Brushing Your Cat's Teeth
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated November 25, 2013)
Cats require all kinds of care, and that includes their teeth. Just as a human needs to periodically brush their teeth, cats also need to have their teeth cleaned regularly. Otherwise, you can find your cat having all kinds of dental problems that can easily expand into other health issues. While it is possible, there is a downside to brushing your cat's teeth. That downside is that you can't simply go in with a toothbrush and expect everything to work out all right. Instead, you will need to work up to it.
- Practice makes perfect. Since cats aren't really used to getting their teeth brushed, you have to get them used to it. This basically means that you need to start small, and work your way up the food chain. Do this by getting your cat used to having things placed into their mouth, such as your finger. It can take a while, but by dipping your finger into something that a cat would like (such as tuna water or chicken broth) you can get your cat used to you sticking your finger into their mouth. It may take a few times, but each time gently push your finger further and further into the mouth, Eventually they will have no problem at all.
- Use gauze. The next step would be to repeat step one, but this time with something else wrapped around your finger. This will help your cat to get used to not only your finger, but something else in addition being in their mouth. Once again, you can dip your finger wrapped in gauze (or something similar) into an item that the cat will like to help the process along.
- Switch to the brush. After getting the cat used to the gauze, you can then proceed to the actual toothbrush, pad, or other tooth-cleaning device that you will be utilizing. Once again, use the tried and true method of using something yummy for the cat to get used to the new sensation of the brush.
- Try some paste. Once you have a couple of sessions where your little fuzzy friend is used to the bristles that come on a toothbrush (or whatever other method you will be using) try it again, this time with some paste. While you can initially start off by dipping the paste laden cleaning device into a tasty liquid, eventually you will need to wean the cat off of it to ensure that there is no difficulty in brushing.
- Begin brushing. Once you have your cat used to getting their teeth brushed, you are ready to begin implementing a regular brushing schedule. On the average, if you brush your cat's teeth once a week everything should be just fine.