If you’ve made many failed attempts to brush your cat’s teeth, you’re not alone. Cleaning their mouth is not an easy task, but it is essential to keep their teeth healthy, just like us. Starting it at an early age is the best possible solution to make them used to brush. However, there are still some ways you can use them to brush your cat’s teeth without trouble. This article shares some simple steps on how to brush cats teeth and make this task achievable.
But before we outline the steps of brushing your cat’s teeth, let’s discuss what will happen if you don’t brush their teeth.
What If You Don’t Brush Their Teeth?
Just like humans, dental care is essential in cats for their overall health. Unfortunately, dental problems are common among cats, and seven out of ten cats develop some type of dental ailment once they turn three. They can accumulate tartar on their teeth, a yellowish or blackish layer, with an unpleasant odor if you do not follow proper dental cleaning of your cat. This causes bad breath problems in cats.
Another common problem among cats is swollen gums. This can be painful for your cats and can be avoided by regular brushing. In addition, the bacteria developed in the mouth can travel through their bodies and cause other health issues in cats. Therefore, your cat’s dental health plays a very important role and brushing your cat’s teeth should be on your checklist.
What You Will Need
Buy soft-bristle toothbrushes, especially for cats. You can buy it from any pet store or online on Amazon.
Do not use regular toothpaste that you use for brushing your teeth as it can be harmful to your cat. Get veterinary toothpaste specially made for cats either from stores or online.
How to Brush a Cats Teeth in 6 Steps
Following these simple steps and tips will make it easier for you to manage your cat’s oral health.
1. Start Brushing When Your Cat is Small
Better safe than sorry is particularly applicable to dental health, especially in the case of cats since they hate visiting the dentist. It is proven that if you start brushing your cat’s teeth when they’re still small, they get used to it and won’t trouble you during brushing.
However, in the case of adult cats, brushing their teeth can be complicated, and they will try to flee or even become aggressive towards you. In such a case, you have to be gentle and patient, follow the next steps.
2. Brush Your Cat’s Teeth When it is Calm
Brush your cat’s teeth when it is calm, and begin by gently touching your cat’s mouth. We highly advise you to create a calm and relaxed environment to make your cat comfortable by caressing it or being affectionate towards it. Using positive reinforcement every time you brush their teeth will make your cat associate teeth brushing with pleasant things.
3. Try it with a Sponge Before Using a Toothbrush
Once you’re sure that your cat is calm, gently hold the back of its head, lift its upper lip and start by moving your finger inside your cat’s mouth. Then use a soft, damp sponge along with their teeth and gums. Do this multiple times before using the toothbrush.
4. Use Soft-bristle Toothbrush
Use a damp, soft-bristle toothbrush to brush your cat’s teeth. If desired, add veterinary toothpaste, but be aware that using toothpaste can complicate brushing. Cats often like the taste of it and prefer to lick it rather than let you brush.
5. Brush in Circular Motions Gently
Focus on the small gum line and brush in circular motions. Start at the back of the mouth and work your way up. Don’t try to rush, as that will only complicate everything. Do it slowly and patiently, focusing specifically on the outer side of the teeth since most of the food particles are usually found there.
Gently brush down the outside of teeth and make sure to remove any accumulated debris. Keep your cat’s mouth open using your thumb and index finger while doing this, always gently.
Now brush the inside of the teeth using the same technique. There’s no need to rinse once you’re done. Just let your cat drink water after brushing if it wishes.
Remember to keep your speed slow. Do not use force or do it in a rush. Otherwise, it will make brushing more intimidating for your cat. Stay calm and friendly towards your cat during the whole process.
6. Reward Your Cat If They Respond to Your Request
This is the most important step. Do not forget to reward them immediately if they remain silent and calm during brushing. Praise them, and reward them with treats. This way, they will be encouraged and will make brushing easier for you.
All you have to do is to remain persistent and must expect reasonable progress after every attempt. Your cat may take a lot of time to get used to it.
Now you know the simple steps to be followed while brushing cats’ teeth. Some other frequently asked questions by cat owners are how often to brush their cat’s teeth and what id their cat still resists, even after trying everything.
How Often Should You Brush Your Cat’s Teeth?
The best practice is to clean their teeth daily to keep their teeth and gums healthy. However, many cats do not like this idea and would not agree to this. Therefore, instead of doing t daily, make this a weekly habit can also be effective in reducing the risks of oral ailments.
What to Do if Your Cat Still Resists?
Do not stop trying. Use every aforementioned tip to keep your cat relax, calm, and adhere to your request. If you feel like nothing’s working, wrap your cat in a towel, leaving only its head outside, and try the above steps. However, this can only work with kittens and is not advisable in older felines.
Our Final Thoughts
Now you know how to brush cats teeth with some extra tips and alternatives to add to your list to make it easier for you and your cat. Remember to be gentle and patient towards your cat, and reward after every brushing session to make it a fun game for your furball.