February is Pet Dental Health Month! Kitties can also be afflicted a wide variety of dental troubles, such as abscesses, cracked or broken teeth, tooth resorption, and feline stomatitis, which is a very painful mouth infection. One of the best ways to keep your cat’s choppers healthy is to brush them. We know, that sounds a bit risky, but it can be done. A La Mesa, CA vet discusses brushing Fluffy’s teeth below.
Baby steps is definitely the way to go here. At first, just gently rub your pet’s teeth and gums with your finger. You can get a finger toothbrush, or wrap a piece of gauze around your finger.
Make tooth-brushing time pleasant for your kitty. This will also make things much easier on you! Alternate rubbing your cat’s teeth with petting her or giving her ear scritches. You’ll also want to praise your furball. When you’re done, offer her a treat, a new toy, or a bit of catnip. The point is to make Fluffy realize that she is being pampered, not punished.
Purrfect timing will go a long way here. Choose a time when your pet is feeling relaxed and cuddly, and perhaps a bit sleepy. If Fluffy is a lap cat, wait until she’s snuggled up with you.
Only use toothbrushes and toothpastes that were made specifically for cats. Things formulated for humans are neither safe nor suitable for kitties.
Make dental care part of your daily routine. If possible, do this after kitty playtime, so Fluffy will be a bit tired.
You don’t need to do your cat’s entire mouth every day. Just do one quadrant at a time, and keep rotating.
If your kitty decides she’s had enough, just let her go. Trying to hold Fluffy down and force her to submit to having her teeth brushed will only make her frightened of the process. Plus, it’s a good way to get scratched!
If your attempts to brush Fluffy’s teeth haven’t gone so well, there are other options. Dental-formula kibble and treats, oral rinses, and dental flakes can all be beneficial. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Please contact us, your La Mesa, CA vet clinic, for all of your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!