Dental issues are very common in our feline pals. In fact, over 85 percent of adult kitties have some form of dental issues. Tooth problems are just as painful—and dangerous—for pets as they are for people. One of the best things you can do to keep your furry friend’s choppers healthy is to brush her teeth. But how do you do that without ending up covered in scratches? A local Roanoke, VA vet offers some tips below.
If your furball is still a kitten, you definitely have the upper paw. It’s much easier to train a baby feline to accept a toothbrush than to try and get an adult cat used to something new!
Make it Routine
Brushing your cat’s teeth is very beneficial, as it can remove plaque that will otherwise harden into tartar, which can lead to infections and gum disease. Gum disease is painless and asymptomatic at first, but can eventually contribute to some very dangerous health issues, such as heart disease. Of course, if you tell Fluffy about the importance of dental care, she’ll probably just yawn and lick her paw. Just make it a part of your normal kitty-care routine.
To get your furry pal used to the idea, start by simply massaging her teeth and gums. Pick a time when Fluffy is feeling relaxed and cuddly, such as when she’s on your lap, and start handling her teeth and gums as you pet her. The next step is to incorporate some kitty toothpaste. (Tip: you can wrap your finger in gauze, or get a finger toothbrush.) Only use products made specifically for cats. Things that were manufactured for people are neither safe nor suitable for our feline buddies! When picking toothpaste, choose a yummy flavored one.
Always pet Fluffy before, during, and after her tooth-brushing sessions, so she knows she’s being pampered. You’ll also want to talk to her gently, and tell her she’s being good. Kitties love compliments! Once you’re done, offer your cat a treat, some catnip, or a new toy.
It may take Fluffy some time to get used to the idea of getting her teeth brushed, but be patient. Keep things positive by continuing to incorporate praise and treats.
Please feel free to contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!