How To Clean Cat’s Teeth? 10 Ways To Protect Your Cat’s Oral Health
As human beings need a proper cleaning of the teeth, cats also need some kind of cleaning of their teeth. It is important to clean the teeth of cats in order to ensure a better oral health as well as the overall health of cats. You would not consider this important as you might have not faced any consequences yet. Read further to know about how to clean cat’s teeth!
I always brush teeth of my cat Natalie on a regular basis. As I have seen the rotten teeth of many cats, I do not want to let that happen to my lovely cat. She was reluctant to it obviously at the starting but now she got used to the routine of brushing every day. It is important that you should start doing the same with your cat in order to protect their teeth from getting damaged.
Why Should You Clean Your Cat's Teeth?
The cleaning of cat’s teeth is also vital in many ways. It is time for you to know why it is so much important. Surely, it is not going to be an easy task for you and you will face some difficulties in the beginning. However, you have to brush your cat’s teeth in order to get rid of plaque. A cat’s mouth is a home to various bacteria and only brushing can put a stop to its buildup.
If you would not brush your cat’s teeth at all, then the accumulation of bacteria would lead to plaque and then plaque to tartar. The bacterial growth can be minimized through a regular brushing of teeth. If not, then bacteria-laden would turn to plaque. The brushing can also remove plaque effectively. When you do not remove plaque from cat’s mouth for so long, it would turn to tartar, which can only be removed from a professional cleaning.
It is important to remove plaque and tartar and if you don’t, then it can cause some serious problems such as gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), periodontitis, mouth ulcers, stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth), and many more. It all starts with stomatitis, which causes unbearable inflammation in the mouth. During stomatitis, cats find it difficult to eat and altogether, stop eating. This further leads to hepatic lipidosis and other serious consequences. Even the bacteria from the cat’s mouth could lead to other organs and cause serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease, liver enzymes, and kidney disease.
How To Clean Cat's Teeth?
There are many ways to clean your cat’s teeth but obviously brushing them is the most efficient one. You can also choose some alternatives for brushing the teeth of your feline friend. Read to know some best methods for the cleaning of your cat’s teeth.
1. Preparing for cat teeth brushing
In order to clean your cat’s teeth, brushing is the most effective solution out of all. It is not going to be easy for sure but you should start brushing your cat’s teeth for a good oral health. Firstly, you have to choose a good tooth care products for your cat. You can even consult your vet for this. Choose a pet-safe toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush that is designed especially for cats.
It could be really tough to brush cats’ teeth but you do not have any other choice. I have personally used a finger cat toothbrush to brush Natalie’s teeth. All you have to do is put a bit of cat toothpaste on it and start with the brushing process.
Steps to brush cat’s teeth:
Step 1 - Let cats get used to toothpaste and toothbrushes:
Cats are obviously not going to take up the activity of brushing in the first go but you have to introduce this activity in an exciting way.
You have to firstly accustom your cat to the sight of toothbrush and toothpaste. Let them taste a bit of the toothpaste on your fingertip and then move your finger, by putting a bit of toothpaste on it, along the upper teeth’s gums of your cat for at least one or two days.
Then, you can follow with a cat toothbrush. For the next three or four days, try to brush your cat’s teeth once a day for about twenty minutes.
Step 2 - Brush your cat's teeth:
You can place your cat on a comfortable spot or even wrap your cat in a towel in order to stop him from running away. After a while, put toothpaste on the cat toothbrush and try to brush a few teeth. In order to brush the teeth, you can use a fingertip toothbrush for a better experience and run the same on the gum and teeth of your cat. You have to work then on the upper back teeth so as to clean along the gum line.
Step 3 - Check for any problems:
You have to massage gums of your cat from back to the front. You have to also look for anything that needs vet’s attention while brushing so as to take proper care of it.
2. Regular oral care
Regular oral care is much needed when your cat experiences foul breath, difficulty while chewing its food, drooling, and in case of excessive licking. You have to make sure that you brush your cat’s teeth on a regular basis. It would be best to clean them on a daily basis or a few times per week to ensure a good oral care. Brushing is going to remove plaque and will reduce the bacterial buildup, so it is important to take the brushing session of cats serious too.
However, you have to take cats to your vet as soon as you see lesions, discolored teeth, bleeding gums, or red gums.
3. Remove tartar
Gingivitis is one of the most common oral problems in cats, which starts with plaque. It is a sticky bacterial film that mixes up with food particles and saliva and stays there on teeth. When you do not remove plaque for a long time, it becomes a hard substance called tartar. It is not easy to remove tartar so easily. For doing so, you can use dental treats for your cats that contain ingredients like taurine, selenium, Vitamin E, and antiseptics that would fight bacteria present in their mouth.
However, in severe cases, tartar can only be removed by a scraping process done by a vet.
4. Dental cat food
There are various cat foods available that are specially designed to improve the oral healthcare of cats. These products such as Royal Canin Dry Food are going to be helpful for reducing plaque and the further buildup of tartar. If you could not go for brushing, then cat food is the best alternative to clean the cat’s teeth.
5. Give them bones to chew on
Bones are abrasive and therefore, perfect to remove plaque and massage gums in your cats. As cats chew on these bones, it helps to reduce plaque. If you do not feed your cat with a raw diet, then just offer some raw bones. You can even buy dental care bones with some additional flavors, which would encourage your cats to gnaw on them.
Indoor cats usually do not get an opportunity to chew on bones that is why some veterinarians recommend feeding your cats with raw bones at least once a week as a treat. However, do not cook bones as they splinter on cooking and may cause internal injuries. It is best to go with raw bones as there are less chances of splintering with them.
6. Use of dental gels/sprays
In order to clean your cat’s teeth, you can even opt for dental gels and sprays. These are the best alternatives to improve the oral care of your cats. These products comprise enzymes that help in killing off germs, tartar buildup, decay, and irritation in teeth also. You can use these dental gels or sprays on a regular basis in place of brushing. You just have to apply these goods on to your cats’ teeth.
You can even opt for water additive that works exactly the same as gels. You do not have to apply additives on cat’s teeth but have to add them in cats’ drinking water.
7. Use of special products
In order to make the brushing session interesting, you can look for products, which are designed especially for cats. These products include toothbrushes of different shapes, toothpaste of different flavors, and so on. You can reward your cats for their good behavior in terms of brushing of the teeth.
Please note that do not give toothpastes designed for humans to your cats under any circumstance as they contain ingredients, which can make your cats sick. These ingredients include sodium laurel sulfate that is a foaming agent. Cats cannot spit it out and hence, makes them sick.
8. Use of chew toys
There are various chew toys for cats designed for their dental care. These toys brush off the accumulation of plaque and tartar as cats nibble on them. These chew toys are the best alternatives for bones as these toys contains a little catnip to keep them engaged as well.
9. Professional cleaning
Even if your brush your cats’ teeth daily, a professional dental cleaning is still needed in some cases. You can have them checked up once in a while to ensure their oral care. In case of tartar buildup, it is best to get a professional cleaning to get rid of it as brushing would not do well here.
10. Give them a yearly checkup
Just as human beings get a dental checkup once in a while, it is necessary for your feline friends as well. Brushing your cats’ teeth is quite effective but sometimes a professional dental checkup is needed too. You can take your cats to their vet for a yearly checkup to ensure their good oral healthcare.
The above things can be used for cleaning your cat’s teeth. Cleaning of teeth is much required in the cats as to remove plaque, tartar, and other bacteria. Now, you might get the idea to choose which product for cat’s teeth cleaning as this blog provides you with many options to choose from.
Is Coconut Oil good for Cat Teeth Cleaning?
Coconut oil seems quite effective for the dental care of humans and so, can be for your cats if given in moderation. It contains lauric acid that has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which is effective in removing plaque and reducing gingivitis.
Even today, there are various pet toothpastes that come with natural ingredients including coconut oil such as Wickedly Potent. It would not be so wrong as to go for coconut oil for the cleaning purpose of cats’ teeth. However, you should consult your vet before using coconut oil on your cats’ teeth. The coconut oil also causes lethargic behavior in some cats as Natalie, my cat showed this symptom after she licked coconut oil accidently one day. So, your cat might react differently due to the presence of triglyceride in coconut oil.
It would be right to use the oil in moderation such as one teaspoon for ten pounds of cat’s body weight. You can either apply coconut oil on the gums and teeth of cats or mix that much content in their diet daily. Due to this oil’s low melting point, you can use it in solid or liquid form.
As to know, if it is going to be fine for your feline friend, you can test the same on your cat and look for some immediate reactions or can consult your vet regarding this. It is one of the best options to cut the cost of expensive toothpaste.
So, you might get an idea about how important it is to brush your cat’s teeth. It is not going to be an easy task for you but you have to take this step. In addition, you also learn 10 effective ways about how to clean cat teeth. It is really important for your cats to have clean teeth or else they would face serious problems associated with their oral health. If you still have any queries or comments, you can post the same in the comment section below. Do not forget to share your experiences with us. We would be glad to hear from you!