How to Brush Your Cats Teeth At Home

cat dental health

Keeping your cats teeth clean is a key part of their overall health. Regular brushing can prevent dental diseases and keep your furry friend feeling their best into their golden years. Here’s a detailed guide on how to brush your cats teeth at home along with an instructional video from our vet tech Caitlin!

Why You Should Brush Your Cat’s Teeth

Cats are prone to dental issues. Without regular brushing, plaque builds up and can harden into tartar, leading to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Additionally, a study from VCA Hospitals found that over 70% of cats develop some form of dental disease by the age of three. This makes regular brushing essential for your cat’s health.

Step-by-Step Guide to Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth at Home

1. Get Your Cat Comfortable

Start by petting your cat and ensuring they are relaxed. This is crucial as you want brushing to be a positive experience. A calm environment will help your cat get used to the process and make it easier for you.

2. Finger Brushing Technique

Once your cat is comfortable, gently place your fingers under their lips and move them in a circular motion. This helps your cat get used to the sensation of having their mouth handled. This step might take several weeks, but patience is key.

3. Using a Gauze Square

After your cat is accustomed to finger brushing, you can introduce a gauze square. The gauze is abrasive enough to remove soft plaque. First, wrap it around your finger, then lift your cat’s lips and brush all surfaces of the teeth in a circular motion.

4. Introducing Dental Toothpaste

Once your cat is comfortable with the gauze, add a small amount of cat-specific dental toothpaste to it. Never use human toothpaste as it can be harmful to cats. Next, apply the gauze with toothpaste in the same circular motion to cover the teeth and gums.

Cat Dental Care FAQ

  • How often should I brush my cat’s teeth? Ideally, you should brush your cat’s teeth daily. However, even brushing a few times a week can significantly reduce plaque and tartar buildup.
  • What kind of toothpaste should I use for my cat? Always use cat-specific dental toothpaste. Human toothpaste contains ingredients that can be harmful to cats, such as fluoride. Cat toothpaste is designed to be safe and palatable for them.
  • What is the best way to get my cat comfortable with tooth brushing? Start by petting your cat and making sure they are relaxed. Gradually introduce the sensation of having their mouth handled by gently placing your fingers under their lips and moving in a circular motion. Use positive reinforcement and be patient, as this process can take weeks to months.
  • Can I use a regular toothbrush to brush my cat’s teeth? It’s best to use a toothbrush designed specifically for cats. These brushes are smaller and have softer bristles to accommodate the smaller size and sensitivity of a cat’s mouth.
  • What should I do if my cat resists tooth brushing? If your cat resists, take a step back and let them get used to each phase slowly. You can start by using a gauze square wrapped around your finger before progressing to a toothbrush. Reward them with treats and praise to create a positive association with brushing.
  • Are there alternatives to brushing if my cat won’t tolerate it? Yes, there are dental chews, water additives, and dental diets that can help reduce plaque and tartar. However, these should not replace regular brushing but can be used as a supplement to oral care.
  • What are the signs of dental disease in cats? Signs of dental disease include bad breath, red or swollen gums, yellow or brown tartar on the teeth, drooling, and difficulty eating. If you notice any of these signs, consult your veterinarian.

Start the Healing Process Today | Cats Only Veterinary Clinic

Knowing how to brush your cats teeth at home is a valuable skill that can greatly improve their dental health care. With time, both you and your cat will become more comfortable with the process, ensuring that your feline friend receives the care they need. For more information on how to brush your cats teeth at home or to get a home dental care kit, contact Cats Only Veterinary Clinic. Additionally, our board certified technicians can provide detailed guidance and support for maintaining your cat’s dental health. Lastly, if you have any concerns about your cats dental health schedule your consultation here. Our certified veterinarians will evaluate your cats any issues to determine the right solution for your furry companion.