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How Often Should You Brush Your Cats Teeth

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How To Brush Your Cat’s Teeth

This is a mistake that most cat owners make. You need to know how to tell when your cat is in need of a brush. How often your cat needs a brush will depend on a number of factors. One of the factors is the type of coat your cat has. If your cat is longhaired, she will need to be brushed more often as compared to a shorthaired cat.

Tricks To Brush Your Cats Teeth

Pet owners often have to contort themselves into unusual positions to safely open their catâs mouth â and thatâs before you even being brushing.

âI have to squat on top of my cat to hold him in place and squish his little mouth open,â Eileen Mary Holowka, Ph.D. candidate and writer, tells Inverse on Twitter. âSomehow, despite this effort, weâre going to the vet this week for dental issues.â

However, some cat owners have remarkably managed to brush their catâs teeth without too many issues.

Twitter user @mwennersd writes of their cat Esteban: âI brush his teeth 3x a week. He mostly complies although sometimes he fights a bit.â

A tip from @mwennersd: give your cat treats afterward. Scientists have shown that using positive reinforcement training, which trains your cat through rewards, is successful in teaching cats new tasks and improves the animal-human bond.

In other words: The anticipation of a reward may help your grumpy or stressed-out cat comply better with the brushing.

You can also try out different flavors of toothpaste to put your cat in a good mood, which may make them more compliant. Flavors can range from poultry-scented toothpaste to a fishy feast.

âIf it’s the right flavor, your cat will see it as a treat, which makes the whole process much easier!â Delgado says.

How Pet Insurance Helps With Cats Dental Cleaning

One of the best ways to defray the cost of dental cleanings and other health care visits is through pet insurance. Prudent Pet offers insurance plans designed for your cats needs. Prudent Pet wants every pet to be healthy and happy, so they create budget-friendly programs designed to provide your cat with excellent health care without stressing your budget. An Accident +Illness plan covers dental cleanings, annual exams, accidents, and illness, as well as other health-related costs. Take a few minutes today to find out how affordable pet insurance can be.

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Now Youre Ready To Brush

At this point, your cat should be used to the brush or sponge, as well as the toothpaste.

Now you are ready to start brushing!

Be sure to talk soothingly to him, and praise him.

At first, you may just want to brush one or both upper canine teeth . These are easiest to get to and will give you lots of practice.

Brush in a gentle, circular motion, on the tooth and near the gumline. Focus on the outside of the teeth .

Always praise your cat when you are done!

When Daily Brushing Proves Difficult

How to Brush a Cats Teeth

If your cat develops irritation to daily brushing, you could use alternate days. Doing this, you should engage them every other day with solutions made for pets for teeth cleaning. You should ensure that the cats diet includes food that is naturally promotive for healthy teeth and gum. With a good oral health-protective diet, teeth problems like tartar formation can be avoided.

Three times in a week is not altogether bad if your pets gum seems to be extraordinarily soft. Get to visit a dental healthcare professional to check up to improve oral health. Cracks in the teeth, matting, and discoloration may appear when teeth are not properly taken care of. This sets in as early as the kitten fails to observe omega spectre replica proper diet and teeth brushing. A healthy cats teeth are usually white from birth without cracks. If otherwise, consulting a vet or pet dentist would be liberating in making your routine brushing decision.

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Is There Anything Else I Should Know

Yes. A cats mouth contains lots of bacteria, if possible, wear gloves while brushing your cats teeth. If this limits your ability to effectively brush her teeth, then be sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after you are finished. Also, rinse the toothbrush thoroughly before putting it away. Replace the toothbrush every three months, and if you have several cats, use a different toothbrush for each one.

Contributors: Lorraine Hiscox DVM FAVD Dip. AVDC Jan Bellows, DVM, Dipl. AVDC, ABVP

Should You Brush Your Cats Teeth

If youâve ever had the misfortune of enduring your catâs bite, you might naturally be wary of sticking your fingers anywhere near their mouth.

âNo thank you,â Twitter user @Tony58889923 tells Inverse. âMy fingers sliced to ribbons is not my idea of a good time.â

But if you can brave your catsâ fearsome canine teeth, then itâs not a bad idea to brush them. However, itâs best to speak with your catâs veterinarian before springing a new, potentially stressful cleaning regimen on your feline.

âJust like with humans, brushing your cat’s teeth can prevent gum and dental problems, reduce plaque and tartar, and maybe even help freshen your cat’s breath,âMikel Delgado, a cat expert at Feline Minds and a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, tells Inverse.

What does science say on the matter?

  • One 2002 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that toothbrushing reduced gingivitis, but not as much as expected â though that could be chalked up to the fact that the subjects in the study were kittens and hadnât yet developed serious dental issues.
  • Another 2011 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that toothbrushing was âvery effectiveâ in maintaining oral health, but owners had to brush the catâs teeth daily to see the desired effect.

But some catsâ personalities can be too pesky to even consider brushing their teeth. If your cat is actively trying to bite you, itâs best to back off.

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Brushing A Cats Teeth

To brush your cats teeth, you need first to get the right materials for the job. One of these is a cat-sized dental brush from a veterinary clinic or a pet store. They are also available online. This toothbrush is usually small, soft and flexible, much more than that of a dogs. It is ideal to use a soft, rubber brush which adapts to your first finger so that you feel comfortable with it.

Asides from the toothbrush, you will also need to get feline toothpaste. Most of them are fish or chicken flavored. They are produced this way because most manufacturers know that cats love them. Therefore it makes it more palatable to your cat thereby making it easier to brush her teeth.

How Often Do I Need To Brush My Cats Teeth

How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth | Vet Tutorial

Just like human teeth, cat teeth need to be brushed regularly. Cornell Universitys Feline Health Center reports the vast majority of cats older than 4 years of age suffer from some form of dental disease. The good news is most of the common cat dental diseasesgingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth resorptioncan be prevented with regular dental care.

Tarina L. Anthony, DVM, is a longtime practitioner of feline-exclusive medicine, and owner and medical director of Aurora Cat Hospital and Hotel in Aurora, Colo. She stresses that routine dental care is vital to other aspects of your kittys wellbeing. Plaquethe slimy stuffaides in the formation of tartar, the hard stuff that dentists scrape off, she says. Tartar is basically minerals and bacteria. If it sits for a long time on the tooth, it can lead not only to gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth loss, but also systemic issues such as heart, kidney, or liver disease as that bacteria enters the bloodstream and lands in those organs.

There are few alternatives to brushing a cats teeth. Treats and water additives that help remove and prevent plaque can be used alongside teeth brushing, but aren’t always effective on their own, Anthony explains. One reason is cats don’t always chew the treats before swallowing.

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When Do I Brush

Brushing daily is the best way to ensure that your cats mouth stays as disease-free as possible. However, even brushing a couple of times a week will cut down on the buildup of bacteria.

If you have a new kitten in the household, begin brushing now while shes still little. Not only will it help to acclimate her to the process of brushing, but also starting early can keep her from having dental issues as she matures.

Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth For The First Time

This is the step where you will want to introduce toothpaste. There are various brush options and toothpaste for cats that you can find online. I prefer Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste because my cats like the taste. It also comes as a kit with an angled brush and finger brush. However, you may want to try different kinds of toothpaste to find the one your cat likes most and order a separate toothbrush. Below is another option we recommend.

For cats and dogs

Available at:

  • Start with a small amount of toothpaste on your finger
  • Let your cat taste initially
  • Use your finger to rub around inside their mouth

You will want to put a little toothpaste on your finger first and let your cat taste it. Its actually fun. Many times the toothpaste tastes like a treat for cats, so the task doesn’t seem so daunting!

Then you will want to put a small amount on the toothbrush and start with their front canines. When you are brushing, its best to brush where the gum tissue meets the tooth.

How long do you brush a cat’s teeth?

Let me just say that less is more! You only need to give a few strokes with the toothbrush. You may need or want to add more toothpaste as you make your way through their mouth.

  • Put a small amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush
  • Brush where the gum meets the tooth
  • Start with front canines
  • Move to back molars
  • You don’t need to brush for very long

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Tips And Troubleshooting For Brushing Your Cats Teeth

Its no secret that cats can be difficult when it comes to oral hygiene. Fear not! Below, weve listed some expert tips and techniques that can help, courtesy of Drs. Coger and Gaddis.

  • Take your feline friend in for a professional dental exam and cleaning at least once per yeareven if you brush their teeth every day. Its important to clean below the gumline, and only a veterinary dentist can do that.
  • You can skip brushing the inside of her teeth because most of the plaque builds up on the outside.
  • To encourage your cat to open their mouth and let you touch their teeth, dip your finger in chicken broth, wet cat food or another enticing flavor.
  • Check out the Veterinary Oral Health Councils website for information about the effectiveness of specific brands of cat oral health products, including toothbrushes, toothpastes, chews, food and water additives.

Speaking of products besides a toothbrush and toothpaste, consider offering your cat some of these options. Theyre not as effective as the mechanical action of a brush and paste, but theyre better than nothing, says Dr. Gaddis:

Choose The Right Toothpaste

The Best Cat Toothpaste For Healthy Teeth (Approved by ...

Now, add a little pet toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste as the fluoride can irritate your cats stomach and the froth often distresses cats. Pet toothpastes are usually poultry or malt-flavoured, though toothpastes made just for cats are often fish-flavoured.

Again, take things slowly to get your cat used to the flavour and consistency of the toothpaste. Let your cat lick some off your finger and then apply some to their gum line with your finger.

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Brushing A Shorthaired Cat

A shorthaired cat requires to be brushed twice or thrice in a month. If you brush your cat too many times, you may end up causing injuries to her skin. Your cat may end up developing a dislike for brushing. She may even end up hating you.

Make sure that you have the right brush. You should then brush through your cats coat from her head to tail. This will remove any loose hair on her coat. It will also remove any dirt and debris and eliminate any tangles. Brush in the direction of growth of the fair. Brushing in the opposite direction may result in discomfort to your cat since it will pull the hair up and back.

Ensure that you brush all over your cats body, including areas like the abdomen and the chest. To effectively remove tangles and dead hair, ensure that you concentrate on one section at a time. If your cat is shorthaired, then you should use a rubber brush.

How Often Should Your Cats Teeth Be Cleaned

Think of your cats teeth in the same way that you think of yours. Cleaning them is important for dental health!

  • Brushing your cats teeth daily is ideal.

Did you know that there is actually flavored toothpaste option out there that will get your cat to be okay with using on their teeth? Flavors like salmon toothpaste just cant be ignored by curious cats.

To introduce the concept of brushing your cats teeth, start by introducing them to the taste and smell of the cat-friendly and approved toothpaste.

Dab a bit on a small toothbrush and let them sniff and lick around a bit. Then, slowly put the toothbrush in their mouth and work on cleaning the outside of the teeth next to their cheek. This area of your cats teeth is typically where plaque will build up quickly because they arent necessary chewing with that side of their teeth and is the only area that you should really concentrate on brushing.

Brushing your cats teeth daily is a great way to keep them healthy and safe. If you havent been brushing their teeth, its always a good time to start!

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Teaching Your Cat To Accept Toothbrushing

The goal is to brush all of the outside surfaces of your cats teeth once a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and veterinary toothpaste. It may take several weeks for your cat to become comfortable with your brushing her teeth. It is important to be consistent with your routine and to keep this a positive experience for you and your cat.

Its Easy To Brush Your Cats Teeth

Should I Brush My Cats Teeth?

While your cat might not like you brushing their teeth the first time, they will get used to it and might even start to enjoy it! Use a toothpaste that has a flavor that your cat likes, but do keep in mind that if your cat does need dental work, brushing their teeth can hurt.

So, ensure that your cat doesnt need any dental work before starting a teeth-brushing routine. Otherwise, your cat might start to associate teeth brushing with pain.

Once your cat starts to enjoy their teeth brushing sessions, it can be an excellent time for you to bond with your cat!

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Get Them Used To Having Their Mouth Touched

Before you approach them with the toothbrush, make sure your cat is comfortable with you touching their face and mouth with your fingers. Follow the steps in our training guide, focusing on their mouth and taking the process nice and slowly. You can start this process when they are a young kitten in preparation for introducing them to the toothbrush when they are six months old.

Set The Surroundings And Keep It Positive

Place your cat next to you on a large chair, couch, or in your lap. Use a calm, gentle tone of voice and maintain a positive attitude and demeanor. Your cat will sense and respond to any anxiety you may have. Remember to have reasonable expectations about how fast you will progress, but be persistent.

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Watch Your Body Languageand Theirs

Speak in a soft, positive voice while you touch their mouth. Your cat takes cues from your body language and tone if you sound stressed and project nervousness, they will reflect that. Stop touching their mouth before they get fussyeven if that means you can only do it for a few seconds at firstto ensure they dont associate the action with a negative experience. Over time, youll be able to build up their willingness to have their teeth cleaned.

Tips For Brushing Your Cats Teeth

Should You Get Your Cats Teeth Cleaned

It is now time to get to work! In this section, you would discover the sequential approaches to brushing your cats teeth. Ensure that you follow them to the later.

  • Get the Right Equipment

The rule of the thumb is to get the right set of equipment strictly recommended for improving the oral hygiene of pets. The notion that human toothpaste and brush would be better for a cat is wrong. You may need to seek the advice of a veterinarian about the best toothbrush and toothpaste for your cat. If youre not given to using a brush, you may want to go for a pad or sponge that would be comfortable for your pet. Nevertheless, having a rubber toothbrush would aid the brushing faster than expected.

Ideally, the preference of specially-formulated toothbrushes and toothpaste for cats is because of the harmful effects posed by that of humans. For instance, human brushes have hard bristles and are bigger. The same applies to human toothpaste because it can upset your cats stomach in the course of brushing. Therefore, it is important to go for dedicated brushes and toothpaste formulated for cats.

  • Get Your Cat Used to the Toothpaste

It is not advisable to start brushing immediately after getting the equipment. Remember that cats are good escape artists and wouldnt hesitate to plot an escape when you make an immediate move to brush their teeth. The rule of the thumb is to give your pet a taste of the specially formulated toothpaste.

  • Touch the Gums
  • Introduce the Toothbrush

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