Should You Brush Your Cat's Teeth?

Your cat’s teeth need to be cleaned, otherwise he'll be exposed to tartar deposits, gum disease and other health complications. Unfortunately, a large number of cats over the age of 3 develop gum disease and tooth problems. The best way to keep your cat’s teeth clean is through daily teeth brushing.

Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

The cat’s teeth must be brushed with a special pet brush or a children’s size brush. Don’t use adult human tooth brushes, as these can injure the cat’s gums. You should also buy some meat flavored pet toothpaste. Avoid human toothpaste, as cats don’t like the flavor.

Cats typically don’t like having their teeth brushed, so you will need to trick your cat into being obedient. This can be done either by giving your pet a taste of the toothpaste, or with treats and verbal reassurance.

If the cat rejects the tooth brush, you can still use your finger to rub a bit of toothpaste against his teeth and remove the plaque. You have to make sure you cover all the areas of your cat’s teeth and be careful: your cat can bite you if he's not comfortable enough with your hand. Try to make gradual moves and you can use your other hand to hold the cat’s mouth still.

Teeth cleaning is important for cats, as they can get tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque can accumulate after each meal; after 48 to 72 hours, the plaque can mix with minerals in the saliva, and this will turn into calculus or tartar. In time, tartar may create problems and the bacteria can enter the blood flow, affecting the internal organs of your pet.

Other Means of Keeping Your Cat’s Teeth Clean

Apart from regular tooth brushing, there are also other means of controlling plaque and tartar, but none of these methods are as efficient as brushing.

  • Dry food has an abrasive effect on your dog’s teeth and will clean the plaque, preventing the deposits of tartar.
  • Tartar control treats are efficient if administrated at least once per day; these treats have a rough texture that will scrape off the plaque.
  • Chew toys can be given to your pet so that he cleans his teeth even while playing.
  • Professional cleaning can be performed under general anesthesia. The vet dentist will clean the deposits of tartar and detect any possible problems. These professional cleanings are recommended at least twice per year or according to your vet’s instructions.

Your cat’s dental hygiene is an essential part of his health. Dental and gum problems can affect the health of the pet. The only way to keep dental problems away is by getting your pet used to the daily tooth brushing. Cats that get a regular teeth cleaning at home have much healthier teeth and gums than ones that don’t get the same treatment.