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We ended up deciding to just brush our cats' teeth, but while researching options I did come across a few things that do seem to help (controlled studies and all that) if ingested (not as well as manual brushing, of course, but still...). Few of those have been tested on cats and are actually safe for cats to ingest. Does the packaging list the ingredients? (I took a quick look online, but I'm not seeing anything immediately obvious).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The ingredients are: Purified water, glycerin, plant derived alcohol, natural mint, natural cleanser, carbopol, chlorophyllin, green tea leaf extract.

"Natural cleanser" could be anything I suppose...and I'm not sure a cat would take kindly to the mint! But you never know - mine quite likes apples and lemons.
 

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The ingredients are: Purified water, glycerin, plant derived alcohol, natural mint, natural cleanser, carbopol, chlorophyllin, green tea leaf extract.

"Natural cleanser" could be anything I suppose...and I'm not sure a cat would take kindly to the mint! But you never know - mine quite likes apples and lemons.
Hm... yeah, the 'natural cleanser' thing would put me right off. There are a lot of 'natural' compounds that are neither safe nor particularly effective... that they don't disclose what it actually is would cause me to reject that particular product entirely.

Chlorophyllin is one potentially "active" ingredient in that list, as it does have some anti-bacterial effects (not for all oral species of bacteria, though), but without knowing the concentration it's difficult to predict whether this particular product would be effective or not. From what I can tell, the tests that have been done show that despite its initial promise as an antibacterial agent, it's ineffective in preventing tartar buildup or cavities in humans... so it's unlikely to be of much use.

Green tea extract has shown some promise, primarily due to the catechins. A half-decent (free!) review can be found here:
Green tea extract for periodontal health Venkateswara B, Sirisha K, Chava VK - J Indian Soc Periodontol
And of course more information can always be found via PubMed:
More on green tea
More on catechins

Keep in mind that many green tea extracts also include caffeine, if it's not specifically removed during extraction.

tl;dr: Catechins from decaffeinated green tea might help with oral health. I wouldn't use this product because of the unnamed "natural cleanser".
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hm... yeah, the 'natural cleanser' thing would put me right off. There are a lot of 'natural' compounds that are neither safe nor particularly effective... that they don't disclose what it actually is would cause me to reject that particular product entirely.

Chlorophyllin is one potentially "active" ingredient in that list, as it does have some anti-bacterial effects (not for all oral species of bacteria, though), but without knowing the concentration it's difficult to predict whether this particular product would be effective or not. From what I can tell, the tests that have been done show that despite its initial promise as an antibacterial agent, it's ineffective in preventing tartar buildup or cavities in humans... so it's unlikely to be of much use.

Green tea extract has shown some promise, primarily due to the catechins. A half-decent (free!) review can be found here:
Green tea extract for periodontal health Venkateswara B, Sirisha K, Chava VK - J Indian Soc Periodontol
And of course more information can always be found via PubMed:
More on green tea
More on catechins

Keep in mind that many green tea extracts also include caffeine, if it's not specifically removed during extraction.

tl;dr: Catechins from decaffeinated green tea might help with oral health. I wouldn't use this product because of the unnamed "natural cleanser".
Great info - thanks! We wont bother then...sounds like a waste of $12. We don't want something that will harm out cats' health in the long term...
 
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