enjoyed: Menhaden Fish Oil, Tuna, Turkey Liver, and Chicken

Ingredients We Found Unappealing: Guar Gum

3- Best Dry Food: Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Mackerel and Lamb Recipe Cat Food

Produced in: New Zealand

Protein Promised: 44% Minimum

Age Range: Every Stage of Life

129 calories per ounce

Average Cost Every Day: $3.51

Some cats prefer dry cat chow over canned or freeze-dried food, even though it lacks the nourishing moisture both sources offer. Because this air-dried recipe is so full of nutrition appropriate for the species, I picked it over standard kibble. Its use of unique proteins was another appealing feature.

Ziwi Peak air-dried cat chow is processed without being exposed to high heat, in contrast to conventional kibble. It is made out of 96% lamb organs, muscle meat, and entire mackerel (including bone). This formula contains over 50% dry matter protein, omega-3s derived from animals, plus glucosamine and chondroitin to maintain healthy joints.

This meal is air-dried and comes in small square pieces rather than spherical kibbles. Though the texture may differ from batch to batch, the low moisture content gives it an almost jerky-like texture that may inspire some cats to eat it.

Try adding bone broth to your cat’s bowl if they used to eat their favorite kibble but are now having trouble doing so. Before giving them their kibble, you can either pour some over it or let it soak for a bit.


Whole Mackerel, Lamb, Lamb Heart, Lamb Lung, Lamb Liver, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Spleen, Lamb Bone, New Zealand Green Mussel Lecithin, Chicory Root Inulin, Dried Apple Pomace, Minerals (such as glutathione, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, manganese amino acid complex, magnesium sulfate, and potassium phosphate), lamb cartilage, Organic Kelp, Dried Add salt, mixed tocopherols, and citric acid as preservatives, DL-methionine, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, choline chloride, and taurine.

We enjoyed the following ingredients: whole mackerel, lamb, tripe, lung, heart, liver, kidney, spleen, and bone of lamb from New Zealand.

Ingredients We Found Unappealing: Not one

4 Best for Cats with Bad Teeth: Tiki Cat Luau Velvet Mousse with Chicken in Broth Grain-Free Wet Cat Food

Check Out Our Complete Brand Assessment

Produced in: Thailand

Protein Satisfied: 12% Minimum

Age Range: Every Stage of Life

28 calories each ounce.

Average Cost Every Day: $5.06

Advanced dental disease can make it uncomfortable for cats to chew, which is why a smooth, mousse-like product like our Tiki Cat recipe is perfect. Consult a veterinarian whenever your cat isn’t eating regularly and think about what they’re eating because dental problems can cause long-term pain.

The main ingredients of Tiki Cat are chicken muscle meat and dried egg, with chicken broth added for flavor and moisture-retaining properties. 

Measuring dry matter, it has roughly 25% fat and 60% protein. The meal is mainly composed of fat derived from plants, despite having very few carbohydrates. Still, most cats appear to find it easy to digest, and my kitties surely liked it.

The product’s inability to reseal the packages is my only complaint. Nonetheless, since each pouch has 79 calories, you’ll probably use it all in a single meal.


Chicken, chicken broth, dried egg, sunflower oil, tricalcium phosphate, xanthan gum, potassium chloride, choline chloride, magnesium sulfate, taurine, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), manganese amino acid chelate, vitamin A supplement, copper amino acid chelate, calcium iodate, calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, and vitamin K3 supplement.

Ingredients That We Enjoyed: Dried Egg, Chicken

Components We Found Unappealing: Sunflower Oil

5- Best for Kittens: Wellness CORE Kitten Turkey & Chicken Liver Recipe Canned Cat Food

Produced in: USA

Protein Satisfied: 12% Minimum

Age Scope: Kitten

36 calories each ounce.

Average Cost Every Day: $3.49

Dental illness can afflict cats of any age, although it is more common in older cats, according to Dr. Carter. You can begin safeguarding your kitten’s dental health at an early age by encouraging their normal growth and development. One of our best recommendations is the Wellness CORE formula.

This recipe is popular with cats because it contains over 54% dry matter protein from turkey, chicken, and herring. With 36 calories per ounce and about 34% dry matter fat, it is high in energy. There are lots of moisturizing liquids and very little carbohydrates in the dish.

Even though this recipe is meant for kittens, underweight older cats with dental issues may find it to be a decent option. Its texture is smooth and simple to chew, and its high calorie content means your cat won’t need to consume a lot of it to feel full.


Natural Flavor, Turkey, Chicken Meal, Chicken Liver, Turkey Broth, and Chicken Menhaden fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), cranberries Guar gum, Tricalcium phosphate, ground flaxseed, Xanthan gum, Cassia gum, phosphorus chloride, taurine, dried kelp, zincc proteinate, iron proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenium, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A supplement, biotin, potassium iodide, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, and rosemary extract.

Turkey, chicken liver, chicken, chicken meal, herring, and menhaden fish oil are among the ingredients we enjoyed.

Ingredients We Found Unappealing: Guar Gum

Ingredients to Look For

When choosing a dry cat food for dental health, consider the following ingredients:

  • Calcium chelators: By binding with calcium, they aid in preventing the production of tartar.
  • Fiber: Reduces plaque formation and helps maintain a clean mouth.
  • Protein: A diet rich in quality protein promotes strong teeth and general health.
  • Antioxidants: Lower inflammation and strengthen the immune system.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Your Cat’s Dental Health

  • Frequent Brushing: Brush your cat’s teeth on a frequent basis using toothpaste and a toothbrush made specifically for cats.
  • Dental snacks and Toys: Offer toys and dental snacks that are intended to aid with teeth cleaning.
  • Expert Cleaning Services: Establish a routine for your pet’s dental examinations and cleanings.
  • Fresh Water: To help wash away food particles and bacteria, make sure your cat always has access to clean, fresh water.


Making the appropriate choice in dry cat food is essential to keeping your cat’s teeth healthy. Certain recipes, such as those from brands like Hill’s Science Diet, Royal Canin, Purina Pro Plan, and Iams, encourage dental hygiene by providing vital nutrients and mechanical cleaning. When combined with consistent brushing, dental treats, and expert veterinarian care, these meals can help guarantee your cat’s teeth stay strong and healthy for the duration of their life. For advice on selecting the ideal dental diet for your cat’s individual requirements, always speak with your veterinarian.


What is the best dry cat food for dental health?

Hill’s Science Diet Oral Care, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dental Health Formula, Iams ProActive Health Adult Dental Care, Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d Dental Care, and Royal Canin Dental Care Dry Cat Food are a few of the best choices.

How does dry cat food help with dental health?

Dry cat food’s crunchy texture acts as a mechanical cleaner, removing tartar and plaque from the teeth as the cat chews.

Can I feed dental health dry food daily?

Indeed, a lot of dry diets for oral health are designed to be balanced and comprehensive enough for daily feeding; however, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and speak with your veterinarian.

What ingredients should I look for in dental health dry cat food?

Seek for antioxidants, high fiber, premium protein, calcium chelators, and unique kibble patterns that encourage chewing and mechanical cleansing.

Is dry food alone enough for my cat’s dental health?

No, even while dry food is beneficial, frequent dental checkups, dental treats, and teeth cleaning are still necessary for your pet’s best oral health.

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