Just like with humans, your cat needs to maintain good oral hygiene and you can help with that. Our Mamaroneck vets will explain how to clean your cat's teeth at home.
Prepare For Brushing
It's important to have the right tools for brushing your cat's teeth. Start by getting a child's toothbrush or finger brush with soft bristles. A piece of gauze/cotton wrapped around your finger will work. Any of these tools can get slippery tartar off teeth before it hardens to plaque. Get your cat their pet-appropriate toothpaste, too.
Make Your Cat Comfortable
This is not going to be a fun experience for your cat so it is important to make them comfortable. Start by finding a place in your home that makes your cat feel safe like the kitchen table.
Touch your cat’s mouth, lips, and gums with your fingers.
Wrap Your CatFor your safety and your cat's comfort, it may be best to wrap your cat in a blanket like you would wrap a baby in a "burrito". Try touching your cat’s mouth and experimenting with different handling methods to find your cat’s favorite.
Let Your Cat Taste The Toothpaste
Squeeze cat toothpaste on the appropriate toothbrush or your gauze-wrapped finger. Let the cat smell, taste the toothpaste, and even chew the item you’ve put on.
Brushing Your Cat's Teeth
With one hand, hold your cat’s head and ears. Then, gently pull back their lips with your fingers. With your other hand, brush a few teeth gently back and forth.
Give Your Cat Treats
If your cat pushes back on the brush, dip it in tuna or canned food gravy to try to get your cat to open its mouth and grow comfortable with the process.
Treat and praise after each brushing so your cat will leave the experience happy.
Take It Slow
Progress gradually to other teeth, going slowly. Never force tooth brushing on your cat. Stop the process if your cat tries to writhe out of your hands or seems agitated.
Continue cleaning your cat’s teeth regularly. Our Mamaroneck vets say working up to a full mouth cleaning can take a while so do not get discouraged. Keep on offering praise and treats, and your cat could be a clean teeth fan in no time.