Posted on: 3 February 2023Share
Just like the impact on humans, periodontal disease can be painful for your cat, causing infection and tooth loss. With patience, you should be able to acclimate your cat to having their teeth brushed, ideally every day. If your cat is uncooperative with this process, it is necessary to take them to a cat dentist or your veterinarian for a professional cleaning regularly.
Consider the following tips for your cat's oral health and care.
Use the Right Brush
Only use a special cat toothbrush on your pet- or, just your finger. You can gently rub the cat's teeth to remove plaque. Look for special cat toothpaste, but never use human toothpaste for your pet—they can be toxic.
Wash Up and Wear Gloves
Protect both you and your cat by washing your hands well and wearing a pair of gloves during the brushing. Always tightly cap the toothpaste and rinse the cat's toothbrush to prevent bacteria and germs. Consider replacing your cat's toothbrush every couple of months and do not share brushes among multiple cats; get them each their own.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Take time and steps to succeed before you attempt to brush your cat's teeth. Unless your pet is remarkably mellow and adjusted to the process, brushing may prove challenging at first. Don't try to brush your cat's teeth in the middle of chaos or noise; instead, choose a quiet space, preferably one that you can enclose the pet in. Your pet may choose to flee, so a room with a door is best.
Initially, try brushing the easiest teeth that are on the sides of your cat's mouth. As they adjust to brushing, you can move on to the inside area of their teeth and along the gumline where plaque builds.
Make it Pleasant
Use a bit of tuna water or tuna juice to please a cat during brushing. Simply dip the toothbrush or a swab in the juice and swipe your cat's teeth or mouth with it. This may help stubborn cats comply with the process.
Watch for Signs of Pain
If your cat is very uncooperative, it could be that they have dental pain that is making the process uncomfortable for them. Does your cat have bad breath? This is a symptom of periodontal disease; perhaps it is an advanced case. Some signs that your cat is experiencing dental pain include:
- Trouble eating
- Swollen or bleeding gums
- Tooth discoloration
- Broken, cracked, or loose teeth
- Excessive drooling
- Pawing at face
- Tumors or growths on gums
If these symptoms persist, see your veterinarian right away. It may make the most sense to visit a vet or cat dentist to have your pet's teeth periodically and professionally cleaned. This can prevent the problems associated with periodontal disease, while also providing the opportunity to detect oral issues early.
Contact a cat dentist near you for more information.