How to Brush Cat Teeth

Cats, like people, are prone to dental disease if you don’t take care of their teeth as a cat owner it is important to learn how to brush cat teeth. Cats should have their teeth brushed once a day to maintain good dental hygiene and avoid painful dental issues.

Veterinarians usually offer professional dental cleanings. You should discuss the appropriate frequency with your vet.

When is Brushing the Cat’s Teeth Needed

Just like with people, the recommendation is to brush a cat’s teeth on a daily basis. It can be a quick task once you get into a regular regime, but it may take some time to get to that point. It is worth investing time in teeth brushing because it can help extend your cat’s life and significantly improve overall wellness.

Dental issues for cats can be excruciating. Common dental diseases for cats include infected gums, abscesses, tooth decay, and lesions. Regularly brushing will help prevent dental disease.

Signs of Teeth Issues

  • Red or inflamed gums
  • Cat is tilting their head to chew food on one side of their mouth
  • Going to the food bowl but not eating
  • Drooling
  • Pawing at their mouth
  • Horrible breath
  • Tooth Resorption
  • Decreases grooming itself
  • Sensitivity if you touch their mouth
cat teeth

What You Need to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth

Brushing your cat’s teeth only requires a few items. Once your cat becomes accustomed to the routine, it will go quickly.

  • Cat Toothbrush or Finger toothbrush
  • Pet Toothpaste
  • Cotton swab (if there is gum bleeding)
  • Cat treats

How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth at Home

Once you have put in some time and have a routine down, brushing your feline’s teeth should only take a few minutes a day.

There are also water additives sold in the United States to help improve your pet’s oral health.

Steps to Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

  1. Choose a calm time of day to set a regular routine
  2. Put your cat on a firm surface or on your lap
  3. Put toothpaste on their cat toothbrush and let them taste it
  4. Gently open your cat’s mouth by lifting their lips and rubbing the toothbrush along the outer side of their teeth
  5. Brush a tooth or two at a time, working toward the back molars
  6. Keeping brushing until all teeth are done (once your cat is tolerating a complete teeth cleaning)
  7. Reward with treats with finished (also can be tuna water, tuna fish or chicken broth)

Step-by-Step Video Demonstrating How to Brush Feline’s Teeth

Cat Dental Care

Helpful Tips When Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

  • Start teeth brushing when you get your kitten if possible, but it is never too late to start a healthy dental regime with your cat to prevent future health problems or tooth loss
  • Let your cat taste the toothpaste either off your finger or the toothbrush before brushing
  • Practice opening your cat’s mouth and be comfortable holding their mouth open before starting a daily brushing routine
  • Be gentle when brushing
  • Brush the outer side of their teeth, being sure to get their back molars
  • Brushing daily (recommended) or a few times a week will significantly improve your cat’s dental health and prevent painful teeth and gum issues

Do’s & Don’t’s When Cleaning Feline Teeth

Here are some tips on what to do to provide dental care to your pet. Additional information is included in the FAQs for brushing a cat’s teeth.

  • Let your cat taste the toothpaste before brushing with it to get cat used to it
  • Speak in a calm tone
  • Take your time & breaks as needed
  • Focus on the outer side of the teeth & molars and gum line as that is where the most plaque and tartar build-up occurs
  • Start slowly to let your cat get used to having their teeth cleaned and gently rub their teeth with the brush
  • Make it a daily routine even if it is just 30 seconds, the same time each day to with treats as rewards when done to foster a positive experience
  • Don’t use people’s toothpaste (it can be toxic for your cat)
  • Don’t brush your teeth too hard or hold your cat’s head too roughly
  • Don’t force your cat, and it may take time to work up to being able to clean all their teeth at once
  • Don’t yell or get frustrated with your cat
  • Don’t expect to brush your them all the first time you try or even clean their teeth every day until you work up to a routine

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you supposed to brush your cat’s teeth?

Yes. Brushing will be very beneficial to their dental health. It will also help avoid possible teeth and gum problems in the future that could be painful for your cat and expensive.

How often should you brush your cat’s teeth?

It is recommended to brush your feline’s teeth every day or every other day to get the tartar and plaque off before it begins to harden.

Is it too late to start brushing my cat’s teeth?

It is never too late to start brushing your cat teeth. However, the earlier you start and get them acclimated to having their teeth cleaned, the easier it will be on both of you. Be sure to use pet toothpaste.

How can I freshen my cat’s breath naturally?

A healthy cat has neutral-smelling breath. If your cat has terrible breath, it could be a sign of a medical issue, and you should contact your vet.

Can I use normal toothpaste on my cat?

No, you should never use your human toothpaste on your cat. Cats need toothpaste specifically formulated for felines. You can find pet toothpaste at a pet store or online.

How do you brush a cat’s teeth?

Purchase a cat toothbrush or finger brush and toothpaste. Before brushing, you want to ease into it and let your cat taste the toothpaste. Carefully open your cat’s mouth with your fingers and gently start brushing your cat’s teeth.

How can I brush my cat’s teeth at home?

Brushing kitty’s teeth at home requires a cat toothbrush and pet toothpaste. Starting when they are a kitten will make it easier, but you can work up to brushing your adult cat’s teeth following these steps.

What toothpaste can you use on cats?

You should only use toothpaste formulated for cats. Cat toothpaste can be purchased at a pet store or online pet retail website. Do not use human toothpaste.

Do greenies really help cat teeth?

Greenies can help reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar. Greenies should not be used as a replacement for brushing though.