Written By : M Samy

Do Cats Need To Brush Their Teeth ?

Cats need to brush their teeth at least once a week and get a professional dental cleaning once a year. Some dental prescription diets, dental treats, gels and chew toys can reduce the frequency of brushing but cannot replace it.

Is it really necessary to brush my cats’ teeth? 

Brushing your cats’ teeth is a necessity and should be started as soon as your cat exceeds 6 months of age, and it is recommended that you train your cat to accept brushing at a young age.

Cats only need to have their teeth brushed once or twice a week, and this will be enough to keep their teeth clean and healthy and avoid them from other cat diseases that can be caused by teeth problems.

If you try to brush your cats’ teeth every day, he’ll eventually refuse to let you do it, so consider combining this with other things your cat loves to do or eat, like giving him his best treat right after brushing.

Do Kittens need to brush their teeth ?

how to safely brush my cats teeth ?

Kittens that have not yet reached 5-6 months of age have a fragile set of teeth that are just coming in to replace their baby teeth.

Kittens often have a bad breath because of the inflammation caused by the emergence of teeth on one side and their food which is usually milk.

Despite this, you should not brush your kittens’ teeth because their gums are delicate and you can easily cause bleeding and make their case worse.

You can just use a bit of gel and use your finger to run it over their teeth to get rid of bad breath and food scraps to avoid infections.

You will then start brushing their teeth from 6 months of age.

How often should I brush my cats’ teeth? 

According to the vets, brushing your cats’ teeth once or just twice a week will be sufficient , but this could also depend on your cats’ diet and the quality of its food. 

Any way, to avoid tartar buildup and gum infections and other potential problems, your cat should have a professional dental cleaning at least once a year, twice a year would be ideal for your cat to keep its teeth clean, its mouth healthy, and its breath odor free.

Should I brush my cats’ teeth everyday?

You don’t have to brush your cats’ teeth every day, because not only will he end up hating it, but he’ll also risk eroding and weakening his gums and tissues that support his teeth and causing bleeding and infections. Just know that brushing once or twice a week will be enough for your cat to have a beautiful smile, a pleasant breath, and a healthy mouth.

What will I need to start brushing my cats’ teeth ?

Cats have their own toothbrushes made especially for their teeth and mouth size. I recommend using a rubber or finger brush or just a piece of clean and sterilized gauze square wrapped around your finger at first.

Can I brush my cats’ teeth with a normal toothbrush after that? Absolutely not !. Once your cat is used to brushing, you can only use the small baby toothbrushes.

Cats have their own toothpaste, so don’t use regular toothpaste, as it can lead to allergies and even poisoning in some cases.

What toothpaste is best for cats?

Virbac CET Enzymatic Toothpaste is among the best toothpastes for cats, it is specially formulated for them, this toothpaste is designed especially for daily use, you can also use it to brush the teeth of your dogs.

What toothbrush is best for cats ?

Virbac C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Kit is what you need to start brushing your 30 cats’ teeth, you will get both a finger brush and the common cat toothbrush as well as one Vibrac CET toothpaste.

How to get your cat to agree to let you brush his teeth?

So, How do you get cats to let you brush their teeth? . You’ll just have to gradually get your cat used to accepting tooth brushing by following these steps:

How should I brush my cats’ teeth? 

Before anything else, you should pet your cat until it is relaxed and make the tooth-brushing experience a good and positive social interaction for it. Never force your cat to open its mouth or do anything against its will!

1- Start by getting your cat used to having your index fingers on his teeth, every time you pet your cat on the head, move your fingers down his cheeks and into his mouth and teeth and do a kind of brushing with your fingers, don’t rush, do this for a few days.

When your cat becomes comfortable with your fingers in his mouth ( take your time because this step is crucial ! ), you can move to the next step and start using the gauze square .

2- Once your cat is used to having your fingers on her teeth and a gauze square (your finger should be moving in a circular motion), you can start putting a little bit of cat toothpaste on one finger and brushing her teeth, using toothpaste that your cat can safely swallow. 

You can also put some toothpaste on your finger and invite your cat to smell it and lick it off before coating it on his teeth. This step can take up to a month.

Don’t forget to keep petting your cats’ head with your thumbs at the same time your index finger is in his mouth to distract him from brushing, otherwise he will notice and refuse to brush his teeth.

3- After your cat has learned to accept brushing with your finger, you can then introduce a toothbrush, choose a special brush for cats, start with a finger toothbrush, you can then use a baby brush, they are soft and safe for your cat.

4- Start by brushing your cats’ teeth for 5 seconds and gradually increase the brushing time until you reach 30 to 40 seconds or even a minute.

Also start by brushing just the front teeth and once your cat is used to brushing the front teeth, you can start to get her used to brushing the back teeth.

5- Finally, it is very important to link this operation of brushing your cats’ teeth with something he likes so that brushing becomes a good experience for your cat, think of giving him his favorite treat right after you have finished brushing his teeth, cuddles will not be enough.

Can I keep my cats’ teeth clean without brushing?

There are certain dental products that you can use to avoid or reduce the frequency of brushing your cats’ teeth. Even though these products are specifically designed and formulated to keep your pets’ teeth and gums healthy, it is always recommended to check and monitor their effectiveness which can vary from cat to cat depending on his diet and eating habits.

Here are some ways that can help in cats’ dental health but not replace tooth brushing :

  • Dental prescription diet, dental treats and dental chews chews
  • Dental Gel 
  • Water additives
  • Coconut oil (use it carefully).
  • Dental cat toys 

What type of food promotes clean teeth for cats?

Usual kibble or dry cats’ food will not help remove tartar from your cats’ teeth, but there are some treats that have a great abrasive effect since they are specially designed in texture , shape and size to help mechanically remove dental plaque and tartar or at least reduce it on the surface of your cats’ teeth. 

In the wild, big cats don’t brush their teeth of course, but they chew on bones and grass to help sharpen their teeth and remove leftover food and prevent tartar build-up.

So, you can also give your cat a raw bone from time to time and encourage her to chew on it, which will strengthen and clean her teeth. Zinc-rich foods are also good for your cats’ dental health.

This solution is only partial, since only brushing your cats’ teeth will be able to reach the tartar between his teeth and eliminate it, which will prevent him from serious infections that lead to tooth decay.

How do you prevent dental disease in cats?

To prevent dental disease in cats, start by keeping an eye on your cat and making sure he doesn’t chew on hard objects or bones. You have also to choose your cats’ food carefully, get him diets like  Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Dry Cat Food, and some dental-friendly treats such as FELINE GREENIES Natural Dental Care Cat Treats from time to time. Finally, you have to brush your cats’ teeth at least every week and give him professional dental care once a year.

Do cats fed with wet food need teeth brushing?

Wet cat food does not have the ideal consistency to remove tartar. A cat fed exclusively with wet food will soon have tartar build up on its teeth from the combination of oral bacteria, food debris and proteins and if you don’t give it dental treats and brush its teeth regularly, it will have dental problems over time.

Cats fed dry food will also have the same problem, since regular kibble has neither the ideal shape, texture nor size to fight tartar formation on your cats’ teeth.

What are the benefits of brushing my cats’ teeth ?

Brushing your cats’ teeth regularly will not only give him a beautiful smile and a better breath, but weekly brushing will greatly help your cat to avoid many health problems such as gingivitis, tooth resorption, mouth infections, stomatitis and periodontitis as well as other diseases that can be caused by your cats’ dental problems, such as digestion problems, weight loss and other diseases that this will cause

Will brushing my cats’ teeth get rid of its stinky breath?

Brushing your cats’ teeth on a regular basis, no more than twice a week, will prevent your cat from contracting mouth ulcers and sores, but more importantly bacteria buildups on its teeth and gums which is the primary cause of bad breath.

Digestive problems can also cause bad breath in cats and brushing teeth can greatly help prevent these problems related to poor digestion or imbalance of its intestinal flora.

Are There Any Risks of Brushing My Cats’ Teeth?

Using bad stuff like a non Fluoride-free toothpaste , a bad and harsh toothbrush or even an excessive brushing (more than a minute) on a daily basis can not only make your cat hate it and refuse to open his mouth, but it can also weaken his gums and cause bleeding teeth and infections that can be painful.

There will also be a risk if your cat has an allergy to the additives or flavors that are added to your cats’ toothpaste.

You should first make sure that your cat is not allergic to these products by a quick test from a veterinarian, if yes , you have to buy the right toothpaste for your allergic cat.

Among the allergens in toothpaste are mint oil, fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate, and menthol. 

You should also be careful not to brush your cats’ teeth with your own toothpaste (toothpaste intended for humans) because it contains fluoride, a substance that is toxic to felines. 

What if my cat ate the toothpaste? 

Cats should never eat human toothpaste, however, toothpaste for cats is made in the same way as toothpaste for babies. They are free of substances that can cause poisoning if a small amount is ingested. 

If your cat licks a little bit of toothpaste it is not that bad, but if he continues to ingest even more, it can be dangerous for him . Always be aware of the ingredients in your cats’ toothpaste.

Can mouthwash replace brushing ? 

Washing your cats’ mouth , without using a toothbrush will only keep his gums healthy, prevents some mouth ulcers, and  infections; while using the brush will prevent tartar build-up, making it more effective in keeping your cats’ teeth healthy.

How do you break tartar off a cat’s teeth?

If you are not in the habit of brushing your cat’s teeth and you have suddenly noticed that they have turned yellow and your cat is starting to develop bad breath or dental problems, the advice I give you is not to rush things!

You should first take your cat for a professional dental cleaning and then start brushing his teeth and maybe even gradually change his diet to a dental-friendly food and treats.

Final thoughts 

Finally, you understand that brushing your cat’s teeth is necessary and it is preferable to get your cat used to brushing at least once a week. Daily brushing is not necessary and finally, choosing the right food for your cat can also help to guarantee a healthy mouth and strong, clean teeth.

M Samy pet blogger and author at famillypet

About Author

Hey! Salim Makhloufi (alias M. Samy) here , Welcome to my Blog I'm an animal lover, especially pets and Really concerned about their well being ; I've been around and caring for all my life and Now ; a full-time Pet blogger at your service . My motto here at Famillypet is: "Pets First" ... Read More