Cleaning your Cat's Teeth
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Even if your cat is very intelligent, intuitive and looks like it's about to start talking, there are certain skills and habits that it has lost, as have all domestic cats. One of them is cleaning its teeth on its own.
Unlike domestic cats, wild cats brush their teeth using branches, leaves or grass, therefore keeping them clean. When it comes to your cat, it is you who must perform this task. Taking care of its dental hygiene is essential for good health. It is basic care that helps prevent infections and also oral diseases that could lead to painful and costly surgery.
Handling your cat's mouth and teeth and turning it into a routine may seem like an ordeal, especially as cats don't like it that much, but it does not have to be the case. Read this AnimalWised article where we will explain all about cleaning your cat's teeth in the best way possible so that your cat feels comfortable and stays healthy and happy.
Understand cats' dental hygiene
Plaque or an accumulation of waste is the main dental condition in cats. It can cause pain in the gums, bad breath and, in the worst cases, infections or tooth loss. For this reason, it is important to establish a dental hygiene routine early on.
At first, cleaning your cat's teeth may be a little difficult, but if you do it on a regular basis it will eventually get used to the routine; over time, the task will become easier and less unpleasant. Try to brush your cat's teeth and keep an eye on the state of its mouth three times a month. If your cat is a kitten, take advantage and start this routine when it's young.
How to properly clean a cat's teeth
Toothpaste for cats is different from toothpaste for humans; all brands are very harmful, and you do not want your cat to end up being intoxicated. Look for specific toothpaste for cats in your local pet shop. The same applies to the toothbrush; although toothbrushes for humans aren't toxic, they can be quite rough and too big for your cat's small mouth. Some people are more comfortable covering their index finger with gauze or a soft sponge and using it as a brush. All these materials can be bought from any vet or pet shop.
You probably don't want to end up covered in scratches, so you should get a towel and wrap your cat up like a burrito, leaving its head uncovered. Place it on your lap in a position that is comfortable for both and massage its head, ears and lower jaw. This action will help relax any tension around the mouth.
How to brush a cat's teeth
Once you feel your cat is calm, raise its lip on one side and begin delicately brushing the outside of its top teeth downwards. This should be from slightly below the gum line towards the tip, the same way your parents taught you. It is very important to remove all embedded food residues from the mouth.
To brush the bottom, you may need to apply some pressure so your cat opens its mouth. Pinch it lightly to do this, although the taste and smell of the toothpaste will likely help with this. There's no need to wipe or rinse the toothpaste off as this type is edible, but you can let your cat drink some water if it feels like it.
Cleaning your cat's teeth without brushing
If you've tried several times and your cat still finds it very unpleasant, making it a constant struggle between you and your pet, you should consider other methods of cleaning a cat's teeth.
You can counter dental plaque with special foods and supplements; they are not 100% effective, but they do help to reduce the majority of plaque. Ask around in your local pet shop.
Whether you're brushing your cat's teeth or going with the option mentioned above, trust in your vet for support and take your cat to regular dental health check-ups.
If you want to read similar articles to Cleaning your Cat's Teeth, we recommend you visit our Dental hygiene category.