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DIY: How To Brush Your Cats Teeth

cat teeth cleaning albuquerqueDental health is not just for dogs! Your cat’s need to have their teeth cleaned as well. The problem is that brushing cat’s teeth is notoriously difficult. So how can you get those feline teeth clean?

Start Early

Get your cat used to you cleaning their teeth early in life. If you can start cleaning their teeth as kittens, they will get used to it and be easy to clean as adults.

Play with their Mouth

Cat’s typically don’t like to have their mouth messed with. To be able to brush their teeth you need to get them used to you messing with their mouth. Start by lifting your cats lips, and exposing their teeth, for short periods of time every day. The more you do this, the more they will get use to it. Once they stop struggling with you lifting their gums, start touching their teeth with your fingers so they get use to the feeling of you touching their teeth and gums. Always reward them with a little treat after playing with their mouth.

What do I use to brush my cat’s teeth?

You can get specialty cat toothbrushes with soft bristles. If you do not have one of those, use a soft kids toothbrush, wrap gauze around your finger, use a finger toothbrush, or a cotton swab. You want to make sure you are able to reach all their teeth comfortably. Do I need to use a special toothpaste to brush my cat’s teeth? Yes!

Pet toothpaste, often flavored like poultry, malt, and other dog-friendly varieties are your best option. Never use human toothpaste, baking soda or salt. While safe for you, these cleaning agents can be harmful to your cat if swallowed. Be careful of homemade dog toothpaste recipes. Most of them contain baking soda which can lead to stomach upset for your cat. If you are interested in making your own, here is a baking soda free homemade toothpaste recipe care of k9Instincts.com

Homemade Cat Toothpaste Recipe:

  • 1 cup of unrefined, virgin coconut oil.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kelp.
  • 1/8th tablespoon of dried parsley flakes.
  1. Place one cup of coconut oil in a hot water bath to make it soft and pliable. (Unless it already is!)
  2. Add the turmeric, kelp and parsley flakes.
  3. Mix thoroughly, store in the fridge between uses.

Pet toothpaste, often flavored like poultry, malt, and other feline-friendly varieties are your best option. Never use human toothpaste, baking soda or salt. While safe for pet owners themselves, these cleaning agents can be harmful to your cat if swallowed.

How to Clean Your Cat’s Teeth

  1. Find a comfortable place for your cat to sit during the tooth brushing.
  2. Let them try the toothpaste before trying to brush their teeth.
  3. Lift their lips to expose their teeth.
  4. Brush with a gentle motion to clean the teeth and gums, as you would with your own teeth. If they are having dental issues such as gum disease, their gums might be sensitive. If the brushing seems to be causing pain, try brushing lighter. Cleaning will often help with gum sensitivity by removing plaque and helping with gum disease.
  5. Clean everything that is visible, from their cheeks to gums, to teeth. Your cat will not likely allow you to clean the inside of their teeth.
  6. Clean their back molars. This tends to be where they have the most amount of tartar build up.

It is best to brush your cat’s teeth at least once a week. Frequent cleanings will help with maintaining good dental health.  We recommend having your cats teeth professionally cleaned by your Albuquerque dentist once a year. Just like you, your cat needs to have their dental health evaluated and have a good thorough cleaning. Proper dental health can help your cat live longer and stave off life-threatening illness such as organ failure and heart disease.

Make sure you bring your cat into Vetco on Menaul for their annual dental cleaning and take advantage of our coupon to save $15 off your cat’s dental cleaning.



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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.