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Tips for Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

Items needed:

  • Special cat toothbrush or finger toothbrush
  • Pet toothpaste in a flavor your cat will enjoy (human toothpaste with fluoride is toxic for cats)
  • Your cat!

1. The first step is to get your cat used to toothpaste. Using the specially formulated and flavored pet toothpaste, squeeze some onto your finger. Allow your cat to lick it off your finger. Give them lots of enthusiastic praise and a tasty treat after they lick the toothpaste. You may need to experiment with different toothpaste flavors to find one your cat enjoys (ask one of our receptionists for a sample of poultry flavored toothpaste). Repeat this for several days until your cat is used to and looks forward to the toothpaste treat.

2. Next, you want to accustom your cat to a toothbrush being used in their mouth. The best way to do this is to start off with your finger. Apply some toothpaste to your finger and allow you cat to approach you. While gently holding their mouth closed, lift your cat’s lip and rub your finger against their gums and teeth. You may only be able to get a tooth or two before you have to stop. Make sure to praise kitty and give them an extra special treat each time you do this. Repeat this step for about a week and try to increase the longevity of the teeth rubbing each time.

Now it is time to introduce the toothbrush. Allow your cat to lick the toothpaste off the bristles first. Keep plenty treats on hand and reward frequently throughout the process. Do not attempt to brush their teeth just yet. Just allow your cat to become used to the texture of the brush bristles and feel comfortable around this new object. Repeat this step for several days until your cat seems comfortable.

4. Now it is time to start applying the toothbrush to your cat’s teeth. Left their lips and apply the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle. Gently brush back and forth. It is not necessary to brush the inside surface of your cat’s teeth (the part facing the tongue).  Continue to praise you cat while brushing. It is not necessary to rinse with water after. Make sure to finish up by rewarding your cat with a delicious treat!

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