Can You Put Dental Additives in Your Cat’s Water Fountain? The Answer May Surprise You


Dental health is extremely important for cats, as dental diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis are very common in felines. These conditions can lead to tooth loss, infections, and even issues with major organs if left untreated. Dental additives for cats can help promote oral health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup on teeth. They also help freshen breath. These additives are typically added to a cat’s drinking water to allow for regular intake throughout the day as the cat drinks.

There are a variety of dental additives for cats available, with some of the main types being dental gels and solutions. Dental gels often contain enzymes that help break down plaque. Dental solutions may have ingredients like chlorhexidine or zinc that inhibit bacterial growth and help reduce tartar formation. When added regularly to a cat’s drinking water, these dental additives can help maintain cleaner teeth and healthier gums.

Using dental additives can be especially helpful for cats that won’t tolerate tooth brushing or dental treats. Adding these products to a cat’s water is an easy way to help improve oral health. However, dental additives should be used under the guidance of a veterinarian, as they can have potential side effects. It’s also important to continue regular veterinary dental cleanings and exams.

Types of Dental Additives

There are several types of dental additives that can help improve dental health for cats:

Enzymatic Products

Enzymatic dental additives contain enzymes like mutanase and dextranase that help break down plaque and tartar. Popular products like Oratene Drinking Water Additive contain these enzymes to reduce plaque buildup.

Antibacterial Products

Antibacterial dental additives use ingredients like chlorhexidine to kill bacteria in the mouth. This helps reduce plaque and freshen breath. PlaqClnz Water Additive is one example.

Plaque-Preventing Products

Some additives are designed to prevent plaque from sticking to teeth. Products with delmopinol work by binding to teeth surfaces and preventing plaque adhesion. HealthyMouth for Cats uses this mechanism.

Benefits of Dental Additives

Dental additives offer several benefits for cats when added to their drinking water on a regular basis. The key benefits include:

Reduces plaque and tartar buildup – Dental additives contain ingredients that help break down plaque and tartar on a cat’s teeth as they drink treated water over time. This helps reduce staining and prevent calculus buildup that can lead to periodontal disease (Oral Health Benefits of Water Additives for Cats).

Freshens breath – The anti-plaque ingredients in dental additives also help freshen a cat’s breath. As bacteria is reduced, bad breath is diminished.

Promotes dental health – By reducing plaque and tartar, dental additives support overall dental health. Healthy teeth and gums can avoid dental disease and decay (5 Key Benefits of Cat Water Additive).

Considerations for Water Fountains

When choosing a water fountain for your cat, there are a few key factors to consider:

Flow rate – Look for a fountain with an adjustable flow rate, as some cats prefer a fast flowing stream while others like a slower drip. Make sure the flow is gentle enough not to splash but strong enough to entice your cat to drink.

Reservoir size – A larger reservoir means less frequent refilling. Aim for a capacity of at least 1 gallon.

Ease of cleaning – Look for fountains with dishwasher safe, non-porous parts that are easy to disassemble and clean. Materials like stainless steel and ceramic are ideal. Change and clean filters regularly according to manufacturer instructions.

According to veterinarians, choosing the right water fountain can encourage cats to drink more and promote kidney health (source: Key considerations like flow rate, size, and ease of cleaning will make the fountain appealing and hygienic for your cat.

Adding Dental Additives to Fountains

When adding dental additives to cat water fountains, it’s important to follow the proper dosage and mixing instructions. Most dental additives designed for cats will have dosage guidelines listed on the packaging or insert. A general rule of thumb is to start with the minimum recommended dose, and only increase if needed.

For example, the product PetKingdom Dental Care Water Additive recommends starting with 1⁄4 a teaspoon per 1 cup of water in the fountain, and gradually increasing to a maximum of 1 teaspoon per 1 cup as needed. Always mix the additive thoroughly to distribute it evenly throughout the fountain water.

Some key tips when using dental additives in fountains:
– Check that the additive is cat-safe and compatible with fountains
– Follow package instructions closely and start with the minimum dose

– Mix the solution well before letting your cat drink
– Monitor your cat’s dental health and adjust dosage as directed
– Change water and refresh additive regularly per fountain instructions

With proper dosage and mixing, adding dental care additives to your cat’s fountain water can be an easy way to improve their dental hygiene. However, be sure to consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns. For more on recommended products, see Best Cat Dental Additives.

Safety Concerns

When adding any substance to your cat’s water, it’s crucial to ensure it is safe for feline consumption. Certain additives designed for dogs may be toxic to cats at high doses. Look for products specifically formulated for cats. Consult your veterinarian before starting any dental additive, especially with kittens or cats with health conditions. Monitor your cat closely for side effects like vomiting, diarrhea or loss of appetite, which could indicate an intolerance. Reduce the dosage or stop using the product if side effects develop. Most cat-safe additives use natural ingredients at dilute concentrations, but always follow label directions carefully.

While evidence shows dental additives can reduce plaque buildup, they do not replace regular veterinary cleanings and exams. Alert your vet if tartar or gum inflammation persists so they can assess your cat’s oral health. Dental additives should complement, not substitute, professional dental care. With vet guidance, additives can be a safe way to improve feline dental hygiene between professional cleanings.

Top Recommended Products

When looking for the best dental additives and water fountains for cats, I recommend focusing on the following products:

Dental Additives

TropiClean Fresh Breath Oral Care Gel – This veterinarian recommended gel helps reduce plaque and tartar buildup. It is made in the USA and infused with natural ingredients like aloe, chamomile, and green tea.

Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dental Gel – This affordable gel uses enzymes to help break down plaque and freshen breath. It is veterinarian formulated and made in the USA.

HealthyMouth Water Additive – This concentrated solution helps prevent tartar buildup and promotes healthy gums. It is made in the USA using natural ingredients like aloe vera, green tea extract, and grapefruit seed extract.

Water Fountains

PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda – This fountain has dual free-falling streams and a large 70 oz capacity. The ceramic design is easy to clean and filters water thoroughly.

Pioneer Raindrop Stainless Steel – The stainless steel design resists bacteria growth. It features a charming raindrop design and has a 60 oz capacity.

Catit Flower Fountain – This affordable plastic fountain has dual-action streams and a flower design. It holds 3L of water and has a built-in filter.

Veterinarian Consultation

Before using any dental additive in your cat’s water fountain, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian first. Veterinarians can assess your cat’s unique oral health needs and determine if an additive will provide benefits or risks. Some key reasons to consult a vet first include:

  • Ensuring the additive is safe for your cat’s age, health conditions, and any medications.
  • Discussing additional treatments like professional cleanings, tooth brushing, and dental diets.
  • Getting advice on the best type of additive and proper dosage for your cat.
  • Monitoring for potential side effects like digestive upset.
  • Examining your cat’s mouth for signs of plaque, gingivitis, or other dental disease.

While dental additives can be helpful, they should be used under veterinary guidance and alongside other oral hygiene care. Proper dental disease prevention involves professional cleanings, brushing, dental diets, treats, and regular vet exams (source). Don’t use any additive without your vet’s approval first.

Regular Dental Care

In addition to dental additives, regular dental care is critical for cat health. The two main components of regular dental care for cats are brushing and professional cleanings.

Brushing your cat’s teeth daily is the most effective way to reduce plaque buildup and prevent periodontal disease. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and cat-safe toothpaste to gently brush along the outer surfaces of the teeth. Introduce brushing slowly and make it a positive experience with rewards.

Professional veterinary dental cleanings under anesthesia are also recommended once or twice a year. Veterinarians will thoroughly clean above and below the gumline to remove plaque and tartar that daily brushing cannot reach. Polishing the teeth after cleaning smoothes surfaces and delays further plaque buildup.

While dental additives provide some benefits, they should not replace regular brushing and professional cleanings which are essential for your cat’s dental health. Work closely with your veterinarian to implement an at-home dental care routine along with regular professional cleanings.[1]


When used properly, dental additives can be a beneficial supplement to your cat’s oral health routine. However, there are some important factors to consider before adding anything to your cat’s drinking water:

  • Consult your veterinarian to make sure the additive is safe for your cat’s health needs.
  • Follow package instructions carefully for proper dosage.
  • Monitor your cat to ensure they are drinking enough water with the additive.
  • Use a ceramic or stainless steel fountain designed for pets to avoid plastic staining.
  • Clean and change the water daily to keep it fresh.
  • Continue regular teeth brushing and professional dental cleanings.

Dental additives can be a helpful part of your cat’s oral care, but should not replace regular brushing and veterinary care. With the proper precautions, they can be added to fountains as a supplemental way to improve dental health.

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