Cats are cute as a button, but their breath can stink like nothing else in this world! Since they are carnivores, they only have meat or similar products for food, which can make their breath smell like a musty fish market. It is vital for pet owners to keep the gums and teeth of their cat healthy and clean. This can prevent a lot of health issues like periodontal diseases.
1. Why Brush Your Cat’s Teeth?
Imagine you didn’t use a toothbrush for around a year. A lot of gunk and tar can accumulate on the teeth during that time. The same goes for your cat. The plaque can build up along the gums, which can harden into tartar. The plaque is the filmy, sticky stuff that coats the teeth, which cats can get too. The tartar is when the plaque hardens. It is the crusty brown stuff that can form on the teeth and gums of the cat. At this point, it can be even harder to clean it up. This can even go under the gum that the toothbrush may even have a hard time reaching.
This is why it is vital to routinely clean up the plaque on your cat’s teeth. If you don’t clean it up, it can transform into periodontal disease, which is a serious infection of the gums that can damage the jawbone too.
The best part is that you don’t have to brush the teeth of your cat for too long. Even just 30 seconds is good enough for the cat. If you do it regularly, it can often be cheaper and easier to do dental care for your cat in the long run.
2. How Regularly You Should Brush Your Cat’s Teeth?
If you want to learn how to brush your cat’s teeth, you need to learn how regularly you need to brush their teeth. Ideally, experts recommend doing it every day. You can also get a professional to clean their teeth a year via your veterinarian. If you think their teeth or gum are in bad shape, you should get them checked by a vet too.
3. What Do You Need to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth?
You really shouldn’t be trying to fit a human toothbrush into the mouth of your kitty. They have a small mouth, so you should get an appropriately sized toothbrush for the job.
Here are some toothbrushes you can use:
- Baby toothbrushes have soft bristles that don’t hurt the gums of the cat
- Sponge toothbrushes can be found in any dental aisles. They can be great for cats.
- Specialty cat toothbrushes can fit on your finger
If the kitty ends up hating all the toothbrushes you are trying out, the best way to go for cleaning their mouths would be with a clean washcloth. You can also use gauze squares to rub off the plaque on their gums and teeth.
Make sure not to use human toothpaste either since it is not safe for cats to swallow. You should use pet toothpaste that is safe for them. Ideally, you should also use toothpaste that your cat will enjoy the flavor of. Our preferred minty toothpaste varieties just won’t do for cats.
4. How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth?
To brush your cat’s teeth, you have to first make sure they are comfortable. Sit next to your pet and rub their cheeks, face, and the area around their mouth. You will find that they quite enjoy it. The second step is to dip your index finger into chicken broth (low on sodium) or tuna water. Do make sure no onions or garlic were used to make the broth. First, let them lick it off your finger and then gently rub the finger along the gums of the cat. This will acclimate them to the sensation of having something rub on their gums.
Now, place a little bit of the pet toothpaste onto your finger and allow them to lick it off your finger. Then, gently rub the paste on the gums as well. Put some toothpaste onto the brush and begin to gently brush the few teeth they do have. You may even want to lift the lips a bit, which will expose the front teeth. If your cat seems calm, you can continue to brush its teeth. If it seems uncomfortable, brush the teeth a little bit at a time, ensuring that you’re not applying too much pressure when brushing. You can also take a break to cuddle with your cat until they feel comfortable.
5. What Dental Treats Can You Give to Your Cat?
There are also some dental treats that you can use to keep the teeth of your cat clean. They are to be given while you are brushing their teeth. These treats are designed to help you prevent plaque or tartar formation or even scrape it off. You should make sure to ask your vet if they have any recommendations or keep an eye out for the VOHC Seal of Acceptance on the treats.
6. In Conclusion
When cats reach three years of age, they do tend to develop some kind of mild or moderate dental diseases. All of these require quite a bit of comprehensive oral treatment or examination. Vets can also give them general anesthesia to complete the procedure.
Pet owners should make sure to ask the vet to check the teeth of their cat during wellness visits. Taking extra steps for proactive oral and dental care can even help by decreasing the risk of serious medical illnesses like renal disease, sinus infection, and heart disease. This will ensure that your cat’s lifespan is increased
Now that you know how to clean your cat’s teeth, you can make sure that their breath doesn’t stink and remove the plaque that could harm them!
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