Should You Brush Your Cat’s Teeth? It May Not Be Easy, But It’s Well Worth Your Time
To brush your cat’s teeth may seem laughable. Yeah, right, you may be thinking, like s/he is going to let me do that? It seems if you are patient, your cat will allow it if you ease into it gradually. It is worth your time, though as it can give your cat an edge on maintaining good health. We have found these work wonders in helping clean our cats teeth.
photo credit: Clavecin~commonswiki
Tips from Pam Johnson-Bennett, Author of Catwise
- Get your cat used to having the mouth touched. You can do this gradually. While petting them, stroke around their mouth and along lips. Eventually, rub her teeth with your finger. After each time they let you open their mouth, give them a treat.
- Brushes come in several types. There are also teeth cleaning pads and oral sprays. Experiment with which one works best for you and your cat.
- A cat’s gums are easily irritated. Don’t rub too hard
- Never use human toothpaste for cats. It may burn their tongue. Use a toothpaste designed for cats especially.
- Daily brushing is ideal, but minimum 3-5 times a week is best
photo credit: Gabriel Gonzalez
Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Brushing Simple and Quick
It’s best to make a casual game out of your brush time. Don’t hold them down firmly in a way that stresses them out. Give them some time and space to adjust. The more quickly you finish, the better. It never hurts to follow up with some high-quality play time with your cat as a reward upon completion.
Be sure to keep your eyes out for red and swollen gums. Bad breath can also be an indicator of poor health to take note of. Finally, if your cat ever stops eating, check to see if there’s anything wrong inside the mouth. As usual, bigger problems are avoided when health is observed more closely. I use a spray when my cats won’t let me brush their teeth.