The best dewormer for cats will be determined by the type of intestinal parasite your cat has, but it should be made with powerful active ingredients in an easy-to-administer formula. Though pricey, Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer is the best cat dewormer on the market and is recommended by veterinarians for being both safe and reliable. Due to high demand related to the coronavirus pandemic, some retailers are facing shipping delays of 7 to 10 days. We've listed multiple purchase options wherever possible.
Would you know if your cat had worms? Your cat might look fine on the outside, but worms can hide inside your pet, silently causing harm. Cornell University veterinarians estimate that as many as 45% of cats have intestinal parasites at any given time. Some of the most common intestinal parasites in cats include roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms. In adult cats, parasite infestations may cause mild to moderate digestive symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and gas. However, heavy infestations, especially in kittens, can lead to more severe digestive symptoms, weight loss, anemia, malnutrition, and restricted growth. Some intestinal parasites, like roundworms and hookworms, can even infect humans as well as cats. Fortunately, treating your cat for worms is easy and shouldn't require much more than an over-the-counter dewormer. Dewormers for cats come in a variety of different formulas for cats of different ages and to treat different types of parasites. To determine what kind of product you need, you'll have to take your cat to the vet for a physical exam and fecal exam (a stool test that reveals what type of worms your cat is infected with). From there, however, you'll be able to treat your cat quickly and easily at home. Lucky for you, we've done the research to find the best dewormers you can buy. You shouldn't skip a visit to your veterinarian, but once you've determined what kind of worms your cat has, you can use one of the following treatments to get rid of them once and for all. Here are the best cat dewormers you can buy:
Best cat dewormer overall: Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer Best dewormer for kittens: Excel Roundworm De-Wormer for Cats Best tapeworm dewormer: Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer Tablets for Cats Best roundworm dewormer: ProSense Liquid Dewormer for Roundworms Best all-natural dewormer: NaturPet D Wormer for Cats and Dogs
Updated on 4/01/2020: Updated prices, formatting, and links. Replaced HomeoPet Feline Wrm Clear Drops with Excel Roundworm De-Wormer for Cats.The best cat dewormer overall
Bayer's Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate) is well worth the cost for its safe and reliable eradication of a wide variety of intestinal parasites. If your cat has more than one type of intestinal parasite, a broad-spectrum dewormer can eradicate multiple types of parasites. Broad-spectrum dewormer products are made with powerful active ingredients to provide quick results. Our top pick for the best cat dewormer overall is Bayer's Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer. Bayer's Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer features two powerful active ingredients: pyrantel pamoate and praziquantel. This dewormer comes in easy-to-administer tablet form and is safe for kittens and cats more than 8 weeks old and ranging from 2 to 16 pounds. Though it is expensive, it may actually save you money if your cat gets frequent intestinal parasite infections or if you find yourself treating multiple cats for worms (for instance, rescue groups treating many cats). Pros: Veterinarian recommended, two active ingredients (pyrantel pamoate and praziquantel), broad-spectrum kills several types of worms, safe and reliable, low risk for side effects Cons: Very expensive to purchase, not for kittens younger than 2 months old or kittens weighing less than 2 pounds, some cats dislike the taste The best dewormer for kittens
Excel Roundworm De-Wormer for Cats is a safe and effective roundworm treatment for kittens and cats 6 weeks and older. Intestinal parasites, particularly roundworms, are very common in kittens, which can become infected when nursing from their mother. Our top pick for the best dewormer for kittens is Excel Roundworm De-Wormer for Cats (piperazine). This effective dewormer works to detach roundworms from the lining of the intestine and expel them from the kitten's body. The easy-to-administer liquid contains the active ingredient piperazine, which is approved for treatment of roundworms in cats and kittens 6 weeks and older. This product is not recommended for pregnant or nursing female cats. Pros: Safe and effective treatment for roundworms in cats, easy-to-administer liquid, may be used in young kittens older than 6 weeks, cost-effective dewormer available without a prescription Cons: May not be as effective as pyrantel pamoate (Drontal), does not treat tapeworms or hookworms, not for use in pregnant or nursing females The best tapeworm dewormer for cats
Bayer's Tapeworm Dewormer Tablets for Cats are proven to kill tapeworms in a single, easy-to-administer dose. If you notice something in your cat's feces that resembles grains of white rice, or you notice him licking or biting the area under his tail, he could have a tapeworm infestation. Cats contract tapeworms when they ingest an infected adult flea. As the tapeworm grows, segments break off and pass in your cat's stool. Bayer's Tablets are the top choice to tackle tapeworm infestations quickly and safely. These tablets come in a three-pack with each tablet containing 23 milligrams of the active ingredient praziquantel. This ingredient is effective against the most common species of tapeworm, Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaeformis, eliminating them in a single dose. The active ingredient praziquantel works to paralyze and eliminate tapeworms. This tablet can be fed whole or crushed and mixed with food. Because cats can become reinfected by ingesting another flea, effectively eliminating tapeworms requires eradicating fleas from your cat, home and yard in addition to treating the tapeworm infection. Pros: Kills tapeworms within 24 hours, easy-to-administer tablet, powerful active ingredient, no prescription required, comes with three tablets, long-trusted brand name Cons: Some cats may experience diarrhea after taking, not for kittens less than 6 weeks of age The best roundworm dewormer for cats
ProSense's Liquid Dewormer for Roundworms (piperazine citrate) is easy to administer and is highly effective against common species of feline roundworms. The most common intestinal parasites seen in cats are roundworms. According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, more than 25% of cats tested positive for the most common feline roundworm, Toxocara cati. In many cases, cats become infected by eating rodents, feces, or other substances containing roundworm eggs. Kittens infected with roundworms often have a distended abdomen (a potbellied appearance). Roundworms feed on the food your cat eats, which, over time, can contribute to malnutrition so it is important to treat roundworm infections right away. ProSense Liquid Dewormer for Roundworms is safe for use in cats and kittens over 6 weeks of age and weighing at least 2.5 pounds. In addition to the more common Toxocara cati roundworm species, ProSense Liquid Dewormer for Roundworms also kills Toxascaris leonine species roundworms. This liquid formulation is easy to administer and highly palatable for cats. You can feed it directly or mix it with your cat's food. Each teaspoon contains 250 milligrams of the active ingredient piperazine citrate, a tried-and-true treatment for Toxocara cati and Toxascaris leonine roundworms. Pros: Highly effective common roundworms, contains 250 milligrams of piperazine citrate per teaspoon, easy-to-administer liquid, cost-effective option Cons: Not for use in cats and kittens younger than 6 weeks or weighing less than 2.5 pounds, high doses may cause vomiting The best all-natural dewormer for cats
Made from all-natural, plant-based ingredients NaturPet D Wormer for Cats and Dogs purports to expel a wide variety of worms from your cat's body while also soothing the digestive system. If you don't like the idea of treating your cat with chemical ingredients, you may want to consider an all-natural dewormer. These products are made with plant-based ingredients to promote digestion, helping purge the parasites from your cat's intestinal tract. Natural dewormers may not work as quickly as chemical dewormers, but they may be used for very small and young kittens that are not older enough or weigh enough to take a drug-based dewormer. Our top pick for the best all-natural dewormer for cats is NaturPet D Wormer for Cats and Dogs. NaturPet D Wormer for Cats and Dogs is can be used for both dogs and cats of all ages and sizes. It is a liquid formulation made with a variety of plant-based ingredients, including wormwood to expel parasites, sage to cleanse the digestive system, black walnut to repel worms, and fennel to soothe the lining of the intestines. With twice-daily doses continued over the course of a week, this product works to expel worms from your cat's body in a safe, gentle, and all-natural way. Pros: Made from all-natural ingredients, works for a variety of intestinal parasites, easy-to-administer liquid, clear dosing instructions, safe for cats and dogs Cons: Doesn't kill worms but flushes them out of the body, higher price per unit than other options, requires twice-daily doses for at least a week Check out our other buying guides for cat owners
The best hairball medicine Hairballs are inevitable for cats, and if your feline is extra fluffy, it may be a chronic problem. Luckily, there are plenty of great hairball remedies, medicines, and prevention tools out there.
The best scratching posts Cats need to scratch, so to save your sofa and your curtains, you need a sturdy cat scratching post or scratcher. Scratching posts may be vertical, horizontal, or inclined, and some of them can be wall-mounted. Each cat has their own unique preferences, of course. These are the best scratching posts.
The best cat food Cats need lots of protein and fat in their diets to be healthy, so it's important that you feed them the best cat food. Whether you're shopping for wet cat food or dry cat food, we've researched many cat food brands to give you high-quality options. Here are our top picks for the best cat food.
The best cat bowls Some cats are picky about their food bowl. That's why it's important to choose the right one for their needs. When it comes to choosing the best cat food bowl for your cat, there are a number of factors to consider. Here are our top picks for the best cat bowls.
The best cat carriers Travel makes many cats nervous. To keep your cat safe and secure, you need to invest in a high-quality cat carrier. Cat carriers come in all shapes and sizes with different designs depending on the intended use. Here are our top picks for the best cat carriers.
The best cat beds There are many different kinds of cat beds, and cats, fickle creatures that they are, will all like different beds for special, mysterious cat reasons. Here are the best cat beds you can buy.
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Brushing a cat's teeth daily helps to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar — factors...Brushing a cat's teeth daily helps to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar — factors that lead to periodontal disease. Because not every cat will tolerate toothbrushing, less invasive products such as water additives and dental treats can help maintain overall dental health. We spoke to two veterinarians and tested a variety of products to find the best cat toothpaste, water additive, dental treats, and toothbrush. This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Karie Johnson, veterinarian and co-founder of VIP Vet Visit, a mobile vet service in the south suburbs of Chicago. Good oral care is essential to the overall health of a cat. Without it, bacteria multiplies in a cat's mouth to form tooth plaque. Over time, plaque develops into tartar and eventually periodontal disease, a condition that can be quite painful. That dental pain can seriously impact a cat's behavior, said Dr. Wailani Sung, veterinary behaviorist at the San Francisco SPCA Veterinary Hospital. "Some cats may be more irritable and may even escalate to aggressive behavior if they have continuous pain in their tooth. Some cats may hide more and be less affectionate," she said. Tooth pain can also cause a cat to eat or drink less, leading to dehydration or the potentially life-threatening condition hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver syndrome. The best defense against dental disease is preventing it from starting in the first place, said Dr. Andrea Moore, medical director at Pinnacle Animal Hospital in San Jose, California. She recommends daily toothbrushing with an enzymatic toothpaste. In addition, supplying your cat with daily access to a dental water additive and dental treats can help promote a healthy mouth. At your cat's annual exam, your vet can check their teeth for conditions like periodontitis or resorptive lesions, which may require a deeper dental cleaning. To compile our guide to the best at-home cat dental products, we considered the advice and recommendations of both Sung and Moore while testing 14 items in four categories: toothpaste and dental gel, water additive, dental treats, and toothbrushes. We also looked to the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), an organization that governs and certifies veterinary dental specialists, for products that have been voluntarily submitted for review and earned their seal of approval. Here are our top picks for the best dental products for cats: Best toothpaste: Vetoquinol Vet Care Enzadent Enzymatic Toothpaste Best toothbrush: Virbac C.E.T. Pet Toothbrush Best water additive: Oratene Enzymatic Brushless Oral Care Water Additive Best dental treats: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental Dry Cat Food Prices and links are current as of 8/20/20. We selected new picks based on research and testing. We also added a slide with tips for brushing your cat's teeth. The best toothpaste Vetoquinol Care Enzadent Enzymatic Toothpaste is a tasty toothpaste that polishes and removes plaque, all at a great value. Daily toothbrushing with an enzymatic toothpaste or gel is a cat's best defense against periodontal disease. Infused with glucose oxidase, a bacteria-reducing enzyme made from the Penicillium fungi, these dental formulas break down the plaque and biofilm that build up every time a cat eats. While brushing a cat's teeth with a feline toothbrush is ideal, even those who won't tolerate bristles in their mouth can benefit from an enzymatic toothpaste just by smearing it on the teeth and gum line, according to Moore. "It works not as well as teeth brushing, but it works better than not doing it at all," she said. Some enzymatic toothpastes are, of course, better than others. Unfortunately, in a product test like this one, it's impossible to evaluate how well a toothpaste fends off plaque and prevents the buildup of tartar. Instead, I made my selection for best toothpaste or gel based on three criteria: 1) whether my two cats liked the flavor; 2) how easy it was to use on the finger and on the brush; and 3) the product's ingredients and their efficacy. Taking these factors into consideration, I've chosen Vetoquinol Care Enzadent Enzymatic Toothpaste as my top pick. Both my cats loved the poultry-flavored Enzadent, and because it was stickier and less runny than some of the other brands, it was easy to use on both finger and toothbrush. Unlike some of its competitors, Enzadent contains two additional enzymes beyond glucose oxidase: lysozyme, which helps break down the cell walls of bacteria, and lactoperoxidase, which acts as a natural antibacterial agent. It is also made with lactoferrin, an antioxidant that protects against bacterial infection. Unfortunately, the sweetener/moisture-retainer sorbitol, which can have laxative effects in large quantities, is also one of Enzadent's ingredients. While Vetoquinol is not VOHC-accepted, the company has been audited by the National Animal Supplement Council and is committed to the highest industry standards. The cheapest of the toothpastes I tested, Vetoquinol Enzadent is not only a great value, it's a feline favorite. Pros: Triple enzyme formula, tasty poultry flavor, stickier and less runny than other formulas, can be used on toothbrush or smeared on gums with finger, company has been audited by the National Animal Supplement Council, affordable Cons: Contains sorbitol, not VOHC-accepted The best toothbrush The Virbac C.E.T. Pet Toothbrush is just the right size to clean the nooks and crannies of a cat's mouth. One of the challenges with brushing a cat's teeth is the size of their mouth. "Their lips are really tight, so it's hard to get a regular toothbrush that's square or rectangular back into their mouth," said Moore. Finger toothbrushes (a plastic cap with a ridged "brush" that slips over the finger) are also hard to use with cats. Instead, the best toothbrush for a cat is small with a rounded head and bristles, according to Moore. She recommends the Virbac C.E.T. Toothbrush. "It's angled so you can get to the back part of the cat's mouth," she explained. Out of the three toothbrushes I tested, I found that the Virbac C.E.T. was indeed the easiest toothbrush to use on my cats' teeth. While the Virbac brush had roughly the same size head as the others (approximately 0.5 inches by 0.25 inches), at 6.25 inches in length, it was the shortest of those I reviewed. That shorter handle made the toothbrush easier and less awkward to maneuver, while still keeping my fingers safely away from my cats' teeth. The dainty Virbac C.E.T. Toothbrush is made with soft nylon bristles and comes in assorted colors (though you can't select your color preference when purchasing). Pros: Easy to maneuver while brushing; small, angled head and soft bristles for reaching back teeth Cons: Can't select color preference when purchasing The best water additive Zymox Oratene Water Additive cleans teeth with bacteria-inhibiting enzymes and has no apparent taste that may deter finicky cats. There's no question that daily brushing works best to promote a healthy feline mouth, but there's also no question that some cats will never be comfortable with toothbrushing. For these finicky felines, Sung said water additives combined with a targeted diet that reduces plaque and tartar is "second best." Like cat toothpaste, water additives that contain enzymes are better at reducing plaque and biofilm than those that do not. And, like cat toothpaste, flavor plays a big role. If your cat refuses to drink water mixed with dental concentrate, not only will their teeth and gums suffer, they may be putting themselves at risk for dehydration. Zymox's Oratene Enzymatic Water Additive is my top pick for best water additive because it hits both of these marks. The clear liquid formula contains a patented LP3 enzyme system that makes plaque water soluble and prevents it from binding to the tooth. It is also completely flavorless and colorless. There was no change in the way my cats approached their water bowl or the quantity they drank after weeks of adding two pumps per quart of fresh water as instructed. The additive is also made in the United States and does not contain chlorhexidine, xylitol, or alcohol — ingredients which may be harmful to pets. As with other categories in this guide, I can't speak from experience or expertise as to how well this product works in the long run to maintain dental health. I can, however, confirm that this water additive was an easy addition to my cats' daily care, and because it is recommended by many veterinarians and animal clinics (though, notably, the manufacturer has not submitted this product for VOHC review and approval), I plan to continue using it to reduce plaque and biofilm daily. It's important to note, however, that some cats can taste unflavored water additives and it may cause them to decrease their water intake. When adding a water additive to your cat's routine, monitor them closely to ensure that they're drinking enough throughout the day. Pros: Patented enzyme system reduces biofilm and prevents plaque from binding to teeth, flavorless and colorless, two pumps of concentrated formula produces a quart of treated water, made in the United States Cons: Not VOHC-accepted The best dental treats VOHC-accepted Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental Dry Food's large, rounded kibble is just as tasty as a dental treat and has the ability to remove plaque. A good dental treat is an ideal co-conspirator in feline dental health. Like any treat, they're designed to taste great, and with cats, that's half the battle. When I interviewed Moore, I was surprised to find that she recommends the use of veterinary-quality dental kibble as treats. Both of my cats enjoy kibble, but I was skeptical that they would be as interested in dental kibble as they were in "official" dental treats. My cats, however, proved Moore right. They hoovered up the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental Dry Food just as quickly as the other dental treats we tested. The size and texture of Royal Canin's dental food lend to its effectiveness. "It's kind of a big kibble and so when they bite it, the kibble breaks open like a squeegee. It squeegees their teeth and [removes] the food particles and it actually really works," said Moore. Royal Canin is VOHC-accepted to prevent the formation of plaque, unlike the VOHC-accepted dental treats we tested which target tartar alone. The kibble also contains sodium tripolyphosphate, which works to bind salivary calcium and prevent the buildup of tartar. While the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dental Dry Food requires a veterinary prescription to purchase and the smallest size available is 7.7 pounds, it is more cost-effective than buying the same amount of Feline Greenies or Purina DentaLife treats, both of which we tested for this guide. Whether you have a cat that will tolerate toothbrushing or not, adding a small handful of Royal Canin Dental Dry Food as treats to their daily diet is one way to help to maintain a healthy mouth that they'll truly enjoy. Pros: VOHC-accepted and veterinarian approved, cats loved the flavor as much as other dental treats, large round kibble squeegee teeth clean to prevent plaque buildup, sodium tripolyphosphate prevents buildup of tartar, more cost-effective than other dental treats, can be fed as daily diet instead of as treats Cons: Must get veterinary prescription to purchase, smallest size bag is 7.7 pounds What else we considered Toothpastes and gels Zymox Oratene Brushless Enzymatic Oral Care Dental Gel ($14): My cats liked the flavor of this dental gel and its enzymes help prevent the buildup of bacteria and remove plaque. The company also advertises that their formula is extra-gentle, protecting mouth tissue against dryness — though I was unable to confirm this in my own testing. Its higher cost and smaller size (2.5 ounces vs. 3.1 ounces) than our top pick, Vetoquinol Enzadent, kept it out of the winning spot. Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste ($9): The poultry-flavored Virbac C.E.T. toothpaste was a hit with my cats and the cost is equivalent to our top pick. However, Virbac's toothpaste contains only two types of enzymes compared to Enzadent's three. Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste ($25): My cats both liked the London broil flavor, but I found it to be more watery, and therefore more messy, than the other brands we tested. Neither cat would go near Petsmile's rotisserie chicken flavor. This was also the most expensive toothpaste we tested by far, more than three times the cost of our top selection. This toothpaste is suitable for both cats and dogs, and it is VOHC-accepted for use with dogs but not cats. Oxyfresh Pet Toothpaste ($11): I love that this toothpaste is cruelty-free, but with no scent or flavor, my cats showed zero interest in it. Toothbrushes Petsmile Professional Pet Toothbrush ($14): The angle of this dual-sided toothbrush was helpful in brushing hard-to-reach back teeth and I like the grippy material on the handle. However, at 8.5 inches in length, the Petsmile was awkward to hold and hard to maneuver. It also costs nearly three times that of the other toothbrushes we tested. Vetoquinol Enzadent Dual-Ended Toothbrush ($4): Like the Petsmile toothbrush, the Vetoquinol Enzadent is dual-ended and long, approximately 8.5 inches. Unlike the Petsmile, it is not angled to more easily reach the back teeth, making it just as awkward to use but less effective overall. Water additives Oxyfresh Water Additive ($16): My cats drank up this cruelty-free, tasteless, odorless concentrate without noticing anything amiss in their water bowl. During the weeks that I added Oxyfresh to the water, I swear my cats' breath did seem to smell marginally better. However, Oxyfresh does not contain enzymes. Its primary ingredient, which the brand calls "oxygene," is made from sodium chlorite, a chemical water disinfectant, which the FDA approved in 2004 as a nontoxic antimicrobial agent for drinking water. Zesty Paws Breath Freshening Water (out of stock online): This water additive contains digestion-supporting ingredients like aloe vera, bromelain, and papain, but my cats were turned off by its strong spearmint scent and flavor. Dental treats Feline Greenies Dental Treats (from $4): I've religiously fed my cats every flavor of the VOHC-accepted Feline Greenies for years and they absolutely love them. However, Feline Greenies only work to control tartar — mineralized plaque left on the teeth over time — instead of removing plaque as it forms. Purina DentaLife Daily Oral Care Cat Treats ($13): My cats loved the taste of the chicken-flavored DentaLife treats and their ingredient list is remarkably similar to that of Feline Greenies. Like Greenies, too, DentaLife are VOHC-accepted to remove tartar — but not to remove plaque, the buildup of which forms the tartar in the first place. Given the choice, I'd prefer my cats' dental treats work to prevent the symptoms that lead to dental disease as opposed to treating symptoms once they appear. Cat dental toys It's worth noting that neither of the vets I spoke to for this guide recommended dental toys for cats and the VOHC does not include the category in their accepted dental products. Cats typically don't chew on their toys and generally use only their canine teeth when hunting and playing. It's unlikely these toys would impact common problem areas in the back of a cat's mouth. For these reasons, we have not included this category. Our testing methodology Testing items for the best cat dental products had some major limitations. Good dental care is a long-term project that depends on multiple factors, including a cat's diet, the frequency of toothbrushing, and the quality of any particular paste, gel, additive, or treat. "I'm not really sure how you can potentially tell [whether a dental product works] in the short term," said Moore. It's true, there is no way to tell if dental products work well in this style of review where I've tested them over a period of weeks or months instead of years. So instead of relying on the efficacy of a product to dictate my selections, I've instead looked at the factors I could evaluate: 1) whether my cats appeared to enjoy or at least tolerate the product, 2) how easy the product was to use from a human perspective, and 3) the product's ingredients and their known efficacy. Altogether, I tested 14 items for this guide to the best cat dental care products. The vast majority were provided to Insider Reviews as editorial samples from their manufacturers. The Virbac C.E.T. Toothpaste I obtained as a free sample from my veterinarian and I self-purchased the Feline Greenies. To come up with my top selections, I attempted to test each product for a period of two to four weeks on my two cats, Osito and Phoebe. Products they rejected outright due to taste did not undergo further testing. In addition to speaking to two veterinarians about cat dental care — Dr. Sung and Dr. Moore — I also took into consideration whether each product had received a seal of acceptance by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), an organization that governs and certifies veterinary dental specialists. What we are looking forward to testing We were not able to acquire all of the cat dental products on our review list prior to the publication of this guide. We will update our selections when we've had the opportunity to test the following items, most of which are VOHC-accepted: Cat::Essential HealthyMouth Gel and Applicator: The only dental gel currently VOHC-accepted for plaque removal. Sentry Petrodex Veterinary Strength Malt Toothpaste: This malt-flavored toothpaste contains a hydrogen-peroxide-producing enzymatic formula to help reduce the buildup of tartar and plaque. Pet::Essential HealthyMouth PreDent Anti-Plaque Water Additive: Pet::Essential makes the only VOHC-accepted water additives for cats. This plaque-fighting formula contains a variety of human-grade vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and B2 and antioxidant blueberry. Hill's Prescription Diet T/D Food: This veterinary-prescribed dental care kibble fed as treats fights both plaque and tartar and comes recommended by Moore. How to brush a cat's teeth Introducing a cat to toothbrushing takes time and patience, particularly if the cat is an adult versus a more malleable and tolerant kitten. Begin by placing "a small amount of either the flavored toothpaste or canned food onto a small pet toothbrush [and] allow the cat to sniff and lick the food off of it," said Sung. Some cats may prefer that you use your finger to start, instead of a brush. Pick a time of day when your cat is relaxed and position them so that their back is to you. Your cat will feel more comfortable if they are not restrained. After a few days, begin to introduce lifting your cat's lips to better expose their teeth. Gently push back their top lip with your fingers, then release and reward them with a treat. Repeat this until your cat is comfortable with you opening their mouth. Next, return to the toothpaste and toothbrush (or your finger). Squeeze out some paste, open your cat's mouth, and attempt to move your finger or brush a tiny bit along the front teeth and gums between licks. If your cat attempts to escape, you've likely pushed them too far too fast. If your cat accepts the touch of the brush or your finger, Sung said that in subsequent sessions you can gradually try to move further along toward the cheek teeth where most of the dental plaque and tartar builds up. Keep your dental sessions to a quick 10 seconds to start, slowly building up their length over time until you are able to brush or smear all of the teeth with toothpaste. Check out our other guides to the best products for cats The best cat brushes Brushing a cat regularly can help reduce shedding, matted fur, and hairballs. We tested 14 cat brushes, dematting tools, combs, and grooming gloves to select the best for short- and long-haired cats. The best flea prevention and treatment for cats With the right flea treatment for cats, you can keep your cat or kitten safe from fleas. We've done the research to find the best OTC flea control products. The best cat dewormer We've done the research to find the best dewormers you can buy. You shouldn't skip a visit to your veterinarian, but once you've determined what kind of worms your cat has, you can use one of the following treatments to get rid of them once and for all. The best hairball medicine Hairballs are inevitable for cats, and if your feline is extra fluffy, it may be a chronic problem. Luckily, there are plenty of great hairball remedies, medicines, and prevention tools out there. The best litter box We spoke to a veterinary behaviorist and a cat behavior consultant to find out what qualities to look for in a litter box. We then tested 15 of the most popular litter boxes, including disposable, hooded, top-entry, and self-cleaning models. The best cat litter Cats are picky about the litter in their litter boxes, so it's important to choose a formula that's healthy for your cat and easy to clean. Because there are so many different types of cat litter out there, it can be a challenge to make the right choice. The best natural cat litter Natural cat litter has several advantages over conventional clay-based cat litter — it's more eco-friendly, it clumps well, and it's healthy for your cat. The best litter mats Even with low-tracking litter, you still need a mat to contain scatter. The best cat litter mats trap litter to prevent it from being spread all over the house. We tested mats with three cats and consulted veterinarians to select the best ones. The best cat carriers Travel makes many cats nervous. To keep your cat safe and secure, you need to invest in a high-quality cat carrier. Cat carriers come in all shapes and sizes with different designs depending on the intended use. Here are our top picks for the best cat carriers. The best cat food Cats need lots of protein and fat in their diets to be healthy, so it's important that you feed them the best nutritionally balanced cat food. Whether you're shopping for dry or wet cat food, we've researched many brands to give you high-quality options. The best scratching posts Cats need to scratch, so to save your sofa and your curtains, you need a sturdy cat scratching post or scratcher. Scratching posts may be vertical, horizontal, or inclined, and some of them can be wall-mounted. Each cat has their own unique preferences, of course. These are the best scratching posts. The best cat bowls Some cats are picky about their food bowl. That's why it's important to choose the right one for their needs. When it comes to choosing the best cat food bowl for your cat, there are a number of factors to consider. Here are our top picks for the best cat bowls. The best cat beds There are many different kinds of cat beds, and cats, fickle creatures that they are, will all like different beds for special, mysterious cat reasons. Here are the best cat beds you can buy.
Make your cat's transition to their new home as seamless as possible by stocking up...Make your cat's transition to their new home as seamless as possible by stocking up on the essentials before their arrival. Cats need supplies like a litter box, food, toys, and scratchers to make them feel safe, encourage healthy habits, and provide them with stimulation. We consulted with two cat rescue organizations and veterinarian Andrea Moore, owner and medical director at Pinnacle Animal Hospital in California, to determine the most important items to have when bringing a new cat home. The day you bring home your new cat is full of joy. But while you may be ready for snuggles and play from the moment your kitty arrives, most felines aren't so gung-ho about moving day. Just when they were beginning to get used to the shelter or foster home — bam — here comes another transition. And cats, they aren't the best at dealing with change. Preparing for the arrival of your new cat ahead of time helps to assure that their adjustment will be as seamless as possible. While it's a no-brainer that cats require a litter box and food, new cat owners may not realize that items like scratching posts, cat trees, calming pheromones, and toys can help reduce stress and provide your new pet with an enriching environment. With the help of four experts, we've come up with a list of essential things to have when you bring a new cat home. For a veterinary perspective, we consulted with veterinarian Dr. Andrea Moore, owner and medical director at Pinnacle Animal Hospital in San Jose, California. Staff at two cat rescue organizations also lent their expertise on how to transition a cat to a new home: Danielle Carr, shelter manager at Town Cats in Morgan Hill, California, and Libby Farel-Friedman and Lindsay Franušić, supervisor and assistant manager of adoption programs, respectively, at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley (HSSV) in Milpitas, California. Here are 19 pet supplies to have on hand when you bring your new cat home:A cozy carrier for your kitty's freedom ride and beyond Mr. Peanut's Double Expandable Carrier, available at Amazon, $54.99 A cat carrier is mandatory for bringing your cat home from the shelter, said Franušić. We love Mr. Peanut's stylish and comfortable tote, which can unzip to expand to almost three times the size of a regular carrier, making it more comfortable for long travel days. A calming pheromone diffuser to decrease stress Feliway Classic Diffuser, available at Chewy, $34.62 To help decrease stress and unwanted behaviors like urine spraying that go with it, both Moore and Carr recommend using a calming pheromone like Feliway during your cat's first weeks in their furever home. Feliway, which mimics the F3 facial pheromones cats deposit when rubbing their cheeks against surfaces in order to mark them as safe, can help a cat transition to a new house, according to Moore. Earthquake putty to keep knickknacks, vases, and picture frames from becoming playthings Quakehold! Museum Putty, available at Amazon, $3.97 "When you actually get a cat into your home, you find that they love to explore and get on top of things," explained Franušić. Adhering your knickknacks to shelves and tables using earthquake putty assures that your favorite picture frame or vase won't end up in pieces on the floor. "It was a lifesaver for me," she said. A safe place for your kitty to do their business Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan, available at Amazon, $29.99 When it comes to a litter box, all of our experts agree that simple is best. You want a box your cat can use "without having to do any tricks," said Dr. Moore. And even though they are convenient, she recommended avoiding self-cleaning boxes because the noises they make can frighten cats. At HSSV, they recommend just using a simple uncovered litter box, said Farel-Friedman. If you prefer your box to be covered to reduce smells or prevent your dog from getting inside, buy one with a removable lid that can be added later on. An unscented, natural litter to make using the litter box appealing Ökocat Natural Wood Clumping Litter, available at Chewy, $18.99 Moore recommended avoiding dusty litters, which can cause respiratory issues, and perfumy litters with a strong scent. All three of our shelter experts prefer litters made of natural materials like corn or millet. Carr's favorite litters are made from pine wood. "I think they're really efficient at neutralizing odors and are really easy to scoop," she said. For more ideas, check out our guide to the best natural cat litter. A flat, wide food dish to prevent whisker fatigue Dr. Catsby Cat Food Bowl, available at Chewy, $19.95 For cats with sensitive whiskers, brushing up against the side of a food or water bowl can cause pain and make eating stressful. To prevent "whisker fatigue," Dr. Moore suggested using a flatter dish without steep sides. Nutritious, scientifically formulated dry and wet food your cat will love to eat Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food for Indoor Cats, available at Chewy, $37.99 While many cats prefer dry foods, they are high in carbohydrates and calories, said Moore. Feeding a diet that includes wet food can help to maintain weight and overall health. "Wet food is great for cats because it provides more moisture. It's especially important for males because you want them producing urine so they don't have urinary issues," she explained. Franušić and Farel-Friedman recommended Hill's Science Diet, which is scientifically formulated and comes in several varieties for cats with different needs. There are plenty of other high-quality options, including NomNomNow, a human-grade monthly cat food delivery service. Irresistible treats for training and high-stress situations Inaba Churu Lickable Puree Natural Cat Treat, available at Chewy, $17.96 "We use Churu for clicker training and it works wonders," said Carr. Clicker training, a form of positive-reinforcement training that marks correct behaviors with a distinct clicking sound, is an excellent way to teach tricks and address behavior challenges in cats. Churu is great for stressful situations, too. "We have cats who are super stressed and we give them Churu, and it works so well to distract them from what's going on," said Carr. For more ideas, see our guide to the best cat treats. Tasty dental treats to help promote a happy, healthy mouth Feline Greenies Natural Dental Care Treats, available at Amazon, from $2.34 Keeping your cat's mouth clean is essential to its overall health. "Ideally, you should try to teach your cat to have its teeth brushed," said Dr. Moore. But if that proves too challenging, dental treats are the next best thing. She also recommended using Oxyfresh Healthy Mouth water additive for stress-free dental care. For more options, check out our guide to the best dental products for cats. A reflective breakaway collar to hold your cat’s ID tags on outdoor adventures ROGZ Reflective Cat Collar, available at Amazon, $11.95 If your cat goes outdoors, they need a breakaway collar that will come undone if they get caught on a tree branch or fence, said Moore. We like this durable reflective collar by Rogz, which is the top pick in our guide to the best cat collars. Stainless steel ID tags to make sure outdoor kitties get home safely GoTags Stainless Steel Pet ID Tags, available at Chewy, $7.95 Even if your cat is microchipped, ID tags engraved with their name and phone number can help them make it home safe and sound. If your cat is indoor-only, Dr. Moore said they don't need to wear a collar or ID tags. Instead, microchip your cat so that they can be easily identified if they escape. A comfy harness and leash set for taking your cat on a walk Rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash Set, available at Amazon, from $17.49 For indoor cats, the outdoors is a fantasy world of sights, sounds, and smells that many find delightful. According to Dr. Moore, leash training "is a safe way to have [a] cat outside and a good activity for the cat and owner to do together." But because being on a leash is not a natural behavior for cats, guardians need to take the time to acclimate their cat to the leash. A brush for removing excess hair and decreasing nasty hairballs Furminator for Cats, available at Amazon, from $31.95 Cats are fastidious, and in the process of grooming, they consume a lot of hair. For long-haired cats, especially, "brushing is really helpful to remove the loose hair that is ready to shed that may get matted if not removed," said Moore. A good cat brush like the Furminator can help remove the excess hair and may reduce the frequency of hairballs. A scratching post for your cat to claw Max & Marlow Tall Scratch Post, available at Amazon, $25.26 "Cats scratch as a scent marker, to help with their nails, and to relieve stress," said Moore. Plus, your cat will be less likely to scratch your furniture if they have other options. This cat scratcher from Max & Marlow includes a 26-inch scratching post plus two attached toys. For more ideas, check out our guide to the best scratching posts. A cat wand for chasing, pouncing, and play GoCat Da Bird Pull Apart Wand, available at Petco, $8.95 "The best toys are the ones where you can interact with your cat. Playing with them helps you to bond better," said Farel-Friedman. Cat wands are a classic kitty favorite, and Carr recommended both Da Bird and Cat Catcher by GoCat. See our guide to the best cat toys for more options. An interactive food puzzle toy to stimulate your cat’s hunting instincts Catit Hagen Treat Ball, available at Amazon, $4.49 "I think food puzzle toys are great," said Carr. "They're really good for cats who are overweight and for cats who are overstimulated. It's more natural, too, because [it mimics the way] cats have to work for their food in the wild." Moore suggested feeding kibble out of interactive food puzzle toys as well as — or instead of — treats. Regular flea treatment to keep the itches away Seresto Flea and Tick Prevention Collar, available at Chewy, $57.98 Flea control is important regardless of whether a cat is indoor-only or goes outside. Most flea treatments are topical, but Seresto also makes a flea collar that many cat owners like. Not all cats will be comfortable wearing a flea collar, but for those that tolerate it, Moore said it's a good option. A cardboard floor scratcher with tracking balls to promote independent play Bergan Turboscratcher Cat Toy, available at Petco, $10.49 All of our experts agreed that there is no such thing as too many scratchers. Carr likes the Bergan Turboscratcher which has a ball in the frame. "Cats get their scratch on while playing with the balls inside," she said. "They can play and entertain themselves so even if you're not home they have stimulation." A cat tree tower for climbing, scratching, and play Armarkat Classic Cat Tree, available at Petco for $45.99 "We definitely recommend cat trees," said Farel-Friedman. "They not only provide cats with the ability of choice, but they also provide them with exercise and stress relief." Dr. Moore agreed: "You want to have vertical space, especially people who have a small living area." The ideal tree has built-in scratching posts and plenty of spots to snuggle up. That's why we like the classic cat tree from Armarkat, which is the budget pick in our guide to the best cat trees.
Eye creams and serums are likely the product you know you should be using but have no...Eye creams and serums are likely the product you know you should be using but have no idea how to actually shop for. If you're unsure of where to start, reach for the Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Eye Serum. Buyers and experts agree that this is the cream of the crop when it comes to treating under eye circles. When talking about skin-care regimens, eye creams and serums tend to be products that a lot of folks skip. "I'm already using a moisturizer," they think. "Why do I need a separate cream for under my eyes?" So instead of incorporating yet another step into their routine, they'll move straight on to moisturizers. But this can be a mistake. The biggest reason being that the skin under your eyes is actually a lot thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of your face; therefore, it needs to be treated differently. If you're using a face cream with super potent ingredients, it can actually hurt your under-eyes more than it can help. Similarly, if you need to target puffiness or discoloration under your eyes, your face cream may not deliver those results. If not treated properly, your eyes can be the first thing to show signs of aging. How you apply your eye cream is just as important as what's in it. You should put your eye cream on after your serum and before your facial moisturizer. A pea-sized dollop is about the amount that you want for each eye, and you should tap the product on lightly with your ring finger, as rubbing can damage the delicate skin. Got all of that? Great. Now it's time to go shopping. Ahead, find the best eye creams on the market today. Depending on what your main concern is, one of these will be right for you. Here are the best eye creams and serums you can buy: Best eye serum overall: Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Eye Serum Best eye cream for the morning after: Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening and Depuffing Eye Contour Cream Best drugstore eye cream: Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Eye Cream Best natural under-eye oil: Uma Absolute Anti Aging Oil Best eye cream to wear under makeup: Lancôme Visionnaire Eye Cream Updated on 9/18/19 by Caitlin Petreycik: Updated copy, formatting, links, and prices.SEE ALSO: The best clay masks you can buy The best eye serum overall The Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Eye Serum targets dark circles, fine lines, and loss of elasticity to diminish all of those signs of aging. There are certain things that one should always look for when it comes to buying eye cream. You want it to be lightweight enough that it absorbs quickly into the skin in the evening, or doesn't feel too heavy under makeup. It should also contain a heady mix of ingredients to dull the signs of aging, while also brightening up those stubborn dark circles. Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Serum checks all of those boxes. As evidenced by the name, this serum relies heavily on the supercharged antioxidants retinol and ferulic acid. Retinol helps to accelerate skin renewal and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, which is why it's the industry's gold standard when it comes to fighting signs of aging. But what about ferulic acid? This lesser-known ingredient works to fight free radicals that cause aging in the first place. An important thing to note with this serum: You absolutely must use a sunscreen, too. Because of the high potency of active ingredients in this serum, your skin can become extremely photosensitive. Pros: Has a powerful mix of active ingredients, works well under makeup Cons: Those with sensitive skin may find this product a bit harsh, so make sure to do a patch test first The best eye cream for the morning after If deflating your peepers is high on your agenda, then Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Contour Cream is for you. For some of us (myself included), the biggest issue we deal with when it comes to our under eyes is puffiness. No matter how much water I drink, how little salt I eat the day before, or how many pillows I prop under my head at night, I seem to always wake up with a face that looks like it was inflated with helium. And unfortunately for me, the puffiness seems to localize around my eyes. Because of that, I've gotten in the habit of slapping an ice mask over my eyes in the morning to take down the puff. But when the cold started triggering my migraines (if it isn't one thing, it's something else), I had to find a different way. Enter, Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Contour Cream. This cream instantly became a cult-favorite amongst the beauty nerds of the world. I reached for it because of its star ingredient — caffeine. Caffeine is something that beauty gurus have always said is one of the best ways to take down puffiness in your eyes. This is why you've likely seen "cool black tea bags" as a swollen eye remedy. Caffeine works to deflate your eyes because it helps dissipate the fluid buildup that causes it. Auto Correct pairs caffeine with Brazilian ginseng, which works to energize your under-eye skin. That makes your eyes appear brighter, which makes you appear more awake. Auto Correct is also packed with ingredients that lift and moisturize under the eyes, which makes it great as an all-around eye cream. I like to keep Auto Correct in the fridge so that it's nice and cool when I apply it. This helps to take the puffiness in my eyes down even more. Since incorporating Auto Correct into my regimen, I've had no migraines due to ice packs and no residual puffiness. Pros: De-puffs the eyes quickly while adding major hydration. Cons: Since it's made with shea and cocoa butter, its on the heavier side, so it takes a minute to fully absorb The best drugstore eye cream Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Eye Cream is perfect for those who need a hardworking eye cream that won't break the bank. One of the biggest complaints a lot of folks have when it comes to eye creams are the price points. And it makes sense. These products are made with highly potent ingredients. Because of that, they tend to cost more than your average face cream or exfoliant. And when you skimp on the pricing, the efficacy tends to decrease, too. But that just isn't the case with Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Eye Cream. Ringing up at under $20, this wallet-friendly option actually works to combat the normal signs of aging. Instead of relying on expensive antioxidants like retinol and ferulic acid, Aveeno's eye cream keeps the cost down by harnessing the antioxidant power of blackberries. Blackberries, in fact, are ranked as one of the most antioxidant-rich berries on the market. Couple that with a mix of vitamins C and E, which are fantastic for regenerating skin, and you've got a recipe for success. One thing to note, though. If you're looking for a cream to reverse deep-set lines and wrinkles, Aveeno's formula may not be the one to reach for. It's more for people looking to fix the early signs of aging. If you're looking to do heavier lifting, you'll want to find a cream with slightly more powerful ingredients. Pros: Wallet-friendly, great for eye cream beginners Cons: Not heavy-duty enough to tackle deep-set lines The best natural under-eye oil If you're looking for a more natural option, or are really big into oils for skin-care, reach for Uma Absolute Anti Aging Eye Oil. There's been a recent trend in skin-care toward all-natural routines, with buyers and experts alike lauding the benefits of switching to products that contain little to no chemicals. But these folks tend to hit a wall when it comes to products that are typically thought to be anti-aging. Most of the traditional ingredients that work to reduce fine lines and wrinkles are chemical compounds, or synthetic versions of naturally-occurring ingredients, in order to keep the price down. Because of that, it's hard to find an eye cream or serum that is all-natural. Uma Absolute Anti Aging Oil is filled with a powerhouse cocktail of natural oils, all intended to help fight the signs of aging. There literally isn't anything in this eye oil except for, well, oil. It's a skincare minimalist's dream. While the ingredients read like a laundry list of good-for-you elixirs, there are definitely a few standouts. Frankincense and sandalwood essential oils revitalize your skin, while rose essential oil is a powerful hydrator. Then there's eucalyptus essential oil, which works to eliminate puffiness and signs of fatigue. The list goes on, with oils such as lavender, geranium, and rosemary rounding out this bouquet of skin ingredients. It's also a hit among pros. Like Ashley Weatherford wrote over at The Cut, "The oil, which by definition behaves as a sealant atop skin and traps moisture, prevents the under eyes from becoming dry better than eye cream and moisturizer alone." And a hydrated under eye is a happy one because hydration means fewer wrinkles. So what's the catch? The price tag. Because of all of these oils, Uma's serum rings up at more than $100. That might seem like a very steep price to pay, but a little goes a long way with this bottle. Pros: All natural, smells incredible, and intensely hydrating Cons: It's the priciest treatment on this list The best eye cream to wear under makeup If you're committed to wearing eye cream during the day, reach for Lancôme Visionnaire Eye Cream. When discussing skin-care, it's a common idea that eye cream belongs in an evening routine — not a morning one. But that couldn't be further from the truth. Dabbing on the right eye cream in the morning can instantly brighten up your eyes. And, if you're like me, it's an important part of your morning routine because it helps alleviate puffiness. Unfortunately, a lot of eye creams are heavy or extra slick, making them a nightmare to put on ahead of foundation or concealer. But that's one of the reasons why Lancôme Visionnaire Eye Cream is such a stunner. It dries completely matte, making it the perfect base for the concealer you need while your eye cream is still doing its work. But its matte finish isn't the only thing that makes Lancôme's cream a serious contender. It's formulated with a special concoction of ingredients that help to blur imperfections around the eyes while treating them. Pros: Dries matte, helps blur imperfections Cons: Might be a little too light for advanced signs of aging Check out our other great skincare guides The best exfoliators you can buy for any skin type or budget Whether you're new to the exfoliation game or a seasoned skincare pro, Glossier's Solution is the exfoliator you should be reaching for. Its powerful mix of acids dissolves dead skin cells and improves your complexion, giving your face a gorgeous glow. You also might want to try one of these options: Best exfoliator overall: Glossier Solution Best drugstore exfoliator: Simple Kind to Skin Smoothing Facial Scrub Best exfoliator for daily use: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Best exfoliator for sensitive skin: Juara Radiance Enzyme Scrub Best exfoliator for uneven skin tone: Ole Henriksen Transforming Walnut Scrub The best moisturizers you can buy to keep your skin happy and healthy Everyone wants healthy, smooth, and soft skin. Dry skin not only looks dull and flaky, it also feels tight and itchy. The solution? A good moisturizer. Our favorite moisturizer for both face and body is the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. Some others you might like: The best moisturizer overall: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream The best facial moisturizer for under $25: Neutrogena Hydro Boost The best drugstore facial moisturizer for oily skin: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat The best inexpensive organic facial moisturizer: Pacifica Coconut Probiotic Water Rehab Cream The best drugstore body moisturizer for very dry skin: Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Lotion The best inexpensive moisturizer for very sensitive skin: Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream The best moisturizer with clean ingredients: Nécessaire Body Lotion The best antiaging facial moisturizer for less than $25: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream The best drugstore hand cream: Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief Hand Cream