For your cat, its teeth are very important. Therefore, it is necessary that you help him maintain adequate dental health. You can try many strategies and tricks, even take him to the vet for a professional cleaning, but from time to time a home cleaning is necessary as well.
According to a study, two out of three owners still do not know how to clean their cat’s teeth. In this article we will tell you how to clean your cat’s teeth and thus avoid the appearance of cavities, tartar or more complicated diseases.
Importance of tooth brushing in cats
In many cases, the bacteria that cause oral diseases are the same ones that travel through the body to cause problems in the heart, lungs and kidneys.
In that sense, your dental health plays a very important role. Fortunately, maintaining your feline’s dental health can be as simple as having regular dental check-ups with your vet and brushing his teeth at home.
Use the right tools
Before starting the process, you should get a cat toothbrush. They are easy to find at most veterinary clinics or pet stores. These types of items are generally smaller, softer, and more flexible than one for dogs.
There are several types, the so-called ‘finger’ and the most similar to a human toothbrush. Do not forget that this must be particularly soft to avoid hurting your cat’s gums. On the other hand, you should know that it is possible to use gauze wrapped around the finger to do the first brushing exercises.
In the same way, you will need special toothpaste for oral cleaning of cats. The manufacturers of these products know that cats love the smell and taste of fish and other types of meat, so that type of toothpaste will be more pleasant.
It is very important that you do not try to use a human toothpaste with your cat, as it contains chemicals that could be harmful to its digestive system.
How to do it?
Step 1 – Preparation
Also, as a preliminary step, you should start by placing a small amount of the cat toothpaste on the fur of its front paws. Your pet will instinctively lick the product and get used to its taste and texture, which is particularly helpful in older cats.
You should know the most effective toothpastes for cats contain chlorhexidine and aloe vera. The first has an antiseptic effect and the second helps protect your pet’s gums thanks to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
Then, the simple fact that your feline distributes the product with its tongue will be of great help to its health regardless of brushing. This process should be done every day for a period of one to two weeks so that the cat is more receptive to the toothpaste.
On the other hand, your cat must get used to the toothbrush. For this, you need to let your pet play with this article, brush his face and whiskers. As with toothpaste, you should keep this process going for a week or two until it gets used to brushing.
Step 2 – Choose the right moment
You should choose a time of day when you know he is relaxed and less active. Start by putting your cat on your lap and letting him settle. You have to try to make him feel as comfortable as possible.
Step 3 – Hold your cat and place it in position
Once he’s relaxed, gently hold the back of his head, lift his upper lip, and begin brushing the outside of his teeth. Usually, just the smell of toothpaste is enough for the cat to be willing to open its mouth.
Step 4 – Thorough brushing
Move the brush away from the gums to loosen any adherent particles. Don’t forget: the speed should be slow so as not to alarm your cat.
Step 5 – Don’t take too long
Oral cleaning time is not set in stone; however, it is recommended that you take 1 to 2 minutes to completely brush his mouth.
Step 6 – Let your cat go and calm down
When finished, it is not necessary to rinse its mouth, as cat toothpaste is made to be eaten and does not contain chemicals that can harm its digestive system. However, it is recommended that you bring a container of water to him once the process is finished.
How often should I brush my cat’s teeth?
If you want his mouth to be kept as healthy and free from bacteria as possible, it is best to brush your cat’s teeth on a weekly basis, you can reduce the risks of bacteria accumulation.
If your cat is still small, it is the best time to get him used to brushing. That way, he will feel more comfortable with the process, you will prevent him from having dental problems as he grows older, and you will save yourself a lot of tantrums.
How do I get it to accept the brush?
Remember that felines respond to habits. In order to motivate him to accept the brush, you must use a reward. It can be a type of food that he likes or his favorite toy.
Keep in mind that cats perceive people’s anxiety, so you must show calm at all times and reflect it in the tone of your voice and smooth movements. If you can make this process a fun game, your cat won’t resist brushing.
What do I do if he resists?
If your cat does not like being caught, he tries to do it in a way that he does not feel cornered. You can also try putting it on your lap, and then as if it were a baby, you should wrap it in a towel leaving only its head visible. Take into account the age of your cat when applying this procedure, since it is not recommended in older felines, they could become very stressed.
Food to take care of the cat’s mouth
Diet is the first step in caring for your cat’s teeth. Some foods help the feline to remove tartar from its mouth, including specific feed designed to keep its teeth healthy and clean.
A cat needs to chew good quality feed to take care of its teeth. The bites break the food, and this gesture implies a friction with the furry’s teeth that helps him clean his mouth.
High-quality cat food brands often market specialty oral care foods under the name oral care or a similar label.
There are also cat treats designed for the animal to chew on while caring for its mouth. This simple gesture helps keep your teeth healthy.
Brushing your cat’s teeth is one of the best ways to keep them healthy and increase their life expectancy. Do not forget regular visits to the vet to complement all this care.
Did you like the article? Do you know any good techniques to brush your cat’s teeth? Tell us in the comments!