Toothbrushes in a bathroom


How to brush your cat’s teeth at home

Taking care of your furry friend’s dental hygiene is crucial for their overall health and well-being. In this blog post, we will explore how to brush your cat’s teeth at home. With a little patience and the right approach, you can keep your cat’s teeth clean and his breath fresh.

Why Your Cat’s Dental Hygiene is Important?

Did you know that almost 90 percent of cats have dental problems at some point in their lives? Just like humans, cats can develop plaque, tartar, and gum disease. Neglecting their oral health can lead to tooth decay, pain, and even tooth loss. Poor dental hygiene can also cause infections that may spread to other parts of their body, affecting the heart, liver, and kidneys. Maintaining your cat’s dental health can prevent these issues and ensure your feline friend’s longer, happier life.

When Should I Start Cleaning My Cat’s Teeth?

It’s best to start introducing tooth brushing to your cat at a young age to get them accustomed to the process. Ideally, you should begin brushing your cat’s teeth when they are still a kitten. However, if you have an adult cat who has never had their teeth brushed before, don’t worry! With patience and a gentle approach, you can still teach them to accept this dental care routine.

How Often Do I Need to Brush My Cat’s Teeth?

To maintain optimal dental health, it’s recommended to brush your cat’s teeth at least three times a week. Regular brushing removes plaque buildup and prevents tartar. However, if your cat is prone to dental issues or already has dental problems, your veterinarian may suggest brushing their teeth daily.

Recognizing Signs of Dental Problems in Cats

It’s important to recognize any signs of dental problems in your cat. Look out for these common tell-tale signs:

  1. Bad breath: If your cat’s breath smells unusually bad, it could be a sign of dental issues. While cat breath isn’t usually minty fresh, an extremely strong or unpleasant smell might mean there are dental problems to look out for.
  2. Difficulty eating: Notice if your cat is having trouble eating or seems to be in pain while chewing. They may start avoiding hard food or showing reluctance to eat altogether. This could be due to tooth sensitivity or pain caused by dental issues.
  3. Excessive drooling: Pay attention if your cat is drooling more than usual. Excessive drooling can be a sign of oral discomfort or pain.
  4. Pawing at the mouth: If you observe your cat frequently pawing at its mouth or rubbing its face against objects, it could be a sign of dental discomfort.
  5. Red or swollen gums: Gently lift your cat’s lip and take a look at its gums. Healthy gums should be pink. If you notice redness, swelling, or bleeding, it could indicate gum disease or inflammation.
  6. Missing teeth or teeth that look yellow or brown: Healthy teeth should be white and intact.
  7. Behavioral changes: Keep an eye out for any changes in your cat’s behavior. Dental pain or discomfort can make cats irritable, withdrawn, or more aggressive than usual.It can also lead to loss of appetite.

If you observe any of these signs in your cat, consult your veterinarian. They will examine your cat’s mouth thoroughly, diagnose any dental issues, and provide appropriate treatment. Remember, regular dental care and early intervention can help keep your feline friend’s teeth healthy and ensure their overall well-being.

Supplies for Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth at Home

Before you begin brushing your cat’s teeth, make sure you have the right supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Cat-specific toothbrush: When brushing your cat’s teeth, it’s best to use a toothbrush specifically designed for cats. These toothbrushes have soft bristles and a small head, making it easier to clean all parts of your cat’s mouth. Alternatively, you can try a finger toothbrush that fits over your fingertip. If you don’t have a cat toothbrush, using a very soft toothbrush meant for human babies can also work.

2. Cat toothpaste: Never use human toothpaste, as it contains ingredients that can be harmful to cats.


Cat toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors that are appealing to cats, making the brushing experience more pleasant for them.

How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth at Home

  • Step 1: Introduce your cat to the toothbrush and toothpaste by letting them sniff them.
  • Step 2: Gently lift your cat’s upper lip and use a circular motion to brush its teeth. Pay special attention to the large cheek teeth and the canine teeth, as these areas are more likely to accumulate plaque. The cat’s rough tongue naturally helps remove plaque from the inner surfaces of its teeth, so you do not need to brush those areas.
  • Step 3: Be patient and take breaks if needed.
  • Step 4: Gradually increase the brushing time as your cat becomes more comfortable with the process. Aim for at least one minute of brushing.
  • Step 5: Reward your cat. In this way, you can teach him that brushing his teeth is a positive experience.

Other Ways to Support Your Cat’s Oral Health

In addition to brushing, there are other ways to support your cat’s oral health:

  1. Dental treats and toys: Give your cat dental treats or toys specially designed to promote oral health. These products can prevent plaque buildup and keep your cat’s breath fresh.
  2. Regular veterinary check-ups: Make sure to schedule regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian. They will assess your cat’s oral health and perform professional cleanings if needed.

Final Thoughts

By following the steps in this guide, you can effectively brush your cat’s teeth at home and improve their overall oral health. Remember to be patient, use cat-specific toothbrushes and toothpaste, and make the experience as positive as possible for your furry friend.

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