Cleaning your cat’s teeth

Just like humans need to brush their teeth to be healthy and prevent diseases, cats need to brush their teeth too.  Of course, cats can’t brush their teeth on their own. 

Here are some tips and strategies to protect your cat’s teeth and prevent it from getting any oral diseases.

How do I know if my cat needs its teeth brushed?

It is very easy to tell when your cat needs to clean its teeth.  The best indicator is smell.  If your cat’s mouth smells bad or has a fishy stench, it needs to be cleaned. 

The procedure to clean your cat’s teeth is very simple.  First, acquire a special brush used for cats.  It is possible to use a regular toothbrush.  However, the specially designed toothbrush is a lot easier as it is designed for a cat. 

Next, use toothpaste that is safe for cats, so you don’t need to worry about your cat ingesting the toothpaste.  There is no exception for the toothpaste.  Since you can’t stop a cat from accidentally swallowing toothpaste, it would be too dangerous to use human toothpaste. 

Begin by brushing the front of the mouth.  Brush as you would brush yourself, gentle circular strokes.  As you brush, move slowly to the back of the mouth.  Make sure to stay on each tooth for at least 20 seconds.

Brushing a cat that’s never been brushed before

If you have never brushed your cat’s teeth before, this may be a surprising or even scary experience.  It is a good idea to start brushing your cat as soon as possible.

If you got your cat as a kitten, this process will become quite easy down the road. An adult cat that has not been brushed would be more difficult.  Chances are you will not be able to successfully brush an adult cat.

This means you must slowly introduce the concept of brushing teeth to your cat, one step at a time.  Start with just having the letting the cat become comfortable with you handling its mouth one day.  Then the next day, introduce it to the brush and toothpaste and try to brush a tooth.  If you fail at any point, just try again the next day. 

Continue with the process until you can brush its whole mouth.  It will take some time.  The cat may have a dislike of a certain kind of toothpaste, or perhaps it could just be impatient. 

Once you discover the solutions for the obstacles you encounter, your cat’s hygiene will be better than ever.

Is there a way to clean my cat’s teeth without brushing?

Some cats just won’t let you brush their teeth no matter what.  Luckily, there is a solution for this.  You can use a special liquid that can be added to the cat’s water.  The liquid acts like a sort of mouthwash for the cat. It is completely safe and non-toxic for the cat.  Think of it like vitamin drops, except it cleans the tartar buildup on the cat’s teeth.

Another technique is feeding it specialized food.  These specialized foods contain additives that will be able to eliminate the bacteria in the teeth.  Additionally, it acts as a chewable brush.  The motion of chewing will scrape against the teeth and help clean it.

These two solutions are a much easier way to clean your cat’s mouth.  It is the most natural way since you don’t need to hold the cat.  One of the downsides is that very picky cats may notice a change in their food and water.  This may cause them not to want to consume the food and water. 

Another downside is that the costs of these special products will add up.  Using a brush and toothpaste is a much cheaper solution.  But overall, these are the relatively more effective solutions.  Of course, feeding your cat the specialized foods or brushing its teeth is not a sure-fire way to prevent any oral diseases.

If you notice any redness or swelling, or that its teeth are yellow, you must bring it to the vet.

How do my cat’s teeth get a buildup of tartar?

Cats have a wide variety in their diet.  But one thing that causes cats to have an increased buildup of tartar is dry food.  Dry food is very popular amongst pet owners as it is very cheap and easy to prepare.  Unfortunately, when a cat eats dry food, the cat usually swallows instead of chewing on the pieces.[

This means that the food doesn’t get the polishing effect. Instead, the saliva activates the ingredients in the food, and tartar begins to form.  As the tartar builds up, the cat’s mouth gradually gets affected.  The consequence is loose teeth, stinky breath, and bleeding gums. 

Instead of feeding dry food, try to feed your cat meat with bones.  Not only is this the natural way for cats to feed, the act of chewing the bones will help clear the tartar buildup.

What can I expect during a veterinarian visit?

Visiting a vet can be very expensive.  This is why you must be on point with keeping your cat healthy.  Brush its teeth every single day, or feed it with the special foods.  It can be exhausting, but it is a necessary task for cat owners. 

When you visit the vet, the first thing that happens is the vet will examine your cat to see what the problems are. Some blood testing may need to be done as a cautionary checkup for anything unusual. Once the vet identifies the problem, they will likely apply anesthesia to the cat and support the cat’s throat with some oral tubing. 

X-ray scans will also be taken so the vet can see if there are any underlying problems. At this point, the vet will begin cleaning the cat’s mouth.  Sometimes follow up visits may be required, such as for extractions. 

In the end, the vet will apply a sort of sealant which will keep the cat’s teeth protected.


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