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How to Brush Your Cat's Teeth Properly

 by jaime on 11 Jul 2014 |
1 Comment(s)
There are a lot of details about your cat's health that you probably notice on a daily basis. If your kitty suddenly has trouble using the litter box, for instance, or starts to develop an obvious eye infection, you are likely to head to the vet pretty quickly. Unfortunately, many cat owners don't spend enough time thinking about their pet's teeth. Dental problems like gum disease and tooth decay can pose a major threat to your feline friend. Initial symptoms might seem minor, such as bad breath, lethargy, or decreased appetite. If left untreated however, dental issues could increase your kitty's risk for serious complications such as sinus infections, autoimmune disease, heart failure, and cancer.
Rather than exposing your furry pal to these dangerous risks, it's a good idea for all owners to learn how to brush their cat's teeth. Expert opinions vary, but some vets recommend that you give your cat a little dental attention as often as once a week or even every day. Most cat owners who have never tried brushing their kitty's teeth before avoid the practice out of fear of hurting their pet or getting hurt themselves. As long as you ease your cat into the process, you're likely to find that it's probably not as difficult as you might think.
The first step when it comes to getting your kitty comfortable with the idea of brushing is to get the cat used to you putting your fingers in its mouth. Begin by dipping your finger into a treat that your cat loves (tuna juice or chicken broth are great options), and then have kitty lick the liquid off your finger. Once you've repeated this process several times, try moving on to rubbing your cat's teeth with a piece of broth-soaked gauze.
Getting kitties used to the pressure and texture of a toothbrush is often one of the most difficult steps, so you should try getting your cat to like the brush by putting treats on top of it and letting your kitty lick them off. Next, replace the treats with some cat toothpaste (these products have a meaty flavor that will appeal to your cat). Once you have accomplished all these steps and your cat is less afraid of all the elements of brushing, it's time to put everything together and actually clean the teeth.
You should err on the side of being too gentle at first until you know how your furry friend is going to react to brushing. Simply scrub the front and back of each tooth, much like you do as part of your own daily routine. Remember that the cat's back teeth are the ones that are likely to need the most attention, so you should start with them. Praise your cat throughout the entire process, and be ready at the end to reward your pet with a tasty treat.
Like many other cat care procedures, it will probably take a while before your pet gets used to having its teeth brushed. As long as you are patient and don't give up, you can eventually train your cat to behave well during this process-and maybe even enjoy it.

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Guy Goodship - Comment
Guy Goodship12 Jul 2014Reply
If you don't have insurance dental work can be very expensive. I spent over 1K on our late cat just for dental and no I didn't have insurance as he was to old to get it.

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