How to Brush Cat Teeth: a Step-by-Step Guide
Author Alisa Mendoza Reading 1 min Views 2 Published by
Wild animals don’t need tooth brushing because their diet includes natural raw meat with bones. Chewing small bones, wild cats polish their teeth and clean them from dental plaque. As for modern domestic cats, they eat a lot of processed and commercial food and little (if any) raw meat. This causes plaque, tooth stones, and dental caries. That is why our felines need proper mouth hygiene, just like we. Brushing cat teeth is quite a challenge, as most cats don’t like their mouths being touched. Irrespective of your cat’s temper, you’ll need a lot of patience. We hope our step-by-step guide based on the reviews of real cat owners and vets’ recommendations will help you to find out how to brush cat teeth correctly.
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You should never use human toothbrushes and toothpaste for cleaning your pet’s teeth. Keep in mind that human toothpaste contains certain chemicals that are toxic to cats. Buy only safe vet-recommended products for your feline. Here is a list of basic supplies for cat tooth brushing.
If you feel uncertain about what tools to choose, consult a vet. Also, you may look for video guides on YouTube – there are plenty of them available.
Slow and sure wins the race – this rule is perfectly applicable to cat tooth brushing. You should never facilitate the process or force a cat to open its mouth without a proper preparatory work. Here is what you should start with.
Many cats don’t like the idea of letting someone touch their mouths or put fingers in their moth. If you don’t want to be severely scratched and bitten, start with gentle and unobtrusive handling of your kitty’s mouth.
If your cat accepts having your finger in its mouth, try to add cat toothpaste. Use only certified vet-approved products. Apply some paste or dental gel on a clean soft cloth or sponge and rub the cat’s teeth gently. Keep in mind that your feline may need time to get accustomed to the taste and flavor of the paste.
Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a convenient handle. Introduce it to your cat by letting it sniff and lick it. Touch its mouth and lips with the bristles. After that, apply some toothpaste and let your cat smell or lick it again (some cats love the taste of toothpaste). As usual, reward your fluffy friend with a treat.
Now, your cat is ready for tooth brushing. Apply toothpaste on the toothbrush and start rubbing its front teeth from the outside. Slowly move deeper, trying to reach the rear teeth. Then open the cat’s mouth with a finger and try to reach the inner surface of the teeth. Commonly, the whole procedure lasts 2-3 minutes, irrespective of how often to brush cat teeth.
To make the training process and painless and hassle-free as possible you need to adhere to some basic rules: be patient, consecutive, and persistent. Don’t expect immediate results: it can take 2 through 4 weeks to teach your cat. Here are some extra tips to rely on.
Finally, we’d like to repeat the core tip: don’t try to speed up the process. Give your cat some time to get used to the tooth brushing. Keep in mind that patience is always rewarded.
Vets recommend to brush cat teeth once a day. If, for some reason, it is impossible, try to do it at least several times a week. Keep in mind that regularity is crucial from both psychological and physiological points of view. That said, one needs to understand that tooth brushing doesn’t guarantee a 100% protection from dental issues.
Many cat parents are coming to an understanding that regular tooth brushing is essential for their pets’ health. Forming this useful habit is a challenge, but if you do everything correctly, you’ll come to success one day. Don’t facilitate the process, use only vet-approved products and accessories, be patient and persistent, and your efforts will pay off.