Don’t forget to brush your cats teeth!
30 August, 2011
HOW TO BRUSH A CAT’S TEETH
Brushing your cat’s teeth is not an easy task, but can be an essential one. It’s best to start cleaning and/or brushing your cat’s teeth when they’re young. If the cat is already an adult it won’t be easy, and may not be possible, but worth giving it a try.
Most cats over the age of three have some kind of dental problem. By the time they are eight years old, the majority of cats are in need of dental work at the vets. By the time they’re in their teens, pretty much all cats need dental work including extractions! You should have your cat’s teeth checked by a vet if they haven’t been in the last year, and don’t be horrified if the cat needs dental work. It is typical in both cats and dogs.
My cat didn’t have her first dental clean until she was fourteen and her teeth were awful. Don’t wait this late in the game. When doing the cleaning at home, you can try to make tooth brushing a game by playing with him or her first so you can get rid of some excess energy. Then place a little bit of cat toothpaste on your finger and let him lick if off. Try this several times until he gets used to it.
You don’t actually have to open up the cat’s mouth. You can pull up their lips from the side and brush from there. You can use any small toothbrush, but one that is made for cats will be easier, particularly those ones you can put on your finger.
Then place your finger with the toothpaste on it against his mouth. You can graduate to using a thin washcloth or gauze wrapped around your finger to use as a brush, this is usually less foreign to a cat than a toothbrush.
Eventually, you will desensitize him to opening his mouth with one hand and using a toothbrush in the other. If he is highly sensitive, this may take several weeks. Otherwise, it may just be a few days especially if he really likes the toothpaste.
They make cat toothbrushes and toothpaste. The cat toothpaste is flavored so your cat might open his mouth to lick the toothpaste and it will make it easier. Ask your pet store or vet what they recommend.
Whatever you do don’t use human toothpaste, I gave my cat some when I was little and it started foaming out her mouth. While this is not a fun thing to do, it is essential in your cat’s overall health. Good luck!