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How to clean your cat's teeth

Updated on September 30, 2007

Dental health care is an important part issue with your pets but often it can get ignored. Although there are treatments available to have your cat's teeth cleaned, prevention is half the cure.

If you start brushing your cat's teeth early on it can help with 2 things A) your cat will get used to having her/his teeth cleaned regularly and B) it can prevent a number of dental issues in the future. The process is similar to cleaning your dog's teeth. You should start gradually to give your cat enough time to get used to sensation of having its teeth cleaned. Prepare all of your necessary items before you even start; also to avoid getting scratched it might not be a bad idea to wrap your cat in a towel.

The items you will need are special toothbrush that is designed for cats it can look like a regular toothbrush or you can opt for a toothbrush that can be slipped on your index finger. These toothbrushes should be easy to obtain as majority of pet care stores carry them.

Another thing you will need is the special cat toothpaste. Cat toothpaste generally comes in different flavors that your kitty will love so this might help with the process. You should also get sterile gauze especially in the beginning when you are trying to get your cat not to object to having his/her teeth cleaned. You wrap the sterile gauze over your index finger and apply a small amount of cat toothpaste. Open your cat's mouth and gently rub just one teeth and gum. There is no need to brush the back teeth as this will come later in the process. Repeat this process for a few days so that your cat gets used to the sensation. Also remember to give your cat a treat every time you are done as a measure of positive reinforcement. The aim of this process is to get more teeth cleaned as every day goes by until your cat will allow you to brush all of his/her teeth. Once your cat is used to the sensations and having his/her teeth cleaned you can do this twice a week that should be enough.

Do not despair however if your cat simply will not allow toothbrush coming anywhere near its mouth. There is a number of things you can do:

A) Make sure to have your vet check your cat's teeth during every annual check up

B) As far as prevention goes there are a number of treats available that should help with your cat's dental health. Another option is to give your cat a small tidbit of cat's toothpaste as a general rule they do like the taste. Check your local pet store for supplements that can be administered through meals. There is a number of them available and they should help with the tartar build up. However if your cat is a bit finicky when it comes to food it might take a while before you find a supplement that will work best.

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