Brush your cat’s way to health
Does your cat hate the sight of a toothbrush? Brushing your cat’s teeth should be a fun and positive experience for both you and your kitty. Read below the cut for some tips on how to make teeth-brushing a good experience for you and your cat!
According to a recent survey, only 12% of cat owners brush their cat’s teeth on a regular basis. Plaque and tartar build up on your cat’s teeth just like they do on yours, so brushing their teeth is an important part of cat hygiene. In the wild, cats tear through skin and bone, which usually takes care of the build up, but domestic cats usually don’t feed on raw carcasses. Build up can lead to tooth decay and gingivitis, so remember to brush on a regular basis!
Never use a human toothbrush or toothpaste designed for people. The brush would be too hard for a cat’s delicate gums and the paste could poison your cat. Also stay away from electric toothbrushes such as Phillips Sonicare because the noise could startle your cat. A better option is a C.E.T. Cat Toothbrush or a finger brush designed for cats.
It is best to start brushing your cat’s teeth while she is a kitten so that she is used to the process, but with the right tools, you can also get an older cat adjusted to the routine. Start by gently massaging your cat’s teeth and gums with your fingers. You can dip your finger in tuna or chicken broth to make the experience even better for your cat. Pick out the times that she is calm during this routine and praise her with treats. Perform this once a day to create a positive association with these sessions.
Once your cat is at ease with these sessions you can bring in a toothbrush. Put something tasty on the end of the brush so that your cat gets used to the feel of the bristles. When she is used to the brush, you can add toothpaste such as St. Jon Petrodex Toothpaste for Cats. Many of these toothpastes taste like poultry or malt to appeal to the cat’s tastebuds. Let your cat lick the toothpaste off your finger and apply it to her gumline to help her get used to it. Talk to her in a happy voice and praise her when she behaves well. Increase the number of teeth you brush as you cat gets comfortable with the process.
Follow the above tips and brushing your cat’s teeth will become a fun game for both you and your pet. My cat Asha is still getting used to the process but last time I brushed her teeth she hardly fidgeted so she’s well on her way. Good luck with brushing your kitty’s teeth!