Brushing a cat’s teeth is an important hygienic procedure that will help prevent tooth decay, gum inflammation, and remove odor from the mouth. Today we will talk about means for cleaning teeth in cats, how to carry out the procedure correctly.
Do cats need to brush their teeth?
Can I brush my cat’s teeth? Need to! More than half of cats over 3 years old suffer from periodontal disease – inflammation of the tissues to which the crowns are attached. It begins as gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) due to plaque accumulated on the teeth, where bacteria colonies live. If plaque is not removed, tartar will form, creating a good environment for germs to grow. In addition, the stone comes into contact with the gum, irritates it, causing inflammation. If the disease is started, the pet may lose its teeth.
Other problems that cats may have if you decide that cats do not need to brush their teeth:
- bleeding gums;
- bad breath;
- poor appetite;
- depressed mood;
- diseases of the digestive system due to putrefactive bacteria that came here from the oral cavity.
Of course, one could argue that wild cats boast good teeth, and they do not need any cleaning. But they have a different situation. They hunt, gnaw on solid food, which allows them to clean the enamel from deposits. In addition, tough pieces of meat are less likely to get stuck in the teeth, while soft food, which is mostly eaten by domestic cats, is easily deposited between the crowns.
How to brush your cat’s teeth at home
To clean the mouth of a cat, use an animal toothbrush. On sale there are:
- a toothbrush with curved handles to make it easier to handle the mouth;
- brushes that fit comfortably in the hand;
- fingertips – brushes that are worn on the finger.
If not, a child’s very soft toothbrush will do. When in doubt as to whether the fixture can be used, make sure the bristles fall just below the gum line. As a last resort, you can use gauze wrapped around your finger or a cotton swab.
What mean to clean the teeth of a kitty?
In veterinary stores, zoo pharmacies, you can buy toothpaste for cleaning teeth from cats. They contain substances that are harmless to her and a smell that she will like.
Can toothpaste be used on humans?
You cannot take human pastes. They contain substances that cannot be swallowed, and if a person refrains from reflexive movement, a cat will not. Swallowing the paste can upset the digestive system.
Can I use baking soda for cleaning?
Not. Baking soda contains a lot of alkalies, which, if swallowed, can upset the acid balance in the stomachs. In addition, the pet may not like the taste of the product, and it will break out during the procedure.
How to brush your cat’s teeth properly
The manipulation should be carried out according to the following scheme:
- Apply a toothbrush to the brush to clean the teeth of cats.
- Position the pet’s head at a 45-degree angle, gently lift its lips. You don’t have to open your cat’s mouth.
- Concentrate first on cleaning the large back teeth and canines, where plaque develops most often.
- Proceed slowly and carefully. If the bristles brush against the gums, it can cause irritation.
- Don’t worry if your pet won’t open its mouth to brush the tips of its teeth and the inside. Most of the injuries affect the outer part of the crowns, the periodontium. In addition, a cat’s tongue is better than a human’s at removing the tongue from the inside of the crowns, reducing the need for cleaning.
- Clean all crowns gradually.
- Average cleaning time – 30-60 sec. from each side.
Take your time during the procedure. The pet’s teeth should be brushed slowly, carefully, so as not to frighten the animal. Be sure to praise him.
How to brush your cat’s teeth with your fingertip
If there is no brush, the cat’s mouth can be cleaned with a fingertip in the same way. Before proceeding with the procedure, train the cat to find the owner’s finger in the pet’s mouth. To do this, you can do a gentle massage of the gums, smearing your finger with food tasty for a cat, letting you sniff it, lick it.
How often to brush your cat’s teeth
Ideally, crowns should be cleaned once a day. If the schedule does not allow it, do the hygiene procedure once a week. On other days, give a treat, teeth cleaning bones for cats.
How to train a kitten to brush its teeth
The easiest way to get used to the procedure is a small kitten. If the cat is an adult, the process may take longer. At first, it will not be easy, then the pet will get used to cleaning, and will not pay attention to it.
To train your kitten to brush, do this:
- Find a quiet, peaceful place where you can place your kitten. It is better to start training when the pet is on your lap, but you can put it on the table, after laying a towel. Make sure the door can be closed to block the escape route.
- Dip a Q-tip in the tuna liquid. Cats love the taste and provide a good association with brushing their teeth.
- Lift the kitten’s lips, the teeth may not open.
- Rub your lips, gum edges with a cotton swab.
- The first few times, it is better to wipe a couple of crowns with a cotton swab, and not all, especially if the kitten is not confident and nervous.
- When your pet gets used to the procedure, you can start using the brush.
Professional teeth cleaning for cats
Veterinarians recommend bringing your pet to the clinic once a year to assess the condition of the oral cavity. If the doctor detects inflammation or other problems with the gums, he will prescribe a medicine that will stop the disease in time.
Stones: what to do?
A timely examination by a veterinarian will help to detect and remove stones in time. If it has formed, immediately go to the dentist. The remedies that offer to remove the stone at home are ineffective. They are only able to prevent its appearance, while solid formations must be removed by a specialist.
Cleaning of stones on teeth in cats is carried out both with and without anesthesia. The second option is possible only if the pet behaves calmly, obediently opens its mouth.
In most cases, ultrasonic cleaning of teeth is used in cats. The procedure is expensive but does not damage the enamel. Cleaning the teeth with ultrasound for a cat is carried out with anesthesia, since the cat may be frightened by a buzzing device, splashing water.
Before anesthesia, the doctor must carefully examine the pet, take tests to determine how he will tolerate the injection. This is especially important for kittens and older pets. The wrong dose can kill.
Tooth decay: what to do?
Caries must be treated. Even if at first he does not give the pet problems, sooner or later rot will affect the roots, and then trouble will begin. Caries treatment provides 2 options – crown removal and filling. The first is widespread, the second is only possible in advanced clinics, and is expensive.
How to maintain oral hygiene besides cleaning?
There are special dry foods on sale for cleaning cats’ teeth. They contain substances that prevent the appearance of stones. They also have a structure that allows the mechanical cleaning of crowns.
You can buy cat treats for brushing your teeth that your pets enjoy chewing on. Cat tooth cleaning pads have a hard surface that cleans the canines. Their active components destroy plaque, kill bacteria.
For teeth, there are oral fluids on sale. They have a cleansing effect and eliminate unpleasant odors. They just need to be added to the drink. Manufacturers are convinced that the preparation for cleaning teeth in cats is safe and does not affect the functioning of the digestive tract. As for the users, opinions are different. Some helped, others had no effect, and still others developed vomiting and diarrhea.
Tips for cleaning your cat’s mouth
- There is a lot of bacteria in the cat’s mouth, so wear gloves during the procedure. If you cannot manipulate them, wash your hands with a small one after finishing work.
- Wash your toothbrush thoroughly after the procedure.
- Change your cat toothbrush every three months.
- If you have multiple pets, buy a separate cat hygiene product for each pet.
- Provide quality food for your cat. It has a good effect on the condition of the teeth, makes them resistant to decay.
- Allow your pet to sniff a sample of the paste before brushing. If he likes the smell, he will be more accommodating.
- Be sure to praise the cat during the procedure.
- If you cannot regularly remove plaque, buy treats – pads, brushing sticks for cats, by looking at the catalog of pet supplies.