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Should I brush my cat's teeth? A guide to cat dental care

Did you know that over 70% of cats develop gum disease by the age of 3?

When it comes to caring for your cat, it can be easy to overlook the importance of caring for their teeth.

Looking after your cat's teeth can seem a bit daunting, so let's take a look at the best way to look after your cat's pearly whites.

Do I need to brush my cat's teeth?

Brushing your cat's teeth will lower the risk of them developing dental diseases and other mouth-related illnesses such as gingivitis, of which the most common cause is the build up of a plaque and bacteria.

Cats are masters of disguise, and when it comes to showing pain, they often hide their discomfort. Because they can’t tell us when they’re in discomfort, it’s important to keep on top of their dental hygiene. Cats require regular dental care to prevent the build-up of plaque.  

Read More: Gingivitis in cats: symptoms and how to treat it

How often should I brush my cat's teeth?

Dental specialists’ advice that you should clean your pet’s teeth every day. To see any real benefit from brushing, you should brush their teeth at least every other day.

Brushing regularly has the same benefit for your cat as it has for you. It removes stubborn plaque and tartar and combats bad breath, which can come in handy after a tin of tuna. If plaque builds up in your cat’s mouth, it can become hardened plaque, which requires special equipment to remove. 

If you notice your cat’s gums are bright red, or there is a lot of tartar build up on the teeth, please contact your vet for advice before attempting to brush your cat’s teeth. These symptoms could mean that dental disease may already be present, which can make brushing painful for your cat, and will require treatment.

black cat holding toothbrush

How do I brush my cat's teeth? 

Brushing your cat's teeth can be quite tricky, as some cats may not allow you near their mouth. If possible, you should follow our simple 3 step guide. 

Step 1: Use your finger to brush the side of your cat’s face, next to their mouth. Once your cat gets used to that feeling, progress to rubbing their actual teeth using your finger. Then you can introduce a small amount of animal toothpaste to your finger, gently rubbing it along the teeth.

Step 2: Now that your cat is used to having his teeth touched, introduce an actual toothbrush. You can get ones designed specifically for animal use to make things easier for you and your cat. 

Step 3: Eventually, you should aim to spend around 2 minutes brushing all the surfaces in your cat’s mouth. Don’t worry if your cat doesn’t take to toothbrushing straight away; the more gradual the process, the easier it will be. 

Watch Now: How to brush your cat’s teeth

What toothpaste should I use to brush my cat's teeth? 

Healthy teeth make for happy pets and investing in high-quality toothpaste could stop you from forking out on big vets bills in the future. By keeping on top of your cat’s oral care, you can prevent the need for expensive tooth and gum treatments. 

Visit our My Family Vets Shop to check out our AniDent range of vet-approved dental products. AniDent’s easy-to-use dental range has been designed to help you provide your pet with the very best oral care. 

We recommend using AniDent Natural Defence Toothpaste, a tasty paste backed by science. It’s based on a special C.E.T. Dual Enzyme system that enhances the mouth’s natural defence mechanisms and quickly neutralises unpleasant odours by killing bad bacteria. 

For best results, pair the toothpaste with the AniDent Dual Ended Toothbrush, a design that allows for surfaces to be easily brushed, specifically shaped to fit your pet’s mouth.  

Need more advice on cleaning your cat’s teeth?

For expert advice on cleaning your cat’s teeth, get in touch with your local vet. Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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