Q: Should I brush my cat’s teeth?
A: This is one of the most common questions asked by our feline owners. Brushing your feline friend’s teeth is extremely important to maintain dental health, and to prevent gum disease or dental pathology at a later stage. Brushing your cat’s teeth can be very difficult and therefore should be started at an early age to get them comfortable with the process.
To make it easier for yourself and your cat, follow the following easy steps:
- Find a comfortable place for your cat to sit for the teeth cleaning. A nice spot in the sun or a soft couch is perfect.
- Use a veterinary approved cat toothbrush and toothpaste. This can be bought from your local vet.
- Start with gently lifting the lips with only a small amount of paste and gently brush the gums and teeth in circular motions.
- Be sure to include the back upper molars and canines, as these teeth tend to build up tartar very easily.
Cleaning of your cat’s teeth should ideally be done once daily. Using dental diets and dental treats can also assist greatly in tartar control.
Your veterinarian will evaluate the teeth and mouth cavity with routine visits to ensure the gums and teeth are healthy and will advise you on any other dental procedures that might be necessary should your feline friend need them.
Dr Letitia Swartz, veterinarian