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Cat Teeth Cleaning: How to Clean Your Cat's Teeth

Cats can suffer from dental diseases, just like humans. Brushing your kitty's teeth daily will help maintain your cat's oral health into their senior years. Today, our Irvine explain what you need to know about cleaning your cat's teeth.

Tips for Keeping Your Cat's Teeth Clean

Cats tend to mask pain and discomfort exceptionally well. That's why it's so important for kitty moms and dads to have a good understanding of their cat's oral health and practice a daily brushing routine to keep their teeth clean. 

Schedule Annual Dental Checkups for Your Cat

Every cat should have a dental checkup and teeth cleaning as part of their annual routine wellness exam. During this appointment, your vet will evaluate your cat's oral health in addition to their general physical health and recommend professional veterinary dental cleaning or surgery, if needed. 

Practice a Daily Dental Care Routine 

Keeping your four-legged friend's teeth as clean and healthy as possible at every stage of your cat's life will help support their long-term health and well-being. That's why our vets recommend adding a daily oral health and dental care routine to your schedule, to prevent plaque and tartar from building up between cleanings. This will also help get your feline friend used to having their teeth brushed. 

Just as you might predict, it may take a bit of trial and error to ease your cat into this new routine, so you'll want to wait until she's calm and relaxed before trying these steps:

  1. Gently lift the lips and use your finger to massage your cat's teeth and gums for a few seconds. 
  2. Keep your expectations simple when you start – you may only reach one or two teeth the first few times you try this. Stop before she becomes too annoyed. 
  3. Shower your kitty with lots of praise and a yummy treat after your teeth-and-gum massage. Your goal here is to build your cat's tolerance to the experience, gradually increasing the length of time you spend on this task. 
  4. Once your cat has become used to having their teeth and gums regularly, you can gradually introduce a toothbrush and toothpaste designed specifically for cats (never use your own toothpaste, as it contains ingredients that are toxic to our feline companions). Look for flavors that appeal to them, such as chicken or beef. 
  5. Start with the brushing 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 (you may even have the opportunity to test a few different flavors). Find a brush that has soft bristles made for cats’ delicate gums.

While some cat owners find success with a small piece of soft gauze, others find a finger brush works for their felines. Still others apply dental gel with the toothbrush or a finger, and have the gel do the work for them.

Whether you use teeth brushing, special treats or food, chew toys or drinking water additives, there are several products out there that can help with keeping your cat’s teeth clean. Of course, they’ll also need a regular professional dental cleaning performed by a qualified veterinarian to keep their teeth in tip-top condition.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

Is it time for your cat's professional dental exam and cleaning? Contact our Irvine vets to book an appointment for your kitty.

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