How to Brush Cat Teeth: A Step-by-Step Guide for Pet Owners

Taking care of your cat’s teeth is more important than many people realize. Just like us, cats need regular dental care to keep their mouths healthy. This blog post will teach you how to brush cat teeth, a key part of their care routine. It might sound a bit tricky, but with patience and practice, you can make it a smooth experience for both you and your cat. If you have questions or need more information, we at St. Paul Pet Hospital are here to help. Give us a call at (651) 789-6275 to talk or to book an appointment.

woman brushing cat's teeth with finger toothbrush

Why Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth Is Important

Brushing your cat’s teeth might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to pet care, but it’s a big deal. Cats can get dental problems just like people, and these can lead to bigger health issues if not taken care of. By brushing your cat’s teeth, you help prevent bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. This means your cat can avoid discomfort and you can avoid costly dental treatments down the line.

Getting Your Cat Used to Toothbrushing

Starting early is the best way to get your cat used to having its teeth brushed. However, even older cats can learn to accept it with a bit of patience. Begin by getting your cat comfortable with you touching its mouth. Use a finger to gently rub its teeth and gums for a few seconds each day. Praise your cat and offer a treat afterward to create a positive association with the experience.

Choosing the Right Tools

For brushing your cat’s teeth, you’ll need a few specific items. A cat toothbrush or a finger brush designed for pets is ideal. Human toothbrushes are not the right size or shape for your cat’s mouth and can cause discomfort. You’ll also need toothpaste made for cats, as human toothpaste contains ingredients that can harm your cat. These supplies are readily available at pet stores or from veterinary offices.

Step-by-Step Guide to Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

  1. Prepare the Area: Choose a quiet, comfortable spot where you can sit with your cat. Have the toothbrush and toothpaste ready.
  2. Start Slow: Let your cat sniff and taste the toothpaste from your finger. This can help them get used to the texture and flavor.
  3. Gently Open the Mouth: Carefully lift your cat’s lips to expose the teeth. There’s no need to open their mouth wide.
  4. Brush with Care: Use the toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Gently brush the teeth in a circular motion, focusing on the area where the teeth meet the gums. Start with the front teeth and gradually work your way to the back.
  5. Be Patient and Positive: Your cat may not let you brush all its teeth at first. That’s okay! Aim for a little more each time, and always end on a positive note with lots of praise and a treat.

When to Call St. Paul Pet Hospital

While brushing your cat’s teeth is a great way to maintain dental health, professional check-ups are also essential. If you notice bad breath, difficulty eating, or any signs of discomfort in your cat’s mouth, it’s time to call us. Our team can provide a dental examination and professional cleaning if needed. Regular dental care, both at home and at our hospital, is key to keeping your cat healthy and happy.

Tips for Success

  • Consistency is Key: Try to brush your cat’s teeth daily, or at least several times a week, to build a routine.
  • Keep Sessions Short: Your cat’s patience will have limits. Aim for a couple of minutes per session.
  • Offer Rewards: Treats or playtime after brushing can make the experience more enjoyable for your cat.

Learning how to brush cat teeth might seem daunting at first, but with these steps, it can become a manageable part of your pet care routine. Your efforts can lead to a lifetime of good health for your cat. If you’re unsure about anything or need some guidance, we at St. Paul Pet Hospital are just a call away. Reach out to us at (651) 789-6275 for advice or to schedule an appointment. Let’s keep your cat’s smile bright and healthy together!