Do You Need to Brush Cat’s Teeth?
Although the only thing housecats hunt these days are places to sleep and the ball on the end of a string, it’s still important for your kitten’s overall health to have clean teeth and healthy gums. Like humans and dogs, cats are sometimes prone to gum disease and damage to the tongue, teeth and palate, all of which could lead to more serious health risks. You can help prevent these conditions with a little extra care.
While it may take a little time for your kitty to get used to having her teeth brushed, over time, as long as you are patient and take things slowly, it can be an enjoyable experience for you both. Of course, it helps to lavish praise and give treats for good behavior. It’s important to remember not to restrain your cat too much and to keep sessions short. Here are the basic steps to take.
- First, dip your finger in something your cat likes, such as tuna water or chicken broth. Then rub your soaked finger gently over your cat’s gums and teeth.
- After a few sessions, place a gauze around your finger. Gently rub the teeth in a circular motion with your gauzed finger. Repeat this for the number of sessions it takes your cat to feel comfortable with this procedure.
- After your cat is used to this, start with a toothbrush. Let your cat lick something tasty off of the brush so she gets used to the texture. From there, add the pet toothpaste. Talk to your cat in a happy voice during the process and keep the praise coming. At first, you may just want to brush one or both upper canine teeth (the large ones in the front of the mouth). and then slowly increase the number of teeth you are brushing.
The extra love and attention you give your cat or kitten will do great things for her health. If you have difficulty getting your cat comfortable with this process, or you’re interested in brushes and toothpastes, talk to your veterinarian.