CLEANING YOUR CAT’S TEETH

 

Now this is a task usually not relished by many.  A small minority of mellow felines will allow this, but the greater majority put up a resistance.  Even though it is a daunting chore, it usually becomes possible with a lot of patience and continuous persistence by the owner.

It is normally easier to start out with a kitten,  but a cat at any age can be trained to have its teeth cleaned.   It could take weeks, or even months, before your cat finally becomes comfortable with having its teeth cleaned.

Like your own, cleaning your cat’s teeth daily is ideal, however it may not always be practical for your schedule.  So try doing it at least three times a week for it to be beneficial.

Your goal is to make brushing your cat’s teeth a stress-free and easy part of your kitty’s daily routine. Begin by waiting until your cat is calm and relaxed, then follow these steps:

 

  1. Position you cat’s backside against you to reach easily around its body. This keeps it from squirming away, and also reduces its feeling of confrontation like approaching from the front might do. Offer plenty of reassuring strokes along its face.  Gently lift your cat’s lips, then use your finger to massage its teeth and gums for just a few seconds.

 

  1.  Don’t expect too much from your cat at first. You may only be able to reach a couple of teeth the first few times you try this process. That’s okay though. This is about building trust in your cat to help prevent it from becoming agitated.  

 

  1. Remain calm and be sure to give lots of praise and a yummy treat after your teeth-and-gum massage. You’re trying to build your cat’s tolerance to the experience, gradually increasing the length of time you spend on the task each day.

 

  1. Once your feline friend is used to your massaging of its gums each day, you will be able to gradually introduce a soft-bristle pet toothbrush.  At first dip it in something flavorful, like tuna water, and then gently rub it on the kitty’s teeth and gums.  The next time use a cat toothpaste. The best one has a cat-friendly meat flavor and contains enzymes to consume bacteria.
  1. A little gum bleeding is normal in the beginning and should go away with regular cleaning. Over time, you’ll be able to be more thorough, spending about 30 seconds on each side. You only need to brush the outside of his teeth—his rough, barbed tongue cleans the inside.
  1. Begin using the toothbrush as gradually as you did the teeth-and-gum massage; your cat may begin with licking just a small dab of toothpaste from your finger.

 

The degree to which you are able to brush your cat’s teeth will largely depend on its temperament. Make sure you are flexible and adapt your approach to how tolerant your cat is of the process. Some cat owners have a very easy time cleaning their teeth with some gauze, some find a finger brush works well and others apply a dental gel with their fingers. When you finally begin brushing your cat’s teeth successfully, move along the gum line, working quickly but stopping before your cat becomes irritated. It could be weeks before your kitty tolerates having all of its teeth cleaned during a single session.

If your cat is stressed or alarmed by the teeth cleaning process it may react by scratching or biting. So, if brushing your cat’s teeth is too difficult for you and your kitty, consider adding plaque remover additives into its drinking water and getting it specially designed chew toys.

Of course, if your cat is on a raw diet, dental cleaning is almost a moot issue.  This will be discussed in a future release.