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Teeth Cleaning

Kristin

Animal Communicator
#1
How do you guys keep your cat(s) teeth clean?
Zeddie eats prepackaged raw that is 98% protein all ground into patties. I asked at the raw food store and they said the absence of grains would limit the plaque build up on her teeth, but I have seen a bit of plaque starting, and she won't let me in her mouth to pick at it or brush her teeth lol.
I know in dogs you can give them a bone, is there anything I can give Zeddie?
 

Sourek

Savannah Super Cat
#2
I would also love to know this. I bought a feline dental hygiene kit from Nylabone and also CET toothpaste, but I haven't tried either one yet. How often is it necessary to really go in there with a brush and clean their teeth up. Both my cats have their kitten teeth still.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#3
Best teeth cleaners around are raw bones btw... I have a nearly 12 year old that has great teeth for his age as he has gnawed and crunched up chicken drumsticks since he was 6 months old and decided that was all he wished to eat.

So saying that, I think if you can train your kitten to accept a kitty toothbrush then it is a good routine! Doesn't the toothpaste pack or the hygiene kit have recommendations?
 

Sourek

Savannah Super Cat
#4
Best teeth cleaners around are raw bones btw... I have a nearly 12 year old that has great teeth for his age as he has gnawed and crunched up chicken drumsticks since he was 6 months old and decided that was all he wished to eat.

So saying that, I think if you can train your kitten to accept a kitty toothbrush then it is a good routine! Doesn't the toothpaste pack or the hygiene kit have recommendations?
I've routinely been giving them drumsticks since I've gotten them but that isn't very long. The kid recommends to let the cat taste the toothpaste first and get used to it, let it sniff and hopefully let you get the brush into its mouth after a bit of time, and then just brush once your cat is comfortable with it.
 

Tarah

Mace's Mama
#6
Our vet suggested we start by first just massaging the teeth and gums with chicken broth on our fingers while the kitties are calm and sleepy. That way they get used to us poking around in their mouth with something that tastes good to them. Unfortunately, we haven't tried it yet so I can't tell you how well it works :)
 

Sunny

Loyal Servant
#7
First week home after adoption, my mixed boys expressed an interest in my Sonicare and me in feline hygiene and nutrition. I brush twice a day and brush them at least 5 times a week in the morning as once or twice I might get caught running late or unable to get to all of them before I continue the morning routine.

I use CET poultry and experimented with beef and seafood on Mon night and Tue AM of this week but that did not go over so well. They don't taste and smell as good so I'm sticking to the poultry flavor.

I start with the small brush, get them to lick and accept it, then they open their mouths so I slip the brush into the molars and they start chewing and grinding on the brush. I then gently inch it forward and then back again while they chew, repeat on the other side, then both sides once more. Then the final is they use their front teeth to chew and in between the licks, get as many rubs on their incisors as I can. The whole process takes about 3 minutes per cat with taking care to move the paste somewhere they can't reach.

Isis is still too young to understand "boundaries" around Ra so I usually try to brush his first while blocking Isis either locking her out of the master bath or making sure to move her down to the floor.

This keeps their teeth in better shape and drastically reduces stinky breath or morning mouth. Nothing worse than getting a lick by a dog or cat and going UGH what is that lasting smell? Brushing MIGHT add years to their life because later age infections will quickly pass from mouth to immune system and organs.

As far as technique goes, don't force it and get them used to having a hand on their shoulders. Get them to lick the paste off the brush and keep working towards trying to gently move the brush to their molars. Eventually, they will get to a comfort point where they will readily wait for brush time to gnaw on the bristles while you move the brush around their mouth. It took my boys all of a week tops before they were heartily chewing and brushing on both sides of the mouth. It took Isis 2 days and being a teether right now, she readily chews on it because it tastes and feels good!

I face them during brushing so my left hand is on their shoulder blades while the other has the brush. Why I do this is because if they start head tilting too far to one side, their whiskers will feel my arm and they will not keep pulling back while being brushed. If they accidentally get the brush too far to the tongue they will open wider and attempt to move, so be prepared to make multiple attempts of getting all the teeth, even with a small brush. And be prepared to fight tons of licking in order to get the incisors in front where you might have to gently hold their head or cheek in one hand while wiggling the brush across the incisors while their tongues are going non-stop.
 

Sunny

Loyal Servant
#8
And then June-July time frame they go once a year in for a dental check up and cleaning for any built on plaque. Zero extractions and pleasant breath is just too good to pass up. Getting abscesses and gum disease can cause a host of other health problems. Difficulty eating, temperament, certainly.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#9
That's a great description of the process! I admit to being a wimp, the thought of trying to do this with EIGHT cats each morning...and how long that might take...
 

Brooke

Savannah Super Cat
#10
I try to brush Kovu's teeth every other day. It's surprisingly easy because he just LOVES the malt flavored kitty toothpaste I got from petsmart. I use that with a cheap, soft kids toothbrush and the whole process takes about 30 seconds. :)