It’s no surprise that cats are prone to dental problems. In fact, studies have shown that over 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by the time they’re three years old. While many people think that simply feeding their cat dry food will help keep their teeth clean, that’s not always the case. Let’s take a look at why it’s important to brush your cat’s teeth, and the best way to do it.
How to clean cat’s teeth
Cats are fastidious groomers, but they can’t do everything. As a responsible pet parent, you need to help keep your cat’s teeth clean and healthy. Neglecting your cat’s dental health can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems. Fortunately, cleaning your cat’s teeth is not difficult. You just need to be gentle and patient. Here’s how to do it:
1. Gather your supplies
You will need a soft-bristled toothbrush, toothpaste designed for cats, and lots of patience.
2. Start slowly
Let your cat get used to the idea of you handling its mouth. Lift up its lips and gently rub your finger along its gums.
3. Add toothpaste to the mix.
Put a small amount of toothpaste on your finger and let your cat lick it off. Once your cat is comfortable with the taste, put some toothpaste on the toothbrush and start brushing its teeth in circular motions.
4. Reward your cat & Repeat
Reward your cat with a tasty treat and lots of praise. Repeat this process 1-2 per week until comfortable.
Tips to make brushing cat’s teeth easier
It’s easier to train a kitten to accept tooth brushing than an adult cat. If you’re thinking of getting a cat, make sure you’re prepared to brush its teeth on a regular basis.
It may take several weeks or even months for your cat to get used to the toothbrush. Go slowly and be gentle in order to get your car to become comfortable.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Every time you brush your cat’s teeth, give it a tasty treat or some extra cuddles. This will help it associate the experience with something positive.
Is Toothpaste for cats different from humans?
Not all toothpaste is created equal. When brushing a cat’s teeth you need to use toothpaste specifically designed for cats. Human toothpaste contains fluoride, which can be toxic to cats. It also has a minty flavour that most cats dislike.
So, what’s the best toothpaste for your cat? Look for a toothpaste that is:
- Specially formulated for cats
- Has a flavour that your cat will enjoy (such as chicken or fish)
Veterinary Cat dental clean
In addition to brushing your cat’s teeth, you should also have its teeth professionally cleaned by a veterinarian on a regular basis. A professional dental cleaning from a vet is the best way to keep your cat’s teeth healthy. This procedure involves scaling and polishing the teeth under anaesthesia. It is important to have professional dental cleanings done once or twice a year.
If you are concerned about your cat’s dental health or in need of a general health check, talk to your veterinarian. They can help you create a brushing routine that will work for both you and your cat.
How can Plus One Vet help with Cat teeth cleaning?
Plus One Vet can provide you with the resources and advice on how to keep your cat’s teeth healthy. We can also recommend a toothpaste that is suitable for your cat, as well as a toothbrush that will make the process easier.
If you’re struggling with brushing a cat’s teeth at home, Dr Leo and the team at Plus One Vet can provide professional pet dental cleaning to ensure a deep clean that gets rid of tartar and plaque that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems.