How to clean your cat’s teeth
If you’re considering brushing your cat’s teeth, then you are in the right place. You may not know that cleaning your cat’s teeth should be part of a regular oral health routine and should be something to consider for your feline friend.
Cats can suffer from dental problems, and brushing their teeth regularly can help prevent diseases in their mouth that may eventually be the cause of other problems e.g. not eating properly or even kidney disease.
How to clean your cat’s teeth
Cat teeth cleaning may seem like a daunting task, but with the below steps you and your feline friend will be on the road to a simple teeth-cleaning routine.
- Wait until your cat has stopped teething
Before brushing your cat’s teeth, wait until they are over six months old. This is usually when they have stopped teething, which can be a painful time for them. If you try to brush your cat’s teeth when they are teething, it could cause them more pain resulting in a reluctancy to have their teeth brushed in the future.
- Talk to your vet about cat teeth cleaning products
It’s crucial to get the right tools to clean your cat’s teeth. There are different tools you can use for cats that you certainly wouldn’t use for humans, such as the soft finger brushes that you wear on a finger for easier use. There are also different types of toothpastes that might make the cleaning experience tastier for your cat, which could make them look forward to teeth-cleaning in the future. Your vet should be able to recommend the tools and toothpastes most suited for your cat.
- Teach them that having their mouth touched is a good thing
From as young an age as possible, try training your cat to let you touch their mouth or gently hold their face. This will make for an easier experience once you decide to clean their teeth. Take baby steps and be patient with your cat. It might not be in their nature to let you touch their mouth, so make sure to use treats and positive affirmations to build trust.
- Show them the toothbrush and toothpaste
Allow your cat to see and smell the toothbrush and toothpaste so that they aren’t startled the first time they see them. You could even leave any tools near their food bowls or other areas that they often go to, so that they can investigate the objects in their own time.
- Use the brush without toothpaste first
Gradually introduce all the elements of teeth cleaning so that your cat gets used to the process. Once your cat is happy with you handling them, use the brush without toothpaste at first. This way you can touch them with the brush in areas they are more comfortable with, for example the back of their neck, and slowly move the brush towards their mouth.
- Introduce toothpaste
There are many different flavours of cat toothpaste, and there may be some that your cat prefers. Allow your cat to scope out the toothpaste before putting it on the brush, and then add it to the toothbrush once they are familiar with the taste and smell.
- Brush at a 45-degree angle
Once your cat is used to the toothbrush, toothpaste and action of you holding and touching their mouth, you can then begin to brush. At about a 45-degree angle, you should brush gently, and make sure you are reaching all of their teeth as well as their gums.
How often should you brush your cat’s teeth?
According to health professionals, you should brush your cat’s teeth at a minimum of three times per week. This will help prevent any plaque build up or other problems over time.
Gradually introduce it to their routine by starting to brush their teeth once a week, once a day, this way they will get used to having their teeth brushed. You could also add a step to your usual cat grooming routine, so that it doesn’t seem like too much of a change for your cat.
How can you keep your cat’s teeth healthy?
It’s not just brushing their teeth that can keep your cat’s teeth healthy. There are other methods you can use to keep on top of their oral health, such as:
- Clean their food and water bowls every day to get rid of any bacteria
- Visit the vet’s regularly for check-ups
- Include dry food in their food bowl
- Provide them with the occasional dental chew or treat specifically designed to help with their oral health
So, now you know how to clean cat teeth. Just like us, cats need to have a regular dental health routine to stay healthy and avoid problems that may cause them pain. Doing all of the above can help your feline friend lead a healthy life. Make sure your cat is covered by cat insurance too, so that you know you are covered if they fall ill. For more information about caring for your cat, check out our We Talk Cat blog.
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