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Brushing Your Cat's Teeth

May 15, 2021

Did you know that cats can develop some very serious dental conditions? Those sharp little teeth aren’t impervious to problems like gum disease, abscesses, cracking/breaking, or shifting. Fluffy can also develop tooth resorption or feline stomatitis, which are both quite painful for your feline pal. One of the best things you can do to keep your furry pal’s choppers healthy is to brush her teeth regularly. But how do you do that without ending up in the ER? A Louisville, KY vet offers some tips on this below.

Start Slowly

Don’t just try to stick a kitty toothbrush into Fluffy’s mouth. You’ll likely end up getting scratched if you try that! Instead, start by gently rubbing your furry friend’s teeth and gums as you are petting her. Go back and forth between petting your cat and touching her mouth.

Moving Up

Once your cat has gotten used to having her teeth handled, you can step it up a bit. Get some kitty toothpaste. (Tip: choose a flavor your feline friend will enjoy.) You can also use a finger toothbrush, or wrap your finger in gauze.

Time It Right

Picking the right time may very well be half the battle here. Don’t pick a time when Fluffy is feeling frisky, hungry, or cranky. Ideally, you want your cute pet to be relaxed. (That doesn’t mean wake her up in the middle of a nap, though.)

Sweeten The Deal

You want Fluffy to think of getting her teeth brushed as something pleasant. Otherwise, she’ll likely struggle, which will make it really hard for you to clean her choppers. Bribery tends to work pretty well on our feline overlords. Offer your kitty some yummy treats after her dental routine, and perhaps a bit of catnip. You’ll also want to incorporate lots of praise and forehead rubs. 

Watch For Issues

Brushing Fluffy’s teeth is a great chance for you to check for signs that something is wrong, such as swollen or bleeding gums; visible tartar buildup; and bad breath. Other red flags may include preferring soft foods, dribbling food, poor grooming, and/or reduced appetite. Contact your vet right away if you notice any of these issues, or anything else that seems unusual.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your local Louisville, KY veterinary clinic, we are here to help!