How to Clean Your Cat's Teeth for the First Time
In a recent study, 85% of cats over 3 years had some form of dental disease. Oral hygiene ensures our feline friends stay healthy for longer. Dental complications can lead to severe conditions such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. Learning how to clean your cat's precious teeth can help you live longer.
Some cats may never adapt to this hygienic habit, which means regular dental checkups with your veterinarian are necessary to ensure their dental health does not impede their quality of life.
How to brush your cat’s teeth
- It is important to slowly introduce oral hygiene to your cat slowly and wait for times of calm and relaxed moods. For the first few days, let your cat get used to having their lips held and exposed teeth massaged with a cotton swab or gauze wrapped around your finger for about 30 seconds daily. You may stop whenever your cat exhibits symptoms of anxiety and try again the next day.
- Continue simulating this new ritual with your cat and introduce a great tasting pet-appropriate toothpaste onto the swab or gauze. This may take your pet up to 4 weeks to get used to toothpaste and the cleaning motion.
- Now, you may introduce the final step in your pet's oral hygiene journey! You can purchase a cat toothbrush at any pet store or you may also use a kid's toothbrush with soft bristles.
- For the first few times, gently lift your cat's lips to see what you are doing and use gentle circular strokes on the outside of their teeth. Stop after a few strokes and praise your cat for being extremely patient each time. Repeat this process until you clear off the tartar build-up on each of their teeth and praise them again.
Congrats! You did it, and with practice, this process will be quick and painless for both you and your pet!
Q. Do teeth cleaning toys or treats work?
While cat teeth cleaning treats and toys do provide dental benefits. They do not replace the benefit of brushing the plaque and tartar directly off with pet-safe toothpaste. Consult your veterinarian to find the right product for your cat to help maintain dental health between checkups!
Q. How often should I brush my cat's teeth?
We recommend that you consult with your veterinarian during the next dental checkup, as dental care can vary depending on age, diet, lifestyle, and genetics. The general rule is to brush your cat’s teeth at least once a day.
Q. What happens if I do not exercise healthy oral hygeine habits for my cat?
Poor oral hygiene can harm your cat's overall health. It will begin in plaque and tartar buildup on your cat's teeth which will spread into their gums. This buildup can cause several common dental diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Symptoms such as pain, discomfort, swelling, and tooth decay can impede their quality of life. In the more severe cases, plaque can spread into your cat's bloodstream and affect their organs.
Q. How much does a cat dental checkup cost?
The costs of a checkup can vary according to whether anesthesia or other medications are required, age, and location. A professional cat teeth cleaning can cost you anywhere from $50 to $400.
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