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Advice on brushing my cat's teeth

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So, the vet says we have to brush Swanie's teeth.

I was working up to it, trying to get him used to the brush and the paste. He actually liked the toothpaste and I was able a couple times to get the brush in his mouth.

However, hubby decided he had a better idea. So last night he picked Swanie up and tried to force his mouth open. I kept saying, that's not the way to do it! Don't do it that way! But would he listen? Of course not! Naturally, Swanie freaked, wiggled lose and ran away. As if that weren't bad enough, hubby chased him down, picked him up, and tried again.

Now Swanie is very cautious, and I can't get near him with the paste. He used to like to lick it off the brush or my finger - now when he smells it, he runs the other way.

I know I'm getting long winded. My question is, how do I undo the damage hubby did and get the little fellow's teeth brushed without it being a stressful situation for both of us (Swanie and me, that is)? I don't want him to start hiding from me - he's such a sweet, loving little guy - but I really want to get this started.
post #2 of 20
Hiya!
thats what happened to my cat's too!
if your cat likes tuna or any other liquid treat, let your cat lick the tuna water off your fingers first while showing him/he the tooth paste, then when shes's used to something in her mouth again, put the paste onto your finger and rub it on her teeth.
after she gets used to that you can go back to normal brushing.
Good luck
post #3 of 20
I totally agree with the other poster. You will need to start back up very slowly with tuna juice, chicken broth, etc. and let him get comfortable with you having your finger near his mouth. Then work slowly to the toothpaste and then advance to the brush. It may take a while, but the patience will be worth it.

Also, a little FYI for your hubby, you don't have to brush the inside of the teeth, no need to pry poor Swanie's mouth open. The only area that needs brushed is the outside of the teeth.

Good luck and be patient.

Oh, and, kudos for you in taking dental care seriously!!!!!!
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Les0304 View Post

Also, a little FYI for your hubby, you don't have to brush the inside of the teeth, no need to pry poor Swanie's mouth open. The only area that needs brushed is the outside of the teeth.
That's what I was gonna say! Just pull the lips back a bit.
post #5 of 20
why brush at all?? Hills makes a food that brushes up against the teeth as they eat it and it's healthy. also there are gels out there that you can put a couple drops in the mouth and it cleans without brushing. the gel combined with the Hills T/D should do it! there is also a seaweed supplement you add to their food called Plaque Off. i think it's a bit traumatizing brushing an animals teeth that's not ment to really be brushed! also becareful what food you are feeding could actually make the problem stay or be worse with time.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the good advice!

I've been putting a tiny bit of the paste on my finger and letting him lick it. At first he sniffed it, wrinkled his face up and ran away. Now he licks it cautiously, but moves away quickly if I move too suddenly.

While I'm doing that, I'm also using some soft sterile gauze to rub on his mouth area, and the last couple nights I've rubbed it on his teeth very gently. He didn't seem to mind, tonight he even purred a bit

I think I might get one of those finger brushes and try it, also get the other flavor toothpaste (beef - we have poultry right now) and maybe fool him that it's something different.

That's good to know we don't have to do the back of his teeth! The vet didn't tell us that one

ocicat_steph - I've tried the Hills that I got from the vet, and he won't eat it. I do have dental treats (greenies), but I've heard they're not all that effective. I'd like to know a little more about the gel though, does it really work? What is it called? Is it safe? Same question about the supplement for his food - is it safe? (I get a little paranoid sometimes, I know, but I don't want to do anything that might harm them in some way) If I can find a safe, effective alternative to brushing, though, I'll happily try it.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat_steph View Post
i think it's a bit traumatizing brushing an animals teeth that's not ment to really be brushed!
I strongly disagree with that characterization of tooth brushing. I've been brushing my cats' teeth as long as I've had them. They don't like it, but it's not traumatic. And as far as "not meant to be brushed" that's when they're consuming a wild diet: live prey, pulling and ripping flesh, and crunching bones. Domestic diets call for domestic dental care.

My vet has commented on how clean my cats' teeth are, so it's definitely something you want to do. A dental procedure can easily set you back several hundred dollars.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I strongly disagree with that characterization of tooth brushing. I've been brushing my cats' teeth as long as I've had them. They don't like it, but it's not traumatic. And as far as "not meant to be brushed" that's when they're consuming a wild diet: live prey, pulling and ripping flesh, and crunching bones. Domestic diets call for domestic dental care.

My vet has commented on how clean my cats' teeth are, so it's definitely something you want to do. A dental procedure can easily set you back several hundred dollars.
if its something you have done for a long time i'm sure its not an issue anymore. but think about how it must have been for the first time? some strange thing being put in your mouth and rubbed all over your teeth tickling and scratching and you have no control over it! i think it would be strange for anyone that wasn't used to it! i agree that it's good for them, but because they are animals with out oposable thumbs they aren't ment to do it! lol but they should because of the domesticated diet. if that makes more sense. but i still don't agree with doing it to them which is why i have looked for more non invasive techniques like the gels and seaweed.


as for information on the Maxi Guard Gel and the Plaque Off check out these links below!
learn about it here http://www.addisonlabs.com/OralCleansingGel.htm

buy it here
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...408630-1966401

Plaque Off (Proden info) http://www.ereleases.com/pr/20050215003.html
buy here
http://www.petsafestore.com/prplanforpe.html

this isn't the one i use but something that would be helpful if your cat liked it.
http://shop.robbinspetcare.com/dogs/plaqueoff.html
http://www.jefferspet.com/ssc/produc...&pf_id=0029815
post #9 of 20
I'd rather brush my cats teeth and feed them a good quality food than rely on a poor quality dry food to clean their teeth. Besides, Jaffa swallows hills t/d whole anyway In the wild they'd crunch bones to keep their teeth clean so don't need to brush their teeth but cats fed a commercial diet do benefit from teeth brushing. Mine don't find it a problem and love the taste of the toothpaste. It's no more invasive than clipping claws or administering flea treatment (in fact less invasive as they do like licking the toothpaste even if they're not too keen on the brushing), and something that they easily get used to. My vet has also told me it's the best way to clean their teeth. I do use logic gel and let them lick it out of the tube a few times a week, but I try to brush 1-2 times a week. I'm also planning on getting some plaque off to add to their food. And as has said previously, you don't need to open their mouth to brush their teeth - just pull back the lips.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
I'd rather brush my cats teeth and feed them a good quality food than rely on a poor quality dry food to clean their teeth. Besides, Jaffa swallows hills t/d whole anyway In the wild they'd crunch bones to keep their teeth clean so don't need to brush their teeth but cats fed a commercial diet do benefit from teeth brushing. Mine don't find it a problem and love the taste of the toothpaste. It's no more invasive than clipping claws or administering flea treatment (in fact less invasive as they do like licking the toothpaste even if they're not too keen on the brushing), and something that they easily get used to. My vet has also told me it's the best way to clean their teeth. I do use logic gel and let them lick it out of the tube a few times a week, but I try to brush 1-2 times a week. I'm also planning on getting some plaque off to add to their food. And as has said previously, you don't need to open their mouth to brush their teeth - just pull back the lips.
who said anything about a poor quality food? Hills T/D is prescription diet! not all cats swallow them hole.
T/D or Royal Canin Dental in combo with Logic or Maxi Gel with the Plaque off in the food should be more than enough to keep the teeth clean with out brushing.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat_steph View Post
... but think about how it must have been for the first time? some strange thing being put in your mouth and rubbed all over your teeth tickling and scratching and you have no control over it!
But that's NOT how you start ... everybody has to start, but if you start slowly and get the cat used to you fooling around inside his mouth, then it isn't so bad for him. The thing most people don't appreciate is how much patience is required. It might take weeks until you actually get to the point where you can put a toothbrush in his mouth. But in fact, if you make it into an experience he finds pleasant, he might even look forward to it. For awhile there, my cats actually waited their turn outside the bathroom to get their teeth brushed. I suggest anyone who thinks toothbrushing is such an awful thing for a cat needs to better research how to introduce a cat to it. It's not a strange and awful thing at all.

If anyone's cat hates having his teeth brushed, I wager it's their own fault....they didn't do a good enough job of introducing him to it.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat_steph View Post
..., but because they are animals with out oposable thumbs they aren't ment to do it! ...
I'm sorry but that's the most illogical argument for anything I've ever heard. One could use that argument to say that animals shouldn't be given veterinary care.
post #13 of 20
You have to think of how you would introduce your children to having their teeth brushed, many years ago, people did not brush their teeth and now we do, its for the good of our health and related to the food we eat, just like cats. You need to first get them used to you handling their mouths, then play with the brush with them so it is not scary to them etc, and gradually do it over time, firstly just brushing one tooth, then two then working on the back ones later

Most cats do not chew enough on each tooth for any form of 'food teeth cleaning' to be effective, even if they do generally chew.

Mine prefer different types of tooth brushes, Scully and Bumper prefer the finger cover type and are usually quite happy to sit there while I brush their teeth, but if I use the long handled 'baby type' tooth brush on them they freak.

Magnum will only allow me to use the long handle one and only likes kittydent and not petrodex paste.

Boomer to be honest is happy to go with whatever and will just sit there waiting for the treat at the end of it (salmon flavoured breath freshening gel - they all love it!)
post #14 of 20
Hills t/d
Quote:
Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Powdered Cellulose 10% (source of fiber), Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken Liver Flavor, Calcium Sulfate, Soybean Oil, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, DL-Methionine, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphophate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), preserved with BHT and BHA, Calcium Carbonate, Iodized Salt, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Beta-Carotene.
ocicat_steph, compared to what most people feed their cats this is a low quality food.

It is completely up to you what you feed your cats, but if you are feeding T/D just for the teeth cleaning properties, I suggest you read this article

I also recommend this article which will tell you a little about the ingredients
post #15 of 20
Hills t/d must be formulated differently over here as these are the ingredients on my bag of t/d:

Quote:
Cereals, meat and animal deriviatives, vegetable protein extracts, cellulose, oils and fats, minerals, DL-methionone
I'm not keen on any food that has cereal as the first ingredient. It's also expensive for such a poor quality food. Basically, I just don't think dry food is good for cats. If anyone wants to feed predominantly dry food and is happy with doing so, that's totally up to them, but I don't. Especially as Jaffa is 9 years old, I feel wet food is much better for him. I do feel a small amount of dry, but I feel there are better quality dry foods than hills t/d. I'd much rather brush their teeth and feed them a food I'm happy with.
post #16 of 20
With either set of ingredients I have seen better quality 'cheap' dry foods
post #17 of 20
i've never been told nor ever tried to feed T/D alone. i only feed three to four kibbles per day instead of tooth brushing. Phoebe we rescued from an elderly lady who had been feeding her canned cheap fish and whiskas wet and dry food all her life. when we got her to a vet for her shots that she hadn't had in 5 yrs she had a head full of mites, a couple rotting teeth and infections from them. She had to have ear treatment for months, 6 teeth removed, a bath, and a starter course of vaccinations. after healing and getting her back to healthy we had her on the logic gel and maxi guard with Royal Canin Neutered Female. once she was able to eat the kibbles happily we put her on the T/D but only two kibbles per day. with in two months her teeth and gums were in perfect healthy (as they could be with 6 teeth gone) We've not had a problem with her healthy since. she has an ultra soft coat, i get comments about it when ever i go to the vets and she's a very healthy weight. Her teeth are fine and she's a very active happy little 8 yr old cat. I agree that T/D isn't the healthiest food. it shouldn't be fed alone and it shouldn't be fed in large quantities as it's VERY fattening. But it does it's job when used correctly. Royal Canin also makes a dental bitting kibble very similar with healthy ingredients and isn't as fatty.
Ingredients:
ROYAL CANIN Veterinary Diet� feline Dental DD 27�
Chicken meal, rice, corn, wheat gluten, chicken fat, chicken, pea fiber, brown rice, dried egg powder, dried beet pulp, cellulose powder, natural flavors, fish oil, salt, calcium sulfate,
potassium chloride, soybean oil, psyllium, sodium silico aluminate, fructo-oligosaccharides, DL-methionine, choline chloride, sodium tripolyphosphate, L-lysine, taurine, vitamins [DL-alpha-tocopherol (source of vitamin E), inositol, niacin, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate], brewers yeast extract (source of mannosoligosaccharides), marigold extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract, and citric acid.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
Hills t/d


ocicat_steph, compared to what most people feed their cats this is a low quality food.

It is completely up to you what you feed your cats, but if you are feeding T/D just for the teeth cleaning properties, I suggest you read this article

I also recommend this article which will tell you a little about the ingredients
the first artical didn't actually condone or say anything negative/bad about Feline T/D... only the Canine.
post #19 of 20
It was about teeth cleaning foods in general... and the info wasn't directed at just you, but anyone who may read or search for this thread later on.

It sounds like you did a great job with Phoebe, but all cats are different, and its best for people to have as much info as possible before spending a lot of money on t/d thinking they can feed it as a primary food as your earlier post sounded like it was the main food fed and not a treat type food.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat_steph View Post
i've never been told nor ever tried to feed T/D alone.
It does say on the back of the packet "feed only this food" and give guidelines for daily amounts, so I'd say you are meant to feed t/d exclusively to get the full effect. I bought it with the intention of feeding just a few pieces a day, but now that Jaffa doesn't even crunch it I shan't buy another bag.

Feeding a dry prescription dental diet is one way of cleaning teeth, and I wouldn't argue that hills t/d doesn't work if fed according to instructions. If anyone wants to feed that instead of brushing the teeth that's ok, and of course a few cats will not tolerate teeth brushing. My opinon is simply that tooth brushing is something I can do, therefore brushing their teeth and feeding what I consider a good quality food (good quality wet) is better overall for their health.
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