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Dental Care for Cats

Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth continued...

Cats may resist having their teeth brushed. However, a step-by-step approach often will lead to acceptance. Begin by rubbing the cat’s muzzle over the teeth. This is easily accepted, as it mimics a natural behavior of face rubbing. Then raise the lip and massage the gums with your finger. When this becomes routine, wrap a piece of cloth or gauze around your finger and gently rub the cat’s teeth and gums.

The next step is to introduce a toothbrush. Begin with a soft, small toothbrush (made for a young child). You can also purchase special fingertip brushes that fit on over a finger and give some added abrasive action. You can get small toothbrushes just for cats, too, but if you have trouble using one with your cat, try wrapping a gauze pad around your finger and putting some toothpaste on that.

Introduce the idea of toothpaste by first using the water from a can of tuna. Before using the actual toothpaste, introduce it to the cat by offering it on the tip of your finger.

Gently rubbing along the teeth inside the lip will work quite well. The most important part of the gum area to brush is the gingival sulcus, where the gum attaches to the teeth. Move the brush forward and back, parallel to the gum line, with the bristles in the gingival sulcus. It is not necessary to brush the tongue side. The cat’s rough tongue will help distribute the dentifrice on the inside of the teeth.

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WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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