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Ok what's the easiest way to brush your cats teeth?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking of getting some dental supplies for Zoey. I've never brushed any of my cats teeth and I see what happens to them by the time they reach 12.. plaque galore.. which usually ends up in needing to go under anesthesia to clean their teeth. Well I never want to do that to Zoey.

I really dont think she will willingly let me do this.. any thoughts?

And do they make tuna flavored toothpaste?? LOL
post #2 of 13
Hi Sicy

I am copying and pasting from another post I wrote a year ago to someone else:

I've been brushing my kitty's teeth for over a decade and she only needed to have her teeth professionally cleaned 1x in her life.

A few tips:

Start very slowly. Every day while you pet kitty, just rub the side of her mouth, in between the lips once on each side. Then continue petting her.

Every day put your finger in a little longer and further alongside her gumline til she is used to that. This is just to get her used to getting touched there.

Once she is used to you touching her gums, she will be ready for the brush. Get an Oral B baby toothbrush -- has Sesame St characters on it . Then get her used to the feel of the brush by introducing it slowly as you did with your finger -- no toothpaste yet.

Once she is used to the brush get some kitty toothpaste at the pet store -- the Petrodent tastes malty, my cat thinks it tastes yummy -- then start using the brush with a little toothpaste. You don't need too much. (The Petrodent offers their paste with a brush in it, but the quality is not so good. Just get a tube of kitty toothpaste without the brush.)

Always end these sessions with praise and love and a treat.

At any time your kitty begins to show signs of being uncomfortable, stop before it turns into a struggle. Accomplish the one thing you want to do dentalwise for the day then give a treat. You don't want to turn this into a battle -- nor do you want kitty to think that if she wiggles long enough, she can get away with anything.

My 12 year old Russian Blue has had her teeth brushed since she was a baby so now she looks forward to it and begs to have them brushed -- NOT because she thinks having a big ol brush in her mouth is nice but she knows she gets a treat!

Good Luck on getting Zoey's teeth brushed — the key is tiny steps + treats
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much! Sounds good
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just bought a little kit at Petco.. (I'm sorry I didnt buy the baby brush.. it came with one ) but I let Zoey taste the toothpaste first, she didnt seem to mind it. Then I showed her the brush but I havent done anything yet. I want her to get used to them first. She rubbed her face against the brush and her teeth and even started biting it! Maybe this wont be so hard
post #5 of 13
I have never brushed any of my cats teeth. Are they like us and each need their own brush? And do I need to brush behind the teeth, the inside? And how often do I brush?
post #6 of 13
Hi Sicy

That's ok on the kitty brush it's a good "starter" brush. It's only when you've become a cat tooth-brushing veteran like I am to appreciate the finer points of bristle construction

Heehee I remember when my kitty would bite on the brush too! Sometimes she would stop the brushing mid stream by biting down. As the years went past, she has stopped doing that. . .I guess cuz she knows the treat will come faster if she doesn't chomp down every stroke.

Good for you for getting started! Zoey sounds like she'll do fine!



When I started brushing my kitty's teeth, she was only a kitten. I did it 1-2x per week for several years. Around 4 years old she began having more gunk on her teeth and developed a tooth condition called cervical neck lesions so I began brushing 1x per day.. If I hadn't been brushing it most likely would have been worse.

I try to brush all the surfaces but it takes the kitty awhile to get used to it, so I wouldn't attempt to brush every tooth in the beginning. In the beginning I would probably just do the surface of the teeth that face the outside, not the surfaces towards the tongue. But eventually you'll want to do try the inner areas otherwise the vet may need to do a full tooth cleaning job which means general anesthetic.

Not all cats are prone to dental problems though. I have another cat that we adopted when she was 13. She's never been brushed and never has had any problems.
post #7 of 13
I've actually heard that you don't need to brush the inside of their teeth, because the action of their rough tongue scrapes the inside. I'm also trying to brush my cat's teeth, and it's really tough. She's friendly and loving, but for some reason if I try to get close to her face (even just to give her a kiss) she turns her head away.
post #8 of 13
Hi glentheman

Cats are all different. On my kitty, I see two tiny cavities on the inside of her furthest back lower teeth. It's in that valley between the two tooth peaks, so her tongue wouldn't be able to reach it even though it is on the inner side.

By being able to brush your kitty's teeth, you not only keep their mouth and gums healthier, you have a way of checking their mouth for other problems throughout the year.
post #9 of 13
Thanks for the help. My older kitty who is 12 next month had to have her teeth cleaned last winter for the first time. I guess I thought it was just a fluke sort of thing but now I guess I better start brushing her teeth and the rest of them. I did try today to stick my finger in their mouths when they were on my lap but nobody seemed to keen on the idea. I will keep trying though. About those tooth brushes, do they each need one like we do, or is 1 for all enough? I want to do this right.
post #10 of 13
Hi gert

Yes I think I would get separate brushes for each, just in case.

Just start slow with the finger thing. You know how kitties like to rub their chin and jaw on objects? When you pet them try to hold your finger out so they can rub against it, and then slip your finger in at the same time. It should be like little dips between their lips as they try to rub against your hand. The beginning shouldn't be some sort of struggle where you're holding their head still and poor kitty is thrashing or anything.

Always try to have them associate the finger/brush thing with something positive. So tip of finger in mouth = lots of praise and snuggles (as if the finger is part of petting them). Then finger in mouth rubbing gums = praise snuggles and a treat etc.

Hope it works out!
post #11 of 13
I am off to Wal Mart tomorrow to buy 5 baby tooth brushes. I wonder whast the cashier will think when she sees that, lol/
I'll let you know of the progress.
post #12 of 13
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
I havent tried brushing Zoey's teeth yet I just put the brush in front of her and she does rub the sides of her mouth on it and tries to bite it but she wont do that when there's toothpaste on it
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