Dental hygiene is important for all animals, including pet cats. Many cat owners will choose to brush their cat’s teeth on a regular basis in order to maintain proper dental health. In some cases, your veterinarian may have alerted you to your cat’s dental problems. Whether your veterinarian has recommended brushing or you smell an unpleasant odor from your cat’s mouth, it may be time to start brushing your cat’s teeth. By helping your cat to maintain her teeth you are subsequently helping to ensure that she’ll live a long, healthy, and happy life.
It is best to introduce a brushing routine early in your cat’s life. While kittens are somewhat easier to control, they are also more likely to adjust to brushing the teeth quickly. Kittens learn life long behaviors which is why it is important to start brushing your cat’s teeth from a young age. Older cats may feel threatened if you try to brush their teeth causing them to act out in aggressive ways. Nevertheless, even older cats can learn to accept routine brushing with few problems.
If you’re ready to start brushing your cat’s teeth, first you’ll need a toothbrush that fits easily into your cat’s mouth. The local pet store will carry a variety of pet toothbrushes or you may be able to use a children’s toothbrush. In addition, there is specific toothpaste for cats. You should never, under any circumstances use regular toothpaste for your cat. The first few times you brush your cat’s teeth, it is advisable to have two people. One person should gently, but firmly restrain the cat while the other exposes the gums and teeth and brushes the cat’s teeth. Finally, if your cat’s mouth has a foul odor, or your cat has painful teeth, tartar, or gingivitis, you should have her teeth cleaned professionally first.