How to Take Care of Your Cat’s Teeth

June 1, 2020
Cats aren’t able to brush their teeth, which is why you need to help them by taking them to the vets for a check-up and, where appropriate, to clean them

Did you know that cats can suffer from various oral diseases due to a lack of hygiene? And since they can’t brush their own, you need to know how to take care of your cat’s teeth. Learn more below.

Take care of your cat’s teeth: brushing

This is probably the best, but most complicated, method of cleaning your cat’s teeth. It will help to prevent their teeth from falling out, gingivitis, bad breath, and plaque build-upDon’t forget it’s always best to try to prevent it rather than treat it and you need to be patient.

Brushing your cat’s teeth may feel like an impossible mission, especially if you don’t start getting into the habit from when they were a kitten. However, that doesn’t mean that you should neglect this habit if your cat is an adult.

It’s a good idea to make it a game for your pet. They’re more likely to cooperate if they think it’s something fun, which will make the task easier for you. Regular brushing ensures good oral health and you can find everything you need in a pet store: brushes, toothpaste, or a finger brush.

You can’t use toothpaste designed for people as it contains fluoride, which is toxic to felines. Toothpaste for cats – and pets in general – can be swallowed without problems and the taste is appealing to them.

A kitten with a toothbrush.

Try with toothpaste

Before you start using the toothbrush, you can let your cat try the paste so they can get used to it first. You can also let them play with the brush first so that they become familiar with it and don’t see it as a threat.

In the days leading up to it, try touching their teeth gently with your fingers or the brush, as if it was a game. Your cat will gradually open their mouth wider and allow you to put the item inside it.

Always talk to them gently and quietly, never shout, chase them, or act nervous. They won’t like this and will hide or become aggressive. Create a friendly atmosphere at all times; don’t forget to pet them and give them rewards.

Ideally, brush their teeth from top to bottom and from the gum outwards and repeat at least three times a week. But it’s still an achievement if you can get rid of a little plaque by doing it just once a week.

Of course, you can always take your cat to the vet for a thorough cleaning. However, this could be very stressful for your cat, and isn’t recommended.

Food

Providing our pets with quality food that suits their needs is another way to look after their teeth and prevent disease.

A cat eating food.

The animal’s oral health and the food they eat are very much related. This is because their food provides them with essential nutrients that strengthen fangs and teeth.

Additionally, dry food acts as an effective toothbrush because of its consistency. When the cat chews, the grains help to break down accumulated plaque; this won’t happen to cats that only eat wet food.

Remember, wild cats eat the bones of their prey after hunting. This creates friction in their teeth that helps to clean and polish them.

Of course, we can’t rely on their food to care for their teeth. The way they chew and the brittleness of the kibble doesn’t fully do the job.

However, certain cat treats are designed to clean their teeth almost like their food.

Toys and vets

Currently, there are hundreds of different cat toys on the market, but not all of them can improve their oral health. Choose those made from rustic materials, such as natural rubber, that will also break down plaque while they play.

Last but not least, remember to take your pet to the vet for regular check-ups, especially for their teeth, as they can help clean them if necessary.