How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth

cats teethDo you brush your cat’s teeth?

If not, this is definitely something that you should consider doing a regular basis. Cats can be affected by gum disease, which could have knock-on effects for general health.

Here are our tips for improving your cat’s oral health.

Cats and Gum Disease

Neither wet nor dry food is at all conducive for keeping your cat’s mouth healthy. Both types of cat food allow bacteria to build up in your cat’s mouth, which can be extremely detrimental for their oral health. In contrast, your cat’s ancestors kept their teeth in good condition by ripping into prey. However, you can help your cat to maintain a good level of oral health by keeping their teeth and gums clean and healthy. Dry food tends to be better at preventing a build up of tartar.

Which Toothbrush to Use

A soft-bristled toothbrush is the best option for cleaning your cat’s teeth. Specialist cat toothbrushes are available but a child’s toothbrush will usually be just as suitable.

Which Toothpaste to Use

Never use human toothpaste to brush your cat’s teeth. This is potentially harmful if it is swallowed by your cat. Pet toothpastes are by far the most suitable option. These will often come in cat-friendly tastes that will appeal to your pet, such as poultry.

How Often to Clean Your Cat’s Teeth

Ideally, it is a good idea to try to clean your cat’s teeth every day. This will prevent a build-up of plaque, which could lead to tartar and gum disease. If gum disease is allowed to take hold, it could have a devastating effect on your cat’s general health. As a worst case scenario, it could lead to heart disease and even organ failure.

How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth

If you find it very difficult to clean your cat’s teeth properly, this is to be expected and will be even more likely if they are not used to having their lips lifted and teeth exposed. Once this has become more accepted by your cat, it’s time to introduce them to the taste of cat-friendly toothpaste before you look to start brushing their teeth.

Brushing your cat’s teeth is little different to brushing your own teeth. Use the toothbrush in a circular motion. It is unlikely that your cat will tolerate having the inside of their tooth surfaces brushed so it is recommended that you focus your efforts on the outside surfaces. The upper molar and canine teeth are most likely to be affected by plaque and tartar and should be given particular attention.

Any concerns about your cats dental health, contact your vet.

[Photo Credits:barbourians]